Category: News

HERS (HOME ENERGY VARIABILITY) VARIABILITY REPORT

Home energy ratings are experiencing a growing role in energy code compliance. HERS Raters, in particular, often provide third-party verification services for minimum and above-code programs, including traditional compliance pathways contained in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and more recently the Energy Rating Index (ERI) pathway.  In recognition of this trend, the U.S. Department of Energy commissioned a study exploring the consistency and replicability of the HERS system, and in anticipation of HERS Raters assuming a greater role in energy code compliance.

Study Highlights:

  • Data was collected by the Regional Energy Efficiency Organizations (REEO) under direction of the U.S. Department of Energy
  • The Study was designed to assess variation in ratings for new houses, sampling homes in each REEO region for a total of eleven homes in geographically dispersed locations across the U.S.
  • The study was conducted as a blind study to ensure unbiased results
  • No individual identifying information was disclosed in order to ensure privacy and confidentiality of those contributing to each rating

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What Does the Future Hold for Utility Electricity Efficiency Programs?

Energy efficiency programs are the hidden powerhouse behind many current trends in the electric utility industry.

Electricity demand has been largely flat in the U.S. for the past 10 years, in no small part due to electricity efficiency programs funded by utility customers in nearly all states. Appliance and equipment energy efficiency standards are also having a big impact, along with tighter building codes, tax credits and finance programs.

These programs, in turn, have had a ripple effect on investment across the sector, with impacts on the future of generation, transmission and distribution system decisions. In recent years, there has been a wave of power plant retirements, as generators are squeezed between low natural-gas prices, declining costs of wind and solar, environmental and other regulatory costs, and nearly flat demand due to energy efficiency gains.

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Electrification and efficiency: crafting an enduring relationship

As more states and cities set aggressive policies toward a carbon-free future, the energy industry is abuzz with the concept of electrification. What does this have to do with energy efficiency? A lot! Although some people may assume that efficiency’s reduction in electric use conflicts with electrification’s increase in load, in fact, energy efficiency is central to many electrification strategies. Like many relationships, it’s complicated. If done right, electrification presents opportunities to advance energy efficiency and its many benefits. But if not done carefully, it also poses challenges. Here we briefly explore the relationship between electrification and efficiency and highlight some upcoming ACEEE research and outreach that will further explore the topic.

Read More (ACEEE)

Energy-Efficient Buildings Are Central to Modernizing U.S. Infrastructure

If roads, bridges, and phone and transmission lines are the veins of American infrastructure, buildings are the heart. Whether residential or commercially owned, the buildings that serve as places of work and living in the United States unquestionably shape public health, safety, and economic productivity. As buildings’ multiplying energy needs increasingly force their integration into the United States’ energy grid, it has become necessary to update building practices and technologies accordingly. These updates should minimize energy leakage and make greater use of each unit of energy consumed.

By upgrading energy efficiency in buildings, the United States can realistically lower energy costs for consumers, encourage job growth, and reduce energy-related pollution and carbon emissions. Buildings present a vast opportunity for Congress to revitalize the core of U.S. infrastructure and improve communities across the country.

Read More (American Progress)

Energy-Efficient Buildings Are Central to Modernizing U.S. Infrastructure

If roads, bridges, and phone and transmission lines are the veins of American infrastructure, buildings are the heart. Whether residential or commercially owned, the buildings that serve as places of work and living in the United States unquestionably shape public health, safety, and economic productivity. As buildings’ multiplying energy needs increasingly force their integration into the United States’ energy grid, it has become necessary to update building practices and technologies accordingly. These updates should minimize energy leakage and make greater use of each unit of energy consumed.

By upgrading energy efficiency in buildings, the United States can realistically lower energy costs for consumers, encourage job growth, and reduce energy-related pollution and carbon emissions. Buildings present a vast opportunity for Congress to revitalize the core of U.S. infrastructure and improve communities across the country.

Read More (Center for American Progress)

Department of Energy Announces Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) Funding Awards

The Building Technologies Office announced it is investing up to $19.5 million in 19 projects that will drive innovation in early-stage research and development for advanced building technologies and systems that will serve as a foundation for future technological developments and reductions in building energy consumption. These technologies will improve the efficiency of our nation’s buildings and will help American consumers and businesses save energy and money on their utility bills.

“Technological innovations enable energy-efficiency advances in the buildings sector, providing a tremendous opportunity to reduce energy waste and costs – boosting the competitiveness of U.S. companies and easing energy bills for American families,” said David Nemtzow, director of the Building Technologies Office. “As buildings account for 40% of the energy consumption in the United States, these efficiency innovations allow us to further improve upon past progress.”

Read More (Energy.gov)

Appalachian Power releases new energy efficiency programs

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR News) – For 2019, Appalachian Power has several new programs to provide residential and business customers a chance to save money, energy, and make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.

“We’re excited to bring new options that will bring more energy savings to our customers,” said Don Nichols, manager of Appalachian Power’s TakeCharge energy efficiency programs in Virginia.

Read More (Virginia First)

Baby, it’s cold outside: how to save energy and keep warm this winter

ACEEE hopes your holidays were warm and bright—but let’s be real, for those in colder climates, the first months of the new year can be notoriously chilly. Plus, the great weakening of the Polar Vortex(link is external)means cold air will likely stick around.

So let’s talk about heating. Heating your home is an incredibly energy consuming task, and typically makes up around 35%-50% of your utility bill. Fortunately, there’s a lot that you can to do save energy and money while maximizing coziness. From five-minute fixes to easy DIY projects, here’s a list of ways to stay a little warmer and save some money as you begin the new year.

Read more (ACEEE)

Shaheen Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Delays in Federal Resources to State Energy Assistance Programs

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jack Reed (D-RI) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to encourage state-driven energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives that reduce energy costs for low-income households, spur private sector energy innovation and improve emergency planning and response. The Investing in State Energy Act would prevent undue delay in distributing grants through the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the State Energy Program (SEP) to state agencies and local partners that implement energy initiatives.

Just last month, Shaheen led a bipartisan letter with Senators Collins, Coons, Reed, Murkowski and Cantwell to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry regarding delayed guidance and documentation for the WAP. Their letter was in response to the Department of Energy (DOE) missing an important deadline to deliver information concerning state allocations to WAP grantees. Because of the Senators’ efforts, this guidance was later released to allow states to plan for the upcoming year.

Read More (Shaheen Senate)

Toward more energy-efficient cruise ships

An EPFL researcher has developed a system based on fuel cells to reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of cruise ships, which are increasingly popular among vacation goers around the world.

Spending a few weeks sailing the seas on a luxury liner is an idea that appeals to a growing number of people, particularly in Asian countries. But  do not just sail from port to port: as veritable floating hotels accommodating several hundred passengers, they use a great deal of energy for heating, electricity, air conditioning and various other aspects of life on board. To make them more environmentally friendly, Francesco Baldi, a researcher in EPFL’s Industrial Process and Energy Systems Engineering Group (IPESE), has come up with a novel solution.

Read More (Phys)

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