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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: Laws/Rules/Regulations


Review of the DOE Final Rule for Integral Horsepower Motors

Pumps & Systems, Sep. 2015, by John Malinowski.

"At the end of May 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Final Rule that amends the regulation for integral horsepower motors. Until the rule takes effect June 1, 2016, motor manufacturers will continue to operate under rules from the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which took effect in December 2010. This means that almost all low-voltage, three-phase motors sold for use in the U.S. will need to be premium efficiency per National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) MG 1-2014, tables 12-12 and 20B."

New Fluorescent Lamp Rules to Shake Up T8 Category

Lighting Management & Maintenance (LM&M), Aug 2105, by Craig Delouie. (Scroll to page 24.)

"In January 2015, DOE announced new energy standards for general-service fluorescent lamps, which will take effect January 26, 2018. The new rules strengthen energy standards for 4-ft. T8 linear and 2-ft. T8 U-bend, while both strengthening and expanding covered wattages for 4-ft. T5 and T5HO linear lamps. Eight-foot lamps did not see any change."

NREL Helps Federal Agencies Reach New Efficiency Targets

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Aug 19, 2015, by Wayne Hicks.

"An executive order issued by the White House in March puts greater emphasis on work done at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to help government agencies meet their goals. NREL has long been a resource for federal agencies on energy efficiency efforts and renewable energy technology. The newest executive order calls for tougher goals and spurs agencies to do more than what they've done already."

Post-HFC-Phaseout Refrigerant Options

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Aug. 3, 2015, by Ron Rajecki.

"The July 2 ruling from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that sets forth the timeframes for the phaseout of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in specific applications presents some challenges for the refrigeration industry. The ruling also presents new opportunities for growth of the natural refrigerants market. The ruling, however, was not unexpected, and it did not catch many of the major refrigerant manufacturers flatfooted."

Searching for Equilibrium: How to Achieve It In the Era of Distributed Energy

Public Utilities Fortnightly, Aug. 2015, by David J. O'Brien.

"Over the decades of state regulation of distribution utilities, we have seen prominent structural changes - independent power and restructuring - that have altered the basis of the regulatory bargain. Today we stand at another critical point: where the structural underpinnings of the regulatory compact have shifted and a state of disequilibrium exists."

Using Less Energy to Keep Drinks Cold

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Aug. 5, 2015, by Joanna Mauer.

"Late yesterday, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed strong new standards that would reduce the energy consumed by beverage vending machines to keep drinks cold. The proposed standards would cut energy use by 25-65% relative to the least-efficient machines available now, and save money for schools, hospitals, hotels, and other businesses and institutions where beverage vending machines are used."

Energy Efficiency in the Clean Power Plan: Take One

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Aug. 12, 2015, by Cassandra Kubes.

"On August 3rd, EPA released the final Clean Power Plan (CPP), a rule that sets performance rates and individual state targets for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Now that the emissions targets are set, energy efficiency plays a prominent role as a proven strategy that states can use to reduce energy, cut emissions, and boost the economy."

NASEO Releases Working Paper on Least Cost, Energy Efficiency Approaches to Address EPA's Clean Power Plan

National Association of  State Energy Officials (NASEO), July 31, 2015.

"On July 31, 2015, NASEO released its working paper “Energy Efficiency Strategies for Clean Power Plan Compliance: Approaches and Selected Case Studies” to support state consideration of “no regrets” and often least-cost energy efficiency strategies for prospective Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance.  While NASEO has not taken a position on the CPP, we are working to ensure states are given wide flexibility in addressing key reliability, affordability, and other state imperatives. Energy efficiency approaches offer among the most cost-effective means to meet both air quality and energy goals, while also supporting energy system reliability.

The NASEO paper discusses the case for energy efficiency and explores some high-level issues of state compliance strategy

Clean Power Plan Toolbox for States

Environmental Protection Agency, Aug. 4, 2015.

"Resources to help develop state plans: As co-regulators, states will develop plans to meet the guidelines in the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The federal resources below provide information on state plan development and can help states determine the most cost-effective approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. Please note that inclusion of a measure in the toolbox does not mean that a state plan must include that measure. In addition, inclusion of these measures does not necessarily imply the approvability of an approach or method for use in a state plan. States will need to demonstrate that any measure included in a state plan meets all relevant criteria and adequately addresses elements of the plan components."

EPA Releases Clean Power Plan

The National Law Review, Aug. 4, 2015., by Stephen L. Miller, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC.

"On August 3, 2015, President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy released the agency’s Clean Power Plan, regulations designed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from power plants, as well as promoting low-emitting power sources and energy efficiency. These sweeping new rules may revolutionize the nation’s power generation system, and will be challenged vigorously in federal court."

Includes links to the Plan, as well as other related fact sheets and key documents.
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