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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


PG&E’s Newly Proposed Efficiency Program Is Simple. But It’s Based on a Revolutionary Concept

Greentech Media, Apr. 7, 2016, by Matt Golden.

"In its proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), PG&E describes a residential pay-for-performance pilot that uses newly available and standardized energy and project data, combined with open-source standard methods to calculate savings, to enable a marketplace that pays for results measured at the meter, rather than upfront estimates."

Should we Promote Heat Pumps to Save Energy and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, May 4, 2016, by Steven Nadel.

"In order to examine which applications are good for obtaining cost-effective energy savings from heat pumps, ACEEE conducted a pair of analyses that we are releasing today. One addresses opportunities to replace electric resistance heat with heat pumps and the other addresses replacing gas furnaces with heat pumps."

Lifting the High Energy Burden in America’s Largest Cities: How Energy Efficiency Can Improve Low Income and Underserved Communities

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Apr. 20, 2016, by Ariel Drehobl and Lauren Ross.

"Energy burden is the percentage of household income spent on home energy bills. In this report we measure the energy burden of households in 48 of the largest American cities. We find that low-income, African-American, Latino, low-income multifamily, and renter households all spend a greater proportion of their income on utilities than the average family. We also identify energy efficiency as an underutilized strategy that can help reduce high energy burdens by as much as 30%. Given this potential, we describe policies and programs to ramp up energy efficiency investments in low-income and underserved communities."

Report: Energy Efficiency Still Less Expensive Than Building New Power Plants

Utility Dive, Apr. 5, 2016, by Robert Walton.

"No matter how you cut it, efficiency is cheaper than building a new power plant. That's the takeaway from a short paper on efficiency's costs put out by ACEEE. In it, the group indicates it has a forthcoming report which will peg the cost at 3.5 cents/kWh – less than half the cost used by the federal government, but slightly higher than other estimates."

How Utilities Can Boost Customer Savings by Marrying Efficiency and DR Programs

Utility Dive, Apr. 6, 2016, by Robert Walton.

"A new report from Navigant Research examines the global market for integrated demand-side management (IDSM), focusing on energy efficiency and demand response (DR) programs, with market forecasts for spending, through 2025."

Big Savers: Experiences and Recent History of Program Administrators Achieving High Levels of Electric Savings

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, April 2016, by Brendon Baatz, Annie Gilleo, and Toyah Barigye.

"Energy efficiency savings have grown substantially in the past ten years, and national leaders in program administration have emerged as savings levels have increased. This report reviews annual program performance for 14 leading energy efficiency program administrators, with a focus on costs, electricity savings, cost effectiveness, and portfolio design. We also interviewed program managers for insights on past and future challenges, keys to achieving and sustaining high levels of savings, and future large savings opportunities."  Includes Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Seattle City Light.

Building Better Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Households

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Mar. 10, 2016.

"This report addresses the key questions and challenges around low-income programs for single-family homes. It draws from a range of programs to provide recommendations for increasing the savings and reach of efficiency programming in this sector. We detail practices that program administrators are using to overcome challenges, and we explore strategies to use underutilized technologies and measures to realize greater savings."

A Retrospective Analysis of the Benefits and Impacts of U.S. Renewable Portfolio Standards

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Jan. 2016.

"This is the second in a series of reports exploring the costs, benefits, and other impacts of state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). This report focuses on the benefits and impacts of all state RPS programs, in aggregate, for the year 2013. Relying on a well-vetted set of methods, this report evaluates a number of important benefits and impacts in both physical and monetary terms, where possible, and characterizes key uncertainties."

How Much Does Energy Efficiency Cost?

American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Mar. 2016.

"Summarizes the results of studies by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, ACEEE and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the cost of energy efficiency programs. Finds that energy efficiency is consistently a lowest cost option for meeting electric demand. One of the studies finds that the costs of energy efficiency have been level in recent years."

CHP Update: Policies, Partnerships, and Challenges

Power Magazine, Feb. 2016, by Thomas W. Overton.

"Though combined heat and power (CHP) is getting increasing attention as a means of efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, the sector’s traditional challenges remain. But some generators and policymakers are working hard to deploy CHP in new and more economic ways."


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