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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.


New National Furnace Standards Will Save Consumers Money, But Stronger Standards Could Save Even More

ACEEE Blog, Feb. 11, 2015, by Andrew deLaski.

On Feb. 10, 2015, "the US Department of Energy (DOE) issued a proposed rule for furnaces that would provide significant savings for consumers on their home heating bills, and be among the biggest natural-gas saving standards ever completed by the agency. The new standards would reduce gas and propane furnace energy consumption by about 13% relative to basic furnaces sold today."

Direct link to the U.S. DOE Rulemaking for Residential Furnaces and Boilers Energy Conservation Standards -

FEMP Releases Top 20 List of Promising Technologies

FEMP Digest, U.S. Department of Energy, Feb. 9, 2015.

"The Federal Energy Management Program’s [FEMP's] Promising Technologies List provides information about promising new and underutilized energy-saving technologies that are commercially available for deployment in the federal and commercial building sectors. The list includes twenty technologies with the largest potential for cost-effective energy savings if deployed throughout the federal sector, and previews a new FEMP database scheduled to go live in fall 2015."

Energy Efficiency as a T&D Resource

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP), Jan. 2015, by Chris Neme & Jim Grevatt, of the Energy Futures Group.

"This report focuses on the role efficiency can play in deferring utility transmission and distribution (T&D) system investments. In particular, it addresses the role that intentional targeting of efficiency programs to specific constrained geographies – either by itself or in concert with demand  response, distributed generation and/or other “non-wires alternatives” (NWAs)2 – can play in deferring such investments. The report focuses primarily on electric T&D deferral, since that is where efforts in this area have focused to date. However, the concepts should be equally applicable to natural gas delivery infrastructure."

Process Could Enable On-Farm Biofuel, Animal Feed Production

Ethanol Producer Magazine, Feb. 2015, by Biomed Central.

"The efficient production of both biofuel and animal feed from one crop is now possible, and can be done on a farm without the need for off-site processes. The research, published in the open access Journal Biotechnology for Biofuels, demonstrates the practical potential of an alternative to fossil fuels that does not compete with food resources."

The original article is "On-farm solid state simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of whole crop forage rice in wrapped round bale for ethanol production" in Biotechnology for Biofuels, January 30, 2015.

Gender and Thermal Comfort

Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning, Feb. 2015, by Lawrence Clark.

"The lesson here is for designers to right-size HVAC systems. And because we cannot design different systems based on gender, maybe managers should be more sensitive to and flexible in personnel placement."

ASHRAE, IAQA Approve Consolidation

ASHRAE News, Feb. 5, 2015.

"A consolidation between ASHRAE and the Indoor Air Quality Association has been finalized by both organizations. The consolidation was approved by the Boards of Directors for ASHRAE and IAQA at ASHRAE’s recent 2015 Winter Conference in Chicago."

Energy Smart Industrial: Five Years of Enormous Savings [BPA]

Bonneville Power Administration Newsroom, Feb. 5, 2015.

"The Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial program is helping companies better manage their energy use and reduce costs. Since 2009, BPA and Northwest publicly owned electric utilities have partnered with 473 industrial companies on projects that have collectively saved more than 647 million kilowatt-hours of electricity — enough energy to power nearly 60,000 homes for a year."

Lower Load Growth Expectations for 7th Plan Don’t Reduce Importance of Energy Efficiency

NW Energy Coalition, Feb. 6, 2015.

"Northwest Power and Conservation Council [NPPC]staff expect significantly slower growth in energy demand over the next 20 years than was predicted in the sixth regional power plan five years ago. This preliminary projection marks a critical step in the Council’s development of the 7th Northwest Power and Conservation Plan."

A Financial Justification for Pumped System Improvements

Engineered Software, Inc., Feb. 2015.

"This month we will look at the value of starting a proactive Pumped System Improvement program in which major pumped systems are evaluated on an ongoing basis. Prior to starting any new program there must be financial justification; this article shows how using readily available plant production data."

Proposed Energy Conservation Standard for Hearth Products

U.S. Dept. of  Energy, Jan. 28, 2015.

"This document is a pre-publication Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking [NOPR] and public meeting regarding energy conservation standards for hearth products, as issued by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency on January 28, 2015."


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