The Facebook of Energy Efficiency

Posted on April 7th, 2011 by

A new site allows users to compete in energy efficiency challenges against one another while sharing tips and experiences. Also, Honeywell‘s refrigerant gets EPA approval for use in cars.

Energy Efficiency Social Networking Competition

Energy efficiency the social networking way—that’s the promise made by a new website dubbed Pushing Green. Thousands of users challenge one another to see who can reduce their energy use and save money by small actions such as installing energy efficient bulbs to drastic steps such as installing solar panels. Although it launched just three weeks ago, the site already has 3,000 households pitted against one another in fierce competition. There are tips and calculators on the site to aid users find the products available and new ideas to save energy. People who achieve the Greenest rating in their area can win an entire month free of energy bills. For example, if you lower your water heater’s temperature by 10 degrees, you get a certain amount of points, which contribute to your green rating. Players can share advice and experiences while contributing to a healthy environment and saving money.



Obama Visits Philly to Promote Energy Plan

Gamesa, wind energy powerhouse, hosted President Barack Obama at its Fairless Hills, Penn. Plant for a town hall meeting to discuss energy efficiency Wednesday. This was his first visit as President to one of Gamesa’s plants and it came at during his campaign to garner support for his energy plan. Choosing Pennsylvania was no accident. The Greenworks Philadelphia project has been just one effort aimed at energy efficiency. Through the initiative, the Philadelphia Streets Department is converting 58,000 traffic signals to LEDs. The goal is to generate 20 percent of the city’s electricity from renewable sources by 2015, divert 70 percent of solid waste from landfills and reduce miles travelled by automobiles by 10 percent from 2005 levels.


Chu and Salazar Invest in Hydropower

Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are offering $26.6 million in funding for hydropower projects. The money will be given in grants toward four categories of projects. Sustainable Small Hydropower ($10.5 million) projects will work to develop technologies that can improve existing waterways. Environmental Mitigation Technologies for Conventional Hydropower ($2.25 million) projects will work to enhance environmental friendliness while maximizing electricity production. Sustainable Pumped Storage Hydropower ($11.86 million) projects will integrate wind and solar power and advance current storage projects. And finally, Advanced Conventional Hydropower System Testing at the Bureau of Reclamation Facility ($2 million) projects will test hydropower innovations that could be replicated if efficient at other Bureau of Reclamation sites.


Chevy Volt Wins Edison Award

They are making room for another medal at Chevrolet, next to the Green Car of the Year and Motor Trend Car of the Year. The Chevy Volt won the 2011 Edison Awards Gold Medal in the Personal transportation Segment. The electric hybrid can go up to 30 miles emissions-free using its innovative lithium-ion battery. Another winner at Tuesday’s ceremony was the OnStar Mobile App that took home the silver award for 2011 Best New Product in the Transportation in the Remote Driving Aids Segment. The app is also available in the Volt where it allows users to control charging, view charge levels, electricity rates and other data. Almost 60,000 users have downloaded the app.


Efficient Refrigerant Approved by EPA

Honeywell’s low-global-warming refrigerant has been approved by the EPA for use in car air conditioning systems—if only E15 were so simple. The current refrigerant used in cooling systems is HFC-134a, which has 99.7 percent more global warming potential (GWP) compared to Honeywell’s HFO-1234yf, which has a GWP of four. Using a low GWP refrigerant can keeps carmakers in line with current regulations that require reduced greenhouse gas emissions.


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