Washington State Passes Clean Buildings Bill

Washington State Legislature has set a goal to reduce state carbon emissions to year 1990 levels by 2020. One clear obstacle to this goal is the fact that emissions from buildings alone has risen 50% since 1990, making them the second largest contributor of greenhouse gases in the state. As Washington makes strides towards reducing carbon emissions in the transportation and electricity sectors, the progress is offset by the nearly 20 million metric tons emitted from fossil fuel use in buildings in a single year.

To combat this, and help Washington achieve their emission reduction goals, the Washington State House of Representatives has passed the Clean Buildings for Washington Act. The act establishes energy efficiency standards for large commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet and for natural gas utilities. Together, these measures will reduce carbon emissions by 4.3 million metric tons by 2035.

Only 6% of buildings in Washington state are greater than 50,000 square feet, but they make a disproportionately large contribution to carbon emissions from the built environment. To ease the burden on building owners, energy efficiency upgrades will not be required unless the investment will pay for itself in decreased utility spending. Additionally, the Clean Buildings Act allocates $75 million in incentives to support the requisite up front financial investments for buildings that require major capital improvements.

Read more in a Seattle Times op-ed supporting passage.

If cutting carbon emissions is an objective for your organization, Energy Hippo can help. With EEM Suite’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting, Project Tracking, and ENERGY STAR Integration, we make it easy to stay on track towards meeting your efficiency goals. To learn more about these features, contact support@energyhippo.com.

IBM's Next Generation Goals, Powered by Energy Hippo

IBM has announced a fourth-generation GHG emissions reduction goal and a second-generation renewable electricity procurement goal. According to a post from IBM, these new goals “cover the energy consumption and corresponding CO₂ emissions associated with the company’s global business — from research, product development and manufacturing activities to [their] enterprise and cloud data center operations…”

The goals entail:

  • Procure 55% of global electricity consumption from renewable supplies by 2025

  • Reduce CO₂ emissions associated with energy consumption 40% by 2025

To increase their procurement of renewable electricity, IBM is working with their energy providers and collaborating with industry peers and nongovernmental organizations to increase the portion of renewable electricity incorporated into the grid. They plan to achieve their CO₂ emissions reductions goal through energy conservation and efficiency activities, combined with the migration to renewable electricity.

Since 1990, IBM's conservation actions have saved more than 7.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity consumption, avoided 4.4 million metric tons of CO₂ emissions, and saved the company more than $616 million.

IBM tracks their progress using Energy Hippo’s software. EEM Suite™ Project Tracking module supports tracking actual energy projects of three types: (1) energy conservation; (2) cost avoidance; and (3) renewable energy projects. Projects have specific data entry requirements that allow for a robust record of energy conservation measure projects. Project reporting shows historical and predicted project performance, comparisons of energy conservation measures with actual energy usage and spend, supports aggregation of project types and site levels, and provides financial payback calculations.

EEM Suite™ also has the capacity to monitor energy produced by solar and wind systems. Users can access data related to production, savings generated, and ratio of renewable to non-renewable energy sources. Additionally, EEM Suite™ can measure and track greenhouse gas emissions for internal use or for reporting to third-party GHG registries.

Some of the largest energy users in the country use Energy Hippo's energy management software. To learn more about project and renewable tracking, contact support@energyhippo.com.

Energy Hippo Attends Event in Support of I-1631

Members of the Energy Hippo team attended a fundraising event in support of Initiative 1631—Washington State’s measure to put a price on carbon emissions. The event was held at EnergySavvy’s offices in downtown Seattle, and featured a panel discussion with leaders from the non-profit, utility, nature conservation, and venture capital sectors.

Initiative 1631 has won the competition for the most expensive ballot measure in Washington State history, largely due to $25 million in donations from just three out of state oil conglomerates. This amount pales in comparison to the $2.3 billion the initiative, if passed, would collect from petroleum companies and utilities in the first 5 years of implementation. The revenue will support transforming Washington’s economy into one that is fueled by clean energy.

Funding in support of the measure comes from individuals and organizations in the technology, engineering, and environmental sectors. Prominent figures such as Bill Gates, Gov. Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and organizations such as Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility are all in support of this measure.

Supporters say this tax will raise money for “transformative solutions” that already exist. Turning back the clock on greenhouse gas emissions is no longer physics or a chemistry problem, it is a political and economic problem—Washington needs capital to deploy projects that will protect our air and water for generations to come. Funding will also be invested back into the coal miners that will be directly affected by this economic shift to clean power. In fact, the solar industry has created ten times more jobs than reinvesting in coal; these jobs are not easily automated, so they are here to stay.

Today is the last day to get your ballot in to support I-1631! If you are interested in tracking your company’s carbon emissions, contact support@energyhippo.com to learn more.

PCAPPA Conference 2018

Energy Hippo is looking forward to attending and presenting at PCAPPA Conference 2018! Don’t miss our talk, “Campus Billing and Energy Management Systems” at 9:45am on Tuesday, October 2nd.

A core goal of PCAPPA is to “develop quality professional standards in the operation, planning and development of the facilities and utilities infrastructures used by educational institutions.” To contribute to this mission, Energy Hippo will be sharing our 15+ years of experience regarding best practices in the tenant utility billing process.

The campus utilities environment is invariably complex, with disparate forms of energy information coming from a mix of utility streams. Universities may not be accurately capturing energy costs and allocating them effectively, or doing this manually and working too hard on a problem that has already been solved by many other campuses. Whether you are starting from scratch or already have a system in place, we will help you plan and optimize each step of the process. Effectively capturing and managing your utility data can be used to support optimal energy management and recover several thousands of dollars in cost savings.

Will you be attending PCAPPA 2018? Leave us a comment below or email support@energyhippo.com to connect with us at the conference.

Overview of the campus billing process