The Decatur Clean Energy Public Forum is a Community-Driven Success

Green Technology
Renewable Energy

City of Decatur staff and members of the consulting teams outline pathways to 100% Clean Energy. Photo credit: Greg White On March 8 and 9, more than 50 community members joined Southface Institute and Greenlink Analytics at the Decatur Recreation Center for the Decatur Clean Energy Public Forum. Equipped with resources and information about the Clean Energy Plan, students from Decatur City Schools canvassed downtown Decatur and engaged the public as people arrived, explored, and asked questions. While residents learned …

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Florida Nonprofits Partner to Save the Planet While Serving Communities

Blog

SARASOTA, Fla. — Great ideas often start with a lightbulb moment, especially in the sustainability world. In 2008, sustainable building nonprofit Southface Institute recognized that reducing nonprofits’ utility bills by increasing the efficiency of their facilities would save critical dollars to reinvest in serving meals, teaching youth, assisting unsheltered families, and more. Years after Southface’s GoodUse program launched, the idea has proven its substantial value — 400+ nonprofits nationwide have saved $3.2 million, 24 million kWh of electricity, 15,466 kGal of …

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States Weigh the True Price of Natural Gas Amid Russia-Fueled Volatility

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Renewable Energy

ATLANTA — As Russia escalates its invasion of Ukraine and the U.S. imposes sanctions banning the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal, America grapples with stabilizing its own energy markets. Though we produce almost all the natural gas we consume, domestic prices are increasing in response to global market volatility and growing international demand for U.S. resources. As sustainable building nonprofit Southface sees it, it’s another setback for an energy fuel source that state utilities have long touted …

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Unboxing Georgia Power’s 2022 Integrated Resource Plan

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Renewable Energy

  Every three years, Georgia Power updates its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), determining how they will invest funds from their 2.7 million customers over the following two decades. This plan largely determines which energy sources and programs are available to Georgians and at what environmental and financial cost. Georgia Power is our state’s largest utility, and the decisions that will be finalized in a few short months will have far-reaching impacts on Georgia’s energy future. It is crucial that the …

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Balancing the Scales: What Justice40 Means to Me

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Climate Change

By Jo’De Cummings, Technical Program Coordinator, Southface Institute  On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” that created a governmentwide Justice40 Initiative. This initiative aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. It is incredible progressive reform that can revitalize these communities in multiple ways.     First, the cost savings from sustainability improvements have the potential to pay massive …

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What’s One Footprint? What the Climate Report Means For Real People

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  You stayed up later than you really wanted to, but you were finally starting to settle into bed. You were so tired that you forgot until just that moment that you didn’t turn off the light in the kitchen. Sure, you know it’s more environmentally friendly to turn your lights off when you’re not using them, but how much can you as one individual influence something as massive and dire as the climate crisis? Can’t the environment take one …

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Sustainable Infrastructure Wins! Now What?

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Green Building

Countless capital improvement projects in communities nationwide have been backlogged for decades, but for many, that’s about to change. New funding in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“Infrastructure Bill”) will go toward a wide range of projects, including road repairs, energy improvements in low-income housing, replacements for old and dirty lead pipes, electric vehicle chargers, and electric buses. On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Bill, approving unprecedented levels of funding for investments in transportation, water, …

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Southface’s upcoming leadership transition

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Dear Southface community, Like 2020, 2021 has been a year of great change, fundamentally redefining where and how we work and live, how we protect and support each other, and what it means to work toward a more equitable world. While some of the changes Southface Institute experienced presented us with obstacles to achieving our goals, such as holds on our work with municipalities and the limited availability of funding for long-term sustainability projects, other changes opened doors to the kind of …

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Interview: Southface’s ENERGY STAR Training Will Prepare Raters for Rule Changes

Education

Watch the live interview here. Tricia: My name is Tricia Embry. I am manager of communications and content here at Southface. We have some upcoming ENERGY STAR trainings, and I have two Southfacers here with me to talk about what those changes mean. So first, let’s do some introductions. Nathan and Mike, can you introduce yourselves and let us know what kind of work you do at Southface?     Nathan: My name’s Nathan Bessette. I’m the program director for Southface’s fee-for-service programs, which include EarthCraft, BIT Building, and Southface Energy Rated Homes. And so, my role is about growing these programs helping raters in the marketplace understand the different services available …

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GEORGIA GAINS REINFORCEMENTS IN FIGHT FOR EQUITABLE ENERGY POLICIES

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Katie Southworth | Program Director, Advocacy The Southeast has among the highest electricity bills and the lowest investment in energy efficiency in America according to 2019 data from US Energy Information Administration and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Newly hired advocates in Georgia have the experience to change the equation.   With a juris doctor degree and 15+ years of experience working on energy and climate issues, Katie Southworth knows how easily those who influence our access to resources most …

Tags: Advocacy, Energy Efficiency, Equity