Bookmark and Share

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: Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

German [Wastewater] Plant Upgrades Drop Specific Energy Use by More Than 50 Percent

Pumps & Systems, Sept. 2016, by Erkki Lantto & Stefan Wilken.

"In the city of Sögel, Germany, one municipal wastewater plant employs turbocompressors to reduce its operating costs and cope with load fluctuations. The setup’s success comes from an advanced design with proven magnetic bearing technology and a high-speed motor. The plant treats domestic wastewater and industrial wastewater from nearby food industry factories."

Energy Trust Tops 10,000 Energy Efficient Homes

Portland Business Journal, Aug. 16, 2016, by Jon Bell.

"Just 300 homes built in Oregon in 2009 had an Energy Performance Score, the energy performance rating tool developed by the Energy Trust of Oregon. In 2015, that number soared to 2,500 homes.As of this month, all of those numbers have helped Energy Trust surpass the 10,000 mark when it comes to homes rated with an EPS. According to the nonprofit, more than a third of new homes built in Oregon these days have an EPS."

Comparing Polystyrenes: Looking At the Differences Between EPS and XPS

The Construction Specifier, Sep. 2016, by Jason Burgess.

"Insulation is a critical component to specify when designing a functional, cost-effective, and energy-efficient building. One method to insulate a building is by installing 50 to 152 mm (2 to 6 in.) of rigid foam insulation on the exterior side of the wall framing. Two of the most frequently installed types of rigid foam insulation are expanded and extruded polystyrene (EPS and XPS). Both serve the same basic function: providing a means to manage the passage of heat in a building system. However, they differ in important ways."

Benchmarking Boom

Building Operating Management, Sept. 2016, by Richard G. Lubinski.

"... a three-part article on best practices in energy benchmarking as more cities and states make it mandatory."

Buy Energy-Efficient Products: A Guide for Federal Purchasers and Specifiers

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, July 2016.

"In a single year, energy-efficient product purchases could save the federal government almost a half billion dollars worth of energy. By purchasing products that exceed the minimum required efficiency levels, buyers can save the government even more energy and money. Federal employees and contractors must take an active role in ensuring that the government receives products that meet efficiency requirements. This document provides an overview of product purchasing requirements and shows you how to write compliant contracts, find funding, and confirm product compliance."

Net Positive Energy Buildings

ASHRAE Journal, Aug. 2016, by Dylan Connelly and Laura Fedoruk. (Article Summary only.)

"DPR Construction’s retrofitted San Francisco headquarters building achieved approximately 20% net positive energy its first year of operation using efficient systems including HVAC, electrical and PV. And, in late 2015, it was certified as a net zero energy building. The office building demonstrates the capabilities of integrated, innovative, and replicable design. And, it proves that sustainable buildings can reduce energy use and improve indoor environmental conditions, while being cost effective. It has become a hub for learning and collaborating on many sustainably minded design projects."

Beyond Compliance: The DOE Residential Energy Code Field Study

ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Aug. 2016, by David Cohan, Jeremy Williams, Rosemarie Bartlett, Mark Halverson, and Vrushali Mendon.

"For each state, energy use intensities (EUI’s) were calculated for a home just meeting the state prescriptive code requirements and compared to an EUI representing the collected field data. Results suggest that, on average, energy codes deliver most or all expected energy savings for the code adopted in a given state, overall—the opposite of conventional wisdom. At the same time, many sampled homes failed to meet at least one key code requirement, and many of the non-key requirements were not met. Also, the adopted code varied by state so there is clearly more energy savings potential available from adopting new codes. This rich new data set will
drive important discussions on the value and role of energy codes

Integrated Design for Affordable, Factory Built Homes

ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Aug. 2016, by Eric Ansanelli, Devanshi Dadia, Jordan Dentz, Zoe Kaufman, Emanuel Levy, Pournamasi Rath, and Greg Barker.

"In many respects that impact energy efficiency, manufactured housing is an anomaly in the shelter business. The industry builds to a national standard, most of the construction is done in a controlled manufacturing environment typically far removed from the building site, and portions of the home are completed by installers outside the control of the factory.... However, this is about to change as the industry energy standards, last updated in 1994, will be raised to levels roughly equivalent to IECC 2015, an unprecedented leap in efficiency regulation."

The Greatest Energy Story You Haven't Heard: How Investing in Energy Efficiency Changed the US Power Sector and Gave Us a Tool to Tackle Climate Change

ACEEE, Research Report U1604, August 19, 2016, by Maggie Molina, Patrick Kiker, and Seth Nowak.

"An invisible resource is working quietly behind the scenes to provide American families and businesses with the power necessary to live and work. This resource lowers harmful pollution, creates US jobs, reduces energy burdens for those most in need, and strengthens community resilience. It also improves the bottom line for business, returns at least double its investment, and saves American households, on average, $840 dollars a year. Energy efficiency has become the nation’s third-largest electricity resource. With increased support it could become the largest—and one of the world’s core strategies to tackle climate change."

Our New Analysis Finds Energy Efficiency is the 3rd Largest Resource In the US Electric Power Sector

ACEEE Blog, Aug. 19, 2016, by Maggie Molina.

"Have you ever described efficiency as an energy resource and gotten a quizzical look in return? We have, even though utility system planners have been using energy efficiency for decades to make sure that power for their customers is both reliable and affordable. For those of us who have been in the energy efficiency industry for years, or even decades, we sometimes take for granted that others will understand what we mean. But we must not."


The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at