Efficiency Vermont,Maple Center Motors, a family-owned business that sells used vehicles in St. Johnsbury, is one of numerous Vermont businesses improving its bottom line and the quality of light in its workspace by switching out inefficient T-12 fluorescent lighting technology and installing energy-efficient lighting through ‘newLIGHT,’ a limited-time program offering increased lighting rebates through Efficiency Vermont. The program was created to help Vermont businesses prepare for a new mandate from the US Department of Energy that will phase out T-12 fluorescent lamps by mid-2012.Working with a lighting contractor or distributor, Vermont businesses can take advantage of newLIGHT rebates that will cover 50-90 percent of equipment costs. In turn, businesses can save up to 25-50 percent on their lighting energy bills through the program, and avoid having to upgrade when replacement T12 lamps become difficult to purchase after the phase out.Maple Center Motors was keen to make a change after manager Kevin Sanborn spoke with Jeremy Roberts, a contractor with St. Johnsbury-based S&J Roberts Electric Inc. Roberts knew that the auto dealership used T-12s for lighting. After evaluating the lighting quality benefits and determining the energy savings Maple Center Motors could achieve with an upgrade, Roberts worked with Andy Gagnon, manager at CED Twin State Electric Supply, to supply the new equipment.Working with S&J Roberts Electric Inc. and CED Twin State, Maple Center Motors upgraded the lighting in its showroom, offices, and mechanics’ shop from T-12s to more efficient High Performance T-8s (HPT-8s). HPT-8s are significantly more efficient than T-12s, so switching out can lower a business’ energy use. The lighting quality from HPT-8s is also superior to that of T-12s.When the lighting upgrade was completed in mid-May, Sanborn immediately noticed a striking difference in the quality of light in the auto shop. ‘We knew we made the best choice for our business when our technicians reported the superior quality of light in the mechanics’ bay,’ Sanborn said. ‘The lighting creates a safer work environment and provides greater visibility for our employees.’‘Efficiency Vermont’s newLIGHT program helps Vermont businesses as they make this important switch,’ said Roberts of S&J Roberts Electric Inc. ‘The increased financial rebates make it both a smart and cost-effective option for businesses, like Maple Center Motors, who want to upgrade and save now.’The benefits of newLIGHT extend beyond the business itself ‘ local contractors are experiencing an uptick in their business. Gagnon notes that CED Twin State has initiated a dozen projects with Efficiency Vermont to date. In turn, 46 Northeast Kingdom area businesses are taking advantage of the increased incentives, in addition to more than 200 other projects statewide. As an added incentive, Efficiency Vermont is offering contractors $200 for each newLIGHT project they complete with a Vermont business, with additional rewards available for 5, 15, and 25 completed projects.‘The newLIGHT program creates affordable opportunities for local businesses to prepare for the new federal mandate while increasing energy savings, enhancing the comfort of employees and customers, and reducing their environmental impact today,’ said Kris Hatfield, project manager at Efficiency Vermont. ‘We encourage business owners to take advantage of the increased rebates before the offer expires at the end of the year.’Business owners interested in newLIGHT can work with a contractor, distributor, or other lighting professional to determine if their proposed efficiency upgrades qualify for the increased rebates. The limited-time offer ends December 31, 2010.Source: Efficiency Vermont. August 30, 2010 ‘ St. Johnsbury, VT ‘To learn more, please call your local lighting professional, visit Efficiency Vermont online at www.efficiencyvermont.org/newlight(link is external) or call customer support at 888-921-5990.Efficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and protect Vermont’s environment. Efficiency Vermont is currently operated by Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), an independent organization under contract to the Vermont Public Service Board. VEIC is a Vermont-based nonprofit organization founded in 1986. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com(link is external).###
By Geraldine Cook/Diálogo July 07, 2017 Central American leaders are looking for specific solutions to eradicate transnational security threats in the Americas. How to confront them? How to set up ‘good networks’? What strategies and mechanisms are needed to fight them? These were some of the questions posed at the Central American Regional Seminar on Countering Transregional-Transnational Threat Networks (T3N), held from June 20th to 22nd in Antigua, Guatemala. Organized by the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the seminar was attended by more than 80 military and security professionals from Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama.Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and the United States attended as observer nations. “We are facing traditional and nontraditional security threats,” said Major General Williams Mansilla Fernández, the Guatemalan minister of Defense, during the opening ceremony. “We have attacks on our cyber security, corruption, money laundering, natural disasters, terrorism, transnational organized crime, gangs, drugs, illegal arms trafficking, and their related problems.” Cyber attacks and the convergence between terrorism and transnational organized crime were analyzed in the dissertations by experts in the field. The agenda also included interagency and regional cooperation, the fostering of inclusiveness in security, and the policies needed to neutralize these security problems. “Without development, there is no security, and without security, there is no development,” Maj. Gen. Mansilla said as he welcomed the 11 nations participating in the seminar. He emphasized that development and security must both be linked to national and regional strategies so that ‘evil networks’ can be destroyed. “Not one country has all the resources necessary to degrade the [threat] networks; the networks are too powerful,” said U.S. Army Lieutenant General Joseph P. DiSalvo, the U.S. Southern Command military deputy commander. “Therefore we have to work together to attack them, one bite at a time. It’s a big elephant out there. You can’t do it all in one effort, you have to get some pieces of the network with the regional approach and eventually you will degrade the network.” The leaders of allied nations in Central America understand that they need allies to defeat the T3Ns. “[We must] study the lessons learned on how other countries confront these threats,” said Dominican Navy Captain Bienvenido Maite, the director of Doctrine and Planning for the Dominican Navy. Those lessons offer them perspectives on how to face their struggle against T3Ns domestically, he explained. Drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal immigration, and civilian crime are the most widespread security issues on that Caribbean island. Common scourges T3Ns impacts the nations of Central America’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), participants said. “We have to balance our measures for countering these security threats in our region,” said Honduran Army Colonel José Ramón Munguía Díaz, the academic vice president of the Defense University of Honduras. The Northern Triangle, Col. Munguía indicated, is considered ‘the death triangle’ due to the number of homicides it generates. From 2004 to 2016, nearly 200,000 deaths were recorded in the region. “I’m coming away with some new ideas, a new perspective on what this operational environment is like and how the fight must be waged in the multinational context,” he added. “Being that organized crime is of a transnational nature, the fight against it must also be transnational,” said Guatemalan Air Force Brigadier General Jorge Roberto Ruíz Serovic, the deputy minister of Defense and Planning Policy for the Ministry of Defense. “The budgets that transnational crime has are quite large and often exceed the budgets of the countries themselves,” he added. Brig. Gen. Ruíz indicated, moreover, that his country has several bilateral agreements with the nations of the region for jointly confronting T3Ns. “This allows us to exchange information, training, and mutual aid. Some of us are strong in certain aspects and weak in others, and that’s how we complement each other.” El Salvador has also joined the regional effort against crime. “Criminal organizations are continually changing their modus operandi,” said Salvadoran Army Colonel Raúl Israel Tolentino Sánchez, the chief of staff executive officer of the Special Forces Command. One of the strategies that his country developed for combating T3Ns was the creation of task forces, he said. “We have to come together and make coordinated efforts to develop new strategies for overcoming the enemy,” he said. His call to fight T3Ns was most timely. “It means creating a single regional bloc to combat transnational crime.” New threats “We’re worried about terrorism,” said Belize Defense Force Major Roberto Beltrán, second in command of the Support and Services Battalion. “We know the situation in the Caribbean regarding ‘foreign fighters’ who are coming back from the Middle East. They can get to Belize with their Caribbean passports. Maj. Beltrán underscored Belize’s regional cooperation, in particular, the work they are doing with Mexico. “Mexico is a great ally with which we exchange information and conduct cross-border operations.” Nor has Panama escaped the criminal activities of T3Ns. “Panama is an attractive place for transnational organized crime to penetrate,” said the Panamanian National Police Major Joel Hurtado an advisor to the Technical Secretariat at the Ministry of Public Safety. Consolidating new networks that might share intelligence and information was one of the benefits yielded from the seminar, he said, since T3Ns “has no borders.” Maj. Hurtado called on entities responsible for law enforcement to maintain “communication, cooperation, and the exchange of information,” as these are tools that allow them to more efficiently fight the enemy. After three days of discussions, participants concluded that they will be able to defeat T3Ns only through regional cooperation. “We have to take advantage of the synergy we have with trust and cooperation between our organizations in combating T3Ns,” said Maj. Gen. Mansilla during the closing ceremony. Likewise, he invited participants to confront these threats together and to make maximum use of their institutional resources. “[We must] work in a united way in good networks,” he concluded.
The Austrian pension fund federation (FVPK) has proposed a new long-term savings account for payments related to overtime and unused holiday, as it pushes to expand pension coverage through inclusion in a greater number of collective bargaining agreements.Andreas Zakostelsky, the federation’s chairman, backed the introduction of a new type of savings vehicle, a flexible benefit long-term account to be managed “by a professional third party”.According to the chairman, the FVPK wishes to hold talks with social partners about creating the new account structure. Zakostelsky proposed its income would be drawn from overtime pay, bonuses or the cash equivalent of unused leave.He added that the assets could then be invested and later used for sabbaticals, personal care or supplementary retirement. “This is just an idea we want to present, and we think it will start an interesting discussion – all of it has to be voluntary of course,” said Zakostelsky. Eventually, such a model would require changes to Austrian social and labour legislation, as well as supervisory guidelines.Zakostelsky also said FVPK was in talks with social partners to convince them to include pension fund arrangements in their new collective barganing agreements, most of which are up for negotiation this autumn.Currently 69 out of the 859 collective bargaining agreements setting remuneration standards for various sectors signpost the use of Pensionskassen as way for companies to provide retirement benefits.Zakostelsky said he was convinced collective bargaining agreements would provide the leverage to achieve the FVPK’s goal of doubling the number of Austrians saving into a Pensionskasse.Currently around 23% of all Austrian workers and employees are accruing assets in a Pensionskasse or are already drawing down their supplementary occupational pension.The chairman also took issue with the European Central Bank’s (ECB) current monetary policy, saying it was “questionable” to keep up a low interest rate policy over such a long period to “desperately try and keep the price of a commodity at zero”.“The EU’s low interest rate policy is borderline irresponsible and relatively absurd as we do not really see the effects we hoped for, like kickstarting the economy.”In an unusually critical statement, he also said the ECB’s measures led to “systematic redistribution – not to say expropriation” and were “keeping the middle-income segments from increasing their assets via compound interest effects or indeed any interest rate effects”.The German association of company pension funds previously expressed similar criticism in 2014 and two months ago a representative of the Austrian insurance industry said pension providers were regarded as “collateral damage” of the ECB’s policy. However, Zakostelsky stressed institutional investors such as Pensionskassen were still able to generate some return in the current environment if employing the right risk management.For the first half of 2016, Austrian Pensionskassen only managed an average performance of 0.22%.However, Zakostelsky pointed out over the last three years of low-interest rates the annualised average return stood at 4.14%, and 5.93% over the last five years.
Submit StumbleUpon Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 Share Related Articles Four Spanish licensed incumbents have had specific licensee provisions withdrawn ‘for inactivity’ sanctioned by gambling regulatory authority the DGOJ.This October, the DGOJ undertook a review of operators’ current market status, which forced the regulator to terminate specific licensee provision attached to Unidad Editorial Juegos, Beatya Entertainment, Paf Consulting ABP and Winamax Espana.Publishing its judgement, the DGOJ details that it has withdrawn the horseracing wagering remits of ‘Editorial Juegos’ – the operating company of MarcaApuestas.com, the online sportsbook domain of leading Spanish sports newspaper Marca.Meanwhile, Åland Islands operator Paf, who has operated in the Spanish online gambling market since 2012, has seen its online bingo B2C licence terminated for failure to activate its product.Of notable surprise, the DGOJ has withdrawn the B2C sports betting licence of French online gambling incumbent Winamax, who will now serve the Spanish market solely as an online poker operator.This summer, Winamax announced its first La Liga football partnerships with newly-promoted Granada CF (currently third in La Liga), in which the French operator detailed that it would advertise both its online poker and sports betting services.Winamax maintains the majority of its Spanish market presence as lead online poker partner for Marca, organising the sports publishers ‘Marca Poker’ national tour.DGOJ’s final sanction relates to Beatya Entertainment, operating subsidiary of online casino StarVegas.es which has seen its licensing provisions for Punto y Banca table games axed. Share Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Andrea Vota – Jdigital’s challenge of Spanish restrictions is led by logic and rationale August 13, 2020