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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: Residential

Residential


Advanced Storage Battery Technology – Providing a Foundation For the New Energy Paradigm

North American Clean Energy, Nov/Dec 2016, by Jim Petersen.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/24810/advanced-storage-battery-technology-providing-a-foundation-for-the-new-energy-paradigm

"The burgeoning energy storage market is being driven by improved energy efficiency, the declining cost of solar equipment, and higher capacity energy storage made possible by improved battery technology, such as lithium ion. This creates a huge benefit to consumers of electric power, especially with federal incentives covering up to 30 percent of the total system cost."

Home RX: The Health Benefits of Home Performance: A Review of the Current Evidence

Prepared by the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) for the U.S. Dept. of Energy, EERE, Dec. 2016.
https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/Home%20Rx%20The%20Health%20Benefits%20of%20Home%20Performance%20-%20A%20Review%20of%20the%20Current%20Evidence.pdf

"The home performance industry supports whole-house solutions to improve home energy use and enhance indoor air quality and environmental conditions. Numerous studies have evaluated the effects of a range of residential energy efficiency and green renovation work on indoor environmental quality and occupant health. However, there has not been a systematic review of such studies to summarize current knowledge and identify research gaps."

This Holiday Season, Beware a Hidden Scrooge – Increased Energy Use from MELs

U.S. Dept. of Energy, Dec. 20, 2016.
https://energy.gov/eere/articles/holiday-season-beware-hidden-scrooge-increased-energy-use-mels

"Miscellaneous electric loads (MELs) represent those appliances, equipment, and devices that use electricity but do not contribute to a building’s core functions of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, water heating, or refrigeration. The proliferation of these miscellaneous devices and equipment means the amount of energy they consume is continuing to grow."

Apartment Buildings Get on the Energy Efficiency Train

Energy Manager Today, Dec. 7, 2016, by Carl Weinschenk.
http://www.energymanagertoday.com/apartment-buildings-get-on-the-energy-efficiency-train-0128919/

"Efforts are underway to address residential building energy use. In October, the National Network of Business and Industry Association provided a grant to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council  (IREC) that enabled it and the NAAEI to launch a micro-credential program aimed at apartment technical staffs. The credential will be a step beyond Certification for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT). CAMT+E certification attests that the person is capable in planning, procuring and managing energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits in apartments. It is, the press release says, “the first in a series of stackable micro-credentials, which together will lead to a new Certificate for Maintenance Supervisors.”"

Portland Set To Pass Home Energy Score Requirement

Portland Business Journal, Dec. 8, 2016, by Pete Danko.
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2016/12/08/portland-set-to-pass-home-energy-score-requirement.html

"The Portland City Council on Wednesday signaled that it’s ready to approve a measure that will require homeowners to get a home energy score before they put their house up for sale. The measure, promoted by Mayor Charlie Hales, is supported by energy-efficiency advocates and climate-change activists but fiercely opposed by the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors."

What It Takes To Get Community Solar Done

Solar Industry, Nov. 2016, by Tim Braun.
http://issues.solarindustrymag.com/article/what-it-takes-to-get-community-solar-done

"Early distributed generation (DG) models inspired us to believe that we could all participate in the mission to democratize and decarbonize our energy infrastructure. Yet, for a long time, that was really only true for a quarter of U.S. households and businesses. For the other 75% or so, putting a solar PV system on their roof or property either wasn’t possible or wasn’t practical. Those hurdles are being addressed today through the proliferation of community solar, an adaptive DG model that has opened the door to a vast new customer base – one that includes all of us."

Heat Pump Water Heaters Save Energy and Money

NRDC, Nov. 30, 2016, by Pierre Delforge, Christina Swanson, and Eric Weiner.
https://www.nrdc.org/experts/pierre-delforge/very-cool-heat-pump-water-heaters-save-energy-and-money

"A new NRDC study shows that water heaters that use high efficiency heat pump technology—the same process that keeps your refrigerator cold—can cut the amount of electricity used to heat water by half or more, saving significant amounts of energy and money on your household electricity bills."

Insulating Homes with Natural Sheep's Wool

Builder, Dec. 5, 2016, by Lauren Shanesy.
http://www.builderonline.com/products/building-materials/insulating-homes-with-natural-sheeps-wool_o

"Wool has been keeping both sheep and humans warm for centuries. But now one company is using shorn sheep’s wool to give fiberglass and foam insulation a run for their money. Havelock Wool uses 100% natural wool sourced from New Zealand sheep to insulate homes and other buildings. Sheep grow wool in excess, so the renewable material is readily available and has a number of inherent, eco-friendly properties that make it a viable contender for building insulation."

DOE Completes New Consensus-Based [Residential] Air Conditioner Standards

Appliance Standards Awareness Project, Dec. 5, 2016, by Andrew deLaski.
http://www.appliance-standards.org/blog/doe-completes-new-consensus-based-air-conditioner-standards?utm_source=Central+AC+final+rule

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published new minimum energy efficiency standards for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps today.  The new standards, which are based on a negotiated agreement, will reduce air conditioner and heat pump energy use by about 7%, translating into hundreds of dollars in electricity bill savings for consumers over the life of their equipment."

Low-Income Energy Efficiency Quick Start Guide

Bonneville Power Administration and LIEE Workgroup, Nov. 2016.
https://www.bpa.gov/EE/Policy/Documents/Second%20Edition%20Quick%20Start%20Guide%20with%20Appendices.pdf

"This document is intended to help participants learn the history, background, and procedures for serving low-income customers. This Quick Start Guide was developed using information that has been gathered and shared in the LIEE Workgroup meetings with additional components deemed necessary to "stitch together" the information in a comprehensive manner."
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The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at library@energy.wsu.edu