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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.


Smart Thermostat Initiatives Reveal Exciting New Horizons for Energy Efficiency Programs

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Oct. 6, 2015, by Steven Nadel.

"Today, Commonwealth Edison, several smart thermostat manufacturers, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center announced a major new initiative with a target to install one million smart thermostats in the homes of Commonwealth Edison customers over five years. Commonwealth Edison (commonly called ComEd) serves northern Illinois, including the Chicago metropolitan area. To start, the new smart thermostats will include the Nest and ecobee3, but over time additional manufacturers will be added."

DOE Releases Street Lighting Report

Architectural SSL, Oct. 19, 2015.

"The U.S. Dept. of Energy has released a GATEWAY report on the experiences of the City of Portland, OR, in converting its street lighting from high-pressure sodium to LED. Such large-scale conversions are rarely simple matters, and the Portland Bureau of Transportation was an early investigator of LED street lighting and one of the first public agencies to join DOE's Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium, so learning how the city addressed the challenges it encountered can be especially helpful to other cities that are implementing or considering their own lighting transitions."

Proper Procedure for a Boiler-Room Assessment

HPAC Engineering, Sep. 2015, by Steve Connor and Randy Smith.

"Efficiency, sustainability, reliability, safety—these are the keys to the optimal performance of a facility, and they are the focus of a properly conducted boiler-room assessment. This article discusses what goes into a properly conducted boiler-room assessment."

Data Rather than Door Knocking to Acquire Energy Efficiency Customers

Energy Efficiency Markets, Oct. 13, 2015, by Lisa Cohn.

"To acquire energy efficiency customers, many utilities hire people to knock on doors, especially for programs like demand response, says Sid Siddhartha, founder and CEO of Innowatts, which provides data-driven energy management. The company has developed a program that uses data instead."

Building Systems Integration Best Practices

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Sep. 2015, by Sanjyot V. Bhusari and Michael Watts.

"While 30 yr of advances in building automation have allowed owners to do more with less, the benefits remain accompanied by challenges. Open building automation system (BAS) communications protocols have made systems integration relatively easy, but in the absence of data and automation optimization, energy reduction, optimal maintenance, and greater staff productivity are being left on the table. Integrating otherwise disparate BAS into enterprise-level software platforms establishes a business case for state-of-the-art systems integration."

What Owners Need to Know About ... Tankless Water Heaters

HPAC Engineering, Sep. 2015, by Kunal Shah.

"For the new generation of mechanical rooms, lower operating costs, greater reliability, and environmental-friendliness are the name of the game. This is leading consulting-specifying engineers, architects, and facility owners and managers to leave no stone unturned in their search for the best possible return on investment (ROI). Considering water-heating systems typically are second only to HVAC systems in terms of energy consumption, even small gains in efficiency and cuts in operating expenses related to water heating can have a large impact on a facility’s bottom line. For this reason, tankless water-heating systems are gaining traction."

13 Questions Define CMMS Success

Maintenance Technology, Sep. 2015, by Jane Alexander.

"Computerized maintenance management systems will deliver as advertised, but must be properly configured."

Battery Storage Ready for Prime Time in Commercial Facilities

Building Operating Management, Sep. 2015, by Naomi Millán.

An article in 3-parts:
1) Understanding the Revolution in Energy Storage
2) Energy Storage Applications
3) Pairing Solar Power with Energy Storage

"Facility managers are no strangers to the concept of energy storage at their facilities. Most any facility of size has a UPS with a bank of lead acid batteries to carry the critical load for the few minutes it takes the generator to kick on. It has been a vital, if humdrum, system. But now there has been a revolution in the world of energy storage, and the commercial market is poised for explosive growth in the adoption of energy storage systems behind the meter. This growth is driven by a variety of factors, such as plummeting hardware costs and skyrocketing demand charges."

Energy Monitoring: Real-Time, Real Smart

Building Operating Management, Sep. 2015, by Greg Zimmerman.

3-part article:
1) Using and Managing Energy Monitoring Data
2) Quick Response to Energy Waste, Quick ROI Among Benefits
3) Bringing Energy Understanding to Occupants, Tenants

Standby Power: Generating Answers

Engineered Systems, Sep. 2015, by Tom Faucette and Sara Lappano.

"As terms like big data, business resiliency, and the “internet of things” enter our lexicon, the availability of power has evolved as one of the hottest topics in facility management and engineering. When discussing the uptime of an electrical system, the conversation starts with the utility company and then almost immediately goes to on-site generation. Depending on your building type and loads, on-site generation facilities can take on many different topologies and sources. We are going to focus on generators, using both natural gas and diesel generators and how to successfully determine which fuel type and system topology makes sense for different facility and load types."


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