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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


Energy Savings Can Be Fun, But No Need To Turn Off All The Lights

NPR, Mar. 7, 2017, by Ingrid Lobet.
http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/03/07/518175670/energy-savings-can-be-fun-but-no-need-to-turn-off-all-the-lights

"A new company is doing more than just monitoring electricity use. It's making tracking your electrical data fun. Steve Reed of San Diego says he signed up for free with OhmConnect. He was eager to see how much his family could cut back on electricity at times when there is a high demand for it in the area. Soon, he got a text prompting him to lower use for an hour — from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. the next day. The service includes an interactive map of where your electricity is coming from. Curtis Tongue, one of OhmConnect's co-founders, says it makes climate change and pollution less remote and gives people a way to do something purposeful."

What the Wall Street Journal Got Wrong About PACE

ACEEE Blog, Mar 2, 2017, by Jim Barrett.
http://aceee.org/blog/2017/03/what-wall-street-journal-got-wrong

"The growth of the PACE [Property Assessed Clean Energy] market has been so remarkable that it’s getting attention outside of the efficiency world as well as inside it. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article calling PACE the “fastest growing loan category.” But in the same article, it ominously compared PACE to the subprime mortgage crisis. If true, this would certainly merit even more attention, this time from regulators and possibly even law enforcement. Fortunately, it’s not."

Northwest Builds Efficiency Incentives for Manufactured Housing

Clean Energy Finance Forum, Feb. 13, 2017, by Kat Friedrich.
http://www.cleanenergyfinanceforum.com/2017/02/13/northwest-builds-efficiency-incentives-for-manufactured-housing

"Now that Energy Star’s incentive for manufactured housing has reached its sunset date at the end of 2016, who will take the lead in advancing these goals? ...regionally, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), in partnership with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and a group of utilities, has stepped into an innovative role. It is continuing a preexisting program that is providing an example of regional success."

Wind Power Considerations

Solar Today, Winter 2016-2017, by Mick Sagrillo.
https://tinyurl.com/z5jh7h4

"Today's small wind turbines are a reliable way to cut utility bills and help mitigate global climate change. At the core of the small wind industry lies a mature, tried-and-tested technology. This growing industry also attracts a lot of start-up businesses; unfortunately many of them based on half-baked ideas or wishful thinking... Here is a list of issues to consider when shopping for a small wind system."

Advanced Battery Technology: A Foundation for New Energy

Solar Today, Winter 2016-2017, by Jim Peterson.
https://tinyurl.com/gu4zv8c

"We are on the cusp of a new generation of energy, both on the residential and large-scale utility fronts. With advanced digital technology and materials such as a new generation of lithium ion batteries, the future for storage battery technology gets brighter every day."

Can Energy Efficiency and Health Industries Bring Momentum Mainstream?

E4TheFuture Blog, Jan. 12, 2017, Julie Michals.
http://e4thefuture.org/blog/can-energy-efficiency-and-health-industries-bring-momentum-mainstream/

"When E4TheFuture decided to explore the health co-benefits of energy efficiency in its November 2016 white paper Occupant Health Benefits of Residential Energy, we had a particular reason for doing so. Our initial focus was to document studies that could help inform cost-effectiveness screening—specifically, to help make the case that important health co-benefits of efficiency exist, and their value is not $0. We were excited to piggyback on a broader research effort undertaken by the US DOE."

Refrigerants in Transition: Impacts on HVAC-System Design

HPAC Engineering, Dec. 2016, by Ryan Geister.
http://hpac.com/air-conditioning/refrigerants-transition-impacts-hvac-system-design

"With the world’s attention increasingly focused on climate change, organizations are more attuned to carbon-footprint implications during the building-design process and the impacts buildings have on the environment. HVAC-system efficiency plays a crucial role in a building’s environmental impact. While it is important to choose equipment that delivers high-efficiency performance, it is even more critical to consider a building’s entire HVAC system during design."

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."
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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