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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: Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency


The Best Value for America’s Energy Dollar: A National Review of the Cost of Utility Energy Efficiency Programs

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Report Number U1402, March 2014, by Maggie Molina. (Free registration required to access full report.)
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1402.pdf

"As efficiency programs gain wider traction as a utility resource, the need increases in step for high-quality, comprehensive and consistent data metrics on energy efficiency program costs and cost-effectiveness. In this report we review utility-sector energy efficiency program costs in recent years (2009-2012).  We collected data from reports by program administrators to calculate the levelized cost of saved energy (CSE), which is the best way to compare energy efficiency to other energy resource options."

Residential Deep Energy Retrofits

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Report Number A1401, March 2014, by Rachel Cluett and Jennifer Amann. (Free registration required to access full report.)
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/a1401.pdf

"This report explores energy efficiency programs that target deep energy savings through substantial improvements to existing residential buildings." 

  

Making Sense of Sprayed Polyurethane Foam

The Construction Specifier, Mar. 2014, by Peter Davis.
http://www.kenilworth.com/publications/cs/de/201403/index.html (jump or scroll to page 34)

"For decades, the U.S. design and construction industry has turned to sprayed polyurethane foam (SPF) to insulate and air seal buildings. SPF can help provide temperature control in various climates, reduce sounds transmitted through the air, and lower construction costs."

10 U.S. Cities Tackle Efficiency

Architectural Record, Feb. 12, 2014, by Peter Fairley.
http://archrecord.construction.com/news/2014/02/140212-10-US-Cities-Tackle-Efficiency.asp

"Buildings are the source of one half to three-quarters of greenhouse-gas emissions in most American cities. Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Houston, and six more large cities have joined forces to tackle the problem by targeting their biggest buildings. “The largest buildings tend to be 3 to 4 percent of the overall number of buildings but account for 40 to 50 percent of the square footage and energy consumption. You have this terrific opportunity to work with a handful of buildings and make a big dent,” says Laurie Kerr, director of the City Energy Project (CEP), which launched in late January."

Why Is Electricity Use No Longer Growing?

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Feb. 25, 2014, by Steven Nadel and Rachel Young.
http://www.aceee.org/white-paper/low-electricity-growth (free registration required to access full report)

"In this paper, we undertake several analyses to consider which factors best explain changes in electricity use in recent years. Our hypothesis is that the recession alone cannot explain the recent stagnation in electricity consumption. We instead hypothesize that electricity savings from energy efficiency programs and from other efficiency efforts such as appliance standards and building codes are having a broad national impact on electricity consumption in the United States, possibly contributing significantly to the recent decline in electricity consumption."

New Frontiers in Energy Management [for Water Utilities]

Water Efficiency, Mar./Apr. 2014, by Penelope B. Grenoble.
http://www.waterefficiency.net/WE/Articles/New_Frontiers_in_Energy_Management_24639.aspx

"Energy management has become a matter of necessity in states like California, less enthusiastically embraced in states where energy costs are lower. But take a closer look, and you’ll discover that energy and operational efficiency go hand in hand—and that managing energy costs goes beyond simply equipping a pump with a variable speed drive."

Testing and Screening Energy Efficiency Programs

State & Local Energy Report, Winter 2014, by Robin LeBaron and Kara Saul-Rinaldi.
http://stateenergyreport.com/2014/02/05/testing-and-screening-energy-efficiency-programs/

"Cost-effectiveness testing is crucial to the future of energy efficiency programs. Commissions and utilities use cost-effectiveness tests to make decisions about which energy efficiency and other demand-side programs to fund. If a new energy efficiency program doesn’t pass the tests, it may never be created. And in some states, programs are being constrained or even eliminated as a result of these tests.

The National Home Performance Council (NHPC) is proposing a solution in the form of a new framework for the tests. The Resource Value Framework (RVF) proposes a number of strategies for ensuring that the tests provide decision makers with accurate information. They include a worksheet to promote transparency and balance in test inputs, alignment of the tests with existing state policies, and use of best practices
."

Engaging Small to Mid-Size Lenders in the Market for Energy Efficiency Investment:

ACEEE, Report Number F1401, Feb. 2014.
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/f1401.pdf  (free registration required to access)

"On October 18, 2013, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Energi Insurance Services, with support from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Argonne National Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) convened a group of key stakeholders to discuss opportunities for augmenting small bank and lender activity in the energy efficiency space.

This white paper captures key findings from the convening and places them within the context of current research and experience. It goes on to make recommendations to entities within the energy efficiency community to help increase small to mid-size lender activity in the market for energy efficiency financing."


Meeting Retrofit Chicago's Energy Goals: Three Key Constituencies

Forbes Magazine, Feb. 12, 2014, by Ellen Bell.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/edfenergyexchange/2014/02/12/
meeting-retrofit-chicagos-energy-goals-three-key-constituencies/


"Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Retrofit Chicago initiative, aimed at reducing participating buildings energy use in the city by 20 percent within the next five years, is a compelling example of [the President's energy focus]. For this reason, EDF Climate Corps, an innovative summer fellowship program that places specially trained graduate students in organizations to save energy and related costs, is working to recruit organizations in Chicago this month."
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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 library@energy.wsu.edu

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.

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