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Rmi Outlet

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RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute’s blog, explores topics critical to RMI’s mission to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources.

Building an Energy Modeling Master Plan

With commercial building retrofits starting to take center stage -- bolstered by federal support, spurred by public disclosure of performance benchmarks and popularized by hallmark projects -- demand for energy modeling services may soon be in the spotlight. And while LEED and an increase in whole-building performance analysis has driven demand for energy modeling services, there are several barriers that must be overcome to maximize energy efficiency and achieve aggressive performance goals.

Deep Building Retrofits Drive Big Gains in Energy, Cost Savings

Since the economic collapse, real estate owners have sought ways to cut costs, retain tenants, increase market performance and gain competitive advantage. A deep retrofit can achieve these objectives by turning business-as-usual upgrades into profit centers. Existing buildings are full of energy efficiency opportunities waiting to be realized. While some savings are obvious and easy to reach via one-off upgrades of windows, lighting and appliances, by using an integrated, whole-buildings design approach, profoundly larger energy savings can often be gained at little or no added capital cost.

How America’s 50 Largest Cities Rate on EV Readiness

Turn on the TV, and you will likely view a commercial featuring the plug-in capable Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf. Reading the paper, you have no doubt encountered news about their much-anticipated launch (GM will publicly launch the Volt later this month).Turn on the TV, and you will likely view a commercial featuring the plug-in capable Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf. Reading the paper, you have no doubt encountered news about their much-anticipated launch (GM will publicly launch the Volt later this month).

How to Make Solar Power Cost Competitive in 5 Years or Less

Last month, after a state senate bill increasing California's renewable energy standard failed to pass, the state's Air Resources Board (CARB) increased the goal on their own, establishing the 33 percent by 2012 renewable electricity standard. California now claims the country's highest renewable energy standard, with Colorado close behind -- 30 percent renewable by 2020.