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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


Industry Prepares for New Residential Water Heater Standards

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Feb. 9, 2015, by Jen Anesi.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/128809-industry-prepares-for-new-residential-water-heater-standards

"New minimum energy-efficiency standards go into effect for nearly all residential gas and electric water heaters on April 16, 2015. The set of rigorous rules are the third generation of standards the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued for the equipment under the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 (NAECA). While the new efficiency standards do not require manufacturers to use any specific technologies to achieve the new EF (energy factor) ratings, they’ve already necessitated a significant redesign effort from manufacturers."

Faulty Installations Slash System Efficiency [HVAC Equipment]

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, Feb. 9, 2015, by Nicole Krawcke.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/128787-faulty-installations-slash-system-efficiency

"Duct leakage, refrigerant undercharge or overcharge, low indoor airflow, and oversized equipment with undersized ductwork have the most potential to significantly degrade equipment efficiency, according to a recent National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) study. Contractors who adequately address these challenges differentiate themselves from the competition."

Direct link to the NIST Report, Sensitivity Analysis of Installation Faults on Heat Pump Performance, NIST Technical Note 1848, October 2014.

Shelter Report 2015: Less Is More: Transforming Low-Income Communities Through Energy Efficiency

Habitat for Humanity, Jan. 2015.
http://www.habitat.org/advocate/publications-resources/shelter-report-2015

"Habitat for Humanity’s 2015 Shelter Report focuses on improving energy efficiency among lower-income households.  Although Habitat for Humanity and the federal government are addressing some of the energy efficiency issues among lower-income families, too many families still face the challenge of energy costs that are excessive compared to their overall incomes."

Bosch Equips Energy Smart Housing Community in Texas

Energy Manager Today, Jan. 21, 2015, by Karen Henry.
http://www.energymanagertoday.com/bosch-equips-energy-smart-housing-community-texas-0108288/

"Bosch has partnered with Taurus Investment Holdings, a Boston-based real estate development company, to equip a master-planned community outside Austin, Texas, with efficient geothermal heat pumps, hot water systems and Energy Star rated kitchen appliances. The new community, called Whisper Valley, will eventually include 7,500 net zero ready single and multi-family homes and apartments, plus more than 2 million square feet of retail and office space across 2,062 acres."

UTEP Engineering Center Can Boost Business Efficiency, Profits

UTEP (University of Texas-El Paso) News, Feb. 23, 2015, by Nadia M. Whitehead.
http://news.utep.edu/?p=29171

"Local manufacturers who are looking to boost efficiency and increase profitability don’t have to go at it alone. The Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC), an engineering program based at The University of Texas at El Paso, is here to help."

Northwest Launches Nation's First Collaborative Regional Effort to Transform Natural Gas Energy Efficiency

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Feb. 26, 2015.
http://tinyurl.com/naswwm3

"Today, a group of leading regional utilities and energy efficiency organizations including Avista, Cascade Natural Gas, Energy Trust of Oregon, NW Natural, Puget Sound Energy and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) jointly announced the launch of the first regional natural gas market transformation effort in the nation."

Gamified Energy Efficiency Programs

ACEEE, Feb. 2015, by Susan Mazur-Stommen, Kate Farley, and Steven Nadel.
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/b1501.pdf

"Gamification turns a real-world activity into a game to make people more likely to do it. Over the past five years, utilities and third-party providers have developed scores of games that motivate and encourage people to save energy. This report describes and analyzes 22 of these games in depth and surveys 31 others. It takes program designers through the steps of developing a game, explains how games motivate players to reduce their energy use, and analyzes the characteristics of the most successful gamified solutions. Preliminary evidence indicates that gamified energy efficiency programs can achieve savings of 3–6% among a sizable number of participants."

The Impact of Energy Efficient Design and Construction on LIHTC Housing in Virginia

Report to Housing Virginia by the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech, Feb. 10, 2015.
http://files.ctctcdn.com/8811fceb001/13f4c1d8-6789-4605-96a0-8565b49cf03c.pdf

"The purpose of this report is to identify and verify possible benefits of the shift in housing policy by the Virginia Housing development Authority (VHDA) to encourage energy efficiency (EE) in the affordable rental stock in Virginia through the LIHTC [Low-Income Housing Tax Credits] program. The research addresses key issues related to energy efficiency and affordable housing through a rigorous measurement of economic impacts for low-income residents, distinguishing the effects of design, construction, technologies and behavior per unit."


Advancing Elevator Energy Efficiency

ACEEE, Jan. 2015, by Harvey Sachs, Harry Misuriello, and Sameer Kwatra.
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/a1501.pdf

"This paper describes recent advances in energy-saving elevator technologies and recommends a path for accelerating the uptake of these new capabilities. New building codes are stimulating the adoption of modern systems that can save more than 40% of current annual energy use. ACEEE recommends actions by manufacturers, ASHRAE, public benefits programs (including utility incentives), voluntary labeling programs, and government to encourage further innovation. We recommend that industry adopt an efficiency rating system and an industry-owned premium product label."

How ASHRAE Standard 90.1 Contributes to Integrated Design

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Feb. 2015, by Rodney V. Oathout, and Ruairi Barnwell.
http://www.csemag.com/single-article/how-ashrae-standard-901-contributes-to-integrated-design/b65adcbb0780de5bdda67301e25338c3.html

"ASHRAE Standard 90.1 is under continuous maintenance. This article focuses on the recent evolution of this standard, the impact on energy and performance, the design process, and how human interaction can improve energy efficiency."

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