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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.

 


A Penny Saved... Recent Advances in HVAC System Controls and Operational Efficiency

Business Energy, Jan./Feb. 2014, by Daniel P. Duffy
http://www.businessenergy.net/DE/Articles/A_Penny_Saved__24310.aspx

"A properly operating heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system is a lot like a football lineman. When it is running perfectly, you don’t even know it is there. Recent advances in efficiency, operating controls, durability, and “smart” applications can make your HVAC system even more unnoticeable."

New Energy Efficiency Standards for External Power Supplies to Cut Consumers’ Utility Bills

U.S. Department of Energy Press Release, Feb. 3, 2014.
http://energy.gov/articles/new-energy-efficiency-standards-external-power-supplies-cut-consumers-utility-bills

"The Energy Department today announced new efficiency standards for external power supplies. Over the next 30 years, these standards will help cut carbon pollution by nearly 47 million metric tons – equivalent to the annual electricity use of 6.5 million homes – and save families and businesses nearly $4 billion on their energy bills."

Seattle Building Energy Benchmark Analysis Report, 2011/2012

Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment, Jan. 2014.
http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/OSE/EBR-2011-2012-report.pdf

"Seattle is currently one of nine cities and two states in the nation that have enacted energy benchmarking disclosure policies aimed at increasing energy efficiency in the existing building stock through data access and transparency. In 2013, Seattle completed the Energy Benchmarking and Reporting program ramp-up phase by collecting whole-building annual energy use for commercial and multifamily buildings 20,000 square feet or larger. This first report summarizes program outcomes, building characteristics, trends, and recommendations."

Snohomish PUD Kicks Off Stanwood Energy-Saving Competition

Snohomish County PUD Press Release, Jan. 29, 2014.
http://www.snopud.com/newsroom.ashx?p=1102&173_na=252

On Feb. 3, 2014, "Snohomish County Public Utility District will launch a new community-based Stanwood Energy Challenge, in which two teams of eight businesses each will compete to see which can save more energy." This is a behavior based energy efficiency pilot program, partially funded by the Bonneville Power Administration.

When 20% of Your Workforce is Retiring: Employment Challenges for Electric Power

Hydro Review, Jan. 2014, by Alan Hardcastle & Sally Zeiger Hanson.
http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/hr/print/volume-33/issue-1/article/when-20-of-your-workforce-is-retiring-employment-challenges-for-electric-power.html

"Between now and 2018, about 17% of the current electric power workforce in the Pacific Northwest is expected to retire, and it is becoming more challenging to fill open positions. What are employers to do?"

Super Bowl's Green Stadiums: MetLife and Others Tackle Energy Efficiency

National Geographic, Feb. 1, 2014.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/02/pictures/140201-super-bowl-xlviii-2014-green-stadiums/

"MetLife Stadium will light up in bright orange, blue, and green lights when the Denver Broncos play the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.  The striking display that rings the top of the stadium is powered by LED light bulbs, which are already energy-efficient—but they are made even more so by the power source that runs along the same track. The 1,350 solar panels installed on the ring can generate enough electricity to power the colorful lights and other operations."

VFD Serial Communications: Which Points Should I Use And Why?

ES: Engineered Systems, Jan. 2, 2014, by Michael R. Olson.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96322-vfd-serial-communications-which-points-should-i-use-and-why

"The available LEED credits and most obvious energy-saving possibilities are one thing. The potential for a ripple effect of system-wide savings by deploying VFDs [Variable Frequency Drives] as part of better overall monitoring are another."

Mainzer Named BPA Administrator

BPA Journal, Feb. 2014.
http://www.bpa.gov/news/pubs/Journal/Journal-201402-February-2014.pdf

"The Energy Department appointed Elliot Mainzer as the BPA administrator, effective Jan. 27. Mainzer, who previously served as BPA’s acting administrator, has worked in the energy industry for more than 16 years."

Innovation in Building Energy Efficiency Puts Seattle in National Leadership Spotlight

Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, Jan. 27, 2014.
http://www.neec.net/news/neec-press-release-innovation-building-energy-efficiency-puts-seattle-national-leadership-spotl

"Pay for Performance (PfP) is an innovative pilot project from Seattle City Light designed to test a new way to calculate the utility financial incentive and to provide more surety that the project delivers energy savings year over year. PfP offers the chance for building owners to receive a greater incentive than what they get under the traditional system, if they can show more than predicted measured and verified savings at the meter. For Seattle City Light, it reduces the utility’s risk in actually receiving the savings for which they are paying."


Current Trends in Utility Rates & Economic Regulation

WE (Western Energy): The Official Publication of Western Energy Institute, Fall 2013, by Russell A. Feingold.
http://digital.apogee-mg.com/publication/?i=184542 (Scroll to page 8.)

Reports on trends in Black & Veatch Corporation's annual U.S. Electric Utility Industry Report. "While the results of the 2013 report show the continuity of many recent industry trends, certain significant changes were noted that have affected, or are starting to affect, participating organizations."

About

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

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.

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