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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: Laws/Rules/Regulations


HVAC Contractors Prepare for DOE Efficiency Mandates

Air Conditioning/Heating/Refrigeration News, Oct. 18, 2015, by Joanna R. Turpin.

"At the beginning of the year, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) minimum efficiency standards for residential air conditioners and heat pumps went into effect, dividing the country into three regions — North, South, and Southwest. The standards dictate that contractors in the latter two regions are allowed to install 13-SEER heat pumps and air conditioners until mid-2016 (or until supplies run out); then, they must only offer 14-SEER (or higher) equipment. Many HVAC distributors in those regions stocked up on 13-SEER equipment ahead of the deadline and are happy to see that their bets paid off as the inventory flew off the shelves."

Pot Power: How Utilities and Regulators are Dealing with the Budding Marijuana Industry

Utility Dive, Nov. 13, 2015, by Gavin Bade.

"Marijuana growing is becoming so mainstream — and is consuming so much energy — that electric utilities and their regulators from coast to coast are sitting up and taking notice."

Combined Heat & Power Really Is The Answer

Engineered Systems, Oct. 2015, by Marcia Karr.

"In today's complex web of regulations, equipment and fuel options, and traditional threats to facility operations, it only makes sense to get up to speed on CHP."

What Boiler MACT Means to an Energy Engineer

Hudson Technologies, Oct. 15, 2015.

"Boiler MACT [Maximum Achievable Control Technology] is one of the first federal environmental regulations that have specifically called for conducting an energy assessment as a compliance activity. Energy assessments are nothing new; but how does integrating them into an environmental compliance activity impact the assessment process? As energy engineers, what can we learn from this new frontier?"

Review of the DOE Final Rule for Integral Horsepower Motors

Pumps & Systems, Sep. 2015, by John Malinowski.

"At the end of May 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Final Rule that amends the regulation for integral horsepower motors. Until the rule takes effect June 1, 2016, motor manufacturers will continue to operate under rules from the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which took effect in December 2010. This means that almost all low-voltage, three-phase motors sold for use in the U.S. will need to be premium efficiency per National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) MG 1-2014, tables 12-12 and 20B."

New Fluorescent Lamp Rules to Shake Up T8 Category

Lighting Management & Maintenance (LM&M), Aug 2105, by Craig Delouie. (Scroll to page 24.)

"In January 2015, DOE announced new energy standards for general-service fluorescent lamps, which will take effect January 26, 2018. The new rules strengthen energy standards for 4-ft. T8 linear and 2-ft. T8 U-bend, while both strengthening and expanding covered wattages for 4-ft. T5 and T5HO linear lamps. Eight-foot lamps did not see any change."

NREL Helps Federal Agencies Reach New Efficiency Targets

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Aug 19, 2015, by Wayne Hicks.

"An executive order issued by the White House in March puts greater emphasis on work done at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to help government agencies meet their goals. NREL has long been a resource for federal agencies on energy efficiency efforts and renewable energy technology. The newest executive order calls for tougher goals and spurs agencies to do more than what they've done already."

Post-HFC-Phaseout Refrigerant Options

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Aug. 3, 2015, by Ron Rajecki.

"The July 2 ruling from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that sets forth the timeframes for the phaseout of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in specific applications presents some challenges for the refrigeration industry. The ruling also presents new opportunities for growth of the natural refrigerants market. The ruling, however, was not unexpected, and it did not catch many of the major refrigerant manufacturers flatfooted."

Searching for Equilibrium: How to Achieve It In the Era of Distributed Energy

Public Utilities Fortnightly, Aug. 2015, by David J. O'Brien.

"Over the decades of state regulation of distribution utilities, we have seen prominent structural changes - independent power and restructuring - that have altered the basis of the regulatory bargain. Today we stand at another critical point: where the structural underpinnings of the regulatory compact have shifted and a state of disequilibrium exists."

Using Less Energy to Keep Drinks Cold

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Aug. 5, 2015, by Joanna Mauer.

"Late yesterday, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed strong new standards that would reduce the energy consumed by beverage vending machines to keep drinks cold. The proposed standards would cut energy use by 25-65% relative to the least-efficient machines available now, and save money for schools, hospitals, hotels, and other businesses and institutions where beverage vending machines are used."
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