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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


Reducing Costs of Residential Solar PV: Through Module & Hardware Innovations

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Tom Hood & Sicco W.T. Westra.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/18223/reducing-costs-of-residential-solar-pv-through-module-hardware-innovations

"To make life easier for solar system owners, several companies are working to lower BoS [Balance-of-System] costs and simplify racking designs and installation efficiencies. For instance, cost-competitive, roof-mounting brackets are one option now available to installers that can accommodate different types of rail supports for solar modules. Support rails with built-in wire clips are another example of a simplified BoS design, which lowers the cost of hardware and installation by five to ten percent."

Greening the MLS: What's LEED Got to Do With It?

Environmental Design + Construction, June 2014, by Cecilia Shutters.
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95649-greening-the-mls-whats-leed-got-to-do-with-it

"Top three ways to incorporate green into your local MLS (Multiple Listing Service)."

High-Tech Window Glazing

Green Builder, June 2014, by Suchi Rudra. (Scroll or jump to page 49.)
http://content.yudu.com/A2vekc/GreenBuilderJune2014/resources/index.htm

"When it comes to energy efficiency, windows are problematic; they're essentially holes in an otherwise insulated wall. Glass makes up about 15 percent of the wall space in an average home, and inefficient windows can cost over $700 a year in wasted heating and cooling costs. This loss accounts for approximately 2 percent of all energy consumption in the U.S. Upgrading window products, whether you retrofit or replace, means upgrading building performance and cutting back on hundreds of dollars in energy bills."

Rental Renaissance

Green Builder, June 2014, by Juliet Grable. (Scroll to page 12)
http://content.yudu.com/A2vekc/GreenBuilderJune2014/resources/index.htm

"Well designed, energy efficient. Located in walkable neighborhoods near public transportation. In cities across the country, the humble apartment is receiving a green makeover."

Taming an Energy Hog with Efficiency Standards [Furnace Fans]

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), June 25, 2014, by Joanna Mauer.
http://aceee.org/blog/2014/06/taming-energy-hog-efficiency-standard%20

"The Department of Energy (DOE) issued new efficiency standards today that will dramatically reduce the energy use of a little-known home energy hog. Furnace fans, which circulate heated and cooled air throughout a home, consume more than twice the electricity in a year as a typical new refrigerator. The new standards will cut the cost to power furnace fans by about 40% and also deliver improved comfort."

Designing Masonry Buildings to the 2012 Energy Code

The Construction Specifier, June 2014, by Steven Fechino.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/masterformat/designing-masonry-buildings-to-the-2012-energy-code/

"Change is coming to the building industry, driven by a need for far more efficient energy use in the built environment. Masonry has many qualities that make it an ideal building material for energy-efficient construction, including its thermal mass, sustainability, high level of availability, and design flexibility. A combination of new building materials, a better understanding of building dynamics, and improved design software is making it possible for designers to create masonry buildings that meet the new energy codes; skilled masons will be key to making these energy-efficient buildings a reality."

Why Owning Your Own Power Plant Might Not Be Crazy

RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute, May 2014, by Leia Guccione.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2014_05_22_owning_your_own_power_plant

"...it’s not that far-fetched to imagine a day when large segments of customers choose to go mostly or even entirely off-grid with clean, quiet, distributed solar-plus-battery systems. In fact, could owning your own power plant become as convenient and practical—if not quite as ubiquitous—as the consumer appliances and electronics already so commonplace that we take them for granted in our daily lives—a refrigerator, a clothes dryer, or a computer?"

Saving Energy with Neighborly Behavior: Energy Efficiency for Multifamily Renters and Homebuyers

ACEEE, May 2014, by Kate Farley and Susan Mazur-Stommen.
http://www.aceee.org/files/pdf/white-paper/saving-energy-with-neighborly-behavior.pdf

A White Paper from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. "Tenant engagement programs encourage the people who live in a multifamily property to change their behavior in order to achieve a goal. These programs are an attractive option for owners or managers who want to improve energy efficiency. In this report, we assess the key features of existing programs, make recommendations for improvements that housing providers and advocates can use immediately, and outline a wish list for the future."

Air Barriers: Expectations vs. Reality

Environmental Design & Construction (EDC), May 2014, by Richard Scott and Donald B. Snell. (Requires free registration to view full-text.)
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95601-air-barriers-expectations-vs-reality?v=preview

"Air barriers are expected to be beneficial to owners of green buildings, but improper specification and installation can cause problems." Includes a chart that compares air barrier standards.


ERVs Gain Traction in New and Old Projects

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Apr. 21, 2014, by Jen Anesi.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/126434-ervs-gain-traction-in-new-and-old-projects

"The more outside air a building pulls in, the harder the HVAC system will have to work to condition that air. Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) help mitigate that energy loss by extracting heat from exhaust air and applying it to the incoming fresh air. Similarly, energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) extract both heat and humidity from exhaust air in order to pre-treat fresh air." Article includes a "Product Showcase" of some of the new HRV and ERV products.

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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

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.