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Measures to control electric rates and the cost of health care highlight a package of 19 bills filed with the state Legislature today by Associated Industries of Massachusetts. The AIM filings include bill designed to clarify details of the paid sick leave law approved by voters on November 4.
The association filed the bills on behalf of its 4,500 member employers as the Senate and House of Representatives begin a two-year Beacon Hill session that will run through July 2016.
The AIM health-care bill would limit the growth of medical spending to two percentage points below overall economic growth. The energy legislation seeks to stabilize the cost of electricity by reorganizing the Department of Public Utilities into an independent agency and requiring that at least one DPU commissioner have experience in commercial and industrial ratepayer issues. AIM lobbied aggressively in 2012 to limit the growth of medical spending to a€?GSP minus twoa€? but lawmakers eventually approved, and Governor Deval Patrick signed, a compromise measure setting the target initially at GSP, moving to half a percentage point below GSP in 2018. Filing of the electricity bill comes as Massachusetts employers and homeowners face increases of up to 37 percent in their electric bills because of natural gas pipeline capacity issues. Regan stressed that the paid sick leave corrections bill does not represent an attempt to circumvent the will of the voters, but rather to provide employers with a clear roadmap for complying the with new law. Clarify the accrual process and use of earned sick time in a manner that conforms to current payroll systems.
Provide flexibility for companies to integrate existing Paid Time Off (PTO) systems with the law.
The 2013 RiverRidge Recycling Glens Forestry Rally proved the perfect showcase for Northern Irelanda€™s newest rally team. The Department of the Environment has published a consultation paper on the Waste Prevention Programme for Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland Environment Minister has called for a wider debate on the gasification of waste before he allows construction on a proposed A?220m plant in Londonderry. Community groups are being reminded that they can apply for grants of up to A?10,000 for projects that will boost recycling in their area. Northern Ireland's Agricultural Minister Michelle O'Neill insists that no fracking will take place on any land owned by her department. A new poll shows a fall in level of support for shale gas extraction in the UK following summer protests. The wind terminal assembly port at Belfast Harbour has created a fantastic opportunity for further inward investment, according to the head of one of the companies making turbines in the city.
Northern Ireland's Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster MLA has announced details of a new A?7million research centre that will pioneer advances in sustainable energy technologies in the province and create 15 new research posts.
A new plan to deal with waste from 11 council areas in Northern Ireland could see an incinerator and waste facility built near Mallusk in County Antrim. Belfast City Council has agreed to gradually replace residentsa€™ 240 litre black bins with a 180 litre bin from January 2014.
Northern Ireland's new Environment Minister has welcomed the fact that both household and local authority collected municipal landfill rates have decreased to their lowest levels ever at just over 50%. Provisional Carrier Bag Levy figures for the first quarter of 2013 indicate that 17.5million single use carrier bags were dispensed by retailers between 8 April and 30 June 2013. Councillor Luke Poots was voted into his new role by the council's environmental services committee, which he will now become chair of in two years' time.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood has launched consultation on a new compulsory 60% recycling target for waste collected by local councils in Northern Ireland. Antrim Borough Council has launched an exciting new competition across its Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) at Antrim, Randalstown and Crumlin. Inspired by the tradition of hand-me-down clothes and more recent ideas around clothes swaps Bangor woman Marianne Kennerley has set up UniCycle, which aims to provide school communities with a sustainable source of school uniforms.
Londonderry-born architect Caroline Oa€™Donnell has won a prestigious award in the United States for a pavilion made out of skateboard off-cuts. The Department of Environment is providing a A?500,000 funding boost for projects that will divert waste from landfill. A new strategy to tackle the ash dieback tree disease in Ireland has been published and feedback is currently being sought. CITB-ConstructionSkills NI has recruited 30 local construction workers for participation in an innovative project taking place in Biberach, Germany in June and October of this year. The a€?Building Skills for Sustainable Constructiona€™ project is designed to help participants widen their knowledge of sustainable construction methods, renewable energy and environmental standards.
Easter may have come and gone and while chocolate-lovers may have enjoyed tucking into their favourite treats herea€™s some food for thought . Agriculture Minister, Michelle Oa€™Neill, has welcomed the establishment of Local Flood Forums to help develop a better understanding of flood risk and how it can be pro-actively managed in the future.
The proposed levy on single use carrier bags in Northern Ireland comes into effect from the 8th April, 2013. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) today announced that Keith Morrison will succeed Jim Keyes as Chief Executive.
Practical solutions for revitalising town and city centres is the theme of the forthcoming RICS Northern Ireland 18th Annual Planning and Development Conference taking place at Belfast City Hall on October 17. History was made recently when students from across Northern Ireland gave evidence to the Assemblya€™s Environment Committee as part of a public consultation on the proposed Marine Bill.


A new report on the energy industry in Northern Ireland has recommended the setting up of a single department that would have responsibility for all energy related matters. A competition to search for innovative projects that are delivering a more sustainable future for local communities has been launched by Logica, a leading business and technology service company. Northern Ireland is uniquely placed to become a significant exporter of renewable energy and expertise.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood says a five pence levy on single use carrier bags will be introduced in April 2013, increasing to ten pence in April 2014.
The provisional Northern Ireland Municipal Waste Management Statistics, July - September 2011, just published shows that almost 56% of municipal waste was sent to landfill during the second quarter of the year. NWP's Glenside recycling facility on the outskirts of Belfast has won the company's a€?Best Site 2011' Award. Environment Minister Alex Attwood has revealed that the NIEA deals with 10 reported pollution incidents every day.
RiverRidge Recycling launched the 'Make Art Not Waste' School competition recently, hoping to reinforce the 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle' message with schools across the North East and North West of the Province. Health and Safety in the Waste Industry was the theme for a recent CIWM Northern Ireland Centre Seminar.
Thanks to funding from DOEa€™s Rethink Waste Revenue Fund, Constructing Excellence NI is able to invite local contractors to participate in a FREE training programme that aims to help to reduce the amount of construction site waste they send to landfill. Leading independent energy provider Energia has come top of the class and won a significant new dual-fuel energy supply contract to provide 33 City and County Vocational Educational College organisations around Ireland with gas and renewable electricity. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Developmenta€™s Rivers Agency has received a coveted industry award for its use of geographic information system (GIS) technology.
Work is underway to return thousands of tonnes of illegally deposited waste in County Down to the Republic of Ireland.
Surveys carried out by Environmental Charity TIDY Northern Ireland show that streets across the province are dirtier now than at any time in the last 4 years, despite the A?34 million local councils spend on street cleaning.
Action Renewables support commercial renewable energy development, create and support European projects, offer quality assurance to the renewable energy industry a€“ Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation, provide advice and information to government as well as run the Action Renewables Association for business and Industry.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood says the concept of an independent environment agency is back on the reform agenda. Northern Ireland's expertise and experience in offshore wind and marine energy have been on show in Liverpool, at the UK's biggest event for this rapidly developing industry. ScottishPower Renewables and DONG Energy have approved the construction of the 389MW West of Duddon Sands offshore windfarm - and Belfast Harbour will benefit significantly. Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, has announced that Magistrates' courts can now impose fines of up to A?100,000 for certain offences relating to listed buildings or protected trees; this is a threefold increase on the previous figure. New Minister Alex Attwood has welcomed his environment portfolio, describing it as an exciting challenge. Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill has said the local renewable energy sector is an instrumental component to help grow the economy. Over 130 delegates fromacross Ireland have attended an all-island natural gas conference in DublinA hosted by natural gas supplier Phoenix Energy Ltd. The latest edition of the Northern Ireland Municipal Waste Management Statistics shows that a total of 220,687 tonnes of municipal waste were collected in Northern Ireland, with 88% household waste and 12% non-household waste in the last three months of 2010. Recently I have come across at least five articles in industry journals which deal with waste crime. The way we use and dispose of our resources has never been as crucial to our future economic and environmental wellbeing as today. Wea€™ll schedule a visit to your facility, conduct a free lighting audit, define youa€™re lighting problems and review all of the LED benefits.
The economics of LED lighting makes the technology a compelling one for governments that are struggling to cut expenditures while trying to meet a€?greena€? goals. For example, a 2013 New York State Department of Energy Conservation report says that if all state municipalities replaced existing incandescent streetlights with LED bulbs a€” which are brighter, more energy-efficient and longer-lasting a€” it would reduce energy consumption by 22.3 million kilowatt-hours annually, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 9,200 tons. On top of that, the report suggests that switching from traditional mercury vapor streetlights to LED doesna€™t just significantly reduceA  energy and maintenance costs (a big deal, since street lighting makes up roughly 40% of the statea€™s municipality electrical bills), but also the number of lamp posts needed is more effective as well.
SmartPlanet profiled an example of LED savings in action, telling the story of a NYC property owner who is retrofitting 21 properties with LED lighting (replacing fluorescent, incandescent and halogen fixtures) for an energy savings of $750,000.
Plus, the fact that LED lighting is solid-state means it can be controlled by software, leading to a whole new avenue of growth: programmable lighting.
LED Lighting is a new technology that promises to replace all other types of lighting by 2020. In short, it saves 40-90% on lighting, has a very long lifespan, and looks better than other types of lighting and is easily controlled. LED's are expensive, but they will pay offA  in about 1-10 years and save tons of money in the long run.
One LED lamp will last as long as several traditional lights, saving money on replacements.
The answer is simple: because of SSL's rapid ongoing improvements and superior energy-saving potential. That doesn't mean DOE has abandoned lighting controls and other light source technologies, however.


DOE is keeping a close watch on solid-state lighting, in both the lab and the marketplace, to make sure it doesn't run into the same roadblocks that slowedA market acceptance of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) back in the 1990s. There's little doubt that solid-state lighting ultimately will emerge as the technology of choice for an unparalleled variety of applications, because, all things being equal, everyonea€”building owners includeda€”wants to save energy and protect the environment.
DOE has made a long-term commitment to advance the development and market introduction of energy-efficient solid-state lighting. With three annual workshops that collectively bring together approximately 700 attendees, as well as periodic stakeholder roundtables, DOE's solid-state lighting program is open and participatory and coordinates with many lighting and standards groups, such as the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the International Association of Lighting Designers, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the American National Standards Institute, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It is a session that will play out amid uncertain political dynamics among with newly elected Republican Governor Charlie Baker, newly elected Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and incumbent House Speaker Robert DeLeo. The 2012 Massachusetts Health Cost Containment law currently sets a benchmark equal to the growth of Gross State Product. AIM looks forward to working with Representative Haddad and other members of the Legislature to lower electricity prices while increasing the use of clean energy,a€? said Robert Rio, Vice President of Government Affairs at AIM. Officially launched at the event, which is the final forest rally of the 2013 season, the four car squad raced under leading local waste management firm RiverRidge Recyclinga€™s brand. Her work will be on display outside the Museum of Modern Arta€™s PS1 gallery in Long Island from late June onwards.
However, urgent investment in infrastructure development needs to be a key strategic priority to allow the local renewables sector achieve its full potential, according to the Northern Ireland Renewable Industry Group (NIRIG). Action Renewablesa€™ director Michael Doran gives an overview on the importance of the Renewable Heat Incentive. The harsh reality is that if we continue to consume resources at the rate at which we do today, then by 2050 we will need at least three times more material resources - and 70% more food, feed and fibre - just to maintain the status quo.
Exterior and interior general illumination, safety and security, general production and service lighting uses are just some of the financial energy savings that local businesses and municipalities can benefit from. We will show you the energy and installation savings you will achieve while filling your buildings with the most beautiful, brilliant white light youa€™ve ever seen. Despite the higher initial investment, switching to LEDs from incandescent lighting can quickly pay off on both fronts, while avoiding the complaints and limitations associated with the compact fluorescent (CFC) bulbs that havena€™t quite lived up to their expected potential. The switch would also save on maintenance costs since bulbs would require less frequent replacement.
Even at the current, high-cost of LED bulbs, the estimated payback on the project is only three years, with the remaining lifespan of the LED bulbs (which should be at least another 10 years) representing pure savings.
This has been on full public display through large scale installations like San Franciscoa€™s Bay Bridge and New Yorka€™s Empire State Building, and has begun to catch on at the home level thanks to app-controlled LED lighting systems like Philipsa€™ (NYSE:PHG) Hue wireless system.
Department of Energy has invested with industry partners in research and development of solid-state lighting (SSL)a€”including both light-emitting diode (LED) and organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies. DOE still invests to a large degree in promoting the most efficient forms of conventional lighting technologies, through such implementation programs as Building America, the Commercial Buildings Integration Program, and the Federal Energy Management Program.
Accelerating the pace of commercialization for SSL will hinge on improving cost competitiveness and quality. DOE watches closely for problems with poor-performing SSL products that are not yet ready to compete with incumbent technologies, including products that fail to meet manufacturers' performance claims. Meanwhile, all things are not equal, which is why DOE repeatedly emphasizes that SSL is right for some applications but not for othersa€”and why education and due diligence should be key elements in any lighting specification and purchasing process.
Its comprehensive national program addresses research and development, demonstrations, testing and quality control, market development support, and buyer supporta€”all in service of maximizing the energy-efficiency of SSL products in the marketplace. It's also highly transparent, publishing numerous reports and roadmaps that are posted online at this website. Haddad, D-Somerset, filed a separate omnibus energy bill on Friday, signaling that the cost of power will be a major topic of debate for lawmakers during the next 18 months. By converting to LED lighting, we can reduce energy use and energy costs, improve light pollution and light quality and improve where light is directed. All with no ballast to fail, no blinking, no bugs, no noxious mercury, no noise, no waiting for lights to restart. The story points to LED lighting as a€?low-hanging fruita€? for commercial property owners looking to slash the 25% to 30% of their energy bill that lighting typically consumes. Today, the purchase price of LED lighting products is generally higher than that of their conventional counterparts, often by a long shot, and the energy savings often aren't enough to offset the difference within an attractive payback period. A significant part of DOE's function is to educate consumers as well as the lighting community about those claims and other pitfalls in the SSL marketplace. Looking carefully at this level of resource use our traditional linear model of make-use-discard doesna€™t so much appear frayed - as threadbare.
Now is an excellent time for businesses and municipalities to consider converting to LED lighting and reap these benefits. However, DOE's program is intended to drive aggressive cost reduction, and the current rate of cost decline in LED lighting systems is about 20 percent a year.



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