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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.


Part One: Radiant Heating and Cooling Systems

ASHRAE Journal, Feb. 2015, by Kwang Woo Kim and Bjarne W. Olsen.

"This two-part article describes basic knowledge of radiant heating and cooling systems to give a principle understanding of the design and operation of this advantageous system including comfort, system load, heating/cooling capacity, installation and application of the system with examples."

Part Two is here -

County [King County, WA] Trials Energy Tracking Software Used by Microsoft

Energy Manager Today, Mar. 3, 2015, by Linda Hardesty.

"King County, Washington, plans to pilot the same energy-tracking software that Microsoft uses to reduce energy consumption at many of its buildings. Seattle-based design firm MacDonald-Miller will install the software at five King County facilities for the two-year pilot project. Iconics developed the software using Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure platform."

Shelter Report 2015: Less Is More: Transforming Low-Income Communities Through Energy Efficiency

Habitat for Humanity, Jan. 2015.

"Habitat for Humanity’s 2015 Shelter Report focuses on improving energy efficiency among lower-income households.  Although Habitat for Humanity and the federal government are addressing some of the energy efficiency issues among lower-income families, too many families still face the challenge of energy costs that are excessive compared to their overall incomes."

Bosch Equips Energy Smart Housing Community in Texas

Energy Manager Today, Jan. 21, 2015, by Karen Henry.

"Bosch has partnered with Taurus Investment Holdings, a Boston-based real estate development company, to equip a master-planned community outside Austin, Texas, with efficient geothermal heat pumps, hot water systems and Energy Star rated kitchen appliances. The new community, called Whisper Valley, will eventually include 7,500 net zero ready single and multi-family homes and apartments, plus more than 2 million square feet of retail and office space across 2,062 acres."

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.]

"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.

"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

UTEP Engineering Center Can Boost Business Efficiency, Profits

UTEP (University of Texas-El Paso) News, Feb. 23, 2015, by Nadia M. Whitehead.

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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."


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