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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


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."

Ramping Up System Performance [Hydronics]

Heating, Plumbing, Air Conditioning, Aug. 2014, by Mark Norris.
http://www.hpacmag.com/news/hydronics-factors-affecting-system-efficiency/1003216585/

"How do you determine the efficiency of the heating system that you are recommending to a customer? It is an important question that comes up regularly, but there is no simple answer. The simple answer would be the published boiler efficiency, right? Simple, maybe, but probably not correct because the published efficiencies will rarely be an accurate representation of real system efficiency."

Enhancing Energy Performance with Balcony Thermal Breaks

The Construction Specifier, Aug. 2014, by Paul Nutcher.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/enhancing-energy-performance-with-balcony-thermal-breaks/

"Engineered structural thermal breaks at balcony connections can assist mid-rise and high-rise building project teams in complying with the new continuous insulation (ci) code requirements. These structural components are especially important to address in multi-family specifications because thermal bridging for every residential unit can contribute significant heating and cooling loads."

At the Tipping Point of Airtightness

Home Energy, Sep./Oct. 2014, by Max Sherman. [Scroll to page 12.]
http://www.omagdigital.com/publication/index.php?i=0&m=15729&l=1&p=3&pre=

Looks at the history of residential air tightness, air infiltration, and indoor air quality and the evolution of testing and measuring.

Highlights From Four Tribal Weatherization Programs in Washington State

Home Energy, Sep./Oct. 2014, by Eunice Herren. [Scroll to page 16.]
http://www.omagdigital.com/publication/index.php?i=0&m=15729&l=1&p=3&pre=

"A closer look into the challenges, successes, and lessons learned" at four tribal weatherization programs:
  • Makah Tribal Housing Department
  • Spokane Indian Housing Authoring
  • South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency
  • Yakama Nation Housing Authority

Air Leakage Testing: A Hot Button or Hot Air?

Buildings Magazine, Aug. 2014, by Christopher Curtland.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/17768/title/air-leakage-testing-a-hot-button-or-hot-air.aspx

"Find out when and where pressurization is a valuable forensic tool."


Do Energy-saving Products Actually Save Customers Energy? HVAC Contractors Need to Educate Consumers

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, Aug. 18, 2014, by Joanna R. Turpin.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/127355-do-energy-saving-products-actually-save-customers-energy

"Homeowners who cannot be convinced to invest in an energy audit should still be educated about real ways they can save energy so they don’t fall prey to advertising claims.... Still, some homeowners will continue to believe that buying a singular product will result in significant energy savings."

Super-Efficient Manufactured Home [Bothell, WA]

BPA Journal, Sep. 2014. [Scroll to page 3.]
http://www.bpa.gov/news/pubs/Journal/Journal-201409-September-2014.pdf

"Puget Sound Energy, Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County and BPA recently hosted a tour of a new, high performance manufactured home in Bothell, just north of Seattle. The prototype home incorporates some of the latest energy-saving features and technologies, including a ductless heat pump, heat pump water heater, efficient lighting, triple-glazed windows, foam sheathing on exterior walls and added insulation."


Reducing Costs of Residential Solar PV: Through Module & Hardware Innovations

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Tom Hood & Sicco W.T. Westra.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/18223/reducing-costs-of-residential-solar-pv-through-module-hardware-innovations

"To make life easier for solar system owners, several companies are working to lower BoS [Balance-of-System] costs and simplify racking designs and installation efficiencies. For instance, cost-competitive, roof-mounting brackets are one option now available to installers that can accommodate different types of rail supports for solar modules. Support rails with built-in wire clips are another example of a simplified BoS design, which lowers the cost of hardware and installation by five to ten percent."

Greening the MLS: What's LEED Got to Do With It?

Environmental Design + Construction, June 2014, by Cecilia Shutters.
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95649-greening-the-mls-whats-leed-got-to-do-with-it

"Top three ways to incorporate green into your local MLS (Multiple Listing Service)."
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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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