Increase Your Energy Efficiency in the New Year
The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
On this site, The Federal Energy Management Program's (FEMP) Energy Incentive Program “provides information about the funding-program opportunities available in each state.” A number of opportunities are listed across all 50 states. All you need to do is click on your state to read about them. The site also features information on FEMP and energy laws & research.
Run by the Environmental Protection Agency, this site is a user-friendly resource for energy efficiency for your home and business. Modules will help you find tax credits, energy strategies, and energy experts to help you improve your energy usage which will move your bottom line. The Buildings and Plants tab is likely the most useful for commercial property owners and managers as well as facility technicians.
And don’t forget, if you’d like more information or just assistance in learning about or executing any of the strategies you find on this website, we here at AAA Companies are here to help at 800.892.4784 or through our order page.
The Dam and Drought: Is It Over?
That California has had record rain and snowfall this season is not debatable. “Precipitation over California in the water year so far (October 1 to January 31) is 178% of average for this date. The snowpack [was] 179% of average, as of Feb 8.” The question is just what the consequences of this weather are and how should they be handled—which is what makes what happened in Oroville concerning.
On Sunday February 12th, more than 100,000 people living near the Oroville Dam were evacuated in case of the structure’s failure. The specific issue was a spillway with a crater in it. “On Friday, the crater was 45 feet deep, 300 feet wide, and 500 feet long.” That crater emerged, and grew, when operators allowed water from the lake to continue to run over it. Why? The answer to that question is evidence of concerns state officials have raised regarding the heavy precipitation.
In mid-January Bloomberg published a report on the difficulties the state faces in managing all of the water accumulation. “Keep too much holed up in storage and the system will overflow if the precipitation keeps coming,” they wrote. “Open the hatches too much and, if Mother Nature doesn’t provide any more deluges, California will be parched when the rain stops.” Clearly, the former was the concern in Oroville as rain ran over the concrete and officials postponed the initial use of the auxiliary spillway. And overflow will continue to be an issue as more storms are in the forecast.
But isn’t the overflow a waste? Shouldn’t there be enough infrastructure to collect and utilize a resource that California has had a “never-ending” need for? As Wired wrote, “The answer, of course, depends on what people mean by ‘drought’ and “over,” and it depends on who you ask. There isn’t—and never has been—agreement about the meaning of either word.” What the rain, snow, and Oroville Dam Crisis have showed us is that the drought is much more complicated than it seems due to factors beyond climate and weather.