Industry News & Announcements

>>Navigating Code Changes: Survey Deadline Is Dec. 19 (Extended!) 
Insulation professionals are asking for your help in navigating code changes. High Performance Insulation Professionals (HPIP), Insulation Contractors Association of America (ICAA), Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) and North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) have banded together to collect information on what issues you face and how we can help you address them. Please take a moment to complete this survey, so that we may tailor code tools to your needs. Results will be available to members of all participating associations. The deadline to participate in the survey is Friday, December 19. Click here to take the 5-minute survey.

>>Sens. Shaheen and Portman Introduce a Shorter Version of Their Efficiency Bill 
Source: / Jeannine Anderson
On Dec. 3, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, introduced a shorter version of their bipartisan energy efficiency bill. The bill, S. 2971, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014, is identical in content and title to H.R. 2126, which passed the House on March 3, 2014, by a vote of 375-36. The bill stalled in the Senate last May when it failed to get enough votes (60) to avoid a filibuster. 


Whether the Senate will take up the bill in the remaining days of the 113th Congress is an open question, but by re-introducing a bill that is identical to one that has already passed the House, Sens. Shaheen and Portman appear to have boosted the measure's chances of passage. Read more here.
>>Recipients of Technology Awards Announced by ASHRAE 
Buildings designed for a range of occupant types and uses -- including penguins, patients, skaters, students, government employees and water testers -- are being recognized for innovative design with ASHRAE Technology Awards. The awards recognize outstanding achievements by ASHRAE members and building owners who have successfully applied innovative building design. First place awards are presented at the ASHRAE 2015 Winter Conference, Jan. 24-28, Chicago, Ill. Read more here. 


>>Maximizing the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Building Challenge, Webinar Dec. 16, 3 p.m.
Rebuilding America is organizing a one-hour webinar at 3 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, Dec. 16 to discuss how smaller cities can take advantage of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Building Challenge. The discussion will revolve around the importance of energy efficiency contractors to success in the Better Building Challenge; the successes of big cities like Atlanta through the Better Buildings Challenge and the lessons they can impart to smaller cities; and what smaller cities like Portland, Maine have achieved and what more engagement with the Better Building Challenge might be able to provide. The speakers will be: 
-Dennis Creech, Executive Director of Southface
-Ian Houseal, Assistant to the City Manager of Portland, Maine
-Maria Vargas, Director of the Better Building Challenge, U.S. Department of Energy 
Contact Benjamin Springer with questions. Click here to register for this free webinar. 
>>U.S. EPA Takes Action on Ethylene Glycol Ethers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to protect the public from seven ethylene glycol ethers or glymes chemicals that can cause health effects including birth defects and blood toxicity. Some of these chemicals are currently used in consumer products, including paints, inks, and glues. The final rule will allow EPA to review any proposed new uses of these chemicals to ensure that human health and the environment are protected. EPA believes that new uses of these chemicals should not be allowed without an opportunity for review and, if necessary, place restrictions on these chemicals, as warranted. A complete list of these chemicals and additional information about the Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) on ethylene glycol ethers (glymes) can be found here 
 >>Research for Real-World Results: Dec. 17 Webinar
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America program will host a free webinar on Dec. 17 from 3-4:30 p.m. (EST) that will offer information about the latest advances in residential building technologies and practices. The webinar, Building America: Research for Real-World Results, is being presented by Join Eric Werling, Building America Program Coordinator, and Sam Rashkin, Chief Architect of the DOE Building Technologies OfficeThey will also discuss exciting new developments in the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program and the 2015 Race to Zero Student Design Competition. The presentation will be followed by an interactive question and answer session. For details, contact Heather Stafford or to register click here. 


>>Low-GWP Refrigerants Roadmap
The current generation of refrigerants, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), have significant global warming potential (GWP) when released to the atmosphere. This research and development (R&D) roadmap for next-generation low-GWP refrigerants provides recommendations to the Building Technologies Office (BTO) on R&D activities that will help accelerate the transition to low-GWP refrigerants across the entire HVAC&R industry. Read more here or click here to view roadmap. 

>>2015 Energy Codes Conference Returning in 2015 
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is holding an energy codes conference for the first time since 2011. This conference, scheduled for March 24-26, 2015, in Nashville, Tennessee, will be solely dedicated to energy codes. A major theme will be achieving compliance but sessions will cover development, adoption, policy and research. An agenda will be available soon. Click here to register.

>>House Passes Bill to Limit EPA 'Secret Science'
The House passed legislation in November to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing new regulations unless it provides the scientific data to justify them. Passage of the measure, H.R. 4012, the "Secret Science Reform Act," fell largely along party lines with a vote of 237-190. Read more here.