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Community Shared Solar: Diverse Approaches for a Common Goal

by IREC Jan 16, 2013

Community-shared solar makes it easy for individuals and organizations unable to take advantage community shared solar cover of on-site renewable energy generation to benefit from distributed generation. From California to New York, community-shared solar programs are making a strong showing, especially among utilities. And consumers are the beneficiaries, from renters and individuals who live in multi-tenant buildings, to those who don't have adequate or appropriate roof space, and individuals who simply don't want solar panels on their roof.

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Solar and Historic Preservation: How to Manage Expectations

by North Carolina Solar Center Jan 16, 2013

Download this new case study from the North Carolina Solar Center. Here's a summary:

The Managing Expectations case study examines common impediments to integrating solar energy into historic districts, how communities worked to overcoming such challenges, steps along the way in which stakeholder engagement was cultivated and adaptability of lessons learned to other communities. Portland, Oregon and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma have been chosen as examples of communities who have successfully integrated solar into their respective local historic preservation policies.

Download Now (pdf)


This case study was created as part of the North Carolina Solar Center’s efforts under the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. As a member of this partnership, the North Carolina Solar Center provides information and technical expertise to local governments interested in implementing solar programs and policies.

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Chicago, Cincinnati, San Francisco Recognized for Citywide Efforts to Address Climate Change

by Don Knapp Jan 16, 2013

Photo credit: anneh632 courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Chicago, Cincinnati and San Francisco have been selected as U.S. finalists in World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC), a year-long challenge rewarding cities that are preparing for increasingly extreme weather and promoting renewable energy. Both Chicago and Cincinnati experienced their warmest years on record in 2012.  The cities were chosen by WWF and global management consultancy Accenture for actively taking steps to transition their communities toward a climate-friendly future.

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In Hottest Year on Record, a Wake Up Call for Cities and Counties

by Don Knapp Jan 07, 2013

It’s official: Today NOAA announced that 2012 was the hottest year on record for the continental United States, and the second most extreme year on record in terms of severe weather events. Nearly two dozen U.S. cities broke or tied their maximum temperature records.

A powerful way to make sense of this historic year and what it means for our nation and our future is to zoom in and examine the impacts of extreme weather at the community level, where we can see first-hand how a warming world is affecting our safety, our health, and our economic well-being. It's also where we find immediate solutions. As Sandy taught us, local governments are the first responders after storms destroy infrastructure—or heat waves roast apartment buildings, or floodwaters inundate main street. And they are responsible not just for emergency response but proactive planning to create more prepared, resilient communities.


Fact Sheet on Local Governments, Extreme Weather and Climate Change 2012

ICLEI has developed a fact sheet detailing how 20 leading cities and counties have experienced extreme weather in 2012—as well as the past several years—and what actions they are taking to protect their community members, infrastructure, and economic assets. Click to view examples from Norfolk and Broward County to Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Eugene, OR.

Get the Fact Sheet (pdf)

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New Year, New Guide to Evaluating Impacts of State and Local Energy Efficiency Programs

by EPA State and Local Climate and Energy Program Jan 03, 2013

The State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action), an effort facilitated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has released a new guide to evaluating the impact of energy efficiency programs at the state and local levels. This guide updates the 2007 National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency Model Energy Efficiency Impact Evaluation Guide.

The new Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide covers key issues, practices, and steps for calculating energy savings, avoided emissions, and other non-energy impacts of efficiency programs. The primary audiences for this guide are state regulators, public and private energy efficiency portfolio administrators, program implementers, and evaluators looking for guidance on:

  • Planning evaluation efforts, and approaches for determining and documenting program impacts
  • Improving the efficacy of energy efficiency portfolios
  • Comparing demand- and supply-side resources.

Download the guide (PDF, 180 pp, 2.8MB).


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