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: Utilities


Behavior Change Programs: Status and Impact

ACEEE, Oct. 2016, by Reuven Sussman and Maxine Chikumbo.

"Behavior change programs are becoming a common method for reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency. But what types of programs are out there, why do they work (or fail to work), and how effective are they? This report updates the 2013 ACEEE Field Guide to Utility-Run Behavior Change Programs, with new program evaluations, an analysis of major behavior change strategies, and a focus on programs with evaluated energy savings."

Scaling Up Participation and Savings in Residential Retrofits

ACEEE, Oct. 12, 2016, by Rachel Cluett and Jennifer Amann.

"Whole home retrofits aim to address the biggest residential energy issues. Their number has grown in recent years along with contractor and program experience in delivering successful retrofits. However the demand for these programs and their participation rates have not grown as much, and many of them fail to capture the full range of available savings. This report explores the challenges faced by home retrofit programs and describes the best strategies for improving project-level realization rates."

A Method to Estimate the Costs and Benefits of Undergrounding Electricity Transmission and Distribution Lines

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Oct. 2016, by Peter H. Larsen.

"There has been a general shortfall of peer-reviewed literature identifying methods to estimate the costs and benefits of strategies employed by electric utilities to improve grid resilience. This paper introduces—for the first time—a comprehensive analysis framework to estimate the societal costs and benefits of implementing one strategy to improve power system reliability: undergrounding power transmission and distribution lines. It is shown that undergrounding transmission and distribution lines can be a cost-effective strategy to improve reliability, but only if certain criteria are met before the decision to underground is made."

What Are Microgrids, and Should Utilities Be Afraid of Them?

Solar Industry, Oct. 2016, by Geoff Sparrow.

"The emerging technology could serve as an asset for grid modernization and the transition to cleaner power."

Liftoff for Drones: New Law Frees Co-ops To Begin Operational Drone Use

Rural Electric Magazine, Sept. 2016, by John Vanvig.

"With technological constraints and regulatory uncertainties slowing their takeoff, utility UAS use has languished. But thanks to a recently signed federal law allowing their use by utilities, rapid advances in range and data-handling capabilities, and the public’s becoming more comfortable with UAS presence, experts expect UAS deployments to soar."

For Utilities Hoping to Unlock Smart Grid Opportunities, Data Is the Key

Utility Dive, Oct. 5, 2016, by Robert Walton.

"Having a smart meter installed doesn't mean an electric customer is interested in, or aware of, clean energy products and services. Conversely, new research shows plenty of consumers without advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) want a smart thermostat, time-varying electric rate or other new offering from their utility. How can utilities bridge that gap and connect these customers to smart grid opportunities? "

Rebates and Beyond: An Array of Utility Programs Can Help FMs Save Money

Building Operating Management, Sept. 2016, by Karen Kroll.

A two-part article on utility rebate programs for facility managers:
Part 1: Rebates and Beyond: An Array of Utility Programs Can Help FMs Save Money
Part 2: Demand Response, Commisssioning, and Training: Utility Partnerships

Microgrid & Microturbine Power Trends

Business Energy, Jul/Aug. 2016, Lyn Corum.

"There are interesting developments happening with microgrids these days. Utilities are adding them to stabilize their grids, and communities are developing a peer-to-peer consumer energy trading system to buy and sell electricity generated by their solar systems."

The Future of Distributed Generation

Rural Electric Magazine, Aug. 2016, by Reed Karaim.

"Electric cooperatives have a long history of integrating distributed generation (DG) sources. But if you want a glimpse of the future of DG, you’ll find it in the wooded hills and valleys of northern Vermont, where Vermont Electric Cooperative is already living with challenges many co-ops will eventually face."

State & Future of the Power Industry

Public Utilities Fortnightly & Navigant, June 2016.

Special Report: "What is the state and future of the electric utility industry? That’s a broad topic, much discussed and debated. This special report takes a unique approach to getting a handle on our present and where we’re heading."
Pages: Prev1234567...10NextReturn Top


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