Tag Archives: United States

Tornado Safe Room CAD Designs for the DIY People

Tornado Safe Room Designs copied from green blog at-http://stlouisrenewableenergy.blogspot.com

With the Rash of Tornadoes caused by the Extreme Weather Conditions we have had recently in the USA.  I put together a few Tornado/Hurricane SafeRoom Designs and Build Options.

Complete plans, Design-Build Assistance for adding a Safe Room to your Building contact Scotts Contracting at the Contact Form, Web Pageclick here to email and set up a time to discuss your project.

CAD Safe Room Design for an existing Basement-8in CMU, Steel Door, 6in Reinforced Concrete Ceiling
CAD Safe Room Design for an existing Basement-8in CMU, Steel Door, 6in Reinforced Concrete Ceiling
When Building a CMU structure it is highly advisable to add Steel Reinforcement- In the case of building for Tornado or Hurricane Save Rooms substitute No.4 Vertical Rebar for No.5 size rebar.
how a CMU Block Wall is Reinforced.  Simple CAD Drawing showing the suggested Metal Reinforcement.Scotts Contracting
How a CMU Block Wall is Reinforced.  Simple CAD Drawing showing the suggested Metal Reinforcement.
Building the Concrete Ceiling-Structural Reinforcement Suggestions.
Build Notes-
  • Hurricane and Tornado-Safe Room Build Suggestions
    • #5 Rebar at 12in MATT-Dowel Into Existing Concrete Wall,
    • Attach MATT to Existing #5 Verticals in CMU Wall-,
    • {For Added Reinforcement for this area ADD 2ft “L” Bar and Wire Tie to MATT and Verts,
    • 4in Min Concrete Ceiling Suggested 6in Thick Ceiling,
    • All CMU Voids filled with Mortar
    • {Be Sure to ADD the “L” Bar before the Voids are filled with Mortar.
Concrete Ceiling-Structural Reinforcement Suggestions. Build Notes-Hurricane and Tornado-Safe Room Build Suggestions-Scotts Contracting
Concrete Ceiling-Structural Reinforcement Suggestions.
Build Notes-Hurricane and Tornado-Safe Room Build Suggestions

 

 

 

 

Taking Shelter From the Storm | FEMA.gov

Taking Shelter From the Storm

Main Content-The safe room construction plans and specifications from FEMA P-320, Taking Shelter From the Storm, are available in DWG format. 

LIMIT OF LIABILITY:  THE DESIGNS IN THIS BOOKLET ARE BASED ON EXTENSIVE RESEARCH OF THE CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF WINDSTORM DAMAGE TO BUILDINGS. SAFE ROOMS DESIGNED AND BUILT TO THESE DESIGNS SHOULD PROVIDE A HIGH DEGREE OF OCCUPANT PROTECTION DURING EXTREME WINDSTORMS (TORNADOES AND HURRICANES). ANY SUBSTITUTION OF EITHER MATERIALS OR DESIGN CONCEPTS MAY DECREASE THE LEVEL OF OCCUPANT PROTECTION AND/OR INCREASE THE POSSIBILITY OF PERSONAL INJURY DURING AN EXTREME WIND EVENT.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE

Because it is not possible to predict or test all conditions that may occur during extreme windstorms, or control the quality of construction, among other things, the designer does not warrant the design.
The designer neither manufactures nor sells safe rooms built from this design. The designers have not made and do not make any representation, warranty, or covenant, express or implied, with respect to the design, condition, quality, durability, operation, fitness for use, or suitability of the safe room in any respect whatsoever. Designers shall not be obligated or liable for actual, incidental, consequential, or other damages of or to users of safe rooms or any other person or entity arising out of or in connection with the use, condition, and/or performance of safe rooms from this design or from the maintenance thereof.

Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotts Contracting- St Louis Home Improvement Projects and Energy Reducing Needs Get Your Green Building Tips and Resources at St Louis Renewable Energy Green Blog

Eliminating Solar Panel Fires from Wire Faults

WHAT COULD HAVE STOPPED THE SOLAR PANEL FIRE ON THEWEBSTER GROOVES SCHOOL IN STLOUIS MO?

(previously published on Sister Site: http:stlouisrenewableenergy.blogspot.com)

 Solar Panels that utilize the M215 MicroInverters made by Enphase Energy could have stopped the Solar Panel fire before the fire started.

I realize that is a rather boastful statement made by someone who promotes, sells, and installs Solar PV systems for the StLouis Region and chooses to utilizeGreen Building in all their Construction Activities.

But the Great Minds behind [The Next Generation of Microinverter] the Enphase M215 MicroInverters that provide 96% CEC efficiencyequals more energy production also built the M215 MicroInverter with a GFI [Ground Fault Detection Interrupt] shut off.  Similar toGFI Electrical Outlets pictured in the photo below.

GFI-Ground Fault Interrupter Wall Outlet Electrical Plug
Must Have For Safety
 
GFI Electrical Plugs are required by all USA building codes and are located in your Kitchen, Bath, and Laundry Rooms and other areas close to water sources-
Scotty, Scotts Contracting

All M215 MicroInverters will shut off if there is a fault detected. inside of every microinverter is aGFI (Ground fault detection interrupt) switch and if there is a fault, it will stop exporting power within 30 milliseconds per UL1741 standards. {Scotty Adds- Just Like the GFI electrical plug in your Bathroom and Kitchen works!}

M215 MicroInverter from Enphase Energy
Enphase Energy M215 MicroInverter
Overview

The Enphase M215 is the world’s most efficient microinverter.

Based on Enphase’s third generation technology, the M215 incorporates the latest innovations in power electronics and custom microchips to deliver 96% CEC efficiency and a range of patented performance features that maximize the performance of 60-cell solar modules.

In addition, the M215 is light weight and offers a “single-bolt” mounting bracket that makes installation easier than any other inverter on the market.

GENERAL FEATURES OTHER THAN THE 25 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY (PDF)

  • Integrates with Enphase Engage Cable

  • CSA listed per UL 1741/IEE1547

  • Works with 60-cell modules ONLY

  • M215 Metrics

  • 96% CEC efficiency

  • Output power: 215W

  • Recommended max input power: 270W

  • MPPT Range: 22-36V

  • Low-voltage operation capability

    Learn more about the Great Product at the following Links

Here’s my conversation with the Good People of Enphase Energy and links to the Articles about the Solar Fire

Scotty:

“Recently in St Louis, MO a solar panel supposedly caught on fire on the roof of a local school…it hasn’t made much news other than deemed solar fire on school. Could one of your Innovative MicroInverters215 sensed the ground fault and stopped the production of electricity and thus eliminated the fire since it would have stopped creating electricity? There is a few local builders who have been considering adding solar but have raised questions in re. Thank you for your time and assistance. Scotty”

Enphase Energy 1st response:

Hello Scotty,
Thank you for contacting Enphase Energy!
That’s a scary situation! Sorry to hear that it happened!
Safety is one of the aspects of our system that we are very proud of. The old style of solar array uses solar panels in series, which ends up with High Voltage DC wiring. Our Microinverters converter the DC to AC right at each panel, which is inherently safer. Here is a link to our informational page that speaks to our safety, which also has a link to PDF:
http://enphase.com/explore/enphase-technology/safe/
Here also is a link to a video demonstration on our YouTube channel, which shows the difference between a DC and AC arc fault:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKtmPMjrbVA
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Rob Tierney
Inside Sales
Enphase Energy

Scotty:

Thank you for responding to my question.  I’m already a fan of the M215.  Can the M215 sense a ground fault and stop producing electricity?

 “Could one of your Innovative MicroInverters215 sensed the ground fault and stopped the production of electricity and thus eliminated the fire since it would have stopped creating electricity?”

Thank you for your time and assistance.
Scotty 

Enphase Energy (2nd Answer):

Yes! Our Microinverters do detect ground faults and halt production. 
Please let me know if you have any other questions, or if there is anything else I can do to assist. 
Thanks,
Rob Tierney

Enphase Energy (3rd Answer from Contact Form on their website):

Hi Scotty, 
The inverter will shut off if there is a fault detected. inside of every microinverter is a GDFI (Ground fault detection interrupt) switch and if there is a fault, it will stop exporting power within 30milliseconds per UL1741 standards. 
If you’d like to watch the recorded session of the webinar feel free to use the link below. That link will take you to all of the recorded sessions that we have. 
https://enphasetraining.webex.com/ec0606l/eventcenter/recording/recordAction.do?siteurl=enphasetraining&theAction=archiveJarett

Enphase Energy (4th Answer via a Twitter Post)

Enphase Energy ‏@Enphase
If a phase line drops, units stop producing immediately@stlhandyman @chjch I was just on their site>@Enphase < and asked the same question.

Solar Panel Fire Articles

Solar panels on the roof of Webster Groves High School caught fire today. The fire, which was contained, caused no interior damage. Some water used to put out the fire seeped into a classroom.The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The High School will have classes on Monday.

Like I wrote earlier the Great Minds at Enphase have already factored this safety feature into the Design and Construction of theirInnovative MicroInverter the M215. Couple that with the great and timely feedback from their Websites, Twitter Accounts, and Email Correspondence-

Whats not to Love about the Dynamic and Innovative Products at Enphase Energy!  Scotty provides Free Estimates for Solar Products for the StLouis Area.  Use the following form to schedule your Green Site Evaluation.

 

Senate Votes Against States’ Rights to Label GMOs

Here’s How Your Senators Voted. Let Them Know What You Think.

 

On May 23, the Senate voted down (27-71) the Sanders amendment #965 toS.954, the Farm bill. The amendment, submitted by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), was an effort to support the existing right of states to enact their own laws requiring the labeling of genetically engineered food. You can see the complete vote tally here.

Enter your address below to find out how your senators voted and send them a letter letting them know what you think.

 

 

 

English: Adoption of Genetically Engineered Cr...
English: Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S. HT = herbicide tolerance. BT = insect resistance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Join me to oppose:Res 37 Toxic Air Bill by Sen J.Inhofe

I am writing you today in vehement opposition to the toxic air bill offered by Senator James Inhofe, S.J. Res 37.

The Online Petition I signed via the Environment Defense Action Fund is listed to follow and emailed to Sen R.Blunt and Sen C.McCaskill.

  • My notes to Dirty Oil Roy Blunt are at the bottom of the Post.

This bill would use the obscure Congressional Review Act to block EPA’s new emission standards for hazardous mercury and other toxic air pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants. If enacted, this bill would also forever prohibit the EPA from adopting substantially similar clean air standards in the future.

These standards, which the 1990 Clean Air Act specifically authorizes, have been in the works for more than two decades. They will prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths every year and protect our kids from dangerous exposure to toxic mercury pollution, which can cause brain damage in infants and young children.

They will also save the American economy tens of billions of dollars in avoided health costs while likely leading to the creation of 117,000 jobs installing pollution control technologies between now and 2015.

Last year, more than 800,000 Americans submitted public comments in support of this rule. But now, a few of America’s largest corporate utilities have launched an aggressive campaign to block these standards. And Sen. Inhofe’s toxic air bill would do just that.

Please stand up for the health and safety of our kids and communities and reject the Inhofe bill.

Please take action today. Help us stop the Inhofe toxic air bill, which would wipe the EPA’s life-saving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards off the books and punch a huge hole through our clean air protections.

My Notes:

Mr Blunt in an email I received yesterday from you. You wrote:

“Job creators in Missouri tell me that overreaching new regulations coming out of the Environmental Protection Agency are one of the biggest obstacles to getting our economy back on track. Regulations like these threaten to make the cost of electric power skyrocket for most Americans and will sack families and workers with new costs, reducing their disposal income and ultimately threatening their standard of living.”

I’d like to point out the simple fact that-

“All the jobs in the world won’t help when Pollution kills the world.”

As you know here in St Louis- Ameren UE (Union Electric) uses Coal for producing our Electricity. This pollution from Coal Fired Power Plants is a leading cause of Asthma and Cancer. WebMD just reported last week that St Louis is Number 7 on the list of leading cities with Asthma Problems.

“The study also points out that recent statistics indicate asthma causes more than 3,300 deaths annually in the U.S. and is a factor in another 7,000.”

It would seem to me the more healthy people there are working equals more people paying taxes- ie: Income for the US Government.

If you are serious about creating jobs consider this: Energy Efficiency and Renewable “Non Polluting” Energy.

Steve Kidwell, Ameren Missouri Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, said:

“If we went after the potential that we’ve seen in our own study, we wouldn’t have to build another power plant for 20 years, and we could retire Meramec, and we’d be OK. But we’d lose $30 million a year. And we just can’t do that. It’s that simple.”

(This was a St Louis Post Dispatch Article that talked about making homes energy-efficient through weatherization.)

On another note about Energy Efficiency and Nuclear Energy- I’d like to share this info:

“For 1/2 the cost of replacing one nuclear power plant, we can retrofit 1,600,000 homes for “Energy Efficiency” and create 220,000 new jobs- which is 90 times more jobs than you’d get from a power plant replacement.”

ie: how much taxes that are needed for the USA would come from the 220,000 employees?

So basically I’m asking you to do the right thing and leave the EPA alone as the USA is making strides to curb its energy use which reduces the Pollutants in the Air, Land, and Water.

English: Mike Metzer, from the Environmental P...
English: Mike Metzer, from the Environmental Protection Agency, checks one of the many air sampling locations set up around the World Trade Center site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Through the various reporting agencies on Political Contributions. (1 & 2) I know you receive the bulk of your money from Big Oil, Big Coal, and Big Business. In the future who will be left to buy their products if the population is killed off from Fossil Fuel Pollution. I’m not even going to mention the fact that we can reduce our reliance on Foreign Oil (which is the root cause of the ongoing wars in the Middle East. ie: if they don’t have any money they can’t fight us).

Thank you, looking forward to your Reply.

Sincerely,
Scotty

Please take action today.
Help us stop the Inhofe toxic air bill, which would wipe the EPA’s life-saving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards off the books and punch a huge hole through our clean air protections.

 

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AMERICA FIRST-BEFORE POLITICS by Scotty

AMERICA FIRST BEFORE POLITICS


While listening to the Interview by FAREED ZAKARIA who was interviewing Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.  I was pleasantly suprised that Simpson had the guts to put America First before Politics. (emphasis added by Scotty)

At the start of the Interview he got my full attention when he called himself a “R.I.N.O. …which means a Republican in name only because I guess of social views perhaps or common sense would be another one which seems to escape members of our party”. (Its a great lesson for all of the Republicans in Office).

I admired Mr Simpsons- frankness in why the Republicans and Democrats are causing the turmoil that is hampering the rebound of the US economy .  I especially appreciated his direct comment on Re-Election when he said:

” if (Re-Election)…” means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.

He continues on to discuss the economy and progress needed to ensure continued growth.

You can’t cut spending your way out of this hole. You can’t grow your way out of this hole and you can’t tax your way out of this hole “Put that in your pipe and smoke it,”

To  bring about the progress that is needed to fix our economy while lowering our US Debt all Parties must be involved in solutions and learn how compromise is not always a bad thing.

“if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise and you learn to compromise an issue without compromising yourself.
Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.”

Truelly pointing out that the lack of Partinanship is not helping the economy.

Mr Erskine Bowles then went on with the interview and pointed out his thoughts on where the economy was headed

If we have a negative effect of 2 percent of GDP, we’ll be right back in recession and you better believe that the people of America will be calling on these members of Congress to do something.


So we think something will happen in the lame duck session. We believe it’ll probably be a two-step process where we end up setting up a framework with a time-frame in order to get something done. ZAKARIA: Boy, that’s pretty optimistic.

 

Lame Duck Session? What are they talking about.  We need Compromises ASAP.  What happened to the American Way of:

Everybody pitching in to do their part for the benefit of all?


Granted we Americans are a tuff nut and can handle anything thrown our way.  But what in the hell is wrong with our Elected Officials when they have to go behind the scenes and enact legislation during “Lame Duck Sessions”.   


  • Do we really need to wait 6 blessed months for progress?



  • Further Example of how the GOP is truely “Out of Touch” with Mainstream America.

If you too are tired of the Politics of the USA.  


Join me in voting a Democratic Ticket in the upcoming election.


My Best to You and Yours,
Scotty 


Helpfull Web Links:

Article transcripts to follow- supplied by CNN from the following listed web sites.

Twitter         —-    Find Me   —         Facebook
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FAREED ZAKARIA GPSInterview with Alan Simpson, Erskine Bowles; Panel Discusses Presidential Politics
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/2012.05.27.html http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1205/27/fzgps.01.htmlIn 2010, President Obama challenged the bipartisan duo to chair a commission to develop policies to bring America back to fiscal sustainability and they did. Many powerful Washingtonians on both sides of the fence applauded the proposal from the two chairs, but nobody ever did anything about it and this week, the dangerous carping over the debt limit began anew.

  1. Who better to talk about this than Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles who are joining me now from North Carolina?
  1. Thank you so much for joining me, folks.
  1. ALAN SIMPSON, FORMER WYOMING SENATOR: It’s a pleasure.
  1. ERSKINE BOWLES, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Great to be here.
  1. Senator Simpson, you’ve seen what’s been going on these last few months. The House actually voted on the Simpson-Bowles proposal and it went down decisively.
  1. Paul Ryan, the leader of the House on fiscal issues, I suppose, said that Simpson-Bowles was the wrong way to go because there weren’t enough spending cuts and there were too many tax increases.
  1. What was your reaction? That’s your party.
  1. SIMPSON: Well, I think my party and I have different views on a lot of things. I guess I’m known as a “

rhino” now, which means a Republican in name only because I guess of social views perhaps or common sense would be another one which seems to escape members of our party.

  1. Abortion is a horrible thing, but, for heaven’s sakes, a deeply intimate and personal decision and men legislators shouldn’t even vote on it. Gay-lesbian issues, we’re all human beings. We’re all God’s children. What is that?
  1. And for heaven’s sakes, you have Grover Norquist wandering the Earth in his white robes saying that if you raise taxes one penny, he’ll defeat you. He can’t murder you, he can’t burn your house, the only thing he can do to you, as an elected official, is defeat you for reelection.
  1. And

if that means more to you than your country when we need patriots to come out in a situation when we’re in extremity, you shouldn’t even be in Congress.

  1. ZAKARIA: But talk about Ryan particularly, because what I’m struck by is the Simpson-Bowles plan calls for an awful lot of spending cuts and, yet, those weren’t enough.
  1. SIMPSON: Well, Erskine can tell you we don’t call for –

You can’t cut spending your way out of this hole. You can’t grow your way out of this hole and you can’t tax your way out of this hole “Put that in your pipe and smoke it,” we tell these people.

  1. This is madness. If you want to be a purest, go somewhere on a mountain top and praise the east or something, but

if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise and you learn to compromise an issue without compromising yourself. Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.

  1. ZAKARIA: Erskine, you’re hopeful. You think that some of the ideas gaining fraction and, you know, there’s a kind of inevitability if you’re going to do this, there has to be some approach that’s pretty close to what you’re describing.
  1. BOWLES: Fareed, I believe the markets will force us to. I’ve spent my life in the markets, as you know, and look at what’s happening at the end of the year.
  1. We have about $7 trillion worth of economic events that are happening. We have expiration of the Bush tax cuts, we have the patch that’s been placed on the alternative minimum tax that’ll affect so many middle-class taxpayers, we have the payroll tax deduction that’s expiring.
  1. We have these senseless, mindless, across-the-board cuts that come from the sequester that comes as a result of a failed super committee. You know, all of those are hitting at once and the economic effect of those just next year, about 2 percent of GDP.
  1. If we have a negative effect of 2 percent of GDP, we’ll be right back in recession and you better believe that the people of America will be calling on these members of Congress to do something.
  1. So

we think something will happen in the lame duck session. We believe it’ll probably be a two-step process where we end up setting up a framework with a time-frame in order to get something done.

  1. ZAKARIA: Boy,

that’s pretty optimistic.

  1. BOWLES: And don’t forget it doesn’t have to be exactly what the Simpson-Bowles plan has, but it’s got to be a balanced plan. You’ve got to have some small amount of revenue that comes from reforming the tax code and there’s broad agreement that the tax code needs to be reformed.
  1. So I believe that you will find — if, in fact, we can get the right kind of momentum going, I think I’ll find strong support. We’ve been working with 47 members of the Senate, an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, the same kind of group in the House of Representatives.
  1. And I believe these — this group will come together during the lame duck to put forward a plan like this. Now, I don’t think the plan itself will be implemented during the lame duck, but I think there will be an agreement that we have to do some kind of balanced plan.
  1. If we don’t, then I think you will see the markets really take a really adverse look at the country and I think you’ll see us lose another downgrade in our credit and I think you’ll see interest rates pop up and, before long, you’ll see the availability of credit lessen. So I think we could have a real problem if we don’t do something and do something relatively quick.
  1. SIMPSON: And you know who will get hurt the worst in that process when interest rates go up and inflation kicks in, the little guy, the one that everybody on their hind legs talks about, “We’re doing this for the little guy, the most vulnerable, the unfortunate.” Well, Merry Christmas, those guys are going to get eaten when interest rates and inflation kicks in.
  1. ZAKARIA: Gentlemen, stay with us. When we come back, we’re going to ask Senator Simpson and Erskine Bowles what they think of President Obama’s leadership on this issue, what they think of Mitt Romney and there’ll be a few other things as well.
  1. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
  1. ZAKARIA: And we are back with Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the authors of the Simpson-Bowles plan for a rare opportunity to have a conversation.
  1. Senator Simpson, I want to ask you — I want to ask both of you, but I want to ask you what you think of President Obama’s embrace of your plan or lack thereof.
  1. And I’m going to start by asking you — just bear with me because I talked to him in January, mostly about foreign policy, but I did ask him about Simpson-Bowles. And he probably got — this got him more agitated than at any point in our conversation.
  1. This is what he said. He said, “I’ve got to tell you most of the people who say it if you ask them, “What’s in Simpson-Bowles,” they couldn’t tell you. First of all, I did embrace Simpson-Bowles. I’m the one who created the commission. If I hadn’t pushed it wouldn’t have happened because the Congressional sponsors, including a whole bunch of Republicans, walked away.”
  1. “The basic premise of Simpson-Bowles was we have to take balanced approach in which we have spending cuts and we have revenue increases. And although I did not agree with every particular thing that was in it, what I did do is take the framework and present a balanced plan of entitlement changes, discretionary cuts, went ready to make a deal.”
  1. “I presented this plan three times to Congress. The core of Simpson-Bowles, the idea of a balanced deficit reduction plan, I have consistently argued for, presented to the American people, presented to Congress.”
  1. Is that fair?
  1. SIMPSON: Well, he does get a little testy and we all get a little testy, but the president — I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t regard him as our president. I accept that. He’s my president, too. And it’s ugly stuff out there.
  1. There’s a lot of hatred in the world, hatred toward politicians, hatred toward the president, hatred toward Democrats, hatred toward Republicans, but I can tell you this. If he had embraced our plan, he would have been ripped to shreds.
  1. Erskine can tell you a little more. He visited with him personally alone for an hour-and-a-half, but he would have been ripped by the Democrats saying, “Why you rotten — you’re digging into the precious, precious Medicare.”
  1. And the Republicans would have rejected — if he’d embraced the Republicans, en mass, in the House would have rejected it. So, either way he’s going to get hammered so he’s playing the waiting game.
  1. ZAKARIA: Erskine, a lot of economic experts say, look, the right solution for the United States right now is obvious, which is you need some stimulus now, particularly given the very low interest rates, the very high levels of unemployment in the construction sector.
  1. The government should spend some money repairing and rebuilding the infrastructure, but that would only be viable and particularly something the markets would celebrate if it was tied to a long-term deficit reduction plan like Simpson-Bowles.
  1. Do you buy that basic idea that if your plan were adopted as a ten-year plan, it actually gives the U.S. government some leeway to make some necessary investments now?
  1. BOWLES: Yes, I truly believe that the only thing standing between the U.S. and sustainable growth is having a sensible, responsible, long-term fiscal plan. I believe if the world believed that we were going to put our fiscal house in order that you would see substantial economic growth in the future.
  1. But, again, I got back to what’s happening at the end of this year. We have $7 trillion worth of economic events that are going to hit the fan in December.
  1. And if we don’t set up to them — if we don’t stand up for them and we don’t do the right thing, if Congress doesn’t act, it doesn’t put this partisanship aside and doesn’t make some compromise, you’ll have a negative impact on GDP next year of at least 2 percent. That doesn’t make any sense.
  1. ZAKARIA: Alan, what do you make of Mitt Romney? Romney’s first ads are out and when he says, on day one what is he going to do and he says he’s going to approve the Keystone Pipeline, fine. But then he says and, then, we’re going to have tax cuts.
  1. This has, of course, been the, you know, kind of a Republican strategy for a while. Do you think — given what you’re describing, I can’t imagine you think day one what a Republican president should do is propose tax cuts?
  1. SIMPSON: Well, I wouldn’t have voted for him if I’d have been in Congress. How could you vote for a tax cut when you were doing two wars on the cheap? You had two wars you were fighting. You had things that were — the government — all the income from the government was only taking care of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and you do a tax cut.
  1. Every time there was a surplus and the last time was when this fine gentleman was doing it in ’96, you can’t get there. But you don’t have to do a tax cut, get that out of your gourd. You go into the tax expenditures and start knocking that stuff off and that’s where you get your revenue.
  1. BOWLES: Fareed, we have the most inefficient, ineffective, globally anti-competitive tax code that man could dream up and what we need to do is broaden the base, simplify the code, use — get rid of this spending in the tax code and use about 90 percent of the money to reduce income tax rates for everybody and use about 10 percent of the money to reduce this deficit.
  1. You know if you think about the debt today and the interest on the debt, it’s kind of — you know and put it in relationship to something else, we spend about $230, $240 billion a year on interest on the debt today even at these current low rates.
  1. Fareed, that is more than we’re spending today at the Department of Commerce, Energy, Education, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice and State combined. And if we don’t do anything, if we just, you know, put our heads in the sand and hope things will get better, we’ll be spending over a trillion dollars on interest by the year 2020.
  1. That’s a trillion dollars we can’t spend on this country on education or infrastructure or high valued-added research. And worst of all, it’s a trillion dollars we will be spending principally in Asia to educate their kids and to build their infrastructure and to do high value-added research over there so that the next new thing is created there and the jobs of the future are there not here. That’s crazy.
  1. ZAKARIA: All right, final question. Erskine, there are rumors in Washington that President Obama has asked you whether you would be interested in being the Secretary of Treasury. Do you have a comment?
  1. BOWLES: He hasn’t asked me to be Secretary of Treasury for sure.
  1. ZAKARIA: If he were to ask you, would you accept?
  1. BOWLES: No, I’m living in North Carolina and that’s where I want to live. I’m the happiest in my whole life, Fareed.
  1. ZAKARIA: Gentlemen, pleasure to have you.
  1. SIMPSON: I would just say we — all we do, Erskine and I, is math. We don’t do Power Points. We don’t know charts. We do math, but we don’t do BS or mush so join us.
  1. ZAKARIA: Maybe what we should try and get — and do is for the first time in the history of the republic, have co-Secretaries of the Treasury, one Republican and one Democrat. SIMPSON: Boy, if we could get our hands on that script.
  1. BOWLES: I don’t want a job, thank you.
  1. ZAKARIA: Thank you very much, gentlemen.
  1. SIMPSON: Thank you.
  1. BOWLES: Thank you

2012 Election Poll-What are the Issues that really matter to you?

What are the 5 most Important Issues in the upcoming election to you and your family.

Created March 23, 2012

Compare the Results of the 2010 Election Poll to the Issues of today- Poll Results from 2010 Election Issues

2010 Election (created Oct 28, 2010)-What issues are most important to you and your family in the up-coming Election?

Answer Votes Percent
Health Insurance 20 21%
Jobs / Employment 17 18%
Government Spending 17 18%
Republican 11 12%
Tea Party 9 9%
Ear Marks 5 5%
Democrat 5 5%
Other (see below) 4 4%
Green Legislation / Energy / Oil 3 3%
Lobbyist Activities 3 3%
Independant 1 1%
Climate Change 0 0%
Other Answer Votes
Social Security Benefit Legislation 1
pro-life 1
Life 1
eliminate Progressives 1

Help Support Renewable Energy in St Louis

Because, it’s healthier for the environment and people than pollution from power plants? Because a diverse energy portfolio protects ratepayers from steep rate hikes and fosters competition that keeps electric rates low? Or because installing solar panels and wind turbines creates good jobs that can’t be outsourced and will grow our economy?

Establishing a strong Renewable Energy Standard in Missouri will do all of the above, and more—but we need your help now collecting voter signatures to put this issue on the November ballot.

The deadline is in early May, so don’t wait! Please sign up to attend one of two trainings to collect signatures for this crucial ballot initiative.

Thursday, March 22, 6pm-7pm: Thornhill Branch St. Louis County Library, 12863 Willowyck Dr., Maryland Heights, MO 63146. (Off of Fee Fee Rd. between Olive and Bennington, across from Parkway North High School. We will be in either the main reading room or small conference room).

Tuesday, March 27, 7pm-8pm: Missouri Coalition for the Environment, 6267 Delmar Blvd, Suite 2E, University City, MO 63130 (in the Delmar Loop).

Be sure to RSVP so that we can have adequate materials on hand; call jill. Thanks!

Jill Miller
St. Louis Regional Organizer
Renew Missouri
(314) 359-4697
www.renewmo.org

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Web Site: http://stlouisrenewableenergy.com
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New Policy Brief- Middle Income Financing for Energy Efficiency

Increasing Middle America’s Access to Capital for Energy Improvements

While middle income Americans have historically invested in improvements that maintain and increase the value of their homes, they have seen an important source of financing – the equity in their properties – evaporate at the same time that their access to other loan products has been restricted.  A number of energy efficiency programs are deploying credit enhancements, novel underwriting criteria, and innovative financing tools to reduce risks for both financiers and borrowers in an effort to increase the availability of energy efficiency financing for middle income households.  While many of these programs are income-targeted, the challenges, opportunities, and emerging models for providing access to capital may apply more broadly across income groups in the residential sector.

Read the Brief  mi-policybrief-3-6-2012

Missouri’s Climate: News, Building Codes, Energy Costs, Carbon Data, Energy Sources, and more

  • Midwest has experienced rising average temperatures with the largest warming seen in the winter months.
  • The growing season has been extended by one week because of earlier last spring frosts and precipitation has become more frequent including increased instances of heavy downpours.
  • Since the 1980s, large heat waves have become more frequent than any time in the last century.
  • These effects of climate changeare predicted to continue, threatening the region’s economy, landscape, character, and quality of life.

    Seal of the United States Department of Energy.
    Image via Wikipedia

Missouri‘s Climate: News, Building Codes, Energy Costs, Carbon Data, Energy Sources, and more

02/17/12Scotty-Scotts Contracting, St Louis Renewable Energy

information supplied by: http://bcap-ocean.org/state-country/missouri

Climate Concerns

Regional Issues & State Action: 

  • Midwest has experienced rising average temperatures with the largest warming seen in the winter months.
  • The growing season has been extended by one week because of earlier last spring frosts and precipitation has become more frequent including increased instances of heavy downpours.
  • Since the 1980s, large heat waves have become more frequent than any time in the last century.
  • These effects of climate change are predicted to continue, threatening the region’s economy, landscape, character, and quality of life.

BCAP Estimated Energy Savings

  • If Missouri began implementing the 2009 IECC and Standard 90.1-2007 statewide in 2011, businesses and homeowners would save an estimated $99 million annually by 2020 and $200 million annually by 2030 in energy costs (assuming 2006 prices).
  • Additionally, implementing the latest model codes would help avoid about 31 trillion Btu of primary annual energy use by 2030 and annual emissions of more than 2.1 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030.
  • A 2010 BCAP analysis indicates that the weightedaverage incremental construction cost of upgrading to the 2009 IECC in Missouri would be $875.28 per home. On average, the annual energy savings per home would be $459.00, meaning the simple payback for homeowners would occur, on average, in 1.91 years.These estimates are conservative and represent the upper bound on incremental cost.

Missouri Minimum Energy Efficiency

Standards For State Buildings

Public Buildings

Intro/Brief: 

  • Since July 1, 2009, all new state-funded buildings must comply with Missouri Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard for Public Buildings, which is based on the 2006 IECC. 
  • During the summer of 2008, the state of Missouri passed a wide-ranging package of energy efficiency initiatives, including homeowner tax incentives and minimum energy standards for state buildings. Passed in the state legislature on May 29 and signed by then-Governor Matt Blunt on July 10, the bill (SB 1181) required the Department of Natural Resources to establish minimum energy efficiency standards for state buildings, based on the 2006 IECC. The Commissioner of the Office of Administration may exempt any state building from meeting the minimum energy efficiency standard requirement for safety reasons or when the cost of compliance is expected to exceed the energy cost savings.

Missouri has no mandatory or voluntary statewide energy code for private residential and commercial construction. 

  • Public Buildings Code: Based on the 2006 IECC.

TEXT: SB 1181 (2008)

Citation: SECTIONS 8.295 – 8.837 – STATE BUILDINGS

Application: Applies to all new and renovated state-owned construction.

Approximate Stringency: As stringent as the 2006 IECC.

Effective Date: July 1, 2009

Approved Compliance Tools: REScheck | COMcheck

Background: 

  • In response to legislation signed in 1993, for Energy Efficiency in State Facilities, a rule was finalized and published on January 26, 1996, with an effective date 30 days later that established “state building minimum efficiency standards.” The rule covered new state buildings (or portions), additions, substantial renovations, or existing buildings considered for lease (when over 10,000 sq. ft.) or acquisition by the state. ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989 was adopted by reference for buildings other than single-family and multi-family residential buildings not over three stories high. For single-family and multi-family residential buildings, the latest editions of the Council of American Building Officials Model Energy Code (MEC) or ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.2-1993 was applicable. New editions/revisions to these adopted standards would automatically be adopted by reference and become effective three months after the date of their publication. (10 CSR 140-7, Department of Natural Resources.) No statewide requirements existed for other buildings; local cities and jurisdictions adopt their own requirements.

Information last updated February 7, 2012

****

Based on: 

Mandatory

Date Passed: 

 Thursday, July 10, 2008

Date Effective: 

 Wednesday, July 1, 2009

 

History

  • Missouri has no mandatory or voluntary statewide energy code for private residential and commercial construction.
  • After the passage of SB 1181 in July 2008, all state-owned buildings must comply with Missouri Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard for Public Buildings, which is based on the 2006 IECC, beginning on July 1, 2009. The previous state-owned building code was based on ASHRAE 90.1-1989.
  • Due to its history of strong local government, Missouri does not have a mandatory statewide energy code. However, however all local jurisdictions except class III counties have the right to adopt an energy code. As expected, this system creates a sometimes confusing patchwork of different codes throughout the state. Seethis page or see below for more details on local adoption. 
  • Regardless of the system in place, the bottom line is that many jurisdictions in Missouri still don’t have an energy code—meaning that many residents do not receive the benefits of energy-efficient construction.
  • Missouri has considered adopting a state code previously. For example, SB 745, drafted by BCAP in 2010, would have adopted the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 statewide. It also would have directed DNR to establish an automatic review cycle, either every three years or within nine months of the publication of a new model code version. In addition, HB 938 in 2011 would have established most of the 2006 International Code series as minimum statewide construction standards (the 2006 IECC was not specifically cited, but would have been included via its position as an alternative compliance path to Chapter 11 of the 2006 International Residential Code). Both bills, however, failed to move past the committee stage. 
  • Local Adoption: For more, view the BCAP Missouri Gap Analysis Report, starting with pages 19-22.
  • All local jurisdictions except class III counties have the right to adopt an energy code. As expected, this system creates a sometimes confusing patchwork of different codes throughout the state.
  • It is typical for Missouri communities to adopt codes on a 6-year cycle rather than the 3-year code development cycle for ICC.  It is also typical for communities to follow the code adoption of surrounding communities. These adoption practices have developed two trends in Missouri; eastern Missouri communities are generally on the 2003 I-Codes and are moving/have moved to the 2009 I-Codes and western Missouri communities are generally on the 2006 I-Codes and are moving to the 2012 I-Codes.

 

Code Change Process: 

  • Legislative: In Missouri, only the General Assembly is authorized to enact legislation to establish statewide building construction regulations and/or authorize a state agency to do so. However, there currently is no state regulatory agency authorized to promulgate, adopt, or update construction codes on a statewide basis.

 

Code Change Cycle: 

Next Code Update: 

  • There is no pending state energy code update.

Basic Facts

Climate Zone: 

  • 4A, 5A  (zones based on DOE’s most recent zoning: zone numbers based on a spectrum, zone 1 represents very hot weather and zone 8 represents subarctic weather.  Letters indicate climate type, A-Humid, B-Dry, C-Marine)

Population: 

Construction Activity: 

  • New Housing Units Authorized by Permit:
    Total units: 13,273
    Number of Housing Units by Structure Type:
    1 unit: 7,777
    2 units: 654
    3 and 4 units: 854
    5 or more units: 3,988
    (2008, 
    Real Estate Center)

Projected Construction Rate: 

  • 7,782 dwelling units (-48% less than the previous year), maintaining an average value of $187,000  per dwelling unit.
    (2008, 
    Real Estate Center)

CO2 Emissions: 

  • 140.04 MMT CO2 (2007)

Energy Data

Primary Energy Source: 

  • Coal: 41% (2007, EIA)

Energy Consumption: 

  • Total Annual Energy Consumption of 1,964.1trillion Btu (2007, EIA)

Energy Expenditures: 

  • 23,341.8 Million Nominal Dollars (2007, EIA)

Energy Snapshot: 

  • 58% of the state’s natural gas supply is used for heating the home.Natural gas is the largest consumed source of energy for the state’s residential sector

    Residential use of natural gas in Missouri costs up to $12.97/thousand cu ft.

Source: EIA

Materials supplied by: http://bcap-ocean.org/state-country/missouri

Materials supplied by: http://bcap-ocean.org/state-country/missouri

It all starts with using your energy efficiently. Scotty
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Web Site: http://stlouisrenewableenergy.com
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g

Republicans Ax the Budget $61 Million

The Proposed cuts sound good in theory while actually doing more harm than good. (Using Simple Math anyone can see)

Did the proposed cuts enacted by the House in the wee hours make any one else sick?  If your are not sick yet your Health may soon suffer.

The newly elected Tea Party Republican Representatives lead the charge in Hand-Cuffing the EPA and their Pollution Control Measures.  The actions sound good in theory, but actually will create more harm than actual help.

Coal and Oil Industry backing the House Republicans cut the only Regulating Agency the Fossil Fuel Industries are forced to conform to The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

  • The Republicans Claim: “The People have Spoken” “we are acting in their best interest.”

Who are they kidding?  Here are Dirty Coal Figures that contradict the proposed cuts and show the proposed cuts only benefit the Fossil Fuel Industry and Contribute the Harmful GHG Emissions that are causing Climate Change and Global Warming.

  • coal’s costs in environmental and public health damage would triple the cost of coal-generated electricity …best estimates of costs from coal’s annual air pollution at $188 billion and costs from its contributions to global warming at $62 billion ($250 Billion Dollars Combined) (quote)

Using Simple Math anyone can see:

  • $61 Billion Cut from Budget – $250 billion Coal Pollution Costs = nets a negative$189 Billion in Pollution Costs from Coal.

The Proposed cuts sound good in theory while actually doing more harm than good. With Leadership like this it is no wonder why the US Budget is out of control.  When enacted programs net a negative numbers.  Who in their correct mind frame would continue to enact programs that do more harm than good?  It’s not hard to figure out that steps should be made to correct the Actions to create a

positive cash flow.

There are better ways to Balance an “Out of Control” Federal Spending Budget.

I suggest that future budget cuts should be made starting with the Politicians Salaries.

It seem that they want the Constituents to live on less.

I think turn-a-round is fair play – Ax and Cut the Elected Leaders Salaries.  The majority of them are responsible for the mess we are in now anyway. Scotty 2/20/11

-Find Your Representatives-Republican or Democrat, and Let Your Voice BE HEARD! Active Participation is Suggested TellMyPolitician

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