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Energy

Show & tell: Chicago’s first energy benchmarking report

One of the first lessons we learn about storytelling is that when we show (and tell), our stories are more interesting. That’s why kids bring in items from home to show-and-tell classmates about things they care about. When it comes to saving energy, finding ways to show what success looks…

Getting to zero: Best pitch for ZNE

For the last couple of years, Resource Media and the New Buildings Institute have been wrestling with a challenging question: What’s the best way to sell zero net energy (ZNE) buildings within the building sector? The good news is we’ve finally got an answer. At the upcoming Getting to Zero…

3 lessons from testing images and appeals for online action in 2014

Are you planning some website ads or Facebook post promotion in 2015 to try to reach beyond your group’s base, maybe expand your list a little or motivate some broader participation in an online action? I’ve taken a look back at three online ad projects we ran in 2014 to…

How to make people care about energy efficiency? Make it personal!

I just returned from the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference (BECC) – a gathering of social scientists, economists, marketers and technologists all focused on a single goal: getting people to save energy. As it turns out, it takes quite a bit of priming, educating, rewarding and shaming to get…

A reality check on biomass ambitions

To combat climate change and reduce petroleum imports, some countries have started to adopt strong targets for renewable energy. For example, European Union law requires 20% of energy to be from renewable sources by 2020, and is targeting 27% renewable energy by 2030. So far, biomass is by far the largest contributor…

Unique partnership drives California’s charge for electric vehicles

Amid all the exciting momentum coming out of the UN’s 2014 Climate Summit, you may have missed an achievement that once again puts California at the forefront of environmental leadership and showcases a new way that groups from different perspectives can collaborate to effect change. California innovation got a global spotlight when…

A rooftop solar revolution

Who benefits from rooftop solar? If you’re thinking only rich folks can afford those snazzy solar panels – well, that’s where you’re wrong. For low-income families, electricity bills can break the bank: low-income households spend four times as much of their income on utilities as average consumers. Making rooftop solar affordable (through…

Keeping up with coal-to-clean energy transition with Energy Trend Tracker

With Labor Day upon us, we figured it would be an opportune time to take a quick look at all the hard work that’s gone on over the summer on the transition from coal to clean energy. Resource Media developed Energy Trend Tracker at the beginning of the year as…

Good, old-fashioned communications

In this age of whiz-bang communications, it’s easy to forget that sometimes, the best way to get your message across is through good old-fashioned one-on-one conversations. The City of Seattle’s ongoing effort to help thousands of building owners assess their property’s energy use is a prime example of the power…

Southern forests, European electricity?

Yep, you read that headline right. Across the beautiful, super-diverse and sometimes ancient woodlands of the southern US, entire forests are being leveled to feed European power plants. The driver is a loophole in European Union climate and clean energy law that prompted massive demand for wood pellets to fire…