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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


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."

For Utilities Hoping to Unlock Smart Grid Opportunities, Data Is the Key

Utility Dive, Oct. 5, 2016, by Robert Walton.

"Having a smart meter installed doesn't mean an electric customer is interested in, or aware of, clean energy products and services. Conversely, new research shows plenty of consumers without advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) want a smart thermostat, time-varying electric rate or other new offering from their utility. How can utilities bridge that gap and connect these customers to smart grid opportunities? "

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."

Green Financing Programs for Multifamily Take Off

EcoBuilding Pulse/Apartment Finance Today, Oct. 3, 2016, by Jerry Ascierto.

"Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) want to make it easier, and more cost effective, for multifamily owners to go green."

Grassroots And Grass: How Sacramento Became The Center Of Zero-Energy Housing

FastCoexist/Fast Company, Sept. 29, 2016, by Griffin Hagle.

"California’s unassuming state capital boasts more energy-neutral homes than any other city in America."

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."

The Untapped Potential of Community Energy Storage

Microgrid Knowledge, Sept. 19, 2016.

"Robin Roy, an NRDC consultant, explains why community energy storage often falls between the gaps in federal energy policy and what can be done about the problem."

Energy Trust Tops 10,000 Energy Efficient Homes

Portland Business Journal, Aug. 16, 2016, by Jon Bell.

"Just 300 homes built in Oregon in 2009 had an Energy Performance Score, the energy performance rating tool developed by the Energy Trust of Oregon. In 2015, that number soared to 2,500 homes.As of this month, all of those numbers have helped Energy Trust surpass the 10,000 mark when it comes to homes rated with an EPS. According to the nonprofit, more than a third of new homes built in Oregon these days have an EPS."

Comparing Polystyrenes: Looking At the Differences Between EPS and XPS

The Construction Specifier, Sep. 2016, by Jason Burgess.

"Insulation is a critical component to specify when designing a functional, cost-effective, and energy-efficient building. One method to insulate a building is by installing 50 to 152 mm (2 to 6 in.) of rigid foam insulation on the exterior side of the wall framing. Two of the most frequently installed types of rigid foam insulation are expanded and extruded polystyrene (EPS and XPS). Both serve the same basic function: providing a means to manage the passage of heat in a building system. However, they differ in important ways."

Integrated Design for Affordable, Factory Built Homes

ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Aug. 2016, by Eric Ansanelli, Devanshi Dadia, Jordan Dentz, Zoe Kaufman, Emanuel Levy, Pournamasi Rath, and Greg Barker.

"In many respects that impact energy efficiency, manufactured housing is an anomaly in the shelter business. The industry builds to a national standard, most of the construction is done in a controlled manufacturing environment typically far removed from the building site, and portions of the home are completed by installers outside the control of the factory.... However, this is about to change as the industry energy standards, last updated in 1994, will be raised to levels roughly equivalent to IECC 2015, an unprecedented leap in efficiency regulation."
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