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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.

 


Retrocommissioning an Industrial Facility: Project Uncovers Opportunities for Further Energy-Cost Reductions

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, Feb. 2014, by Peter D'Antonio. (Free registration required to view full article.)
http://hpac.com/heating/retrocommissioning-industrial-facility

"Within large industrial corporations, facility maintenance often is viewed as no more than an operating expense. Many such organizations scoff at even a one-year payback for energy-saving projects, choosing instead to focus on the near-instantaneous returns offered by improvements in manufacturing efficiency. In northern Colorado, however, one manufacturer is working hard to change the way the economic benefits of energy efficiency are perceived and accounted for, recognizing facility energy-cost savings as a key contributor to the overall profitability of an organization."

What Owners Need to Know About ... Rooftop Units: Repair or Replace?

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, Feb. 2014, by David Negrey. (Free registration required to view full article.)
http://hpac.com/air-conditioning/what-owners-need-know-about-rooftop-units-repair-or-replace

"Most light-commercial HVAC products are designed for a useful life of 15 to 20 years. During that time, however, the reliability and cost-effectiveness of operation often is dictated by factors beyond the manufacturer’s control. At the same time, newer, more efficient HVAC products often can reduce maintenance and utility costs. When it comes to deciding whether to repair or replace an older rooftop unit, it is important to consider a number of factors, including current condition, age, efficiency, maintenance/repair history, and associated utility costs. This article will discuss the process of making an informed decision."

D.C. Releases Energy Benchmarking Data

EcoBuilding Pulse, Feb. 26, 2014, by Katie Weeks.
http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/energy-efficiency/dc-releases-energy-benchmarking-data_o.aspx?dfpzone=home

"In 2008, the District of Columbia became the first jurisdiction in the United States to require private buildings to measure and disclose their energy performance. And now, six years later, the data is in and available for public consumption. This week D.C. announced that it has released detailed data on the energy and water use of the area's largest privately owned buildings, making it the second jurisdiction in the country to do so, following New York City's lead."

Why Is Electricity Use No Longer Growing?

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Feb. 25, 2014, by Steven Nadel and Rachel Young.
http://www.aceee.org/white-paper/low-electricity-growth (free registration required to access full report)

"In this paper, we undertake several analyses to consider which factors best explain changes in electricity use in recent years. Our hypothesis is that the recession alone cannot explain the recent stagnation in electricity consumption. We instead hypothesize that electricity savings from energy efficiency programs and from other efficiency efforts such as appliance standards and building codes are having a broad national impact on electricity consumption in the United States, possibly contributing significantly to the recent decline in electricity consumption."

The State of Solid-State [Lighting]

Architectural SSL, Feb. 2014, by Barbara Horwitz-Bennett.
http://issuu.com/constructionbusinessmedia/docs/1402_archssl (scroll to page 12)

"Innovations to light source technology, particularly in the form of ceramics and chip-on-board arrays continue to help the development of life and performance of LED, while simultaneously helping to bring down cost."

Versus: 4-Way Lighting [Incandescents, Halogens, CFLs, and LEDs]

Interiors & Sources, Feb. 2014.
http://www.interiorsandsources.com/article-details/articleid/16887/title/versus-4-way-lighting.aspx

"Whether you’re working alone or with help, it’s important to understand the fundamental differences between these four most common lighting options currently on the market: incandescents, halogens, CFLs, and LEDs. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and may not apply to specialty fixtures or newer technologies. When in doubt, ask!"

New Frontiers in Energy Management [for Water Utilities]

Water Efficiency, Mar./Apr. 2014, by Penelope B. Grenoble.
http://www.waterefficiency.net/WE/Articles/New_Frontiers_in_Energy_Management_24639.aspx

"Energy management has become a matter of necessity in states like California, less enthusiastically embraced in states where energy costs are lower. But take a closer look, and you’ll discover that energy and operational efficiency go hand in hand—and that managing energy costs goes beyond simply equipping a pump with a variable speed drive."

The Benefits of Natural Light

Architectural Lighting, Jan/Feb. 2014, by Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg.
http://www.archlighting.com/daylighting/the-benefits-of-natural-light_o.aspx

"Research Supports Daylighting’s Positive Effect on Building Performance and Human Health."

For Better Or For Worse...R-22 RIP (Part 3)

Heating, Plumbing, Air Conditioning, Feb. 2014, by Dave Demma.
http://www.hpacmag.com/news/for-better-or-for-worse-r-22-rip/1002910208/

The first two articles in the series discussed the importance of having an R-22 refrigerant replacement strategy, help in choosing a replacement, and the process of implementing the conversion. 

This 3rd and final article in the series discusses how "a detailed plan can be assembled to ensure the conversion is completed in a minimum amount of time, and the result is a system that operates efficiently and trouble free."

Links to Part 1 and 2:
Part 1 - Oct. 2013 - http://www.hpacmag.com/news/for-better-or-for-worse-r-22-rip/1002665122/?&er=NA

Part 2 - Dec. 2013 - http://www.hpacmag.com/news/demma-r22-refrigerant-conversion/1002789061/


NREL Aims to Improve Building Energy Performance with New Web-Based Tool

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), News Release NR-1314, Mar. 4, 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2014/8311.html

"The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a web-based tool to help consumers better understand the energy performance of building-related products. The Technology Performance Exchange™ (TPEx™) is a portal that helps manufacturers and other organizations that measure and test products easily share performance data with product consumers."

About

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.