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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Policy


Verifying Energy Efficiency Job Creation: Current Practices and Recommendations

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Sep. 2015, by Casey J. Bell, and others.

"Among the many benefits ascribed to energy efficiency is the fact that it can help create jobs. Although this is often used to motivate investments in efficiency programs, verifying job creation benefits is more complicated than it might seem at first. In this paper we identify some of the issues that we believe contribute to a lack of consistency in attempts to verify efficiency-related job creation. We then propose an analytically rigorous and tractable framework for program evaluators to use in future assessments."

Here are Some New Tools to Support Local Energy Efficiency

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Aug. 27, 2015, by Tyler Bailey.

"The Local Energy Efficiency Policy Calculator (LEEP-C) is a decision making tool for local policymaking. It estimates the impact select public and residential buildings policies have on energy savings, cost savings, pollution, and other outcomes. We have upgraded the original tool (v. 1.0, released in 2011) to include measures­ in the commercial building and transportation sector."

Why RECs Matter: The Case for Renewable Energy Credits

North American Windpower, July 2015, by Roger W. Rosendahl.

"RECs can be a meaningful incentive and a flexible facilitator of renewable portfolio standards."

NASEO Releases Working Paper on Least Cost, Energy Efficiency Approaches to Address EPA's Clean Power Plan

National Association of  State Energy Officials (NASEO), July 31, 2015.

"On July 31, 2015, NASEO released its working paper “Energy Efficiency Strategies for Clean Power Plan Compliance: Approaches and Selected Case Studies” to support state consideration of “no regrets” and often least-cost energy efficiency strategies for prospective Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance.  While NASEO has not taken a position on the CPP, we are working to ensure states are given wide flexibility in addressing key reliability, affordability, and other state imperatives. Energy efficiency approaches offer among the most cost-effective means to meet both air quality and energy goals, while also supporting energy system reliability.

The NASEO paper discusses the case for energy efficiency and explores some high-level issues of state compliance strategy

Clean Power Plan Toolbox for States

Environmental Protection Agency, Aug. 4, 2015.

"Resources to help develop state plans: As co-regulators, states will develop plans to meet the guidelines in the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The federal resources below provide information on state plan development and can help states determine the most cost-effective approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. Please note that inclusion of a measure in the toolbox does not mean that a state plan must include that measure. In addition, inclusion of these measures does not necessarily imply the approvability of an approach or method for use in a state plan. States will need to demonstrate that any measure included in a state plan meets all relevant criteria and adequately addresses elements of the plan components."

EPA Releases Clean Power Plan

The National Law Review, Aug. 4, 2015., by Stephen L. Miller, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC.

"On August 3, 2015, President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy released the agency’s Clean Power Plan, regulations designed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from power plants, as well as promoting low-emitting power sources and energy efficiency. These sweeping new rules may revolutionize the nation’s power generation system, and will be challenged vigorously in federal court."

Includes links to the Plan, as well as other related fact sheets and key documents.

Competitiveness of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in U.S. Markets

Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEE), June 2015.

"Questions have been raised about whether renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) resources can provide substantial emission reductions at reasonable cost under EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP). These concerns reflect fundamental misperceptions about the performance and cost of today’s renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, rooted in outdated information and perpetuated by inaccurate official market projections. This paper shows that RE and EE are competitive resources in today’s marketplace that will not only be cost-effective mechanisms for CPP compliance but should also be expected to grow strictly on the basis of competitiveness."

Which Energy Efficiency Policies Saved the Most Last Year?

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), July 29, 2015, by Steven Nadel.

"We are periodically asked how much different policies have saved and which policies have had the largest impact. In our recent report on energy efficiency progress over the past 35 years, we reviewed many current energy savings estimates and projections. Here I wanted to summarize which policies appear to be saving the most energy today, looking at estimated energy savings in calendar year 2014. Our estimates are summarized in the table below."

Guest Commentary: Microgrids: An Integrated Power Solution for Business

Business Energy, May 2015, by Michael J. Zimmer.{}

"North America continues to be a hotbed for microgrid development. Green Energy Corp., a US builder of commercial-scale microgrids, recently estimated that 24,000 US commercial and industrial sites could be developed with large-scale microgrid conversions."

How to Make the Utility of the Future an Energy-Efficient One: New ACEEE Report Series

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), June 10, 2015, by Maggie Molina. "Utilities have traditionally earned profits by simply selling more energy and building more power plants and infrastructure, which put their financial motivations squarely at odds with the goal of greater energy efficiency. Luckily, that business model has started to change, which is good news for the nation’s economy, environment, and for consumers who want more options for saving energy in their homes and businesses. With the proper regulatory tools in place, utilities’ financial motivations can be aligned with energy efficiency outcomes. ACEEE has been researching this issue for years, and today we are releasing a series of three new reports on a range of topics related to utility business models and energy efficiency." 1) Policies Matter: Creating a Foundation for an Energy-Efficient Utility of the Future 2) Beyond Carrots for Utilities: A Nat ... Read the rest of entry »
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