WERS Program Featured on Green Gab Podcast

Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition and Chair of the WERS Development Group, sat down with Marla and Tony, co-hosts of the Green Gab podcast, a few months ago to discuss water efficiency. While they covered topics like drought, desalination and shrinking aquifers, they also discussed solutions like rainwater harvesting, ultra-high efficiency toilets and the importance of measurement with programs like WERS.

To listen to the recently released 42-minute podcast, please click here and enjoy it during your commute or workout.

First WERS Class Sold Out

SFCC logo

March 3, 2016 – Santa Fe Community College’s EnergySmart Academy has announced that the inaugural WERS training course, scheduled for March 8-10, has reached capacity. In fact, there are currently two students on the waitlist. Seeing this demand, SFCC anticipates another WERS training course later in 2016.

“Santa Fe Community College is delighted that our first WERS class has had so much interest, not just from Santa Fe but around the state and nation,” said Amanda Hatherly, Director of the EnergySmart Academy.

“We figured interest in the WERS class would be strong in New Mexico, where WERS is cited in the compliance rules for the state’s extremely popular sustainable building tax credit,” said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “Interestingly, one-third of the class attendees are from outside the state.”

Discussions are already underway to hold WERS training courses in Florida, Georgia and Illinois. “We believe there is a pent-up demand for water efficiency across the country, but it’s hard to know where to start if there are no benchmarks”, Collignon added. “The WERS program provides a snapshot of where we are, so we can better formulate a path to increased water efficiency.”

In addition to a soon-to-be-released online course component offered by SFCC, The Coalition will continue to work with SFCC and other educational partners to expand the number of in-person training opportunities across the United States. To request more information on an in-person course at SFCC, please contact Amanda Hatherly at 505-428-1805 or Amanda.hatherly@sfcc.edu.

About EnergySmart Academy
The EnergySmart Academy at Santa Fe Community College is a nationally recognized training center specializing in energy efficiency, green building and sustainable technology trainings. As well as offering Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) accredited clean energy programs, Building Performance Institute (BPI) and RESNET trainings, staff have been involved in the development of the WERS protocol and now are offering the first WERS training courses in the country. For more, visit www.sfcc.edu/nm_energysmart_academy.

New Mexico Allows WERS Program for Sustainable Building Tax Credit Compliance

February 24, 2016 – Since 2009, the state of New Mexico has offered a sustainable building tax credit to its builders. It has been a strong driver of sustainable homebuilding throughout the state. The program, operated by Build Green New Mexico, is both very popular and lucrative, with a maximum tax credit of $13,000 per house. So it was no surprise that the program ran out of money well ahead of schedule. When the state legislature was asked to extend the tax credit, state politicians stipulated that the water efficiency requirement be increased.

Starting on January 1, 2017, an “owner of a building in New Mexico that has been constructed, renovated or manufactured to be a sustainable residential building and that receives certification… may receive a certificate of eligibility for a new sustainable building tax credit”. When the owner files their documentation, they will be allowed to attach a WERS report to show compliance with the new water efficiency requirement. The WERS program joins Build Green New Mexico and LEED for Homes as compliance paths for water.

Kim Shanahan, Executive Officer of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, was a big proponent of WERS’ inclusion in the tax credit extension. “The original language in the legislation simply said a new home had to meet EPA WaterSense. But WaterSense only measures products and only few products at that. We knew we needed something that could account for all water usage, no matter the product labeling, and for both inside and outside the house. The WERS tool does exactly that,” Shanahan explained.

“The state’s decision to include the WERS program is a testament to how comprehensive and robust WERS is, and it really legitimizes the 2+ years of work the development group has put into WERS” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “We look forward to supporting all New Mexican homebuilders who choose to utilize this compliance path.” The inaugural WERS training course will take place March 8-10 at the Santa Fe Community College. To enroll in the class, please contact Amanda Hatherly.

Since February 2014, The Coalition has helped develop the WERS program for new and existing residential properties. It was first used in November 2015 to help a New Mexico homebuilder save significant time and money on his pursuit of a local building permit.

Evolve Technologies Joins WERS – Manufacturer Program

Evolve Technologies logo

February 16, 2016 – Improving showerhead efficiency and overall water conservation are two well-known strategies for addressing water supply issues. However, there’s a third strategy that Evolve Technologies is tackling head on: reducing behaviorally driven water waste without requiring behavior change. Their innovative ShowerStart Technology not only reduces water waste, but also enhances comfort and confidence while improving fixture quality and aesthetics.

According to a 2013 study by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), residents in the greater San Francisco Bay area generated between 1.7 and 4.9 gallons of behavioral waste per shower. (Behavioral waste is defined by the period of time a person continues to remain away from the shower after bathing temperature water has arrived.) To help curtail behavioral water waste, Evolve Technologies manufactures ShowerStart TSV and a complete line of luxury showerheads containing ShowerStart TSV that are extremely effective tools for effortlessly eliminating behavioral waste.

Due to the significant water savings enjoyed by the use of its products, Evolve Technologies is happy to support those seeking WERS certification through the WERS – Manufacturer Program. This new program offers discounts on products that conserve water, use water more efficiently and/or prevent water waste. Evolve is extending a 45% discount on their ShowerStart TSV products for those who use the code WERS45 in their online store.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the Green Builder® Coalition to innovatively reduce water use through the WERS program.  Water is an increasingly precious resource that must be preserved as much as it is enjoyed. Together we are enabling our communities to do both,” commented Evolve co-founder, Troy Sherman.

“Evolve Technologies is a company that goes to great lengths to help consumers save water in a comfortable and convenient way,” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “This partnership, and the WERS – Manufacturer Program as a whole, are going to provide a nice suite of benefits for those moving in a more water-efficient direction.” Discussions with other manufacturers are ongoing, with agreements and corresponding announcements anticipated in the near future. The Coalition continues to seek additional manufacturer partners. To join the program, please contact Mike Collignon.

Since February 2014, The Coalition has helped develop the WERS program for new and existing residential properties. It was first used in November 2015 to help a New Mexico homebuilder save significant time and money on his pursuit of a building permit.

About Evolve Technologies
Evolve Technologies develops innovations that helps homeowners Enjoy More and Use Less and is dedicated to delivering meaningful water and energy savings without asking people to make behavior changes or sacrifices. Its core technology, ShowerStart, conveniently saves the water and energy used while waiting for the shower to become warm. With ShowerStart, a small thermostatic shut-off valve (TSV) is all that’s needed to save the resources homeowners don’t even realize they’re wasting. Better still, conservation occurs without changing shower feel, flow or even their morning routines.