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CertainTeed boosts Philly green project

BY Ken Clark

Valley Forge, Pa.-based CertainTeed Building Products donated to a project set to be YouthBuild Philadelphia’s first LEED Platinum-certified housing rehabilitation.

The recent rehabilitation of 4620 Greene Street benefited from CertainTeed insulation, gypsum, roofing, siding, fence and railing products — all of which contributed to the lofty certification.

“We’re proud to partner with YouthBuild in its mission to develop the next generation of green building professionals by pairing them with CertainTeed’s building science experts and providing them with some of the industry’s most cutting-edge building products,” said Eric Nilsson, VP corporate marketing for CertainTeed. “By seeing how each system, from insulation and gypsum drywall to roofing to siding, worked together and contributed to the overall sustainability and comfort of the Greene Street home, these students walked away with valuable knowledge and experience that will help them pursue careers in the green building industry.” 

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Clean Heat applauds executive order

BY Ken Clark

The U.S. Clean Heat & Power Association (U.S. CHP Association) today praised the Obama Administration for an Executive Order, "Accelerating Investment in Industrial Energy Efficiency," which calls for a national combined heat and power deployment goal of an additional 40GW by 2020.

Currently supplying 12% of U.S. energy capacity, CHP systems can reach efficiencies above 80%. There is approximately 82 GW of CHP installed in the United States, and industry estimates indicate the technical potential for additional CHP at existing sites in the United States is approximately 130 GW (plus an additional 10 GW of waste heat recovery CHP).

Investments in industrial energy efficiency, including combined heat and power, offer significant benefits to manufacturers, utilities and communities across the country, including:

Improving U.S. manufacturing competitiveness: By accelerating these investments, manufacturers could save at least $100 billion in energy costs over the next decade;

Creating jobs now through investments upgrading our manufacturing facilities: Meeting the President’s goal of 40 GW of new CHP over the next decade would mean $40 to $80 billion of new capital investment in American manufacturing facilities. Most of these efficient technologies are made right here in the United States;

Offering a low-cost approach to new electricity generation capacity to meet current and future demand:  Investments in IEE, including CHP, cost as much as 50% less than traditional forms of delivered new baseload power; and

Significantly lowering emissions: Improved efficiency can meaningfully reduce nationwide GHG emissions and other criteria pollutants.

USCHPA executive director, Jessica Bridges, said: "CHP technology can be deployed quickly, cost-effectively and with few geographic restrictions. Establishing this national goal toward greater CHP deployment will significantly advance cleaner energy generation in the U.S., benefit the environment, and help create much-needed manufacturing and industrial jobs. I applaud the White House for its efforts to support clean power generation through CHP and pledge the combined heat and power industry’s support to help achieve this goal."

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Use of monetary incentives to promote wellness grows

BY SHRM online staff

U.S. employers increasingly rely on incentives to drive participation in health programs and to encourage employees and their families to take better care of themselves, according to survey findings from Aon Hewitt.

The HR consultancy’s 2012 Health Care Survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. employers (representing over 20 million U.S. employees and their dependents) found that 84% offered employees incentives for participating in a health risk questionnaire, and almost two-thirds (64%) offered an incentive for participation in biometric screenings.

Participation-based incentives

The use of monetary incentives to promote program participation increased dramatically over the past year. In 2012:

• 59% of employers used monetary incentives to promote participation in wellness and health improvement programs, up from 37% in 2011.

• 54% of employers used monetary incentives to promote participation in disease/condition management programs, almost triple the 17% that did so in 2011.

Outcome-based incentives

Moreover, a growing number of employers are linking incentives to a result instead of participation in a program. Of companies that offer incentives or impose consequences in 2012:

• 58% offered some form of incentive for completing lifestyle modification programs, such as quitting smoking or losing weight.

• About a quarter offer incentives for progress or attainment made toward meeting acceptable ranges for biometric measures such as blood pressure, body mass index, blood sugar and cholesterol.

“Incentives solely tied to participation tend to become entitlement programs, with employees expecting to be rewarded without any sense of accountability for better health. To truly impact employee behavior change, more organizations realize they need to closely tie rewards to outcomes and better results,” Jim Winkler, Aon Hewitt’s chief innovation officer for health and benefits, told the press.

Despite increased employer interest in tying incentives to results, the survey showed room for improvement. For instance:

• More than 80% of employers provide an incentive to complete a health questionnaire, yet less than 10% provide an incentive to address the results of the questionnaire.

• More than 60% of employers provide an incentive to complete biometric screening, but less than 10% provide an incentive to take any action.

Have HR-related questions and concerns? Get access to essential forms, policies and guides, plus a live call center, at ToolkitHR.com, powered by HCN and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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