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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.

 


The Future of Distributed Generation

Rural Electric Magazine, Aug. 2016, by Reed Karaim.
http://remagazine.coop/future-of-distributed-generation/

"Electric cooperatives have a long history of integrating distributed generation (DG) sources. But if you want a glimpse of the future of DG, you’ll find it in the wooded hills and valleys of northern Vermont, where Vermont Electric Cooperative is already living with challenges many co-ops will eventually face."

NARUC Rate Design Manual Reignites Debate Over Cost Shift, Value of Solar

Utility Dive, Aug. 4, 2016, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/naruc-rate-design-manual-reignites-debate-over-cost-shift-value-of-solar/423586/

"Regulators around the country are refereeing heated debates between utilities and distributed resource advocates. A guidebook is in the works to help them, but general agreement on its approach masks persisting disagreements between the two camps."

Lending for Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Low- to Moderate-Income Communities: Bank of America’s Energy Efficiency Finance Program

ACEEE, July 28, 2016, by James Barrett and Brian Stickles .
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/f1601.pdf

"In 2011, Bank of America launched its Energy Efficiency Finance Program (EEFP) to help families, businesses, and multifamily building owners in low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities increase their energy efficiency and reduce their energy bills.... Under a contract with Bank of America to evaluate this program, we [ACEEE] analyzed data supplied by the participating CDFIs and Bright Power to assess the performance of the loan portfolios as well as the efficiency investments themselves. In general, we found that the loans are performing well. "

Why Home Solar Panels No Longer Pay in Some States

New York Times, July 26, 2016, by Diane Cardwell.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/27/business/energy-environment/why-home-solar-panels-no-longer-pay-in-some-states.html?_r=1

"Thrust in the middle are utility regulators. Even if they support greening the grid through technology adopters like [cropped], the regulators are also responsible for ensuring that the utilities can afford to supply power to the largest number of customers at the most equitable rates. That includes people without the money or inclination to install solar collectors."

Integration: Electrical and HVAC Systems

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, July 2016, by Ryan E. Ishino and James A. Freeman.
http://www.csemag.com/single-article/integration-electrical-and-hvac-systems/b738225d21462b6a2e213785bd1ae460.html

"System integration of electrical and HVAC systems provides a smart building solution, where the systems are coordinated to allow opportunities to lower costs and achieve greater energy efficiencies."

Tracking and Conserving Facility Water Use

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, July 2016, by Peter Harbour and Robyn Overall.
http://www.csemag.com/single-article/tracking-and-conserving-facility-water-use/6d77f1fbcc1bd36b6cf8756146520ed8.html

"Plumbing and mechanical engineers are frequently being tasked with doing everything they can to conserve water in commercial buildings."

America’s Transportation Energy Burden for Low-Income Families

ACEEE Blog, July 29, 2016, by Shruti Vaidyanathan.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/07/america-s-transportation-energy

"The elevated burden on low-income households is compounded by transportation costs which are the second largest expense for households in the United States after housing-related expenditures. The average household in the US spends almost 20% of its total income on transportation expenses. For low-income households, this average burden can be as high as 30%, according to a survey conducted by the Center of Neighborhood Technology (CNT) of 28 metropolitan areas across the country."

Many Industries Use Combined Heat and Power to Improve Energy Efficiency

Energy Collective, Jul 28, 2016.
http://www.theenergycollective.com/todayinenergy/2383773/many-industries-use-combined-heat-and-power-to-improve-energy-efficiency-2

"Combined heat and power (CHP) systems have long been used to reduce the overall energy intensity of industrial systems. There are two types of combined heat and power, depending on whether the system produces power first, then heat, or heat first, then power. In topping cycles, the hot exhaust of an electricity generator such as a natural gas turbine or reciprocating engine is used to provide process heat, hot water, or space heating for the site. According to preliminary 2015 data, topping cycles are used by 89% of total CHP capacity. In bottoming cycles, also referred to as waste heat to power, wasted heat from a furnace or other high-temperature industrial processes is recovered and used for power production."

The State of Technology: Outcome-Based Energy Codes and zEPI

Zondits, July 2016, by Matt Lockwood.
http://www.zondits.com/article/12851/state-technology-outcome-based-energy-codes-zepi

"This month, our State of Technology series focuses on energy codes. Let’s talk about two innovations in development over the last decade in energy codes: outcome-based energy codes and zEPI [Zero Energy Performance Index]. Both started as dreams of energy code wonks to address the problems with existing code and benchmarking solutions, and both have been gaining prominence and momentum in the energy codes world."

The Regional Value of Electric Vehicles

Northwest Power and Conservation Council, July 18, 2016, by Ben Kujala.
http://www.nwcouncil.org/news/blog/electric-vehicles/

"Advancing technology brings economic and environmental benefits to Northwest consumers and utilities. Improving the regional economy, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and helping advance technology are three benefits to the region from investing in electric vehicles. While electric vehicles may not make sense for everyone, there are many instances where electric vehicles can substitute for gas-powered vehicles."

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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