Jim Bushnell Featured in The Mercury News on Assembly Bill 617 to Address Local Air Pollutants

Professor Jim Bushnell was featured in a July 11th article in The Mercury News on assembly bill 617 to address local air pollutants.

…To address local environmental concerns, especially in districts long burdened by dirty and toxic air, Brown and top leaders introduced a separate bill, Assembly Bill 617. It would require oil refineries and other plants in heavily polluted areas to replace their equipment with cleaner technology by the end of 2023. The bill could pass with only a simple majority vote.

“Overall, I find it really encouraging that they went the route of a separate bill targeting local pollutants,” said Professor James Bushnell, a UC Davis economics professor and former research director at the University of California Energy Institute in Berkeley. “To get to two-thirds, you need a coalition of the people who are really focused on the local pollutants joining the people who are focused on the climate question.”…

To read the full article, please click here.

UC Davis to Help Equip Africans to Meet Energy Challenges

Considered the most sustainable university in the world, UC Davis is offering the only energy-themed institute of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship of the Young African Leaders Initiative, today through July 29. The campus, which piloted the energy institute last year, is one of 38 universities hosting a total of 1,000 fellows for summer programs in business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management.

At the energy institute, fellows will learn from UC Davis and other California experts who are advancing energy policies, business strategies and technologies to contribute to the environmental and economic sustainability of the energy sector.

In addition to classroom sessions on energy and leadership skills, the program will allow fellows to experience the campus — ranked first in the world for sustainability by the GreenMetric World University Ranking — as a living lab for energy efficiency. And tours throughout Northern California will show other energy solutions at work.

Read the full press release here.

Ben Finkelor featured on KCRA

Watch Ben Finkelor, Executive Director of the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, in a segment on California’s role in advancing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Click here for more.

New Working Paper Published

In a newly released working paper, Katrina Jessoe (UC Davis), Maya Papineau (Carleton University) and David Rapson (UC Davis) focus on the split incentive problems created when energy bills are bundled into the monthly rental commercial contract by comparing electricity usage across tenant-paid versus owner-paid contracts. The authors found that among the top ten percent highest commercial energy users, customers on tenant-paid contracts use 6-14% less electricity in summer months. Jessoe et al. conclude that a targeted policy of submetering and tenant-paid contract promotion would be an effective conservation strategy for policymakers, particularly due to the high concentration of electricity use among the largest commercial customers. This switch has a private payback period of less than one year. Remarkably, fixing the split incentives problem for large commercial firms nationwide would save more energy than doing so for the entire residential electricity sector. The environmental benefits are also large relative to other popular conservation strategies. Aligning incentives at the largest firms will produce greenhouse gas savings of between 615-1200 thousand tons of CO2 per year, or roughly 3.3 to 6.6 times the average annual savings achieved from a year of Weatherization Assistance Program retrofits. (This abstract is pulled from the working paper website)

Click here to read the working paper.

Apply for a 2017-2018 UC Davis Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Engagement Fellowship (Deadline is May 17)

The University of California, a national leader in sustainability, launched the Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) with an aim of emitting net zero greenhouse gases from its activities, buildings, and vehicle fleets by 2025. UC Davis is committed to teaching and research that explores climate change solutions, expanding its energy efficiency efforts, increasing its use of renewably sourced energy, and undertaking other endeavors to achieve this goal. In order to reach carbon neutrality, it will be critical to engage the entire UC Davis community.

To encourage student engagement in the CNI and in general sustainability efforts at UC Davis, and to support work that students are doing to advance sustainable practices on the UC Davis campus, up to two students will be awarded $4,000 each in the form of stipend funds for student engagement-based fellowships with an emphasis on undergraduate students. All students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) are encouraged to apply.

The application deadline is Wednesday, May 17 at 1pm. The application announcement can be found here.

The EEC is Attending the EE Global Forum 2017

EE Global Forum 2017, being held May 8-9 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., is the leading international energy efficiency event, drawing hundreds of energy efficiency influencers for two-days of unparalleled discussion at its Plenary and Executive Dialogue sessions, and best-in-class networking aimed at driving actionable plans for the next generation of energy efficiency.

As an invitation-only event, EE Global hand selects high caliber industry professionals, academics and policy makers looking to create partnerships, discuss the latest technology and information and develop “best practices” policies and strategies for global implementation of energy efficiency.

To show your organization’s strong support for driving energy productivity you can pledge to sponsor this leading international event, or join our list of impressive endorsing organizations. More information on this year’s EE Global can be found at www.eeglobalforum.org

Thank You for Supporting us on UC Davis Give Day!

Thanks to 35 generous donors the Energy Efficiency Center raised $14,125 on UC Davis’ first Give Day. With these gifts we will continue to elevate the impact we are making on realizing our world’s clean energy future. Thank you for your support!

UC Davis Features CLTC’s Groundbreaking Work on Lighting Quality

The California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) is leading the way in a new era of lighting that merges color quality with energy efficiency. Michael Siminovitch, director of the CLTC and a professor in the UC Davis Department of Design, explains “In the past when we’ve moved to more efficient lighting, we’ve lost quality of visual experience. Fortunately, with new technology, we don’t need to sacrifice one for the other.” To advance efforts in this area, the CLTC developed a new lighting quality standard—the California Quality Specification—that was adopted by the California Energy Commission in 2015. Lamps that meet this standard are now available and are eligible for rebates, and new homes built in California must have lighting that meets the California Quality standard. On the UC Davis campus, lamps meeting the standard will be deployed in future relighting and new construction efforts. “Ultimately, this is about the human equation and making our lives better, more healthful and more productive,” Siminovitch said.

To read more about the CLTC’s work in this area, please click here.

Live Sustainably this Fall: Apply to be the Next Occupant of the UC Davis Honda Smart Home

The Honda Smart Home—a unique home showcasing technologies that enable zero net energy living and transportation—is soliciting applications for new occupants. This rare opportunity is open to UC Davis faculty, staff or graduate students for 2017-2018. The home is located in UC Davis West Village and is capable of producing more energy on-site from renewable sources than it consumes annually, including enough energy to power a Honda Fit EV for daily commuting. A Honda-developed home energy management system and an energy efficient design will allow the occupants to use less than half of the energy of a similarly sized new home in the Davis area for heating, cooling and lighting. The home is also three times more water-efficient than a typical U.S. home. Honda Smart Home will serve as a residence for a member of the UC Davis community. The fully-furnished home comes equipped with a Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicle for daily transportation.