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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


CLEAResult Guide to Smart Thermostats

CLEAResult, 2017.
https://www.clearesult.com/insights/whitepapers/guide-to-smart-thermostats/

"...this paper outlines available products and services and shares the collective expertise of CLEAResult’s energy analysts, building science consultants and program managers who have first-hand knowledge of how smart thermostats work and how they can help save energy."


Why Rate Design Matters for Energy Efficiency

ACEEE Blog, Mar. 22, 2017, by Brendon Baatz.
http://aceee.org/blog/2017/03/why-rate-design-matters-energy

"Today, most American households pay for electric service via a two-part electric rate. This typically consists of a small, fixed customer charge ($ per month) and an energy rate applied per unit of electricity ($ per kilowatt hour). There are some variations on this model, including energy rates that vary based on time of day or total monthly consumption, but the basic structure of residential rates hasn’t changed much over time. In recent years, utilities have proposed significant departures to this format to address the changing dynamics of the electric utility industry."

Preparing For More DG On the Grid: No Two-Way Power Flow About It?

Public Power, Mar/Apr 2017, by Laura D'Alessandro.
http://www.publicpower.org/Media/magazine/ArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=47668

"Installing solar panels seems simple, according to all those companies selling them. Just sign up, invite someone onto your roof to install them, and boom, you’re in business — generating power even when the grid goes down. Right? Not exactly."

Smart Building Technology

Forester Daily News, Mar. 2017, by Ed Ritchie.
http://foresternetwork.com/daily/energy/building-automation/smart-building-technology-2/

"Automation software, customizable networks, and data collection create energy savings."

Solar Experiment Lets Neighbors Trade Energy Among Themselves

New York Times, Mar. 13, 2017, by Diane Cardwell.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/business/energy-environment/brooklyn-solar-grid-energy-trading.html?_r=0

"In a promising experiment in an affluent swath of [Brooklyn], dozens of solar-panel arrays spread across rowhouse rooftops are wired into a growing network. Called the Brooklyn Microgrid, the project is signing up residents and businesses to a virtual trading platform that will allow solar-energy producers to sell excess-electricity credits from their systems to buyers in the group, who may live as close as next door."

Should Utility Prepay Plans be Considered Energy Efficiency Programs?

ACEEE Blog, Feb. 28, 2017, by Ariel Drehobl.
http://aceee.org/blog/2017/02/should-utility-prepay-plans-be

"Utility proposals for customer prepayment plans are on the rise. These payment plans require customers to pay in advance for their utility services and, if they run out of prepaid credit, they are remotely disconnected from service until they top up their credit. While utilities can benefit from these plans because of reduced financial risks from overdue payments and other reduced service costs, many consumer advocates are concerned about these plans’ effects on health and safety, particularly for low-income participants. Some utilities and prepay advocates claim that prepayment influences customers to save energy. If this is true, should prepay plans be considered energy efficiency programs?"

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."

Preliminary Energy Savings Announced for ASHRAE/IES 2016 Energy Standard [90.1]

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2017.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/98173

"More than 30% energy savings can be achieved using the 2016 version of Standard 90.1, according ASHRAE. The savings was found during a recent analysis conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) in support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program."

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."
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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