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How net zero buildings help modernize the grid
How net zero buildings help modernize the grid
The electricity grid was never intended to support a two-way flow of energy – it was designed as a one-way street from power plants to buildings. But with the growth of renewable energy systems and other generation and storage technologies, the g...
Saving the ozone layer is warming the planet but it can be fixed
Saving the ozone layer is warming the planet but it can be fixed
It belongs to the law of unintended consequences. Back in the 1980s, when the hole in the ozone layer was the world's number-one environmental problem, few people worried about global warming.
Guide to 'natural' refrigerants in Japan
Guide to 'natural' refrigerants in Japan
Shecco's latest regional report tackles the current and future use of natural refrigerants in Japan.
Business conditions in US manufacturing sector likely to have improved strongly in July
Business conditions in US manufacturing sector likely to have improved strongly in July
Business conditions throughout the U.S. manufacturing sector are expected to have rebounded further, according to the flash PMI for July.
Slump in US manufacturing may be easing as orders increase
Slump in US manufacturing may be easing as orders increase
The slump in U.S. manufacturing is showing signs of abating.
The energy efficiency sector should take a bow
The energy efficiency sector should take a bow
Energy managers, facilities managers and everyone else in the sector should take a moment to congratulate themselves. A number of recently released studies and surveys show that investment in energy efficiency in general - and commercial buildings in p...
Why refrigerants are a hot climate issue
Why refrigerants are a hot climate issue
Australian companies can save billions on energy bills and cut cooling-related emissions by half if they switch away from synthetic hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants to natural ones such as carbon dioxide and ammonia, said industry leaders recently.
Treasuries fall as rising manufacturing costs hint at inflation
Treasuries fall as rising manufacturing costs hint at inflation
Treasuries fell after a report showed U.S. manufacturers are paying higher prices for raw materials, a sign of upward pressure on inflation.
Reshoring has become an economic development strategy
Reshoring has become an economic development strategy
Michele Nash-Hoff writes, "As a result of my writing and speaking about returning manufacturing to America through reshoring, I recently received information from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) inviting me to educate my audience ...
Little-noticed, rules for home appliances add up
Little-noticed, rules for home appliances add up
Behold, the mighty dishwasher. For all the frothy rhetoric and legal tumult over the Clean Power Plan – the controversial climate rule that would restrict carbon pollution from power plants – an "unprecedented" wave of of mandates for ligh...
Senate passes energy bill, looks to conference with House
Senate passes energy bill, looks to conference with House
The Senate voted 85–12 April 20 to pass what could be the first broad energy bill in nearly a decade, putting in motion what is expected to be a formal conference to work out the differences with the House version of the bill. The 424-page bill (...
Florida senator puts hold on broad energy bill, ties up Flint funds
Florida senator puts hold on broad energy bill, ties up Flint funds
Worried about the potential for oil drilling offshore Florida, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D- Florida, has placed a hold on the Energy Policy Modernization Act – and with it, funds intended to help Flint, Michigan, recover from its water crisis, the ...
Manufacturing added less to real GDP in the first quarter than in the prior 2 quarters
Manufacturing added less to real GDP in the first quarter than in the prior 2 quarters
As noted earlier, the U.S. economy grew by an annualized 1.1 percent in the first quarter, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis has now released data breaking out that growth by industry.
The US manufacturing industry is not bouncing back
The US manufacturing industry is not bouncing back
Since the Great Recession of the mid-2000s began, the American manufacturing industry has been contracting, despite the predictions of many economists and manufacturing experts. This was supposed to be the time for rebirth in the U.S. manufacturing ind...
Are trade agreements good for Americans?
Are trade agreements good for Americans?
Trade has become an increasingly important part of the United States economy. In the 1960s, exports and imports represented less than 10 percent of U.S. gross domestic product; today the share is closer to 30 percent. As a result, American exporters se...
Energy efficiency and renewables: Municipalities increasingly get it
Energy efficiency and renewables: Municipalities increasingly get it
If projects finished ahead of time are good news to stakeholders, there are plenty of reasons to smile in West Palm Beach, Florida. City officials there completed the required shaving of 20 percent off energy use required by the Department of Energy...
AHRI calls for US energy efficiency reforms
AHRI calls for US energy efficiency reforms
The AHRI has called on the U.S. government to reform current energy efficiency policies to reflect new technologies and economic realities. Speaking before the before the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on energy and power, AHRI president & ...
Intensifying regulatory actions creating opportunities for natural refrigerants
Intensifying regulatory actions creating opportunities for natural refrigerants
Atsuhiro Meno from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry gave an overview of the current situation and challenges for reducing f-gas emissions, with HCFCs now at the final stage of a phase-out in Japan. Meno described different ways in ...
Trade gap in US widens more than forecast as exports slump
Trade gap in US widens more than forecast as exports slump
The U.S. trade deficit widened more than forecast in January as exports slumped to the lowest level in more than four years. The gap grew 2.2 percent to $45.7 billion, exceeding all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists and the largest in f...
UN Report: Renewable energy spending set record in 2015
UN Report: Renewable energy spending set record in 2015
Global spending on renewable energy generation set a new record last year, according to a newly released report from the UN's environmental agency. The United Nations Environment Programme's annual Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment Report sa...
Tech orders down, outlook remains positive
Tech orders down, outlook remains positive
The U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report for January 2016 showed that order values were down 30 percent from December, according to The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). The month-to-month decline was not unexpected as December sal...
Could Brexit disrupt HFC phase down?
Could Brexit disrupt HFC phase down?
Concerns have been raised regarding the phase-down of HFC refrigerants following the U.K.'s decision to quit the European Union. The F-gas regulation has been adopted into U.K. law and therefore, without a change to that law, the provisions in it will ...
Energy efficiency bill advances in House
Energy efficiency bill advances in House
The House has passed HR-1268, to require federal agencies, in consultation with OMB, EPA and Energy, to acquire, use, and maintain information on technologies expected to increase energy efficiency. Sponsors cite an Energy Department estimate the poten...
America needs more skilled immigrant workers, study says
America needs more skilled immigrant workers, study says
Rigid policies restricting skilled immigration are hurting U.S. job growth while costing domestic companies thousands of dollars per worker, a new report from a Dartmouth College professor shows. Matthew Slaughter, dean of Dartmouth's Tuck School of Bu...
Building efficiency curbs energy consumption
Building efficiency curbs energy consumption
With a rising standard of living, energy in the U.S. is consumed at a faster and faster rate. This puts an intensifying strain on the nation’s aging grid and forces pollution-producing power plants to be activated to meet demand. Something has to...
Factory orders came right in line
Factory orders came right in line
Factory orders came right in line. The latest report from the Census Bureau showed that factory orders increased by 1.9 percent in April. This was exactly what economists were expecting, according to the Bloomberg consensus. Last month, factory orders ...
Obama touts European trade pact in Germany
Obama touts European trade pact in Germany
President Obama this week became the first sitting president to attend a prominent German trade show, where he urged policymakers and a skeptical public to support the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. "We are ready to do even mo...
HVAC industry at a crossroads: Step up or be stepped on
HVAC industry at a crossroads: Step up or be stepped on
Twenty-two years ago National Comfort Institute (NCI) set out on a mission to help the HVAC industry move towards measured performance. We believed the industry would soon fix a large percentage of HVAC systems in customers’ homes and buildings o...
New study examines productivity dynamics and drivers in US manufacturing
New study examines productivity dynamics and drivers in US manufacturing
A new study by the MAPI Foundation analyses productivity growth in a range of manufacturing subsectors over the past 25 years, and provides compelling statistical evidence on the importance that capital investment and educated labor have on productivit...
Negotiators make progress but HFC phasedown deal 'not a given yet'
Negotiators make progress but HFC phasedown deal 'not a given yet'
U.S. and other negotiators made progress toward a deal to phase down high global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants during last week's meetings in Vienna, though both environmentalist and industry observers say more must be do...
HCFC phase-out creating opportunities for natural refrigerants in China
HCFC phase-out creating opportunities for natural refrigerants in China
“In China, natural refrigerants can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lead to bluer skies,” Xiao Xuezhi, Deputy Director-General of China’s Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO), told the gathering of the Ozone2...
Producer-price gains suggest inflation declines may be over
Producer-price gains suggest inflation declines may be over
Wholesale prices picked up more than expected in January, a possible sign that the global glut in commodities and energy may be abating. The producer price index rose 0.1 percent in January, the Labor Department said recently, a much stronger reading t...
AHRI: Hydrocarbons to feature in US research this fall
AHRI: Hydrocarbons to feature in US research this fall
The first research on hydrocarbons will begin this fall. Additional research will follow, said Monica Cardenas, senior director (communications) at AHRI. The U.S. government is working together with AHRI, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating ...
US manufacturing CFOs optimistic about business prospects
US manufacturing CFOs optimistic about business prospects
Prime Advantage polled U.S. manufacturing executives about their financial concerns of industrial manufacturing companies and found that they believe the prospects of their individual companies exceed that of the general economy. "The results of our 20...
Affordability continues to challenge the housing market
Affordability continues to challenge the housing market
New home sales dropped 9.2 percent in January from December, with a whopping 32 percent plunge in sales in the Western part of the country, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. But the housing market remains in the process...
A healthy HVAC system is key to a healthy building
A healthy HVAC system is key to a healthy building
he American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for the first time has approved the Associated Air Balance Council’s (AABC) manual for system balance, according to the organization. This is the seventh edition of the manual. At the highest level,...
Fed says economy growing modestly amid scant price pressures
Fed says economy growing modestly amid scant price pressures
The U.S. economy expanded at a modest pace since mid-May amid "slight" price pressures and some softening in consumer spending, according to a report from the Federal Reserve's 12 districts that lacked any sense of urgency on the need to raise interest...
Congress backs court challenge to Obama's climate plan
Congress backs court challenge to Obama's climate plan
More than 200 members of Congress are backing a court challenge to President Barack Obama's plan to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.
A 'cool' way to combat climate change under the Montreal Protocol
A 'cool' way to combat climate change under the Montreal Protocol
World climate leaders are meeting this week in Vienna for the next stage of international discussions about a global phase-down of climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
EPA warns that recharging air conditioners with wrong refrigerant poses injury, fire risks
EPA warns that recharging air conditioners with wrong refrigerant poses injury, fire risks
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is cautioning homeowners, manufacturers of propane-based refrigerants, home improvement contractors and air conditioning technicians of the safety hazards related to the use of propane in existing motor ve...
Real time data changing manufacturing
Real time data changing manufacturing
There are three ways in which real time big data analytics is changing manufacturing, according to Bill Kenworthy, who is the Director of Business Development for Direct Energy. Kenworthy wrote at Manufacturing Business Technology that one of the chang...
New factory orders up, jobs (way, way) down
New factory orders up, jobs (way, way) down
Chalk up the latest batch of recent reports as a mixed bag at best, a frustrating and perhaps ominous start to summer at worst. New factory orders increased 1.9 percent in April, according to the Commerce Department —the biggest bump in six month...
CEOs are more worried about the US economy than they've been in years
CEOs are more worried about the US economy than they've been in years
Executives aren’t hopeful about the economy, and they are getting less so. The quarterly Business and Industry Economic Outlook Survey conducted by the American Institute of CPAs compiled responses from 540 CFOs, CEOs, Controllers, and others in ...
Cleaning up our act on indoor air quality
Cleaning up our act on indoor air quality
Almost overnight, air quality has become a big issue in the U.K. Whether it is the government being "sued" by environmental law group Client Earth for again missing its air-quality targets, or the prime minister being forced to defend his government's ...
US manufacturers grow at fastest pace in 15 months
US manufacturers grow at fastest pace in 15 months
U.S. manufacturers grew in June at the fastest pace in 15 months, signaling a clear if modest uptrend after a bout of extended weakness.
Energy appropriations bill 'underfunds' clean energy research, White House says
Energy appropriations bill 'underfunds' clean energy research, White House says
The U.S. Senate is moving forward with the energy appropriations bill, and The Hill reports initial procedural votes could come soon. The measure would increase 2017 funding for the Department of Energy by more than $350 million, but the bulk of ne...
Why the US is cutting carbon emissions no matter what happens with the Supreme Court
Why the US is cutting carbon emissions no matter what happens with the Supreme Court
Recently, the Supreme Court threw U.S. and international climate policy into turmoil by freezing President Obama’s Clean Power Plan while it is being challenged before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. But matters took a turn with t...
Worldwide heat exchanger market growing
Worldwide heat exchanger market growing
The value of the worldwide heat exchanger market will reach $19.14 billion and have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2 percent between last year and 2021, according to a report being distributed by ReportsnReports. HVACR will register the ...
DOE setting new standards for commercial boilers
DOE setting new standards for commercial boilers
The U.S. Department of Energy recently released a notice of proposed rulemaking on energy efficiency for commercial boilers. Energy managers and building owners shopping for units today should be aware that standards continually change. Though standard...
Hopes fade in Congress for energy reform
Hopes fade in Congress for energy reform
Hopes are fading that Congress can pass a broad energy bill before the year ends. Leaders of energy committees in the House and Senate made it a top priority this session to pass the first major energy overhaul since 2007. By setting their sights low a...
Court rejects refrigeration efficiency action
Court rejects refrigeration efficiency action
Manufacturers of commercial refrigeration equipment must comply with new US energy efficiency standards by March 2017 after a US court rejected a challenge from industry. The U.S. Department of Energy final rule on energy conservation standards for com...
Commercial building energy use is down
Commercial building energy use is down
The commercial sector reduced energy use by 12 percent during the period from 2003 to 2012, according to The Energy Information Administration. The in-depth Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey is made about every five years.
Goldman Sachs sees 'upside risk' for US economy
Goldman Sachs sees 'upside risk' for US economy
Remember last year when China devalued its currency and the market went nuts? Well, so much for that. The subsequent tightening in financial conditions that came with the bold currency move has vanished, according to Goldman Sachs. The bank said its pr...
Manufacturing performance stabilizes but remains subdued
Manufacturing performance stabilizes but remains subdued
According to the latest Industrial Trends Survey from the CBI, manufacturing stabilized in February, but with little change on January’s muted performance. The survey of 497 manufacturers found that total order books remained steady after a decli...
High hopes for Europe's integrated strategy for heating and cooling
High hopes for Europe's integrated strategy for heating and cooling
Last year, I described the European Commission's desire for an integrated approach to heating and cooling, as it sought to reduce and decarbonize its energy consumption. It has now structured its ideas in the form of the first Europe-wide strategy for ...
Why American manufacturing is more competitive
Why American manufacturing is more competitive
How competitive is American manufacturing? By the year 2020, the United States is projected to take the top spot in the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index (GMCI), a multi-year research platform from Deloitte and the Council on Competitiveness. ...
Sound insights about the birth of air conditioning
Sound insights about the birth of air conditioning
On July 17, 1902, engineer Willis Carrier produced drawings for the first practical air-conditioning system. The invention thoroughly transformed patterns of work and leisure - not least of all, concertgoing. But that transformation reached the concert...
EPA proposes expansion of alternative refrigerants
EPA proposes expansion of alternative refrigerants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to expand the list of acceptable substitutes and prohibit the use of certain chemicals in the U.S. The announcement is seen as another step forward in a series under President Obama's Climate Action...
Tax credits vital for renewable energy
Tax credits vital for renewable energy
The tax credit extension for renewable energy including wind and solar installations will increase deployment while also cutting GHG emissions from the U.S. power sector, says a new study. The five-year extension enacted in December 2015 is expected to...
Why do Americans invest in energy efficiency?
Why do Americans invest in energy efficiency?
Why do Americans invest in energy efficiency? Do they want to combat global warming, make their homes more comfortable, save money or take advantage of tax rebates? A survey of 2,100 Americans by Harris conducted for HomeServeUSA found that their top r...
Can the House and Senate turn 2 energy bills into 1 law?
Can the House and Senate turn 2 energy bills into 1 law?
Last month, the U.S. Senate defied the beltway trope of legislative gridlock that has characterized the Obama era, passing a broad energy bill in an 82-12 vote.
Manufacturing has turned corner, new data suggests
Manufacturing has turned corner, new data suggests
New orders for long-lasting goods manufactured in the United States rose in January as demand picked up broadly, offering a ray of hope for the downtrodden manufacturing sector. The Commerce Department said orders for durable goods, items as varied as ...
What will it take for transition to lower-GWP refrigerants?
What will it take for transition to lower-GWP refrigerants?
The combination of the forthcoming bans on higher-GWP refrigerants in Europe and mandated reductions in the HFCs being sold into the EU are in danger of catching the end-users on the hop. Simply put, if customers don't soon convert to lower-GWP options...
Making an integrated heating and cooling strategy work
Making an integrated heating and cooling strategy work
The European Union's heating and cooling strategy — currently out for consultation — could be a driver for bringing the respective industries closer together for the common good of energy reduction. Now, the European Partnership for Energy ...