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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


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

Public Utilities Fortnightly, Aug. 2015, by David J. O'Brien.
http://www.fortnightly.com/fortnightly/2015/08/searching-equilibrium?authkey=1b8f573ff31babae044128d6c9f9c6755bd259c00f01b6cc6f6320f438d8a7f0

"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.
http://aceee.org/blog/2015/08/using-less-energy-keep-drinks-cold

"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.
http://aceee.org/blog/2015/08/energy-efficiency-clean-power-plan

"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.
http://www.naseo.org/news-article?NewsID=755

"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.
http://www2.epa.gov/cleanpowerplantoolbox

"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.
http://www.natlawreview.com/article/epa-releases-clean-power-plan

"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.

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"
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