Is wind power reaching a tipping point?

If utilities and policymakers heed the findings of two recent reports from grid managers and planners, the next two decades will look a lot like 2012 — with wind and other renewables continuing to outpace new fossil-fuel generation.

Illinois builders, inspectors adapt to strict new energy code

For most of last year, homebuilders waged a pitched–and ultimately, losing–battle in Illinois against a new state building code that’s one of the most energy-efficient in the nation. The new code went into effect on January 1, creating headaches for some home builders, but also opportunities for others in the construction sector. Building codes are state or local rules that provide technical standards about how builders should construct new buildings. By tightening requirements for insulation, window and door construction, and the like, new buildings can be sealed better than older buildings, which reduces the energy required to heat and cool them. Every three years the International Code Council publishes a new version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).