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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for November 5, 2012

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.


"Energy Consumption: You Can't Control What You Don't Measure," by Chris Olson, Chief Content Director, Buildings, is a short article, carried in the September 2012 issue of that journal, explaining the importance, and national implications, of the release of New York City's first energy benchmarking report based on data from reports required of the private owners of buildings over 50,000 square feet in area. A fuller description is in the August 3, 2012, press release by New York's Mayor Bloomberg. The mayor's press release includes a link to a Web page, Benchmarking Scores & Reports: Private Sector with links to several important aspects of the report and, also, to the full 36-page report, " New York City Local law 84 Benchmarking Report August 2012."

"How to Use Building Energy Modeling Tools," by Erin McConahey, PE, Arup, was published in the September 2012 issue of Consulting-Specifying Engineer. This is a basic and informative discussion of the tools – there are hundreds of them – including why, specifically, they were developed, and suggestions for which type of modeling software to use at what point in the life of the building.


"Google Throws Open Doors to Its Top-Secret Data Center," by Steven Levy, appeared in the October 17, 2012 issue of Wired. This inside look at a Google-owned data center in Lenoir, North Carolina, is interesting for a number of reasons. The reason of interest here is, of course, energy use and energy savings. Scroll about a third of the way down to read about Google's contributions to new ways to design and operate data centers for energy savings. These contributions have been adopted by others in the industry after Google began publicizing them.


"Easy LED Replacement," by Janelle Penny, Associate Editor, Buildings, was published in the September 2012 issue of that journal. This article tells how the Zhaga Consortium of lighting manufacturers and professionals is proceeding with its mission to develop LED interchangeability standards for the following properties: mechanical, photometrical, thermal electrical, and control.

"Engineering a Successful Lighting Retrofit," by Michael Chow, PE, LEED AP BD+C, Metro CD Engineering LLC; it was carried in the September 2012 issue of Consulting-Specifying Engineer. This article includes discussion of the interchangeability (or not) of different lamps in original lamp holders and the maintaining of UL listings after the original lamp is replaced by a different one, say a T-12 is replaced by a T-8 or after a T-12/T-8 lamp/ballast is replaced by a tubular LED. Other types of replacements are covered, as well, and the author includes discussion of lamp recycling, lifecycle costs, color, and dimmability.


"Energy Efficiency Hits a New High in 2011" (scroll to page 6) was written by staff of the Northwest Power and Planning Council and published in the Summer 2012 issue of Council Quarterly. The Northwest has been saving energy and energy dollars since 1978. The article reports that in 2011 alone, implementing energy efficiencies cost the Northwest only 25% of the cost of building new (even though very efficient) power generating plants. The article follows with the numbers behind this assertion.

"More Oil, Fewer Alternatives?" is an October 9, 2012 post by Elizabeth Cutright in her Distributed Energy Editor's Blog prompted by the forecast, by the IEA (International Energy Agency), that Iraq will be producing twice as much oil in 2020 as it is now.

Oil: The Next Revolution – The Unprecedented Upsurge of Oil Production Capacity and What It Means for the World was written by Leonardo Maugeri, Ph.D., Research Fellow of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. This is an 86-PDF-page, June 2012 discussion paper that is part of the work of the Energy Project; it includes an Executive Summary on document page one (or scroll to PDF-page 11). The paper discusses increases in conventional oil production around much of the world and the explosion of shale/tight oil production in the United States and Canada. It, additionally, reviews the strong evidence that there is an enormous supply of discovered and undiscovered oil to be found, undercutting arguments to defend against any peak-oil crisis. The value (and reality) of the concept of oil self-sufficiency is questioned as is the likelihood of sustained political attention to environmental concerns.


"Alternative Mounting Options for Solar: How to Install Solar Panels When Your Roof Isn’t an Option," by Jennie Morton; it was carried in the September 2012 issue of Buildings. There are a number of reasons why a roof may not be a good fit for solar panels. The pitch of a roof, its square footage, and how much weight it can carry are among the issues that may preclude a solar paneled, roof installation. The author discusses how to employ perfectly effective alternatives.


"Moving Water, Saving Energy: Pump Management, Maintenance, and Efficiency" by Carol Brzozowski is a four-web-page article published in the September / October 2012 issue of Water Efficiency. It includes a number of valuable tips and cautions, about technical matters and about how to finance new equipment, for the manager of water or wastewater facilities. It, also, covers some of the more important issues in some depth.

The following two articles appeared in two successive issues of Water Tap: Washington’s Drinking Water Newsletter:
  1. "Bremerton Ranks 1st in State for Conservation Challenge" (scroll to the middle of page six) is a brief article published in the June 2012 issue discussing the results of the National Mayor’s Conservation Challenge. See the rankings for the top ten in each of three population-size categories for the West with options to view the same for the Midwest, the South, and the Northeast.

  2. "Funding Water Projects with Energy Incentives" (scroll to the top of page three) was published in the September 2012 issue. The article provides enough information to get facilities and resources managers going in the right direction for project funding. It includes the valuable sidebar "Incentive Funding for a Hypothetical Leak Repair Project."

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.

© 2012 Washington State University Extension Energy Program. This publication contains material written and produced for public distribution. Permission to copy or disseminate all or part of this material is granted, provided that the copies are not made or distributed for commercial advantage, and that each is referenced by title with credit to the Washington State University Extension Energy Program. Copying, reprinting or dissemination, electronic or otherwise, for any other use requires prior written permission from the Washington State University Extension Energy Program.