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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.

 


Daylighting and Flooring: Don’t Overlook the Issue of Reflectivity

Armstrong Flooring, Jan. 2015, by Mike Kennedy. [May need to complete free registration to download full report.]
http://tinyurl.com/kwhhftk

"A key strategy in creating environmentally friendly, energy-efficient education spaces is capturing abundant daylight and reducing the reliance on artificial light. Efforts to maximize daylighting in school facilities have taken many forms as techniques have grown more sophisticated.... For architects and administrators who have reaped the benefits of many of these strategies and are seeking even more daylighting dividends, one characteristic to consider that some may be overlooking is the reflectivity of the flooring material selected for a space."

Implications of the 2015 IECC Energy Rating Index (ERI)

Building Codes Assistance Project, Jan. 2015.
http://energycodesocean.org/sites/default/files/resources/ERI_fact_sheet_2015_IECC_Final_1.pdf

"Historically, the residential International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) has offered two main ways (or paths) for builders to demonstrate code compliance: prescriptive and performance. The 2015 IECC includes a third and new compliance path–the Energy Rating Index (ERI). The ERI provides flexibility for builders, but if weakened, becomes the path of least efficiency."

Additional IECC 2013 and 2015 adoption resources are available on the BCAP website at http://energycodesocean.org/2012-and-2015-iecc-adoption-resources.

UTEP Engineering Center Can Boost Business Efficiency, Profits

UTEP (University of Texas-El Paso) News, Feb. 23, 2015, by Nadia M. Whitehead.
http://news.utep.edu/?p=29171

"Local manufacturers who are looking to boost efficiency and increase profitability don’t have to go at it alone. The Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC), an engineering program based at The University of Texas at El Paso, is here to help."

Northwest Launches Nation's First Collaborative Regional Effort to Transform Natural Gas Energy Efficiency

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Feb. 26, 2015.
http://tinyurl.com/naswwm3

"Today, a group of leading regional utilities and energy efficiency organizations including Avista, Cascade Natural Gas, Energy Trust of Oregon, NW Natural, Puget Sound Energy and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) jointly announced the launch of the first regional natural gas market transformation effort in the nation."

ASHRAE, REHVA Jointly Publish Guide to Chilled Beam Systems

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, Feb. 13, 2015.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/128835-feb-13-2015-ashrae-rehva-jointly-publish-guide-to-chilled-beam-systems

"ASHRAE and the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning Associations (REHVA) have published guidance on designing chilled beam systems. The Active and Passive Beam Application Design Guide is a collaboration to give system designers a current, authoritative guide on successfully applying active and passive beam technology."

AT&T, GE Team Up to Power Smart Energy Innovation

ZDNet, Feb. 2015, by Rachel King.
http://www.zdnet.com/article/at-t-ge-team-up-to-power-smart-energy-innovation/

"Building off of a previous partnership announced in 2013 as General Electric was launching its Industrial Internet cloud, AT&T and GE are fine tuning the focus here on smart grids with connected solutions that could be deployed across towns and cities. Among some of the initial innovations already in the pipeline include intelligent lighting that could be installed on streetlamps as well as a smart meter based off of GE's existing smart meters, but now embedded with AT&T cellular technology. The latter solution is already being piloted with two unnamed North American renewable energy companies."

Microsoft Experiments with Taking Energy-Sucking Data Centers Off the Grid

EnergyWire, Feb. 24, 2015, by David Ferris.
http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060013896

"At a lab in Southern California, Microsoft is trying out a radically different way to power the data center, one of the most energy-hungry kind of buildings there is. The solution is fuel cells, thousands of them, everywhere in the building, embedded into a rack of computer servers or even plugged into the individual servers themselves. In this way, Microsoft imagines it might be able to cut the cord entirely from the electricity grid."

Three Military Bases Partner with Energy Department to Train Veterans for Solar Jobs

U.S. DOE News, Feb. 2015.
http://energy.gov/articles/three-military-bases-partner-energy-department-train-veterans-solar-jobs-0

"This pilot program is enabled by the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge initiative, which allows exiting military personnel to pursue civilian job training, employment skills training, apprenticeships and internships up to six months prior to their separation date. Service members who graduate from the DOE’s solar training program will gain the skills to size and install solar panels, safely connect electricity to the grid, and interpret and comply with local building codes."

Gamified Energy Efficiency Programs

ACEEE, Feb. 2015, by Susan Mazur-Stommen, Kate Farley, and Steven Nadel.
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/b1501.pdf

"Gamification turns a real-world activity into a game to make people more likely to do it. Over the past five years, utilities and third-party providers have developed scores of games that motivate and encourage people to save energy. This report describes and analyzes 22 of these games in depth and surveys 31 others. It takes program designers through the steps of developing a game, explains how games motivate players to reduce their energy use, and analyzes the characteristics of the most successful gamified solutions. Preliminary evidence indicates that gamified energy efficiency programs can achieve savings of 3–6% among a sizable number of participants."

The Impact of Energy Efficient Design and Construction on LIHTC Housing in Virginia

Report to Housing Virginia by the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech, Feb. 10, 2015.
http://files.ctctcdn.com/8811fceb001/13f4c1d8-6789-4605-96a0-8565b49cf03c.pdf

"The purpose of this report is to identify and verify possible benefits of the shift in housing policy by the Virginia Housing development Authority (VHDA) to encourage energy efficiency (EE) in the affordable rental stock in Virginia through the LIHTC [Low-Income Housing Tax Credits] program. The research addresses key issues related to energy efficiency and affordable housing through a rigorous measurement of economic impacts for low-income residents, distinguishing the effects of design, construction, technologies and behavior per unit."

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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