Insights from Our Experts

Navigating the Workforce Bottleneck

By Mary MacPherson, Camille Kadoch
The workforce is the driving engine of the economy. This adage is equally true even when the engine is efficient and electric. Clean energy jobs in the fields of energy efficiency and electrification are increasing. While the U.S. workforce grew overall by 2.8% between 2020 and 2021, clean energy jobs grew 4% during the same period. However, employers are having ... Read More

Clean, efficient and smart: District heating can support Europe’s decarbonisation efforts

By Sem Oxenaar
Valuable flexibility can be exploited with efficient heating and cooling systems In the 1920s, the Parisian heat network burned coal to provide steam to pre-heat the trains leaving Gare de Lyon station. Over time, the network grew into a district heating system that delivers heat to around 20% of the city. With its reliance on burning household waste, fossil gas... Read More

Prudent Gas System Planning Can Minimize Risk

By Elaine Prause
According to the American Gas Association, from 2018 to 2020, natural gas utilities added an average of 753,619 customers and 20,724 miles of pipeline each year. This equates to adding more than one customer per minute and more than 2.4 miles of pipe per hour over that timeframe. At the same time, however, consumers are showing increased interest in alternativ... Read More

In the Electrification Push, Familiar Tools Get Repurposed

By Jessica Shipley, Camille Kadoch
Stephen King wrote, “Sooner or later, everything old is new again.” Many “new” regulatory approaches to encourage building electrification are actually just new applications of tried-and-true methods policymakers have been using for years. Take, for example, clean heat standards, which some states (e.g., Colorado and Vermont) are considering or have imple... Read More

To Save Energy, Cities Turn to Building Performance Standards

By Kim Cheslak, Erin Beddingfield, Camille Kadoch
When homes and buildings are first constructed, they must meet the building code in place at the time of construction. The median age of U.S. homes is 39 years, which means that most homes are decades out of date on the most efficient and cost-saving housing technologies. The replacement rate of buildings — demolition and new construction — is less than 2% pe... Read More

Time for a System Update: Financing our Buildings’ Future

By Cliff Majersik, Caitlin Caplinger
Buildings should last decades or longer, but to do so they must be periodically modernized — and that’s challenging when financing options are limited. This means we are missing opportunities to implement new technologies that support efficiency, health and productivity in homes and businesses — and opportunities to equitably improve buildings. Our homes... Read More

A Chance to Transform Weatherization Programs

By David Smedick, Camille Kadoch
Across the country, state and local governments are awaiting a windfall investment from the federal government to modernize infrastructure and ensure energy security. Everything from housing to bridges, airports and the electric grid will receive an injection of funds to provide safer, more efficient, more equitable and more climate-aligned basic services to ever... Read More

Flex and the city: Cities need dynamic pricing for public charging

By Jaap Burger
City dwellers without their own parking space, small business owners such as taxi drivers and a growing number of car-sharing users rely on the public charging network to access electric driving. The affordability of electric vehicles (EVs), compared to the fossil-fuelled cars they replace, in part, relies on not only upfront cost but also lower running costs. ... Read More

Opening the Door: How Officials Can Improve Access to Energy Decision-Making

By Chandra Farley, David Farnsworth
In a representative democracy, all citizens have the right to access government services, to meaningfully contribute to government decisions and to share equitably in the benefits of government programs. The many decisions made in Washington, D.C., have important implications for our day-to-day lives, as do the decisions being made in state capitals across the co... Read More

Tackling the Job of Building Modernization: A Toolkit for State Decision-Makers

By Camille Kadoch, Donna Brutkoski, Jessica Shipley
Energy efficiency and electrification are the dynamic duo of a modern building. Technology advances in both these areas mean that we have the ability to improve the comfort and health of a building’s residents, save them money, reduce air pollution and better manage demand on the power system. In a time of rising costs and rising concern about environmental imp... Read More