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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.


Category: Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Behavior Change Programs: Status and Impact

ACEEE, Oct. 2016, by Reuven Sussman and Maxine Chikumbo.

"Behavior change programs are becoming a common method for reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency. But what types of programs are out there, why do they work (or fail to work), and how effective are they? This report updates the 2013 ACEEE Field Guide to Utility-Run Behavior Change Programs, with new program evaluations, an analysis of major behavior change strategies, and a focus on programs with evaluated energy savings."

Scaling Up Participation and Savings in Residential Retrofits

ACEEE, Oct. 12, 2016, by Rachel Cluett and Jennifer Amann.

"Whole home retrofits aim to address the biggest residential energy issues. Their number has grown in recent years along with contractor and program experience in delivering successful retrofits. However the demand for these programs and their participation rates have not grown as much, and many of them fail to capture the full range of available savings. This report explores the challenges faced by home retrofit programs and describes the best strategies for improving project-level realization rates."

Getting to Net-Zero Carbon in Multifamily Homes

Rocky Mountain Institute, Oct. 14, 2016, by Kelly Vaughn.

"Consumers wanting to undertake a deep energy retrofit of a home currently face a challenging process that involves multiple complex steps, as shown in the infographic [shows barriers and opportunities] below. For this reason, many give up on energy efficiency."

2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

ACEEE, Sept. 26, 2016.

"This tenth edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard measures the progress of state policies and programs that save energy while also benefiting the environment and promoting growth. We use data vetted by state energy officials to rank states in six categories—utility programs, transportation, building energy codes, combined heat and power, state initiatives, and appliance standards."

Green Building, Without LEED [Multifamily]

EcoBuilding Pulse, Oct. 3, 2016, by Barbara Ballinger.

"A Charlotte, N.C., low-rise incorporates energy-efficient features but eschews the expense and time associated with green certification."

Evaluation of Residential Behavior-Based Programs

Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Sept. 21, 2016, by Steven R. Schiller, Anna C. Spurlock, Annika Todd, and Bill Saxonis. (A webinar presentation - 75 mins.)

"Residential behavior-based (BB) programs use strategies grounded in the behavioral and social sciences to influence household energy use. These programs have unique evaluation challenges and usually require different evaluation methods than those currently employed for most other types of efficiency programs. This webinar is currently planned to provide an introduction to documenting the energy savings associated with BB programs and examples of how different jurisdictions are addressing BB program evaluation."

BPA 2016-2017 Implementation Manual

Bonneville Power Administration, Aug. 22, 2016.

Effective Oct. 1, 2016 - "Based on BPA’s Regional Dialogue policy, BPA commits to achieving the share of the Council’s Power Plan regional energy efficiency target that represents the load of BPA’s public power customers. BPA reports savings to its target from three major categories: programmatic, momentum and market transformation. The [Implementation] Manual covers only programmatic savings that are reportable to BPA’s targets."

Studies Suggest That Past Rates of Energy Efficiency Improvement Can Be Sustained

ACEEE, Sept. 8, 2016, by Steven Nadel,

"Can efficiency improvements achieved in past decades be sustained in the future?  How much impact does the rebound effect have on energy efficiency potential out to 2030, or even 2050? To answer these questions, I was invited to write a paper entitled The Potential for Additional Energy Efficiency Savings Including How the Rebound Effect Could Affect This Potential. The paper appears in the current issue of Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Report (September 2016), an academic journal published by Springer." (Link included in article.)

Expanding the Energy Efficiency Toolbox Through Green Banks

ACEEE, Sept. 7, 2016, by Annie Gilleo.

"In a new report from ACEEE, we review the progress of six green banks and four additional financing entities that serve similar functions. Our goals were to understand how green banks are working in specific market sectors and to identify promising strategies and lessons learned, with a particular focus on energy efficiency. If more states are looking to green banks to stretch public dollars, fill market gaps, and ramp up clean energy investment, we want to know how the early results and lessons learned can shape the next round of green bank deployment."

Rebates and Beyond: An Array of Utility Programs Can Help FMs Save Money

Building Operating Management, Sept. 2016, by Karen Kroll.

A two-part article on utility rebate programs for facility managers:
Part 1: Rebates and Beyond: An Array of Utility Programs Can Help FMs Save Money
Part 2: Demand Response, Commisssioning, and Training: Utility Partnerships
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