Jan 13, 2014

Green design help for three state capitals

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2 min
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced design assistance to help the capital cities of Michigan, Wisconsin and Washington develop designs for greener, healthier, more vibrant neighborhoods. The designs will provide models for the growing number of communities interested in sustainable designs that improve the environment, strengthen local economies, and protect people’s health. The cities, which were selected through a national competition, are: 


- Lansing, Mich. will receive assistance to develop options for transforming a 14-acre parking lot between the state capitol and Hall of Justice into a public park that showcases green infrastructure and renewable energy technologies. The design assistance aims to help reduce combined sewer overflows, prevent flooding, reduce the heat island effect, beautify public spaces near major civic buildings, and connect pedestrian walkways and transit to community and state institutions.

- Madison, Wis. will receive assistance to explore ways to make pedestrian and bicycle improvements and add green infrastructure, such as trees and rain gardens, to streets in the Triangle Neighborhood. The project aims to make it easier for residents to access nearby transit, open spaces, and the Monona Bay, and also improve water quality in the bay. 

- Olympia, Wash. will receive assistance to incorporate green infrastructure along Capitol Way to reduce stormwater runoff, improve access to businesses and the waterfront, and adapt to climate change. The project aims to strengthen connections between the capitol campus and downtown, encouraging people to walk and bike to shops and restaurants. 

Read more about sustainability:

Top 10 Sustainable Cities

Top 10 Energy Efficient Stadiums

Energy legislation analysis for 50 states

This is the fourth year of the Greening America’s Capitals program. To date, 15 capital cities have received assistance, including Boston; Charleston, W.Va.; Hartford, Conn.; Jefferson City, Mo.; Little Rock, Ark.; Jackson, Miss.; Lincoln, Neb.; Montgomery, Ala.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Washington; Baton Rouge, La.; Des Moines, Iowa; Frankfort, Ky.; Helena, Mont.; and Indianapolis, Ind. 

EPA recently posted reports for Baton Rouge, Des Moines, Frankfort, Helena, and Indianapolis. EPA assistance will help the cities pursue green infrastructure, more walkable streets and other amenities. 

Greening America's Capitals is an EPA program conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The partnership is helping communities across the country create more housing and transportation choices, reinforce existing investments, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses. 

 

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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