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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: Residential

Residential


ecoSelect: A Green Building Program by the Numbers

Green Builder, Oct. 2014, by Laureen Blissard.
http://www.greenbuildermedia.com/blog/ecoselect-a-green-building-program-by-the-numbers

"This “entry-level” green building program is attracting builders with its low cost and easy-to-follow checklist."

Watts in a Drop of Water: Savings at the Water-Energy Nexus

ACEEE White Paper, Nov. 5, 2014, by Rachel Young. [Free registration required to view full-text.]
http://aceee.org/white-paper/watts-in-drop-water

"This paper shows a range of energy intensities for water and wastewater services and in residential hot and cold water. We draw from existing data to develop national estimates of energy savings associated with water savings, including energy used in water conveyance, water heating, and water and sewage treatment."

Community Shared Solar: Policy and Regulatory Considerations

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sep. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/62367.pdf

"This paper explores the ways in which the shared solar business model interacts with existing policy and regulations, including net metering, tax credits, and securities regulation. It presents some of the barriers that shared solar projects may face, and provides options for creating a supportive policy environment."

Your Own Energy “Island”? ORNL Microgrid Could Standardize Small, Self-Sustaining Electric Grids

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oct. 2014, by Katie Jones.
http://www.ornl.gov/ornl/news/features/2014/a47cc734-54f3-4aec-95ba-df1bbbdb25ad

"Microgrids are designed to not only continue power to local units such as neighborhoods, hospitals or industrial parks but also improve energy efficiency and reduce cost when connected to the main grid. Researchers predict an energy future more like a marketplace in which utility customers with access to solar panels, battery packs, plug-in vehicles and other sources of distributed energy can compare energy prices, switch on the best deals and even sell back unused power to utility companies. However, before interested consumers can plug into their own energy islands, researchers at facilities such as ORNL’s Distributed Energy Control and Communication (DECC) lab need to develop tools for controlling a reliable, safe and efficient microgrid."

Vacuum Steam Heating: Past, Present...Future?

District Energy, Fourth Quarter, 2014, by Igor Zhadanovsky.
http://www.districtenergy-digital.org/districtenergy/2014Q4?sub_id=DOwgMT0rNL8TV#pg29

"Every so often, a technology that had been abandoned for a long period of time comes back to life thanks to new developments that make it viable and competitive once again. While it's too early to predict with certainty, this may be the pattern that we see for one of the heating industry's oldest technologies: vacuum steam heating. This article describes the evolution of that technology, its benefits and drawbacks, and a new approach that may make it a cost-effective option in the 21st century.

Zeroing In [on Zero Energy]

Building Science Insights, Building Science Corporation, by Joseph Lstiburek.
http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-081-zeroing-in/

"So what does “net zero” mean anyway? And what is the difference from a “zero energy house”? A zero energy house is “off grid” and makes all the energy it needs on site using renewables. This is not easy to do and typically involves an ultra efficient house and energy storage. Good luck. Having said that, I like the ultra efficient part. I can’t help it. Engineers worship efficiency. The storage part worries me."

Choosing a Whole-House Ventilation Strategy (Pt. 2)

Journal of Light Construction, Oct. 2014, by Allison Bailes.
http://www.jlconline.com/ventilation/choosing-a-whole-house-ventilation-strategy_o.aspx

"An update on current standards and how to meet them."

Final Report: ASHRAE and the Residential Construction Market Place

ASHRAE, June 2014.
https://www.ashrae.org/society-groups/meet-the-board/ashrae-and-the-residential-construction-market-place

"ASHRAE has long been considered a leader in commercial and institutional building design, construction and operation. In 2014, the Society looked at its role in residential, exploring how it can contribute most effectively to the improvement of the performance of residential buildings."

Better Buildings Residential Program Solution Center

U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Oct. 28, 2014.
https://bbnp.pnnl.gov/

"Now available online, the Solution Center – a one-stop shop for residential energy efficiency program administrators and home performance professionals – highlights proven strategies that Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners adopted to make energy efficiency more accessible to homes and businesses."

Energy Efficiency Can Negatively Impact Public Health

Scientific American - Plugged In Blog, Sep. 10, 2014, by Melissa C. Lott.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/2014/09/10/energy-efficiency-can-have-negative-impacts-on-public-health/

"Some energy efficiency improvements could cost lives by increasing indoor radon exposure and the resulting risk of developing lung cancer.  According to an article in the British Medical Journal, energy efficiency improvements could reduce home energy use and greenhouse gas emissions (which could lead to many health benefits). But, improvements that decrease air exchange rates lead to elevated exposure to indoor pollutants, including radon."
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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.