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February 2, 2012 • Emerging Technology, Energy Efficiency, Green Buildings, Sustainability

Here comes $4 billion in energy efficiency projects

by Jackie Cobb

Recently, President Obama announced a $4 billion effort to improve the energy efficiency of both government and private-sector buildings here in the U.S. The investment of $4 billion, to be spent on energy-efficiency projects over the next two years, intends to “save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.” continue

January 31, 2012 • Sustainability

New wave of investor pressure

by Jackie Cobb

In my last blog post, I talked about The Economist detailing a forecast for the energy industry in 2012. Well, it just so happens that the same “World in 2012” issue calls out the importance of water scarcity when it comes to business disclosure and investor scrutiny. continue

January 24, 2012 • Current Events, Perspectives

The world of energy in 2012

by Jackie Cobb

Recently, I came home to find the latest issue of The Economist in my mailbox. As it turns out, this issue was the special “World in 2012” edition, which focuses exclusively on trends to expect in the coming year. As I flipped through the articles profiling different political, economic and cultural trends by country and global region, I stopped on one detailing what’s to come in the energy industry. I found it interesting, and thought you might too. As such, here are the findings from The Economist (and my associated musings…): continue

December 27, 2011 • Electricity, Perspectives

Energy and the ease of doing business

by Jackie Cobb

Whether you’re a retailer needing to keep the lights on at hundreds of stores nationwide or an industrial company running intense machinery, energy is a mandatory resource for business. The fact that energy management companies like Summit Energy exist is, in and of itself, a testament to the basic, but important, role of energy. For nearly every business, keeping operations running requires electricity and/or natural gas.

The World Bank itself recently came to the same conclusion in its annual report, “Doing Business.” continue

September 12, 2011 • Current Events, Energy Efficiency, Green Buildings

A look at government spending

by Jackie Cobb

Given the recent debt crisis and the ensuing focus on government spending, I figured it would only be appropriate for the Summit Energy Watercooler blog to chime in on the topic as well.

While the debt ceiling debate finally yielded a compromise at the 11th hour, it has become clear that it certainly didn’t provide us with an end-all-be-all solution for the issue of US financial stability. (I’d argue there can’t be just one solution, but that’s for another post.) continue

June 1, 2011 • Perspectives

Post-Memorial Day musings on the history of energy

by Jackie Cobb

With Memorial Day 2011 only a few days behind us, I’m positive that there were about 307 million other Americans who took that inaugural trip to the neighborhood swimming pool and enjoyed a glorious three-day weekend. I’m also positive that I was the only one in America who, when reflecting upon US soldiers who have died in combat, started thinking about the intersection between US military history and the history of energy. (Working day in and day out with energy consultants rubs off on you.) So here it goes – a little something for you to consider in your post-Memorial Day musings. continue

April 14, 2011 • Energy Innovation, Perspectives, Sustainability

Bill Gates and BipBop

by Jackie Cobb

Last night, I was browsing one of my favorite websites, TED.com (if you haven’t been there, go now…run), and I stumbled upon a talk by Bill Gates about innovation in energy.  While the 30-minute speech was filled with all sorts of interesting and inspiring nuggets, there was one line that stuck with me: “If you could pick just one thing to lower the price of–to lower poverty–by far you would pick energy.” continue

February 18, 2011 • Electricity, Perspectives

Energy and the Global Poor

by Jackie Cobb

How much of your daily routine depends on energy? The house we own, the car we drive, the job we have, and the food we eat all rely on some sort of fuel or electricity. The foundation of most – if not all – economic and societal activity involves energy.

In short, energy fuels our world. Well, the developed world, anyway.

Over 1.4 billion people – 20% of the global population – have no access to electricity. In addition, more than 3 billion people strictly rely on solid fuels (like wood and animal waste) to meet their energy needs, at a tremendous cost to their health and economic productivity. continue

December 28, 2010 • Perspectives

Telling the Whole Truth about Sustainability

by Jackie Cobb

“Don’t greenwash.”

We’ve all heard it before. It’s a simple principle. Tell the truth about the sustainability efforts of your company. It’s something we were taught in kindergarten – don’t lie.

Recently, I’ve been seeing more and more examples of companies that not only abide by this foundational truism, but also take the principle one step further. They’ve committed to telling the whole truth – not just the best part of the truth – about their green projects and goals. To maintain credibility in the eyes of the market, it’s key to talk about both the wins and the losses. Here are a couple examples of companies taking it to the next level. continue

November 10, 2010 • Energy Efficiency, Energy Innovation, Sustainability

Einstein entrepreneurship.

by Jackie Cobb

Let’s start the day by playing a little word-association game.

When I say “Albert Einstein,” what comes to mind?

Let me guess. E=MC2? Quantum Physics? Photons? Or maybe Bad Hair Day?

Well, not me. When I think Einstein I think entrepreneurship. No, Einstein never started a multi-billion dollar company or landed on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine. But, when it came to invention and the practical application of creative thinking, Albert Einstein sure knew his stuff. continue

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