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Off the grid: Developers eye “virtual power plants” for properties

first_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Rendering of Sonnen’s ecoLinx home battery (Sonnen)A growing number of developers in the U.S. are investing in integrated solar power and battery systems for their buildings.Advances in energy storage technology and falling prices for batteries mean these “virtual power plants” are becoming viable for a variety of buildings and uses, according to the New York Times. The technology would also create more energy independence, coming at a time when severe weather — like last month’s deep freeze in Texas that cut power to millions — has wreaked havoc on residents.Developer Wasatch Group installed storage batteries in each of its 600 units at the firm’s “net zero” Soleil Lofts project in Herriman, Utah. The systems store energy created by solar arrays on the property, making the complex one of the better examples of using integrated power.ADVERTISEMENTCollectively they can provide 12.6 megawatt hours of backup power for the building, and currently offset the costs of powering common areas, according to the report. Wasatch also signed a deal with Rocky Mountain Power that allows the energy company to tap the batteries at Soleil Lofts for power. Residents save around 30 to 40 percent on their energy bills, the Times noted, citing Wasatch.Other developers are also exploring storage systems. Meritage Homes has demonstration projects across the U.S. to explore green tech. Related Companies installed a 4.8-megawatt battery at the Gateway Center retail complex in Brooklyn that’s used by energy company Enel X.In New York City over the last few years, there have been several thousand solar panel installations in Brooklyn alone.Some governments have pushed for more energy storage projects. In 2019, New York State created up to $55 million in incentives for commercial and residential storage projects on Long Island.[NYT] — Dennis Lynch Tags Share via Shortlink Climate ChangeHousing MarketResidential Real Estatelast_img read more

N.J. Warns Students on Dangers of Vaping

first_imgThe Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is launching a media campaign to warn students in 3,500 schools throughout the state about the dangers of vaping. There’s nothing safe about vaping.That’s the message the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) will be sharing with youth as they return from holiday break this week. PDFNJ, in collaboration with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, has unveiled a media campaign about the dangers of vaping that will be distributed to each of the more than 3,500 schools in the state.The new campaign is being released in the midst of a nationwide explosion of teen use of vaping devices or e-cigarettes, which the United States Surgeon General declared has reached epidemic levels.“Vaping can inflict significant damage to one’s health, especially for youth,” Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Executive Director Angelo Valente said. “We want teens throughout the state to know the risks they are taking if they choose to use e-cigarettes and to encourage them to avoid using these potentially dangerous products.”The campaign, which emphasizes the risks associated with vaping by comparing e-cigarette use to skydiving without a parachute, also will appear on billboards, trains and buses throughout the state. The messages include a pathway to gather additional information at VapeFactsNJ.com, the New Jersey Department of Health’s website on e-cigarettes and vaping.“The popularity of e-cigs and vapes among youth threatens to reverse hard-fought declines in adolescent smoking and create a new generation of nicotine addicts,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “We must raise public awareness about the dangers of vaping to prevent another deadly addiction epidemic from taking root in our communities.”Authorities warn that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which makes vaping devices just as addictive as regular cigarettes. (Courtesy of VapeFactsNJ.com)Vaping is considered less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes and tobacco products, because e-cigarettes contain fewer toxic chemicals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, like regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and makes vaping devices just as addictive as cigarettes.Nicotine raises blood pressure and spikes adrenaline, which increases a person’s heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack. Nicotine affects the development of adolescent brains by changing the way synapses are formed, which can negatively change parts of the brain that control attention and learning, according to the Surgeon General. Recent data also links vaping to chronic lung disease and asthma.As of December 27, 2019, the CDC reported that 2,561 people throughout the United States had been hospitalized with severe lung injuries caused by vaping. This outbreak also was responsible for 55 deaths. In New Jersey, there have been 53 confirmed and 46 probable cases of vaping-related illness and one death, according to the Department of Health.In 2019, more than one in four high school students reported using an e-cigarette in the previous 30 days, according to preliminary results from the CDC’s annual National Youth Tobacco Survey.The results indicated a significant increase in teen vaping, up from 20.8 percent of high schoolers in 2018 to 27.5 percent in 2019. The use of e-cigarettes has exploded in the past decade, especially among teens. In 2011, just 1.5 percent of high school students said they used an e-cigarette.last_img read more

The importance of the closing statement

first_imgBank and credit union training programs tend to spend a lot of time talking about the introduction between a consumer and a staff member. This makes sense, as first impressions are vital. However, the way a staff member concludes the consumer interaction is just as important. After all, this is a critical marketing touch-point and potentially the last thing the consumer will hear from his or her financial institution.One of the more famous retail closing statements comes from Chick-fil-A. As part of their branded experience, every employee is trained to use the phrase “my pleasure” whenever a customer says “thank you” or otherwise expresses a need or desire. This phrase has become such a ubiquitous part of the Chick-fil-A culture that some customers, so used to hearing “my pleasure,” will actually ask an employee “aren’t you supposed to say something now?” if that employee fails to follow the brand script.Banks and credit unions should pay similar amounts of attention to the closing statements used by their staff when interacting with consumers. Financial institutions primed for success typically map out the consumer interaction process, complete with scripting to guide employees through both the verbal and nonverbal interaction that comes with every consumer encounter. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more