RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute’s blog, explores topics critical to RMI’s mission to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.
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We get comments every day from customers about how much nicer the new dealership is—and saving money and saving the environment at the same time is pretty cool,” says Brian Jarrett. Jarrett is co-owner of Jarrett-Gordon Ford Lincoln, Inc. in Winter Haven, Fla., the first Ford dealership to go through Ford’s Go Green energy efficiency retrofit program.
There’s an old economic theory that becomes a bone of contention about once a decade. It goes like this: when energy efficiency rises, people and industry use more energy—a phenomenon called “rebound.” In an extreme form sometimes called “backfire,” rebound doesn’t just reduce but nullifies or reverses gains in efficiency.
“How many LEED points can I get? Do I quality for a specific incentive?” To energy modelers, questions like these sound like a broken record. Yet properly used, energy modeling can provide information that optimizes a building’s energy consumption, reduces life cycle costs and even reduces first cost.
For almost thirty years, RMI has targeted business leaders to influence the way they manage energy and resources, which also helps them gain competitive advantage. What about the business leaders of tomorrow? RMI has partnered with Catawba College’s Center for the Environment in North Carolina on “Redesigning Our Future: A National Environmental Summit for High School Students,” July 20-24.
Google’s recent $280 million investment in solar developer SolarCity is a win-win-win scenario. About 10,000 homeowners get cheaper, cleaner energy, Google gets a hefty tax write-off (to the tune of $80 million dollars), and the emerging preferred financing mechanism for solar installs—the power purchase agreement (PPA) —gains yet another stamp of approval from one of the clean energy sector’s most important investors.