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The growing energy burden of air conditioning

We could add more than 700 million air conditioners worldwide by 2030.

As summer heat waves push temperatures into triple digits, countless people sit inside seeking shelter from the sun. Ceiling fans and open windows once provided as much relief as possible, but air conditioning units now reign supreme, blasting refrigerated air into homes, offices and public buildings around the world. While some buildings have enjoyed this perk for years, millions more are poised to make the upgrade, as both supply and demand are fueled by rising global temperatures and household wealth.On the surface, this trend marks a step in the right direction, as more people worldwide will have access to comfortable living. That being said, the sheer scale with which we are adopting air conditioning presents a serious challenge. Although today's AC units are more efficient than ever, they still use as much as 20 times more energy than a ceiling fan, according to Lucas Davis, an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Plus, with countries like China, Mexico, India, Indonesia and Brazil adopting AC at astonishing rates, the world will add 700 million air conditioners in the next 15 years, and as many as 1.6 billion by 2050, a report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Library found. "Five percent of . . . Read More

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California shows economic growth while reducing emissions

Yet again, California has shown it is possible to support a growing economy while cutting emissions.

Traditionally, economic growth and green house gas emissions have gone hand in hand - industrialism remained a key indicator of a community's economic proficiency while green energy critics worried a focus on sustainability would stifle development. However, California has managed to break this paradigm, simultaneously boosting its economy while cutting emissions, according to a new report from nonpartisan nonprofit group Next 10. The report analyzes the economic and environmental output in the Golden State through 2014. Alongside a 1.82 percent jump in gross domestic product between 2013 and 2014, California also reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 1.59 percent per capita, suggesting the two statistics aren't as linked as once assumed. "As the sixth largest economy in the world and an innovator in climate and energy policy, California is forging a decoupling between economic growth and carbon emissions per-capita," Next 10's founder, F. Noel Perry, said in a statement announcing the group's 2016 California Green Innovation Index. Adopting alternative energy sources ​These initial findings beg the question: How does a state with such a dynamic economy reduce its environmental footprint without compromising productivity? The Next 10 report suggests a major key for California has been its ability to support its industry with alternative energy . . . Read More

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Energy-saving tips for a more efficient summer

Managing your thermostat wisely can help you save on your energy bills during the warm summer months.

Summer is finally here! While the long days, abundant sunshine and warm evenings make this many people's favorite time of the year, it can also be one of the most challenging periods in terms of energy efficiency. In the summer heat, homes lose cool air faster, air conditioners have to work harder and pool pumps and sprinklers are active more often, causing energy loads - and bills - to skyrocket.Luckily, there are a number of simple habits homeowners can adopt to manage their summertime energy usage. Here are a few to get you started:  Keep your kitchen cool For many people, the stove is a staple for home cooking. However, even turning on the element for a few minutes can radiate heat throughout your kitchen, forcing your air conditioner to fight even harder. Instead of firing up the stove, try using you microwave whenever possible. Not only does it contain heat much better than a stove-top element, but it can cook food using two-thirds less energy, according to the California Energy Commission's Consumer Energy Center. Not only is it important to keep excess heat out of your kitchen, but you should also take steps to keep cool air where it belongs. Every . . . Read More

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Vinovisit

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

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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

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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

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Brent Boli

Brent

As a project manager, Brent takes the lead on a number of initiatives here at the Benningfield Group. Brent's technical approach to problem solving makes him a valuable asset to both his clients and our project teams. Brent currently serves as the lead for our On Demand Efficiency Program, which helps SoCalGas® provide its customers with controls for inefficient central hot water systems to reduce their costs and energy usage. He also manages our web enhancements program for the California Public Utilities Commission. Before coming to work with us in March 2016, Brent developed his analytical skills as a Research Assistant for the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at the Dallas Theological Seminary, where he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree. Brent received his Bachelor of Arts from California State University Sacramento. When he's not busy working on his dissertation, Brent enjoys spending his time outside of work playing and learning new games in the company of his friends.   Read More

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Addison Day

Addison

Addison is responsible for testing our software projects to ensure they meet our high standards for quality. A thoughtful worker who is quick to offer a helping hand whenever he can, Addison's enthusiasm makes him a great addition to our software team. Currently studying general education at American River College, Addison's internship has given him a chance to pursue his interest in software development since he came on board in February 2016. An eager contributor to any project he can assist on while at the Benningfield Group, it should come as no surprise that Addison can also be found tutoring other students on campus or volunteering at a local community service event - he is truly committed to helping those around him! Despite his busy schedule, Addison makes sure to find time to relax, getting lost in a book or spending time with his friends and nephews whenever he has down time.  Read More

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Ben Rupert

Ben Rupert

As our VP of Operations, Ben puts his wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors to work helping Benningfield Group tackle unique commercial and industrial projects. A Certified Energy Manager and an incredibly involved member of the energy efficiency community his entire career, Ben's background in and understanding of energy and environmental policy make him an invaluable asset. Ben is also beginning his apprenticeship here in business operations, and by year's end will manage a number of operational elements within the company. On board here at Benningfield Group since February 2016, Ben is winding down his role as the Energy Manager for King County, Washington's Department of Executive Services. His work optimizing energy usage and reducing operating costs throughout the county, as well as his commitment to taking on diverse energy projects, give him unique insight into public sector energy management, which complements his prior experience working for Washington State's largest investor-owned utility. Ben's passion for energy efficiency speaks to his love of our planet. As he furthers his own personal and professional goals, he strives to help create socially responsible and ecologically restorative communities. Ben's other loves include his friends and family, especially his wife and daughter. Outside of . . . Read More