On Jan. 1, Energy Star will enact new Tier 2 requirements for central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps. Split systems must have a minimum 14.5 SEER, 12 EER, and 8.2 HSPF to qualify.

Single-package equipment must have a minimum 14 SEER, 11 EER, and 8 HSPF. …Portland, Ore., San Francisco, and Seattle top this year’s list of America’s greenest big cities, according to sustainlane.com. …A study by Yankelovich indicates that fewer consumers are willing to pay more for green products than last year, despite the fact that they are more concerned about the environment.

The group also said that, surprisingly, increased concern over the economy did not reduce levels of environmental concern. …A study by insulation manufacturer Icynene indicated that 91% of American homeowners agree it’s important to reduce their impact on the environment, yet only 11% say they’re “doing a lot” to help reduce greenhouse gases, and only 12% are willing to spend more money to make their homes more environmentally friendly without payback guarantees.