Increase in Home Energy Bills This Summer

While the spread of COVID-19 remains uncertain, working from home is quickly becoming the new normal, leading to more at-home energy costs. A predicted one-third of Americans will see a 10-15% increase in their energy bills this summer because of virus-related changes at work, which means spending between $2 and $37 more, according to Arcadia, an energy and analytic company.

Tags: COVID-19, Energy Efficiency, Utilities

Atlanta History Center Documents the City’s Pandemic Experience


As we slog through the trenches of 2020, which is leaving one of the most cataclysmic wakes in contemporary memory, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact that this is some amazing history we’re living through. With the coronavirus pandemic and the social transformation carried by the protests against racism, the coming years will look and feel different in many ways. On the COVID-19 front, there’s one Atlanta institution that didn’t miss a beat in recording its significance …

Tags: COVID-19, Gooduse

Chicago Housing Authority Achieves First-Ever BIT Building™ Certification
Sustainable best practices for key property are also a first for any public housing authority

Press Room

ATLANTA, GA—JUNE 24, 2020— Southface Institute announced today that the Chicago Housing Authority has completed the BIT Building certification for the Dearborn Homes development, making them the first organization with buildings whose maintenance and operations include the program’s 16 Best Practices for resource efficiency and sustainability. The achievement represents the increasing adoption of green building practices by all kinds of organizations and businesses and is a first for a public housing authority.

Tags: BIT Building

The Effect of COVID-19 on Indoor Air Quality

Building Health

Research shows that coronavirus infections spread more easily indoors because of dense areas and shared airspace. With office spaces moving toward a more open concept, we are seeing more occupants, new ventilation improvements that allow for filtered air over fresh air and more energy-efficient offices. Indoor air quality is becoming the main focus as businesses reopen, and sustainability experts are hopeful that it presents an opportunity to create more sustainable ventilation systems.

Tags: COVID-19, Indoor Air Quality

A Tool for More Equitable Development in Atlanta


In this moment of social transformation, with the country and Atlanta in protest against police brutality, racially driven murder and the structural racism that has impacted the Black community for centuries, the need for development in our cities that recognizes potential displacement and needs of existing residents is more vital than ever.

Tags: Affordable Housing, COVID-19, Equity, Gentrification

Financial Benefits of Energy Efficiency


The new statewide energy code went into effect at the beginning of this year, making it easier to receive financial incentives for a high-performing home. Amelia Godfrey, program manager of EarthCraft, shares the incentives available for homes that are built or renovated to meet the minimum standard. While there are several ways to build a high-performance home, many can be accompanied by low additional costs.

Tags: EarthCraft, Energy Code, Energy Efficiency

Georgia’s Mass Timber and the Triple Bottom Line

Climate Change

UPDATE: Since the time of this article’s original publication, HB 777 passed the Georgia Senate on June 16 and was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp on June 29. HB 1015 did not move out of the Senate, but Southface and our partners continue to work together to bring it back to the table next year. In the weeks before COVID-19 disrupted daily life, the Georgia General Assembly was considering two bills which Southface believes may be able to …

Tags: Carbon Sequestration, Mass Timber

San Francisco’s Future Low-Carbon Community


A 29-acre industrial site is being redeveloped in San Francisco to serve as a sustainable community. The Potrero Power Station Mixed-Use Project will reduce carbon levels by focusing on walkability and efficient transportation, emphasizing open spaces and requiring all buildings to be LEED Gold-certified or better. This project will be a model for how future cities can create a complete community.

Tags: Urbanism

How Utility Companies Should Communicate With Anxious Consumers

COVID-19 is changing the way energy is used at home. The significant increase in usage is causing higher bills and more anxious consumers. It is important now, more than ever, for utility companies to provide clear communication with their customers. The best practices in this article demonstrate how energy providers can create positive consumer engagement in these uncertain times.

Tags: COVID-19, Utilities

World Environment Day


World Environment Day has developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on urgent issues affecting our planet. This year’s theme is biodiversity, which reminds us that we are intimately connected to all species on this planet. The coronavirus pandemic encourages us to appreciate all the ways that we are dependent on nature and our environment. Here are some ways you can participate this year!

Tags: COVID-19, Conservation