Water efficiency linked to ‘surprisingly large’ energy savings in new study

A UC Davis study shows just how much energy water-efficiency can save.

In every green building project, designers put countless hours into developing a plan that not only limits the structure's demand on the grid but also reduces its reliance on natural resources. New research from the UC Davis Center for Water-Energy Efficiency now shows just how linked those two goals may be, finding reduced water usage can lead to substantial cuts in both energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. To make this connection, researchers analyzed the effect of urban water usage limits mandated to counter California's ongoing drought. By reducing urban water usage by 25 percent between June 2015 and February of this year, the state saved about 922 gigawatt-hours of energy - enough to power 135,000 homes for an entire year, the LA Times reported. Plus, it saved an additional 220,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to taking about 50,000 cars off the road, according to GreenBiz. "Reduced water usage can lead to substantial cuts in both energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions."In fact, during peak summer months reducing water consumption alone saved as much energy as most other major energy efficiency programs in California combined, the LA Times reported. Further, water-related savings came with just one-third of the price tag compared . . . Read More


Benningfield Group to attend ACEEE Conference on Energy Efficient Buildings

Energy-efficiency professionals from around the country will gather at the ACEEE conference on August 21.

To accomplish lofty goals like achieving zero net energy status and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent, the energy-efficiency community needs to have a coordinated and focused plan. But how can companies stay connected and up-to-date in such a massive and rapidly-changing industry? That's what the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy sets out to do. From analyzing energy policy and educating businesses to holding conferences that bring the entire industry together, ACEEE has made it its mission to foster a more productive and collaborative community that can advance energy efficiency nationwide. "The ACEEE conference brings experts from around the country together to tackle a range of topics."One of the organization's largest events, the Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings brings together experts from around the country to tackle topics ranging from implementing energy-saving technology to analyzing buildings' impact on the climate. For the last decade, Benningfield Group has been lucky enough to not only attend this - and other - ACEEE conferences but also to present workshops on our areas of expertise: important code changes, strategies for making code requirements more digestible and the benefits of working in databases over spreadsheets. This year's presentation This year, Russ King, our Vice President of Energy Efficiency Services, . . . Read More


New regulations could make computers more energy efficient

New regulations could make computers in California more energy efficient.

Long seen as a leader in energy efficiency policy in the U.S., California has its sights set on transforming yet another previously untouched industry. According to the San Diego Tribune, the California Energy Commission is considering a set of guidelines that would curb energy usage in computers, specifically targeting inefficient desktop machines that burn as much energy annually as an electric oven.Meeting the new regulations would add an estimated $18 to the cost of an individual computer, but the California Energy Commission (CEC) says consumers and businesses will save far more than that in the long term. Over a computer's five-year lifespan, the agency predicts efficiency improvements would save as much as $75 in energy costs. While these regulations have been under development for years, these reports come just weeks after a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study shined a spotlight onto just how much energy computers waste sitting idle. As many as 300 million computers (that's almost one for every person in the U.S.) spend more than half their time every day turned on but not in use, the report found. Plugged directly into the wall with no check on how much energy they're able to pull, computers go through . . . Read More



We maintain and enhance software solutions for the administrative side of VinoVisit.com. VinoVisit offers bookings for winery tours, tastings and winemaker dinners at six different wine regions in California. Users can search winery profiles with maps, videos and review, book and share single or multi-day itineraries. Our work includes software design, database design, application development and testing as required to support the VinoVisit website and other software applications. Read More


eWinery Solutions

eWinery Solutions provides the wine industry with website and content management tools for wineries. Their services include basic web page creation as well as tools to manage online wine sales, wine club registration, wine club shipments and online event registration. We manage eWinery's interfaces to outside systems. This consists primarily of writing web services so that other systems have access to eWinery functionality and the eWinery database. It also includes writing integrations with other web services provided by other systems, such as ShipCompliant which handles shipping logistics for the wine industry. Read More


AmericasMart Atlanta

AmericasMart Atlanta is a large merchandise mart in Atlanta. This is a wholesale marketplace that retailers attend in order to select what merchandise they want to sell. We maintain and enhance the AmericasMart website using the Joomla framework with custom modules and templates. We also create and maintain all related database-driven applications including the company's mobile app. These applications include dynamically created exhibitor lists, dynamic building floor plans of showrooms, invoicing, payment processing and online exhibitor data. Read More


Kim Hogan

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  As a Senior Technical Manager at the Benningfield Group, Kim Hogan plays an integral role in helping us certify energy professionals. A Certified Energy Auditor and energy consulting veteran herself, Kim is intimately familiar with California's Energy Codes and Standards, making her the perfect candidate to develop tests that measure the skills and knowledge of professionals seeking recognition. Kim's tireless effort ensures design and construction professionals are educated at the high standard required for consistent building energy compliance. While precise in her understanding of the Energy Standards, Kim is also committed to helping clients achieve their goals outside of compliance. Her careful listening and analytical research skills help her excel in this area as well. Kim is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture, where she is focusing on developing skills in Building Information Modeling. Outside of her professional endeavors, Kim volunteers in a public Bible literacy and teaching program. She also enjoys spending quiet moments gardening, sewing and reading. Read More


Barbara Landrith

DSC_9049 Barbara cropped

  As our marketing coordinator, Barbara Landrith brings her experience in both construction and marketing to help spread the word about the Benningfield Group's service offerings. Barbara is a skilled multi-tasker who can wear many hats as she tackles and explores new projects and marketing initiatives. Through her passions for creative problem solving and sustainability, Barbara demonstrates two of our most important values every day. Barbara comes to us from a career as a marketing professional for several construction related companies, including the California Landscape Contractors Association. During her career, she has built a vast portfolio of skills, including strategic planning, graphic design, writing, public relations, research, social media, proposal writing, public speaking and more. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Science in Business - with a concentration in marketing and a minor in communications - from Sacramento State University. She has also taken several graphic design classes from Otis College of Design and UCLA. When she's not flexing her marketing muscles, Barbara enjoys taking in the beautiful Northern California scenery. Whether she's enjoying a local outing, walking, camping or simply sitting outside with a good book, Barbara enjoys exploring new places and experiencing nature. She also serves her community as a member of the Folsom . . . Read More


Melinda Keller

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  An experienced consultant who has performed first-hand research in the field, Melinda Keller brings deep expertise in heat transfer and energy conservation to the consulting team here at Benningfield Group. Driven by her passion to combating climate change, Melinda's role will be to help train California's energy professionals. Educating them about the industry's most pressing problems and innovative solutions, Melinda hopes they will be well-equipped to set new standards in the ongoing energy revolution. When she's not working with us at the Benningfield Group, Melinda works as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, where she received both a Bachelor and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Melinda also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management Engineering from Claremont McKenna College and has a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering pending from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Outside of the office, Melinda is committed to increasing inclusivity and diversity in engineering. Whether its working with the Girl Scouts to provide STEM opportunities for young women or recruiting culturally diverse students for Cal Poly, Melinda truly lives her passions. When she's not thinking about engineering, Melinda is an involved member of the gaming community at Cal Poly, where she runs several groups dedicated to . . . Read More