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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

Laws/Rules/Regulations


U.S. DOE Determination Regarding Energy Efficiency Improvements in the 2015 IECC

U.S. Department of Energy, Building Energy Codes Program, May 2015.
http://www.energycodes.gov/determinations#tabs-2

"In May, 2015, DOE issued a determination that the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) would achieve greater energy efficiency in residential buildings subject to the code. DOE estimates national savings in residential buildings of approximately:
  • 0.73% energy cost savings
  • 0.87% source energy savings
  • 0.98% site energy savings"

Key Drivers for Energy Storage Adoption: Distributing Reliable, High-Quality Power With a Range of Resources

North American Clean Energy, May/June 2015, by Chris Thompson.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/magazine/mayjune_2015/index.html#p=8

"There is substantial buzz surrounding grid-tied energy storage. But what are the drivers for grid-tied storage today? There are key industry trends propelling the adoption of energy storage technology, including: increased renewables penetration, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders, battery prices, and state mandates. The overall benefits of storage have evolved over the past few years, and grid-tied energy storage will continue to be an important consideration for the future of the grid."

Congress Creates Tenant Star But Does Little Else

Green Building Law Update, Apr. 26, 2015, by Stuart Kaplow.
http://www.greenbuildinglawupdate.com/2015/04/articles/codes-and-regulations/federal/congress-creates-tenant-star-but-does-little-else/

"The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, S. 535, a portion of this bill was formerly known as the Better Buildings Act of 2015, passed the House of Representatives last week and on April 23rd was presented to the President for signature. ...[this]bill has no mandates and only requires the federal government (and no one else) to undertake some very modest, low cost, acts.  Senate bill 535 requires the General Services Administration to develop and “publish” model leasing provisions to encourage building owners and tenants to use greater cost-effective energy efficiency and water efficiency measures in commercial buildings; and, develop policies and practices to implement the measures for the realty services provided by the GSA to agencies."

First Energy Efficiency Legislation Passed by New Congress

RESNET News, April 30, 2015, by Laurel Elam.
http://www.resnet.us/blog/first-energy-efficiency-legislation-passed-by-new-congress/

"On April 21, 2015, Congress passed S 535, “The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015”.  The legislation was sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jean Shaheen (D-NH). "The modest energy efficiency legislation includes three provisions drawn from a larger efficiency bill sponsored by the two Senators:
  • Promotion of commercial building energy-use benchmarking and disclosure
  • Establishment of a voluntary “Tenant Star” program to promote energy efficiency in rental property that would certify and recognize commercial building tenants for achieving high levels of energy efficiency
  • Adjustment of efficiency standards for “grid-connected” water heaters, so that water heaters needed for demand response and thermal storage programs can continue to be sold"

Portland City Council Approves Energy Performance Reporting for Commercial Buildings

City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Apr. 22, 2015.
http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/527323

"On Earth Day, Portland City Council voted unanimously to approve a new policy that will require owners of commercial buildings over 20,000 square feet to track energy use and report it on an annual basis. The policy will cover nearly 80 percent of the commercial square footage and affect approximately 1,000 buildings."

Industry Prepares for New Residential Water Heater Standards

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Feb. 9, 2015, by Jen Anesi.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/128809-industry-prepares-for-new-residential-water-heater-standards

"New minimum energy-efficiency standards go into effect for nearly all residential gas and electric water heaters on April 16, 2015. The set of rigorous rules are the third generation of standards the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued for the equipment under the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 (NAECA). While the new efficiency standards do not require manufacturers to use any specific technologies to achieve the new EF (energy factor) ratings, they’ve already necessitated a significant redesign effort from manufacturers."

Get Smart: 5 Trends Driving the HVAC Industry in 2015

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, Feb. 2015, by Hal Conick.
http://hpac.com/building-controls/get-smart-5-trends-driving-hvac-industry-2015-0#slide-0-field_images-15891

1) Regulations, 2) System Integration, 3) HVAC Gets Smart, 4) Smart Everything, 5) Proprietary HVAC Controls.

New National Furnace Standards Will Save Consumers Money, But Stronger Standards Could Save Even More

ACEEE Blog, Feb. 11, 2015, by Andrew deLaski.
http://aceee.org/blog/2015/02/new-national-furnace-standards-will-s

On Feb. 10, 2015, "the US Department of Energy (DOE) issued a proposed rule for furnaces that would provide significant savings for consumers on their home heating bills, and be among the biggest natural-gas saving standards ever completed by the agency. The new standards would reduce gas and propane furnace energy consumption by about 13% relative to basic furnaces sold today."

Direct link to the U.S. DOE Rulemaking for Residential Furnaces and Boilers Energy Conservation Standards - http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/rulemaking.aspx?ruleid=62

Proposed Energy Conservation Standard for Hearth Products

U.S. Dept. of  Energy, Jan. 28, 2015.
http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/downloads/2015-01-28-issuance-energy-conservation-standard-hearth-products-nopr

"This document is a pre-publication Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking [NOPR] and public meeting regarding energy conservation standards for hearth products, as issued by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency on January 28, 2015."

Rulemaking for Commercial and Industrial Fans and Blowers

U.S. DOE, EERE, Building Technologies Office, Appliance & Equipment Standards, Jan. 12, 2015.
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/rulemaking.aspx/ruleid/25

"DOE published a Federal Register notice of comment period extension for the notice of data availability regarding energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial fans and blowers. 80 FR 1477 (January 12, 2015). The comment period has been extended until February 25, 2015."
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