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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for July 22, 2013

ENERGY NEWSBRIEFS is a weekly current awareness service provided by the WSU Extension Energy Program Library and written by Angela Santamaria, WSU Energy Library Manager, to assist users in tracking developments in the energy field. To view past issues or to subscribe to receive an email notification of the publication of a new issue, go to the Energy Newsbriefs home.

Please be aware that although every URL is checked for accuracy prior to the publication of Energy Newsbriefs, URLs are, for various reasons, subject to change. Further, servers sometimes fail to connect to working URLs.


Supply Concerns Drive New Motor Technologies,” by Larry Adams, Contributing Writer, Appliance Design; it was published in the June 2013 issue of that journal. Rare-earth elements have changed product design with very positive results, but their rarity makes them expensive and unable to fill the ever-increasing demand for them. Efforts are being made to replace them with more readily available materials.


Buildings Energy Data Book 2011" is a publication from the Building Technologies Program of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. It offers extensive information about buildings in the residential, commercial, and federal sectors. Additionally, it includes chapters on laws and codes, market transformation, and energy supply. Chapter 1 addresses the buildings sector generally with, among other things, attention to the embodied energy in different building materials. Other Data Books on Bioenergy, Transportation, Power Technologies, and Hydrogen that may be of interest to the energy professional and others are listed on the same web page.

Miscellaneous Energy Loads in Buildings" is a 95-page, June 2013, report from ACEEE (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy), and written by Sameer Kwatra, et al. Appliances and equipment unrelated to heating and cooling account for a significant and ever-increasing part of residential and commercial energy consumption. All of the appliances and equipment studied could be much more energy-efficient. Three ways are suggested to make them so. The report includes an Executive Summary on document-page iii (PDF-page 7).

The following three articles were published in the June 2013 issue of Buildings; the first two were written by its Associate Editor, Janelle Penny, the third by its Assistant Editor, Christopher Curtland:

  1. Daylighting in Every Room?" explains hybrid solar lighting (fiber optic daylighting), a technology that brings UV-free and infrared-free visible light from a roof-top tracker to hybrid luminaires in otherwise dark areas of building interiors.
  2. Take Elevator Efficiency to the Next Level" offers advice on how to trim energy costs from building elevators. While, generally, elevators represent between three and five percent of the total energy costs of the entire building, the author suggests starting with finding out exactly how much the ones in the building in question actually use. She adds that submetering or an outside audit could supply this information. Other tips follow.
  3. Detecting Heat Loss Through the Envelope "explains how to find exactly where air and moisture are leaking into the structure, discusses the importance of codes for any renovation, and cautions the reader to pick the solution best suited to the problem.

The Energy Information Administration of DOE offers monthly updated Energy Profiles for the country’s 56 states and territories with, additionally, 90 data series for the states and the state ranking for several of the data series.

"Leaders of the Pack: ACEEE’s Third National Review of Exemplary Energy Efficiency Programs" (registration may be required to view this report for free) is a June 2013, 296–page report from ACEEE (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy); it was written by Seth Nowak, Martin Kushler, Patti Witte, and Dan York.


"Building Performance Database Helps Building Owners, Investors Evaluate Energy Efficient Buildings is a June 17, 2013, press release from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. It describes the DOE Buildings Performance Database, which is available free with registration.

"A Homeowner's Guide to Window Air Conditioner Installation for Efficiency and Comfort" is a two-page fact sheet from the Building Technologies Office (BTO) in the EERE Office at DOE. It is part of the series Technology Solutions for Existing Homes, and it offers clear instructions on how to properly install window air conditioning units to maximize efficiency and comfort.

"Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips" is a Web page from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office of the U.S. Department of Energy. The site offers many tips for energy savings for the warmer months.

Past issues of Energy Newsbriefs are available here. Generally, subscription information for the journals cited above can be found at the home page of their web sites. © 2013 Washington State University Extension Energy Program. This publication contains material written and produced for public distribution