Submitted to Sumner Newscow â€” Sumner County Economic Development in coordination with Kansas Small Business Development Center, KanOkla, SKT, and SUTV will offer Googleâ€™s Get Your Business Online workshop series the week of March 25-28, 2014 at the Sumner County Economic Development Office, 123 N Jefferson, Wellington.Businesses with active websites as well as businesses that do not currently have websites are encouraged to take advantage of this weekâ€™s activities. Classes are free and will begin at 11:30 am. Lunch will be provided or attendees can bring their own. Google Workshops start at 12:00 noon and last approximately 2 hours. Hands-on assistance will be offered after each Google workshops.Google will broadcast live and local experts from our sponsors – KanOkla, SKT, and SUTV – will be available to assist you with the hands-on portion of the workshops.TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 – Build a free website and website best practices.WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2014 – Get online. Get on the map. Get help for your business.THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014 – Expand your online presence. Includes AdWords session. Valuable for businesses with existing websites or those creating new websites.FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014 – Measuring success with website analytics. Valuable for businesses with existing websites, or those creating new websites, that want to learn more about measuring online traffic.To register, call 620-326-8779 or email: [email protected] Please include contact name, phone number, email address, and if you will be bringing your own laptop or if you will need to have one provided.Class size is limited. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments
I’m fresh off of the road attending the US Department of Energy’s National Weatherization Training Conference in Indianapolis last week. This was my first trip to the Circle City, and I was pleasantly surprised. Clean, great architecture, nice bars, including an authentic 1897 German Rathskeller beer hall (I went there twice in three days).I was also surprised by the information presented at one of the conference sessions. Michael Blasnik of Blasnik & Associates in Boston facilitated a session called “How Not to Save Energy.” I was excited about the session because I had heard lots of colleagues talk about Blasnik’s research.Blasnik first explained his basic approach to energy efficiency data analysis: It’s easy to lie with statistics, but it’s a lot easier without statistics. So he reviews raw data, and lots of it. He analyzes information from as many homes as possible to get a realistic representation of performance without skews for occupant behavior. In the weatherization business, the savings-to-investment ratio (SIR) is a hugely important bit of datum. This is an indicator without units: the savings generated divided by the retrofit investment. If the SIR of an improvement is 1 or greater based on a 10-year payback period, it’s good. If the SIR is less than 1, then in some states weatherization assistance funds can be used for the percentage of the investment equivalent to the SIR ratio. For example, if a particular upgrade has a SIR of 2, then for every dollar invested in the upgrade, $2 is saved. If an upgrade has a SIR of .6, then DOE weatherization funds can pay for 60% of the strategy as long as the remainder of the funds are coming from somewhere else.Blasnik discussed a few trends in residential energy efficiency that make sense. Homes that use a lot of energy have the potential for the most savings. Big energy users equals big energy savers. Low energy users equals low energy savers. This relationship follows around a 15% trendline. To put it another way, average homeowners can save around 15% on energy bills with some simple weatherization techniques, no matter the size of the home and the energy usage. This goes for natural gas and electric baseloads.There are inaccuracies in what really saves energy and why homes that are weatherized aren’t saving as much as anticipated. Many times, occupant behavior gets the blame when it’s really that the wrong measures were taken to upfit the home. The data that Blasnik has seen over the years does not indicate that occupants altering thermostats is a significant reason behind lower-than-expected savings. The blame game also points the finger at people removing CFLs and low-flow showerheads, but Blasnik’s data shows that this only happens 25% of the time. Some folks blame lower savings on poor workmanship, but Blasnik again shows this to be false. Studies indicate that weatherization crews actually do a pretty good job with upgrades such as insulation installation.So what is the real culprit? According to Blasnik, the reasons are twofold: The algorithms that are used to calculate the savings are just bad, and this leads to some of the wrong strategies being employed to save energy. The algorithms, Blasnik argues, are outdated and underrepresent equipment efficiencies. He says that these calculations ignore basic physics, assume a high heating balance point, and underestimate heat regain from basements and attics.Bottom line, the algorithms used to calculate savings only measure the easily measured and implies that more sophisticated analysis is necessary to get to the root of the issue: What does/does not save real energy and real money?
Late last year, a precedent-setting property sale in Vermont became the first real estate transaction in the United States to use blockchain, portending a new era in the sale of land and improvements. Blockchain technology is an industry disrupter on the cusp of improving transactions across all sectors and borders. It is suggested that blockchain may do for the $217 trillion U.S. real estate market what the portable phone did for communications, and that may be an understatement. Blockchain will address high transaction costs, long time delays, and heterogeneity of real estate transaction types, accelerating the investment in real estate across sectors, the nation, and the globe.RELATED ARTICLESGiving Green Certification a Home in Real Estate ListingsTransforming the Real Estate MarketA Neighborhood Microgrid Takes Shape in Brooklyn Blockchain is a digitized, distributed ledger that records and shares information. It could enable the real estate industry to address many of its ineﬃciencies. Think of blockchain as the technology, or better yet the operating system, that supports Bitcoin, the digital currency launched in 2009. Cryptocurrency is only one of an untold number of applications for blockchain. In another high-profile application, Walmart just announced it is requiring suppliers of leafy green vegetables to upload growing and shipping data to blockchain by September 2019. There is no requirement that a cryptocurrency (Bitcoin or something else) be used in a blockchain transaction. Payment can be made by any ordinary means that the parties agree to. A highly regulated industry Real estate is a highly regulated industry and real estate transactions must be recorded in a government ledger to be recognized. There are more than 3,600 governmental jurisdictions in the United States alone where real estate deeds are filed. The vast majority are paper instruments filed with a court clerk. Documents are not easily accessible, except to a dinosaur industry of local courthouse title abstracters supported by a coterie of indemnity title insurance companies. There have been government studies and pilot programs, including the much-ballyhooed Cook County, Illinois, pilot that designed blockchain real estate conveyance software. But no actual transactions took place. Then Propy, a private company based in Palo Alto, California, announced that it had used blockchain for a property purchase on February 20, 2018 in Chittenden County, Vermont, a first in the U.S. I posted this blog last year when Propy announced the very first blockchain sale anywhere: the sale of an apartment in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2017. And on October 9, 2018, Propy announced it had used blockchain for a property purchase in Seville, Spain. State laws are being updated Laws will need to be changed across the U.S. and the globe to allow more than the old-fashioned register of deeds. Today, in most of the thousands of local jurisdictions in the U.S., the transfer of ownership of real estate is enforceable only when the deed is presented for recording among the land records in the courthouse. There is, of course, some risk that a patchwork of state laws may inhibit blockchain’s growth, so most states are adopting minimalist legislation demonstrating that the jurisdiction and its courts are blockchain-friendly. States have been actively making the necessary changes in law since 2016. Vermont that year enacted House Bill 868, now a model across the country, that provides for the enforcement of transactions using blockchain by providing a rebuttable presumption of admissibility of a blockchain-based digital record as a “business record” under Vermont’s rules of evidence. Here’s what the law says: “A digital record electronically registered in a blockchain, if accompanied by a declaration that meets the requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection [notarized], shall be considered a record of regularly conducted business activity pursuant to Vermont Rule of Evidence 803(6).” Similarly, in 2018, Ohio passed Senate Bill 200. It provides that “a record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record.” Electronic signatures secured through blockchain technology are considered to have the same legal standing as any other electronic signature. In 2017, Arizona went even further by enacting House Bill 2417, which recognizes blockchain signatures and smart contracts as electronic records. Lawmakers also adopted Senate Bill 1084, which requires governmental agencies to allow the use of electronic records or electronic signatures, including for the transfer of real estate. At least 25 other states have some blockchain authorizing law, as do Dubai, Israel, Canada, Sweden, and Ukraine. Look for blockchain in lease agreements This law firm has worked with clients in the outdoor sports apparel and agricultural sectors in matters of blockchain and we see the application in real estate. Interestingly, it may well be leasing that will elevate blockchain in the real estate marketplace ahead of deeds because most leasing transactions do not require involvement of a government registrar. Owners of green buildings, among some of the most progressive in the real estate industry, will all but certainly be at the forefront of this technological revolution. But all owners of commercial real estate risk becoming as outmoded as the buggy whip industry if they do not consider adopting blockchain technology. Stuart Kaplow is an attorney specializing in environmental law. This post originally appeared at his blog, Green Building Law Update.