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The Electric Current Blog

The Future of Green Building Performance

By Mark Bryan, Director, National Capital Region, United States Green Building Council

Although “going green” has never been easier for building owners, identifying a starting point and navigating the plethora of technologies and services to achieve sustainability goals can prove daunting.   USGBC has led the global movement toward building green for over two decades, and we believe that performance management enabled by advances in both hardware and software is the next evolutionary step in moving towards greater energy and cost efficiency in green buildings.

windmills

Green Banks Growing in Popularity

By Michael Mock

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) recently released a study reporting that jobs in the renewable energy sector – particularly solar and wind projects – have grown 20% annually for the past several years. Now with more than 4 million jobs nationwide, the EDF reports job growth in this sector is 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy.

neca annual conference - filled ballroom

Our Take: Disruptive Technologies Headlines NECA Annual Conference

By Michael Mock

I just returned from the National Electrical Contractor Association’s international conference held in Boston. Two words – “Disruptive Technologies.”

Like virtually every industry, the electrical construction industry is undergoing a massive transition in both the way we think about our work and how we perform our work. As one conference speaker asked, “Are you a resistor or a transistor?” Resistance is futile!

J.E. Richards Completes Wiring and Lighting Updates

Electrical Alliance member J. E. Richards Electric is putting the finishing touches on the Cornerstone Chapel, a beautiful new house of worship in Leesburg Virginia.

The 100,000 square foot facility includes a sanctuary with seating for 2,000 people, numerous classrooms for the congregation’s children, and Middle School and High School auditoriums that each seat over 200 kids.

Maximizing energy savings and sustainability were key considerations in the design of the building. The J. E. Richards team delivered a building that is not only beautiful but also highly energy-efficient.

Net Zero Plus facility

News from LA: Electrical Apprentices Call Net-Zero Plus Building Home

By Michael Mock, Vice President Industry Development, The Electrical Alliance

California is well recognized as a national leader in energy-saving and sustainable building practices. Going beyond simply reducing energy consumption, our friends in Los Angeles recently completed construction of a building that produces more energy than it consumes.

The building, known as the Net-Zero Plus Electric Training Institute (NZP-ETI), is the largest net zero plus commercial building retrofit in the United States. The 144,000 square-foot facility houses a state-of-the-art training center for electricians and apprentices and is jointly funded by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 11 and Los Angeles Chapter of National Electrical Contractors Association.

The Virtuous Cycle and Energy Storage

By Michael Mock

Both utility companies and consumers are recognizing that alternatives to producing electricity by burning fossil fuels are increasingly economical as well as planet friendly. This trend is certainly evident in the greater Washington D.C., area where solar projects continue to increase in both size and number.

Going Green Helps Building Owners Make More Green

By Michael Mock

The demand for greener and sustainable buildings continues to grow. According to the Worldwatch Institute, a respected research firm focused on sustainability, in the USA, “wind, solar, and geothermal energy are all on the rise. At least 17,000 megawatts of these three energy sources are now under construction.” And, according to the Energy Information Administration, renewable energy will account for about one-third of new electricity generation added to the U.S. grid over the next three years.

From Diesel to DER

Addressing the Power Outage Challenge in 2016 and Beyond
By Michael Mock

Most of us have seen large standby generators, often diesel-powered, lurking behind a school, hospital or other facility where continuous, uninterrupted power is essential. Such systems were adequate a decade or so ago for the occasional temporary outage. They are not, however, sufficient to meet the demands of major power outages that, according to a recent report from the organization Climate Central, have increased ten times since the early 1980s.