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Bca 2012 Changes – Energy Efficiency – Section J & 6-star

There are only minor changes to the energy efficiency provisions in the newly released BCA 2012, volumes 1 and 2. Mostly the changes are to terminology and explanatory information, intended to clarify several of the provisions. There has been one change to Table J1.3a in Section J which is of particular note; the required R-Value for roof and ceiling construction in climate zones 4 and 5 have been amended to align with climate zones 1, 2 and 3.
See below for a full list of changes.

BCA 2012 Volume 1 “” Section J:

J0.2(a)(ii) – The reference to the 2006 edition of the ABCB Protocol for House Energy Rating Software Version has been removed. The deletion is a consequence of the recognition of NatHERS as the appropriate accreditation scheme for house energy rating software.

Table J1.3a – Climate zones 4 and 5 have been amended to align with climate zones 1, 2 and 3 for the required R-Value for roof and ceiling construction.

Table J1.3b – The table has been expanded to include values for when the minimum R-Value of ceiling insulation required to satisfy J1.3(a) is less than R2.5.

Table J2.4c – The heat shading multiplier figure for climate zone 8 South orientation sector, where the G value is more than 100 mm but not more than 500 mm and has a P/H value of two, has been amended from 0.75 to 0.50.

J5.2(a)(vii) – The specific examples of applications described that could attain an exemption for an outdoor air economy cycle have been replaced with the generic term of ‘process related applications’, with the existing examples now referenced in the Guide to Volume One.

J5.2(b)(ii) – The defined term ‘outdoor air’ has been included in the provision for clarification.

J5.2(b)(iii)(B) – Minimum ventilation requirements when an atmospheric contaminant monitoring system is installed in a carpark have been relocated to the more appropriate location of F4.11(b) and revised to include a more practical control strategy.

J5.2(d)(iv) – A new sub-clause has been included to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from complying with the power for mechanical ventilation requirements of J5.2(b)(iii).

J5.3(b)(iii) – A new sub-clause has been included to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from complying with the time switch requirements of J5.3.

J5.5(b)(iv) – A new sub-clause has been included to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from the miscellaneous exhaust system requirement of J5.5(a).

J6.1 – The application of part has been reinstated to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from compliance with J6.2, J6.3 and J6.5(a)(ii).

Table J6.2a Note – Note 4 to the table has been amended to clarify that a control device which is required by J6.3 is not an allowable adjustment factor under Table J6.2b.

J6.3(d)(ii)(A) – Clarification has been added that a security key card reader must register a person entering and leaving the building.

J8.1 – The application of part has been amended to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from compliance with the requirements of Part J8.

Specification J5.4 – Note 2 has been amended to cover applications where local clearances Table 2a adjoining plant do not allow for the installation of insulation.

BCA 2012 Volume 2 “” Part 3.12:

3.12 – A new defined term “house energy rating software” has been included to nominate the acceptable accrediting national scheme for software used to assess the thermal efficiency of a dwelling envelope.

3.12 Explanatory Information – New explanatory information has been included to explain the purpose of the NatHERS scheme.

3.12 – As a consequence of changes to the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target scheme the defined term “Renewable Energy Certificate” has been deleted and replaced by a new defined term ‘Small-scale Technology Certificate’.

3.12.0 Explanatory Information – The explanatory information regarding the two options for complying with 3.12.1 to 3.12.4 has been amended to clarify the delineation between the Energy Rating and the Elemental Provisions options.

3.12.0.1 – Reference to the ABCB Protocol for House Energy Rating Software has been removed. The deletion is a consequence of the recognition of NatHERS as the appropriate accreditation scheme for house energy rating software.

3.12.1.2 Explanatory Information – The explanatory information has been amended to correct the terminology used and to align with the solar absorptance values of Table 3.12.1.1a.

Table 3.12.1.1b – The table has been expanded to include values for when the minimum R-Value of ceiling insulation required to satisfy 3.12.1.2(a) is less than R2.5.

Table 3.12.2.1 Note 2 – Note 2 has been amended to clarify the relationship of ventilation opening area and the presence of ceiling fans or evaporative coolers in determining if a habitable room has High air movement.

Table 3.12.2.1 Explanatory Information – Note 4 of the explanatory information has been simplified to a tabular example demonstrating the relationship of ventilation opening area and the presence of ceiling fans.

3.12.4.1(b)(iii) – The term ‘area of floor’ has been replaced with the defined term “floor area” for consistency with Part 3.8.5 and Part 3.12.2.

Table 3.12.4.1 – The term “area of floor” has been replaced with the defined term ‘floor area’ for consistency with Part 3.8.5 and Part 3.12.2.

3.12.5.5(a)(iii) – Clarification has been added that the lighting provisions for a Class 10a building only apply to Class 10a buildings associated with a Class 1 building.

3.12.5.6(b) – Reference to the defined term “Renewable Energy Certificate” has been deleted and replaced by “Small-scale Technology Certificate” as a consequence of changes made to the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target scheme.

Koldlok Grommets For Energy Efficiency

Grommet, as dictionaries define it, is an eyelet reinforced, as in leather or cloth, in which a fastener can be passed. In data center cleaning technology, this is an innovation that surpasses government requirements to maximize energy efficiency and help promote a green environment. Data centers are huge infrastructures that stores back-up data from big companies. This structure uses as much energy as a small town consumes. Data centers basically have raised floors allocated for cables and tubes wiring installation. Raised floors on data centers are crucial for controlling heat buildup inside the building that may greatly affect the integrity of hardware components, cables and wires.

This significant part of data center buildings should be properly maintained with high precision and proficiency to avoid life safety issues and unnecessary accidents that may happen due to overheating causing sparks and fire. For this reason, data center cleaning companies such as New England Data Center Cleaning have utilized high precision materials for this type of problem to provide solution to seal cable openings in data center, cutting the cost of energy needed and raising environmental awareness with the help of KoldLok Grommets technology.

Data center cleaning is a field of technical cleaning that involves high precision system and complete tools to provide the best quality of data center cleaning services as the New England Data Center Cleaning. The company can provide the most experienced and reliable technician that have been accustomed to cleaning data centers for years. Aside from that, New England Data Center utilizes the best technology today that protects raised floors from overheating. Such is KoldLok Grommets, a high level technology which have been tried and tested to be effective, surpassing government requirements regarding environmental safety and energy saving.

As mentioned, raised floors are openings of data center structures allocated for cables and wiring. Lots of energy will be actually wasted and lost due to the escape of cool air from unsealed cable openings. KoldLok Grommets technology can effectively seal you data centers cable opening, reducing bypass airflow with the aid of its innovative materials as the thermoplastic elastomer that combines brush with a membrane. This type of product can greatly enhance the performance of the cooling system device that cools your entire data center structure. Sealing cable openings provides large benefits for saving energy and even cost of maintenance. This innovation increases the life span of your cooling device to provide cold air inside your data center building.

Not all data center cleaning companies can provide such innovative and effective tool that can maximize energy, save money and save the environment as well as your cooling device to last for more years in service. If you want your moneys worth back, choose the best data center cleaning company that could provide the most effective solutions for your data center needs. Dont wait for any accidents to happen before installing the product that could save your bucks from paying casualties when the cables and wires start sparkling. Call the nearest data center cleaning that provides this technology now.

Some Effective Methods To Enhance Your Home Energy Efficiency

Discovering a method to enhance your home efficiency can assist you to save a good amount of your monthly expenses. If you are capable to reduce the air leaking from inside or outside your home, then you can decrease your energy expenses for cooling and space heating. In this piece of writing, we will discuss some methods that can help you to enhance your home energy efficiency. Have a look:

Find Out Seal Cracks between Windows and Windows Frames:

Windows are the main air leakage causes for many houses. You must make the windows leak proof if you desire to get the premium energy efficiency. There are numerous methods to handle the air seepage problem by means of windows which dont need a lot of money and time. An easy way is to use a caulk gun to seal the cracks between the windows and window frames.

Make Use Of Storm Windows:

Storm windows are wonderful for energy-saving purposes, because they act as a wind buffer to snare air in between the storms and the main windows, and also work as the lagging to prevent the air leakage. You can either install wooden storm windows that will be removed in spring or install vinyl or aluminium storms that will be installed lastingly.

Weather Strip Your Doors:

Stopping the air leakage from windows is significant to get the energy efficiency, but doors can also play an important role in it. There are some options available on the internet to weather strip the doors. You can improve the weather stripping of your current door to a more effectual kind, for example, the door with vinyl bulb that can help you to stop the air from leakage.

Use Door Sweeps or Door Bottoms:

The weather stripping can stop the air leakage at the peak and the sides of a door, but not at the verge. It is a possible air seepage that can have an impact on your home efficiency. One of the best methods to resolve this dilemma is to install door seeps or door bottoms. The door sweeps are joined to the inside of a door at the base edge that will close the door and stop air leakage when the door is closed.

The premium method to enhance your home energy efficiency is to stop the energy from losses because of leakage problem. The above-mentioned techniques are the basic alterations that you can make in your houses windows and doors to prevent or reduce the air leakage of your house in order to enhance your home energy efficiency.

Install New Entry Doors On Your Home For Energy Efficiency

In todays economy, everyones looking for new ways to save money. Scrimping and saving is one route to take, but the old wisdom that tells us to spend money to make money is more often the bigger producer of long-term results. And its definitely sound advice when it comes to your homes entry doors.

If the doors on your home are dated or warped, then theyre leaking more than just air through your house: theyre leaking money out of your wallet season after season. Installing new entry doors that are energy efficient is one money-saving project any home owner can afford to look into. Check out how new doors can add value to your homes investment and what to look for when it comes time to buy them.

Benefits of Energy Efficient Doors

The number one reason home owners will purchase new energy efficient entry doors is because they pay for themselves. These doors tight seal reduces air flow in and out of your home, which not only solves the problem of a drafty house but decreases your energy bills. Every summer youll pay less on AC costs because more cool air will stay in your house. In the winter, your heating bills will also see a major decrease, as your new entry doors will keep more cold air out.

Energy efficient doors also give you more durability than older models offer. A hard-wearing entry door can battle any weather condition better. In the long run, this means that a new door will last, saving you from maintenance costs or new purchases in the future.

And if youve already chosen your side with the green team, theres no reason your doors cant either. By buying energy efficient doors, youll be doing your part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cutting back on your energy consumption each year.

What to Look For

If lower heating and cooling bills have you curious about this home improvement project, then youll need to take a few notes on what to look for when shopping for energy efficient doors.

Two words to remember: ENERGY STAR. Door systems that are ENERGY STAR rated or compliant will bring you guaranteed energy efficiency. Backed by the government, ENERGY STAR is a program that helps others protect the environment through its superior energy-saving solutions. Theyre a name everyone trusts for proven results.

If youre still hesitant about hunting, a good name to start with is Therma-Tru. Therma-Tru doors are ENERGY STAR compliant and NFRC Certified, and companies that supply you with these products will give you a quality energy-reducing solution. As a leader in green energy construction, Therma Tru has won green awards and remains a favorite name among builders.

Now that you have your guide to energy efficient entry doors, its time to start searching, shopping and saving for life.

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Benefits Of Energy Efficiency For Nonprofit Programs

When you are running nonprofit programs budgets and money are of the upmost concern. Making ends meet as a nonprofit organization can be tough, which makes it essential to operate in the most efficient way possible. Nonprofit programs sometimes overlook the ways in which they could save money. One of the methods of cutting expenses and saving money is implementing an energy saving program. When you carry out energy conservation in your organization you will save money by reducing your expenses. Investing some time and money in energy efficiency now will give you great return on investment in the future, especially as heating costs rise and it becomes more expensive to build and repair water and heating systems. And the benefits do not stop at money-saving. Your workplace or your project space will be more comfortable, for you and the people you serve the air quality will improve and you will have warmer buildings in winter and cooler buildings in summer. Your building will be energy efficient, helping save resources and help the environment this is particularly crucial for nonprofits operating in the environmental realm. The ways to conserve energy are simple and can be easily adopted by the people who work at the organization.

Simple measures include installing insulation, energy efficient windows and doors, and sealing. These measures help keep heat inside the building, cutting down on the amount of energy you need to use to keep yourself warm. Making sure your boilers and heaters are energy efficient is another good way to ensure energy savings. When you regulate the passage of warm air and ventilation through your building you create a more pleasant working environment and save money on your heating costs. In addition to improving your comfort and reducing costs, energy efficiency reduces the amount of greenhouse gases you release into the atmosphere. Today it is ever more important to make as small an impact on the environment as possible. Your nonprofit has a responsibility and opportunity to reduce you carbon footprint with energy efficient buildings and correct energy use. If you are clueless about how to reduce your energy use, save energy with energy efficient techniques and save money through energy efficiency, then bring in the experts to help. Nonprofit organizations can help you evaluate your buildings energy problems and propose implementable energy solutions for a better building in the future. Lack of money should not be a barrier to better energy efficiency.

EnerChange is a nonprofit organization helping nonprofits save money by implementing best practices in energy saving. Visit http://enerchange.org/ to check out the nonprofit programs available to help your organization implement energy conservation everyday.

Factors Influencing Solar Panels Efficiency

Efficiency of solar panel is probably one of the reasons why most potential customers hesitate to swap their power source from conventional type to solar power. The worry of many consumers is whether after incurring the cost of solar system installation, the system will produce enough solar power to meet their needs.

Out of the total sun energy that strikes a solar panel only a fraction of it is harnessed and converted into electrical power. Efficiency of a solar panel can be gauged depending on the amount of sunrays it is able to capture and turn into usable power. On average a standard solar panel for home use converts only 20% of the total amount of solar energy that comes into contact with the solar panel. To convert the direct current generated by the solar panel to alternate current a further 15% is lost remaining with only 5 percent for use by the appliance. This means you have to compute the total amount of power that you need so that you can determine the number of solar panel you need to buy.

There are however new technologies that are coming up which are aimed at increasing the efficiency of solar panel. An increase of up to 40% in efficiency and be attained by coating the solar cell with a thin absorbing material. Further, 40% efficiency can also be achieved by use of silicon wafer which is the most commonly used material. Nano particles and magnetic modules are more superior materials with as much as 80% efficiency and the former have an added advantage of harnessing the solar energy even at night.

With eighty percent efficiency solar panel comprising of nano particles can be used to power industrial machine while the standard 20% efficiency panels are ideal for home use. With more and more technologies coming up every other day there are chances of coming up with solar panel that can be highly efficient in generating enough solar power to meet all our needs.

There are factors that affect the solar panel efficiency and their output. The amount of solar energy which reaches the panel is critical. In areas with few hours of sunlight due to weather conditions the efficiency of the solar panel is compromised. Orientation or position of solar panels may also affect their exposure to sunlight and they should be positioned in such a way that they receive maximum solar energy possible and for longer hours. If dust and debris cover the panel they interrupt solar energy reaching the panels reducing their efficiency.

The process of installation can also affect the efficiency of solar panel. The wiring materials and connections have to be done rightly to avoid loss of power. These factors affect not the absorbing ability of the solar panel but the conveying process as well. Regular cleaning of the solar panel is a must to get rid of these materials.

Solar energy may be available in abundance but its process of harnessing and delivery affects its efficiency. The most crucial area that needs more research is solar panel manufacturing technology that can improve the ability of the panel to absorb as much of the suns energy as possible. There is need also to improve the process of conversion from direct current to alternate current.

As earlier implied to have your home solar system performing optimally, pick good quality solar panels and have them installed professionally. This will ensure that you enjoy all the benefits that come with solar power. Among them is reducing the cost you incur to cater for your power needs and doing it in a pollution free manner.

Flexidry Enhancing Energy Efficiency For Modernahus, The New Green Housing Solution For The Uk

ModernaHus, the new generation of energy efficient green homes for the UK, will have 9500sm of its underfloor heating screeded with FlexiDry F1/7 day dry floor screed.

ModernaHus is being introduced in the UK after long trials by Scandinavian builders, Skanska. This innovative green home solution has already been adapted by several countries across Europe, and has been in the test phase in the UK for several years.

After two years of trials and considerable adaptation to suit the UK market and environment, the ModernaHus UK project is now underway and is scheduled for completion by October 2011.

The first phase of the ModernaHus UK project will comprise of 108 one to four bedroom residential units, in a rejuvenated site in Coldharbor Lane, Brixton. A good majority of the construction elements will be manufactured offsite and delivered to the site, ready for installation. This prefabricated building system has been found to be successful in bringing down the effective construction time while ensuring site safety as well as quality and finish of the products.

For energy efficiency, ModernaHus combines a well insulated building envelope, under floor heating, ground source heat pumps, solar panels and a central biomass boiler. The ModernaHus homes which will be 30% more efficient than normal homes, has obtained the Code for Sustainable Homes, Level 4.

With energy efficiency figuring as the priority for modern buildings, FlexiDry fast drying floor screeds is one of the screeds that is very much in demand by most major builders. When underfloor heating system can enhance energy efficiency, the use of the right screed is found to compound its effectiveness by acting as a thermal mass to dissipate the heat. FlexiDry floor screeds act as very good thermal conductors of heat and cut down the thermal losses and reduce the amount of heat required at the source. With an efficiency of 20-30% more than the normal anhydrite screeds, and drying times as less as 3 days to 21 days, FlexiDry is currently the chosen name for most of the major projects like ModernaHus.

Create Distinctive Kitchen Undercabinet Lighting To Combine Unexpected Warmth And Energy Efficiency

Every residential architect knows that each home design requires a carefully planned kitchen, and every kitchen will need cabinets with lights. Countertop areas underneath display cabinets are very important. They serve both a decorative function as well as a practical purpose. Shadows underneath cabinets are both unattractive, and they can also make working with knives and other kitchen implements unsafe if visibility is obscured too much.

It is necessary for the architect to plan ahead to eliminate these dark areas with kitchen undercabinet lights that will fulfill both the functional and aesthetic demands of kitchen design. Architects should consider fixtures more sophisticated than generic puck lights and outdated fluorescent lights once promoted as energy savers.

When it comes to installing kitchen undercabinet lighting, it works to the benefit of all parties involved in the home building market to use the most robust engineering and undercabinet lighting manufacturing design available. This will combine the intentions of an artist with the precision of a scientist.

Cabinet lighting strips are now much smaller than the generic types of competing fixtures available to architects and builders. They are easy to conceal beneath the forward undersurface of even the most ornate and custom cabinetry. Special glare shields in the linear strips direct the light backward away from the eyes. This minimizes reflective glare and creates a more even distribution of light under the kitchen cabinet. Dimmer controls allow the homeowner to make further adjustments, literally fine tuning illumination over countertops to match that of general lighting in the room. This makes for superior aesthetic qualities and more comfortable environment for food preparation, parties, and other special hosted gatherings.

New custom kitchen undercabinet light fixtures use LED bulbs to generate color temperatures capable of aesthetically complimenting the wide range of granite and marble countertops frequently found in custom home kitchens. A newly introduced 2800K led festoon has been specifically designed to mimic xenon as a compliment to the warmest of color tones and backsplashes. LED lamps at 2950K are designed to emulate warm white lighting common in more contemporary style kitchens.

The energy saving value of LED technology cannot be emphasized enough. LED undercabinet lights are 60 percent more energy efficient than xenon equivalents, and the staggering lamp life of up to 50,000 bulb hours makes replacements very rare. If a replacement is necessary, a single festoon lamp can be purchased to replace the one that has failed. It is never necessary to purchase a new undercabinet lighting fixture when you design your kitchen lighting with festoon based LED lighting strips.

LED kitchen undercabinet lights also help contribute to reduced cooling costs. Many people prefer to leave these lights on to provide low level night lighting in the kitchen. A hot burning light source will trigger the thermostat to activate the HVAC system, driving up power bills in the process. However, LED bulbs are cool light sources that produce luminance through an electrical current rather than the ignition of a contained gas. The forward throw heat is so negligible it has no impact on room temperature readings.

For applications that specifically call for an architect to use kitchen cabinet or undercabinet lighting in the cooler 5000K color temperature range, LED Festoon lamps are now available. The cooler color temperature lamps also provide higher lumen output, thus brighter light.

As lighting technology continues to advance, more exciting choices are becoming available to enhance the beauty and energy efficiency of homes worldwide.

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Which Windows Buyers Guide To Establishing The Energy Efficiency Of Replacement Windows

Energy efficient windows will not only help to reduce your heating bill, they also increase comfort and help the environment through a lower carbon footprint. They can be made using any frame material or combination of materials. A good tool to establish whether replacement windows are energy efficient is the British Fenestration Rating Council’s (BFRC) scheme for rating the energy efficiency of windows. This is a national system and is accepted as a method to show compliance with the building regulations for new or replacement window installations. However, at present the scheme is still voluntary.

The energy rating scheme uses traffic light energy labels for windows on a scale from A to G that are similar to the energy labels you can find on most household appliances. A-graded windows are the most energy efficient. Each window rated by the BFRC has a unique label displaying the overall rating (A-G) and the energy index which shows how much energy the window will save or lose once it has been installed. This depends on a number of factors such as the building, local climate and indoor temperature. A positive value in the index indicates that the window lets more heat in through the glass into the room than is being lost through the window. Such a window is a free energy supplier. A-rated windows will have a positive energy index. Values are given in kilowatt hours per square metre per year.

The label also shows the window’s U and L values. These are measures of a window’s ability to reduce heat loss during indirect radiation exposure during the winter. Low U values mean less heat loss and translate into lower heating costs. The L value indicates the effective heat loss due to air penetration. Another value shown is the solar heat gain. This value is closely linked to the U value and measures the window’s ability to reduce heat gain during direct radiation exposure in the summer. A lower value means less direct heat enters the room and it stays cooler.

The type of glass used has a direct impact on the U value and the solar gain factor. The most energy efficient glass for double glazing is low emissivity (Low-E) glass. This often has an invisible coating of metal oxide on one of the two sheets of glass that make the window, normally on one of the internal panes. This makes the glass reflective, letting sunlight and heat in and cutting the amount that can get out again, thus making the home warmer in the winter. In the summer it reflects the heat back and makes your home cooler.

Very energy efficient windows might use gases like argon, xenon or krypton in the gap between the sheets of glass. The more efficient windows will also use pane spacers around the inside edges to keep the two panes of glass apart that contain little or no metal.

Selecting energy efficient windows has become easier as you can compare window energy ratings. The window energy rating scheme checks all components of the window (including the frame and any casement) and rates the whole window on its energy saving properties. Windows rated B or better are endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust. Energy labels allow you to compare and select windows based on their specific energy performance rather than just relying manufacturers’ claims, thus enabling you to make informed purchasing decisions.

Stimulating Energy Efficiency And Lower Energy Bills For Texans

Children sometimes need a little motivation to be convinced to do what they’re supposed to do. This motivation can take many forms, but the most effective ways teach the child beneficial ways to live, demonstrating the material benefits of proper conduct. Adults can also, on occasion, require a little nudging to do the thing that is right in the long run. (This can be difficult, especially when one is asked to delay gratification!) The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed into law by Congress to stimulate our economy in a number of ways. (Yes, that’s the Stimulus Bill you’ve heard a lot about.) Texas is a big state, and a significant percentage of those dollars will be used to help the state’s energy consumers save money and reduce their use of the juice.

Some of the biggest energy drains in your home are your large appliances. These include refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, dishwashers and more. These appliances generally do their jobs very well and can last for a long time, even decades. The down side to this is that older machines are often less efficient than their newer counterparts. When a homeowner purchases a new, say, water heater, their electric bill may decrease. These savings travel further up the chain, preventing the burning of fossil fuels that would have otherwise been used to operate the water heater. Some stimulus money is being used to provide rebates to consumers when they upgrade specific household appliances. In an article written for the San Antonio Express-News, Vicki Vaughan compares this idea to 2009’s “Cash For Clunkers” program, in which the government offered rebates to owners of gas-guzzling cars as an incentive to purchase more efficient ones.

Tom Fowler, reporter for the Houston Chronicle, points out that Lone Star Staters will benefit more than most Americans as a result of the money allocated by the stimulus. The bill dedicated $300 million to encourage Americans to update their appliances. Of that, $23.3 million was awarded for use by Texans. The program was approved for an April 2010 rollout, and the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) decided upon different rebate amounts for different appliances. Room air conditioners are eligible for a $45 rebate, for example, while water heaters are eligible for a rebate of $255 to $640, depending upon the efficiency of the specific model. Another important goal of the surplus spending was to encourage the recycling of those appliances to be replaced. The SECO, as a result, set aside $75 extra dollars as a bonus for consumers who submit their old washers, refrigerators and more to be recycled.

Individual energy consumers are not the only ones to benefit from the 2009 Stimulus Bill. The Austin Statesman reported that the Department of Energy assigned $10.4 million in these funds to benefit the capital city’s Pecan Street Project, an endeavor dedicated to developing more advanced smart electrical grids. Projects such as these will help Texas maintain their lead in clean energy development and in green jobs.

Another SECO project made possible by the stimulus is the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. Congress made $3.2 billion available nationwide for grants to be awarded on the local level. SECO has been allocated $45.6 million to be distributed to Texas cities with populations under 35,000 or counties with populations under 200,000. These grants will help Texas communities upgrade the technology used to power municipal buildings and change traffic signals and street lights to more efficient systems, among other uses.

While it may not be the most glamorous use of stimulus funds, the bill set aside $2.4 million for state and local governments to enhance “energy assurance planning.” In other words, those in charge of maintaining and improving Texas’ energy grid were granted the money necessary to develop the systems to keep the lights on. (These same systems, of course, keep factories humming, which preserves the jobs of hardworking people.)

They say you have to spend money in order to make money, and the Stimulus Bill is a good example of that idea. It’s difficult to get anything accomplished in an industry without the proper infrastructure, and these federal dollars will increase Texas’ ability to compete in the world’s increasingly green economy. Sure, the recession that depressed business and resulted in several burst bubbles will be remembered for its lasting effects on our lives. Thanks to the fact that the stimulus funds are being used to enhance energy efficiency, the positives could endure for decades to come.