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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.

 


Report: Energy Efficiency Still Less Expensive Than Building New Power Plants

Utility Dive, Apr. 5, 2016, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-energy-efficiency-still-less-expensive-than-building-new-power-plan/416852/

"No matter how you cut it, efficiency is cheaper than building a new power plant. That's the takeaway from a short paper on efficiency's costs put out by ACEEE. In it, the group indicates it has a forthcoming report which will peg the cost at 3.5 cents/kWh – less than half the cost used by the federal government, but slightly higher than other estimates."

How Utilities Can Boost Customer Savings by Marrying Efficiency and DR Programs

Utility Dive, Apr. 6, 2016, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-utilities-can-boost-customer-savings-by-marrying-efficiency-and-dr-prog/416766/

"A new report from Navigant Research examines the global market for integrated demand-side management (IDSM), focusing on energy efficiency and demand response (DR) programs, with market forecasts for spending, through 2025."

Wood Alternatives to Fossil Fuels [Wood Pellets]

Buildings, Mar. 2016, by Janelle Penny.
http://www.buildings.com/news/industry-news/articleid/19958/title/wood-alternatives-to-fossil-fuels.aspx

"Could scraps from sawmills and furniture manufacturers become an affordable, eco-friendly heating option for your facility? Wood chips and pellets – a compressed form of wood-based waste that resembles rabbit feed – are growing in popularity as a green replacement for conventional heating fuels."

Energy Efficiency through Tenant Engagement: A Pilot Behavioral Program for Multifamily Buildings

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Mar. 3, 2016, by Lauren Ross and Ariel Drehobl.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/takoma-park-pilot.pdf

"In 2014, ACEEE launched a pilot program to test a variety of behavioral strategies to promote energy efficiency among tenants in low- to moderate-income multifamily housing in Takoma Park, Maryland. The program included behavioral messaging, events, educational information, and the distribution of energy saving devices. We measured energy use in the months before and after the pilot. The white paper includes these results...."

Big Savers: Experiences and Recent History of Program Administrators Achieving High Levels of Electric Savings

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, April 2016, by Brendon Baatz, Annie Gilleo, and Toyah Barigye.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1601.pdf

"Energy efficiency savings have grown substantially in the past ten years, and national leaders in program administration have emerged as savings levels have increased. This report reviews annual program performance for 14 leading energy efficiency program administrators, with a focus on costs, electricity savings, cost effectiveness, and portfolio design. We also interviewed program managers for insights on past and future challenges, keys to achieving and sustaining high levels of savings, and future large savings opportunities."  Includes Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Seattle City Light.

Design Considerations for Dedicated OA Systems

ASHRAE Journal, Mar. 2016, by Hugh Crowther and Yi Teng.
http://tinyurl.com/h4xlwh2

"Dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) decouple the heating, cooling, dehumidification and humidification of outdoor air from the space air-conditioning system. Common HVAC systems such as water (ground) source heat pumps, variable refrigerant flow (VRF), fan coils and chilled beams require a DOAS to meet ventilation requirements. But DOAS is a system, not a piece of equipment."

Commissioning and the Technology Evolution

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Mar. 2016, by Michael Chimack, and Jesse Sycuro.
http://www.csemag.com/single-article/commissioning-and-the-technology-evolution/06d1c6e2acdcab91664a3e5a4e671859.html

"With smarter application and availability of technology to achieve and drive longer-term performance results, commissioning providers (CxPs) are finding themselves at the forefront to learn, coach, and lead the application of technology in the built environment. Learn the challenges, roles, opportunities, and recommended methods for incorporating technology solutions into the commissioning process and improving building performance."

Update on DOE’s Wave Energy Prize

Hydro Review, Apr. 2016, by Alison LaBonte. http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/hr/print/volume-35/issue-3/articles/update-on-doe-s-wave-energy-prize.html "A new initiative, called the Wave Energy Prize, was announced in 2015 during the keynote address at the annual National Hydropower Association conference, International Marine Renewable Energy Conference, and Marine Energy Technology Symposium. This announcement represented a milestone for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind and Water Power Technologies Office - the commencement of its first public prize challenge, with a total prize purse of US$2.25 million, stemmed from realizing that a technology leap in the efficiency of wave energy converter (WEC) devices was needed to jolt wave energy onto a pathway toward sweeping cost reductions. This pathway could ultimately make wave energy, which is still in the early stages of technology development, competitive with more traditional forms of energy, paving the way to large-scale implementation within ... Read the rest of entry »

Using Online Commissioning Tools

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Mar. 2016, by Joshua Gepner, Curtis Aubry, and Elizabeth Jenkins.
http://www.csemag.com/single-article/using-online-commissioning-tools/dd5d526e7ca96dea5cec6fd365429c5c.html

"Properly and strategically positioning an online commissioning tool can significantly differentiate a service provider from its competition, saving time and money and adding significant value."

Building Better Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Households

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Mar. 10, 2016.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/a1601.pdf

"This report addresses the key questions and challenges around low-income programs for single-family homes. It draws from a range of programs to provide recommendations for increasing the savings and reach of efficiency programming in this sector. We detail practices that program administrators are using to overcome challenges, and we explore strategies to use underutilized technologies and measures to realize greater savings."

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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