Energy Publications

Below is a list of our reports related to energy and energy efficiency, in descending order by year published. Explore other topics here and all High Road Strategy Center reports here.

  • This guide examines the case for addressing climate risk in investments, examine potential solutions and ways to implement them, and explore how reinvestments can create good jobs. This is specifically aimed at local governments, though the strategies and approaches have been proven effective in other sectors.

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  • Wisconsin has a current energy spending deficit of $14.4 billion ($14.4 billion in expenditures leaves the state annually). With no substantial in-state fossil fuel resources, reliance on fossil fuels is hurting the Wisconsin economy. Transitioning to in-state energy resources would bring dollars and jobs back to the state of Wisconsin and provide a win-win-win strategy for economic growth, social well-being, and environmental protection. This report was prepared for the Office of Sustainability, La Crosse County, Wisconsin.

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  • This report is one of several designed to help Government/Municipal, University, School and Hospital (M.U.S.H.) entities implement energy efficiency upgrades of their building stock. For a comprehensive look at the sector, see Making M.U.S.H. Energy Efficient.

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  • Cleveland, J. Opportunities to Advance the Building Energy Efficiency Market in the Health Care Sector. COWS and Innovation Network for Communities, 2013.

    This report presents recommendations on potential high impact philanthropic investments to advance deep building energy efficiency improvements at scale within the healthcare sector. It is one of five reports being developed for a coalition of six philanthropies that are collaborating to see what they – and others – might do to rapidly increase and scale the energy efficiency retrofit market for buildings in the United States. These philanthropies are the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Energy Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Living Cities, MacArthur Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation. The other sectors for which market development strategies are being developed include: commercial office, commercial retail, single-family residential, and multifamily residential.

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  • The health, wealth, infrastructure and ability to maintain basic services of cities will increasingly be degraded as our planet warms and our weather worsens. Yet local governments are currently sharing in the profits made by the fossil fuel industry – investing in the very companies that are directly responsible for this threat. The Mayors Innovation Project, a COWS project, is working to support the local government fossil fuel divestment movement. Building on the example set by Mayor McGinn of Seattle, we’re working with cities to remove municipal funds from fossil fuel investments, and working with pension funds to do the same. Divestment can have a serious impact and send an important message, and this guide offers the tools to help you get started on a divestment campaign in your community.

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  • This study from the State Smart Transportation Initiative – a COWS project – seeks to make recommendations for improving current system operations and to point out directions that can help position DART to function as an integral part of the city’s and region’s transportation system. Wilmington functions as the hub of DART (Delaware’s bus system) in New Castle County, providing over 10 million passenger trips a year—including us and demand response paratransit. Thirty-eight of DART’s 60 routes serve Wilmington. Within the City of Wilmington, DART ridership continues to grow, resulting in bus congestion in the city’s central business district (CBD), particularly around and adjacent to Rodney Square. This success illustrates DCT’s role as an increasingly important part of the economic engine of the city. DCT contributes positively to the overall economic vibrancy of Wilmington through the movement of people, increased accessibility to the transportation system, improvements in air quality, and provision of access to jobs, medical care, and commercial centers. Document include Full Report and Executive Summary.

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  • Dresser, L., J. Rogers, and S. White. Greener Reality: Jobs, Skills, and Equity in a Cleaner U.S. Economy. COWS, 2012.

    Greener Reality takes stock of the green economy, looking at what works (and doesn’t) in related skill and credentialing initiatives and placing them in a broader context of human capital development, community resilience, and climate change. Defining equity, sustainability, and greater democratization as critical elements of a truly greener future, the paper considers the practical and political challenges to achieving these in the United States. This report builds on our earlier work in Greener Pathways and Greener Skills. Documents include Full Report and Executive Summary.

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  • Irwin, J., S. L. White, S. Rhodes-Conway, and J. Rogers. Making M.U.S.H. Energy Efficient. COWS, 2011.

    Retrofitting the nation’s public and institutional buildings for greater energy efficiency, financing these retrofits from the savings achieved, and requiring local-hire and job and advancement standards for those who do the work can provide the widespread high-road job creation needed in today’s economy. Publicly controlled buildings are an obvious place to focus for a number of reasons. This report discusses the financial structures that can be used, the barriers to doing this work, and the policies needed to overcome these barriers and create high-road jobs. The report is part of the Big Ideas for Job Creation in a Jobless Recovery project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and organized by the UC-Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Unemployment.

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  • Brown, M., D. Carey, A. Grodnik-Nagle, J. Irwin, and A. Nadav. Policies and Roles in Developing Energy Efficiency Finance Programs: Recommendations for RE-AMP. RE-AMP Energy Efficiency Finance Subgroup, 2011.

    Numerous barriers restrict the market for energy efficiency financing. The recommendations in this report suggest ways to reduce or eliminate these barriers in order to improve the function of the market.

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  • Grobe, T., K. O’Sullivan, S. T. Prouty, and S. White. A Green Career Pathways Framework: Postsecondary and Employment Success for Low-Income, Disconnected Youth. The Corps Network, 2011.

    This paper explores the extent to which this emerging green economy can offer a pathway out of poverty for low-income young people, many of whom have disengaged from school and are struggling to find a way into the economic mainstream. These disconnected youth — some six million strong — represent an untapped resource. Despite the fact that they have experienced difficulties in their personal lives or communities and may not have completed high school, many seek a second chance, returning to programs such as Service and Conservation Corps or other education and work initiatives in their local communities. The Corps Network and several partners — including COWS, Green For All, The Academy for Educational Development (AED), Workforce Strategy Center and Living Cities — guided the development of the paper with additional support from numerous stakeholders.

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