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Important: Informative Webinar on July 26th at Noon - Register Here
Application Deadline: October 11th
On July 12, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the Community Geothermal Heating and Cooling Design and Deployment Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), which will award $300,000–$13 million for projects that help communities design and deploy geothermal district heating and cooling systems, create related workforce training, and identify and address environmental justice concerns. The FOA will help expand community-scale geothermal by supporting new systems and developing case studies to be replicated throughout the country.
The FOA will support the formation of U.S.-based community coalitions that will develop, design, and install community geothermal heating and cooling systems that supply at least 25% of the heating and cooling load in communities. Eligible applications must demonstrate that switching to geothermal district heating and cooling system would result in greenhouse gas emission reductions for the community where the system is installed.
Widespread adoption of geothermal heating and cooling systems will help decarbonize the building and electricity sectors, reduce energy costs for families, and boost resilience. The FOA will also advance the objectives of DOE's Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) to realize the potential of community-scale geothermal heating and cooling nationwide.
GTO anticipates making approximately 1–10 awards under the initial phase of this FOA, with individual awards varying between $300,000 and $750,000. In the second phase, following a downselect, GTO anticipates making 1–4 awards, with individual awards between $2.5 million and $10 million.
DOE's Proposed Rule for Gas Furnaces Will Save Consumers Billions on Annual Energy Bills, Reduce Emissions and Build on Actions to Support Heat Pump Deployment
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden Administration through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today proposed new energy-efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save consumers billions annually on their energy bills. Today's proposal is part of 100 energy-efficiency actions the Administration is completing this year to save the average family $100 a year. Under the proposed rule, non-weatherized gas furnaces and those used in mobile homes would be required to achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency of 95%. These efficiency improvements would save consumers $1.9 billion annually and, over 30 years, reduce carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons — the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
"By updating energy standards for many carbon-emitting appliances, such as home furnaces, the Biden Administration is working to save consumers money," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. "These efficiency measures not only reduce carbon and methane emissions, but also provide huge material benefits to American households in the form of cleaner air, modernized technology, and cheaper energy."
In addition to boosting the efficiency of gas furnaces, which account for approximately 15% of annual U.S. residential energy use, the Biden Administration is also improving the accessibility and affordability of heat pumps—super-efficient electric equipment that can be used to heat and cool households. Last week, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to rapidly expand American manufacturing of five critical clean energy technologies, including heat pumps. This DPA authorization will reduce reliance on adversaries like Russia for oil and gas and expedite the installation of Made in America heat pumps across homes and other buildings. The proposed rule requests comment on heat pump price declines as a result of increased shipments expected from decarbonization policies and increased domestic supply of heat pumps from the DPA.
Achieving an annual fuel utilization efficiency of 95% (producing 95 British thermal units (BTUs) of heating for every 100 BTUs of natural gas consumed) would mean taking almost all of the gas used by the furnaces and turning it into heat provided to the living space. Modern condensing furnaces, which use a secondary heat exchangers to capture excess heat from the furnace's exhaust gases, make this standard achievable for every American home. Canada has already made the use of condensing furnaces mandatory for residential heating for over a decade.
If adopted within DOE's proposed timeframe, the new rule will come into effect in 2029. DOE expects the new rule to save consumers a cumulative $30.3 billion over 30 years. A consumer that installs a furnace meeting the proposed levels, in order to replace a non-condensing, inefficient furnace, will save $60 on their utility bills annually. In addition to 15% of annual residential energy use, residential gas furnaces account for approximately 3.4% of all domestic energy use in the United States as of 2020.
DOE's Building Technologies Office implements minimum energy conservation standards for more than 60 categories of appliances and equipment. To learn more, visit the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program homepage.
Sun Protection Tips For Construction Workers
For many, the summer months mean vacations at the beach, lounging by the pool, and spending more time outside in the sun. For construction workers, summer means working long hours in the hot sun. All that time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of sunburn, sun poisoning, and skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S with approximately 1 million people being diagnosed with a form of skin cancer each year. The three main types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, are primarily caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation from exposure to the sun.
By proclamation of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, July is Lakes Appreciation Month, highlighting the rich ecosystems, fresh drinking water, recreational appeal, and economic vitality that Michigan's 11,000 inland lakes and four bordering Great Lakes provide.
"In Michigan, our lakes – Great and small – define us. Every Michigander is dedicated to protecting our lakes and ensuring that we pass them on to future generations," said Gov. Whitmer. "This July, when so many of us enjoy our Pure Michigan experiences, we can reflect on how Michigan's lakes, rivers, wetlands, and groundwater enrich our lives. Protecting them means tackling generational challenges such as aging infrastructure, invasive species, and climate change. Together, I know we will."
Michigan continues to award infrastructure grants to municipalities through the governor's $500 million bipartisan MI Clean Water Plan, ensuring Michiganders of access to clean and affordable drinking water. The governor's MI Healthy Climate Plan, meanwhile, creates a roadmap to a prosperous carbon-neutral economy by 2050 that will also protect the state's natural resources, including lakes.
Michigan's Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) leads implementation of both plans. EGLE's Water Resources Division (WRD) protects and monitors Michigan's waters by establishing water quality standards, assessing the health of aquatic communities, encouraging natural shoreline practices, regulating wastewater discharges, and overseeing aquatic invasive species concerns and water withdrawals. The Office of the Great Lakes (OGL) oversees Great Lakes water policy and strategy implementation as well as representing the state at national forums. The Office of Climate and Energy (OCE) coordinates implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan.
Appreciating Michigan's lakes means respecting them, too – especially the immense power of the Great Lakes. When making summer plans for time at Great Lakes beaches, always use caution, pay attention to beach flag warnings (where available), and know that the lakes are prone to dangerous rip currents, crashing waves, and quickly changing weather patterns.
Of Michigan's 100-plus state parks, 42 offer access to Great Lakes shoreline, making them popular destinations for gatherings with family and friends. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers safety tips and information everyone should know before hitting the water.
The Wisconsin-based nonprofit North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) promotes Lakes Appreciation Month internationally, with at least 25 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces joining this year's effort. NALMS encourages lakes-related activities including shoreline cleanups, educational tours, boating, swimming, birding, and photography.
Here are resources for learning more about Michigan's lakes and how to help keep them healthy:
MIACCA appreciates all of the HVAC Techs out there for keeping us cool when it's hot and comfortable all year round.
Thanks for all that you do, not just today but every day!
- Available on demand after live broadcast -
When measuring humidity, temperature, and carbon dioxide in HVAC applications, whether you are optimizing cooling towers or demand-controlled ventilation, installing the sensors correctly is just as important as the technologies you choose. Even if you have selected the perfect instrument for your operation, you will not capture reliable and accurate measurements unless you install it correctly. Precise measurement and control help optimize energy efficiency and promote conservation.
In this webinar, an expert from Vaisala will cover sensor installation best practices for monitoring in an HVAC application. The most common pitfalls to avoid and important considerations when installing HVAC sensors will be addressed.
The bureau is in the process of filling Boiler Inspector 10/11 position in the Boiler Division. The position will have an Official Work Station located in Marquette. Applicants for the position must apply online by going to the website listed below, go to job posting 6401-22-BCC-730 Boiler Inspec, click on Boiler Inspector10/E11, and then click on the "Apply" link, and follow the directions provided. (Position description and job specifications are listed on the posting.) This posting is listed on the postings for ALL applicants, you will need to follow the link below. If you have any questions, please let me know.
**Applications must be received by 5:00pm 6/15/2022.
June is National Safety Month
Building Safety Month is an international campaign that takes place in May to raise awareness about building safety. This campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, regularly-updated building codes, and helps individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.
The International Code Council, its members, and a diverse partnership of professionals from the building construction, design and safety communities come together with corporations, government agencies, professional associations and nonprofits to promote building safety through proclamations, informational events, legislative briefings and more. We come together to support Building Safety Month because we understand the need for safe and sustainable structures where we live, work and play.
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MIACCA was in attendance at the May 23rd Skilled Trades Rules Change public hearing. We provided these written comments for consideration. We will keep you posted on the status of the changes.