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Data Center Energy Savings and District Energy in the News

January 2014: A recent article in Next City, “Seattle Turns to Tech’s Wasted Heat as a Neighborhood Power Source,” addresses two topics at the core of WSU Energy Program research and technical assistance efforts.

Data center energy savings – As Jim Colombo, IT manager at the WSU Energy Program, is quoted in this article, “With new technologies, there’s a lot less heat than there once was in data centers.” Even so, high-tech equipment still releases heat, which is usually wasted by expelling it outside. As the WSU Energy Program moved into its current location, the IT team came up with an innovative approach to cool its state-of-the-art data center and reuse the heat to keep office spaces comfortable. This effort is detailed in the factsheet, Data Center Energy Savings Through Heat Recovery.

District energy – The WSU Energy Program is the headquarters of the Pacific Northwest Clean Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership, which we run for the U.S. Department of Energy. This center promotes combined heat and power (CHP), waste heat recovery, district energy, and other clean energy technologies and practices that help industrial and commercial facilities use energy more efficiently. Case studies, factsheets and other resources are available at the CHP Technical Assistance Partnership - Northwest website.

 

Webinars on Emerging Energy Efficient Technologies

December 2013: The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Energy Efficiency Emerging Technology (E3T) Program presents monthly webinars to showcase new and emerging technologies that show promise in saving energy.

Recent webinar topics include energy efficient advances in data center cooling, water and wastewater treatment, and lighting.

The E3T Showcase series, presented by the WSU Energy Program, is sponsored by BPA with support from Western Area Power Administration. 

These free webinars are available on the E3TNW website, http://e3tnw.org/Webinars.aspx.

 read more ...

New Report: Workforce Challenges of Electric Power Employers

November 2013: The Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy/A Centralia College Partnership (PNCECE) released a new labor market study that finds that electric utility employment in the Pacific Northwest exceeds 40,000 highly skilled workers and generates nearly $2.8 billion in annual payrolls. On average, the region’s utility wages are 82 percent higher than the average for jobs across all industries.

The study, conducted by the WSU Energy Program, reveals how energy employment and workforce needs have changed since 2008, before the onset of the U.S. recession. A lack of qualified workers and looming retirement forecasts pose formidable challenges to employers and the regional economy, according to the report.

Workforce Challenges of the Electric Power Employers in the Pacific Northwest is available to download from PNCECE.

 read more ...

WSU Energy Program Experts Invited to Speak at Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School

April 2013: WSU Energy Program Assistant Director Todd Currier, energy systems engineer Gilbert McCoy and senior program manager Karen Messmer are among the invited speakers at the 4th annual conference on low-carbon development hosted by the Peking University School of Environment and Energy. Their lectures, which build on discussions between the WSU Energy Program and Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School that started in 2011, focus on smart grid and low-carbon development, motor and driven-equipment energy management, and energy and resource management in buildings.

Todd and Gil will travel to Shanghai after the conference to present information on motor efficiency and compressed air systems to industry officials, and explore future collaborations and business opportunities for the WSU Energy Program.

 

Announcing the 9th Annual Energy/Facilities Connections Conference

March 2013: The WSU Energy Program Plant Operations Support Consortium is finalizing plans for the annual conference in Leavenworth, Washington. Details are available on the EFCC conference website.

Speakers will provide new perspectives on facilities maintenance, plant operations, custodial training and design/planning training.

New this year, the two-and-a-half-day conference will start on Tuesday, May 7, and end at mid-day on Thursday, May 9, leaving time for attendees to return to work at the end of the week.

 

WSU Energy Program hosts delegation from Peking University

November 2012: WSU Energy Program staff hosted a delegation from the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School – School of Environment and Energy. Our energy engineers, resource conservation specialists and building scientists discussed training and technical assistance opportunities with our guests from China.

 

ASERTTI Fall Meeting: Transformative Innovations in Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Generation

October 2012: Please join the Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions (ASERTTI) for its annual meeting on October 10 - 12 to explore the latest in energy efficiency and clean energy research, development and deployment. The two-day event will feature presentations by leading researchers and energy experts, site visits to Microsoft and Boeing, and networking opportunities. Learn more here: http://asertti.org/events/fall/.

Co-hosted by: The Washington State University Energy Program and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Location: Seattle, WA
Washington State Convention Center
800 Convention Place, Room 307-308
Seattle, WA 98101-2350

If you have any questions, please contact ASERTTI Program Director Sarah Ruen Blanchard at sarah@asertti.org or 303-425-6800 x463.

 

Honoring Our Industrial Energy Leaders

September 2012: Industries in the State of Washington are legendary for making innovations that revolutionize how people live and work – here at home and around the world. But you may not know that many of these industries are also working behind the scenes on new ways to do business while using less energy.

The WSU Energy Program and the Washington State Department of Commerce, with support from the Bonneville Power Administration and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, developed the Washington Industrial Energy Leaders program to honor exceptional energy efficiency efforts by Washington state industries. The 2012 winners will be honored by Governor Chris Gregoire on December 5, 2012 at the Washington State Capitol.

Industries will compete for awards in three categories:

  • Leadership in Energy Performance,
  • Leadership in Innovation, and
  • Leadership by Example.

A Governor’s Award will be presented to one company in each category. In addition, a select number of Sponsor Awards will be presented in these same categories.

For general information, or to nominate a company, visit: Washington Industrial Energy Leaders, http://www.energy.wsu.edu/WIEL

 

New factsheet, “An Effective Custodial Team is the Foundation of a Healthy Facility”

August 2012: Because clean facilities drive success, custodial departments are critical to a facility's mission. The Plant Operations Support Consortium published a new factsheet, “An Effective Custodial Team is the Foundation of a Healthy Facility” that describes the Consortium’s specialized assessments, training and strategies designed to help custodial staff maximize their effectiveness. 

Read it here: Custodial Factsheet

 

Review of the Economic and Workforce Effects of Biomass and Solar Electricity Generation

July 2012: The WSU Energy Program workforce research team led by Alan Hardcastle and Sally Zeiger Hanson prepared a Review of the Economic and Workforce Effects of Biomass and Solar Electricity Generation in Washington State, published this month by the Washington State Department of Employment Security. The report’s major findings include:

  • The amount of electricity generated in Washington state from non-hydroelectric, renewable sources has grown from 2.3 percent of the total state net generation in 2006 to 6.4 percent in 2010. This is greater than the national average of 4 percent in 2010 for non-hydroelectric, renewable energy.
  • Wage estimates range from a low of $10.83 to $16.16 an hour for basic manufacturing-production workers to a high of $35.84 to $53.22 an hour for engineers.
  • While available data suggest the employment picture for biomass is currently small, it is growing, due in part to tax incentives and subsidies and an emphasis on expanding renewable energy sources.
 

Meet Resource Conservation Manager Brian Goldstein

June 2012: The WSU Energy Program’s Shared Resource Conservation Manager (RCM) Program published a profile of RCM Brian Goldstein, who serves five jurisdictions in Jefferson County: Chimacum School District, City of Port Townsend, Fort Worden State Park, Jefferson County and Port Townsend School District. Brian’s profile – one in a series that highlights the resource-saving activities of Shared RCMs across the state – describes how he approaches his job and describes successful activities and projects that saved energy, water and money. Read more

WSU Energy Efficiency Summit

May 2012: The WSU Energy Program hosted the WSU Energy Efficiency Summit An Integrated Look at Program Delivery for leaders in energy efficiency from across Washington state. Over 100 community energy professionals shared their strategies and lessons learned from implementing Community Energy Efficiency Pilot programs in their communities. WSU Energy Program staff – William Ranes, Anneka McDonald, Denise Mulholland and Mark Crocker – will leverage these insights in planning the next steps of our state’s evolving community energy efficiency programs.

Also this month, the WSU Energy Program’s Plant Operations Support Consortium – Edwin Valbert, Phil Partington, Sue Brown and Larry Covey – hosted the 2012 Energy/Facilities Connections Conference. Over 200 facilities maintenance staff, plant operators, custodial professionals and planning specialists came together to discuss evolving issues in energy efficiency, new approaches to facilities management and team leadership, and the latest in technical best practices. Learn more about the Plant Operations Support Consortium at http://www.energy.wsu.edu/PublicFacilitiesSupport/PlantOperations.aspx.

 

Building Science Team Releases New Research Findings

April 2012: Our building science team –¬ Michael Lubliner, Luke Howard, Luke Mattheis, Emily Salzberg, Andrew Gordon and Ken Eklund, along with Rick Kunkle –recently completed a significant research effort for the Building America Program, with funding from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

The team examined energy efficiency issues in existing and new homes, focusing on military housing, manufactured housing and Habitat for Humanity multi-family homes in western Washington. This research and analysis will help homeowners decide if it is more cost-effective to make energy efficiency improvements (duct sealing, air sealing, insulating, and upgrading water heaters and lighting) in an existing home or to incorporate these improvements when building a new home.

Their findings are convincing: when the same amount of money is spent to make energy efficiency improvements to a new home and to an existing home, homeowners will achieve a much better return on their investment by making these improvements to the new home. In fact, the team’s data show that energy bills for a new highly efficient manufactured home will be 80 percent lower than energy bills for an existing manufactured home with the same investment in energy efficiency improvements.

Eklund notes, “If we want to achieve a certain level of energy efficiency in our homes, we need to look at replacing some existing homes with new homes that incorporate specific improvements.”

This extensive research is documented in three reports the team recently submitted to PNNL:

  • Baseline Energy Performance and Opportunities to Improve Energy Efficiency in Family Military Housing
  • Cost Implications of Retrofit vs. Replacement of Manufactured Housing
  • Technical Solutions for High Performance Habitat Homes in Washington State
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      March to Savings

      March 2012 - Reducing energy use in state government buildings is among Governor Gregoire’s energy initiatives that will help Washington save taxpayer dollars while conserving natural resources. The engagement of state employees is the key to success.

      The state is launching the March to Savings campaign to encourage individual action through education and expert assistance. When employees make even small changes to reduce energy use, such as turning off space heaters and lights if they leave for lunch, they can have a big impact on the state’s energy costs.

      The March to Savings campaign, coordinated by state agencies and led by the WSU Energy Program, will run through March. Videos, webinars, personalized training and a technical assistance hotline will help office workers, procurement officers, field agents and building operators follow energy efficiency best practices. The resources will remain on the website, www.marchtosavings.org, throughout 2012.

       

      Clean Cities: Biomethane for Transportation

      February 2012 – Our Senior Bioenergy and Alternative Fuels Specialist Jim Jensen recently completed Biomethane for Transportation: Opportunities for Washington State for the Western Washington Clean Cities Coalition, along with a two-part webinar about biomethane, Costs and Benefits for Transportation and Transportation Experience and Opportunities in Washington State. These publications support Clean Cities' goals to reduce petroleum use, air pollution and greenhouse gas pollution while supporting local economic development.

      Biomethane is produced by cleaning the biogas generated by anaerobic digestion of organic materials such as wastewater solids, livestock manure, food wastes, and yard debris. Biomethane can be used in all the ways natural gas is used, including as a vehicle fuel.

       

      Use Online Tool to Easily Track State Energy Legislation

      January 2012 – Energy experts, Washington residents and other shareholders interested in following state energy legislation need look no further than the Washington State Energy Legislation Tracking Tool for information on current bill activity. The bill tracking tool follows energy bills in the state legislature – including those submitted before the session begins. It features an interactive table detailing the current status of select energy bills. Users can also access legislative websites directly from the tool for additional bill history and information. The tool is available for use by the public through the Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program Library website.

       

      Energy Library

      December 2011 - The WSU Energy Program Library is a valuable resource for those wishing to lower energy costs this winter. Simple tactics – such as setting your thermostat back a few degrees – can make a difference in your utility bills. Our skilled librarians are available to assist residents of Washington state in several areas of energy efficiency research. They recommend visiting the EERE Energy Savers website or the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiencies website for tips on enjoying an energy-efficient winter season. For more information on the WSU Energy Library, visit their webpage.

       

      EECO-MOST

      November 2011 -The WSU Energy Program engineering and software development team partnered with the International Copper Association and the U.S. Department of Energy to produce an International Motor Selection and Savings Analysis (IMSSA) software tool for the People’s Republic of China. IMSSA supports motor systems improvement by allowing users to examine the benefits of replacing their motors with more efficient models. The China tool – called EECO-MOST – displays content in Simplified Chinese Language and contains motor data for over 50,000 metric motors from 23 Chinese manufacturers. For more information, visit the EERE website at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/industry/bestpractices/software_motormaster_intl.html.

       

      Internship Opportunities

      October 2011 - The Washington State University (WSU) Extension Energy Program has year round unpaid internship opportunities available for Washington state college students. Internships are available in our Applied Building Science, Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency programs. Typical duties can include collecting and organizing data from field monitoring; conducting hands-on case studies and write-ups; and helping to explore which efficiency measures have the greatest potential for the Northwest. Most of our internships are at the Spokane office. Please contact Sheila Riggs at 360-956-2000 for more information.

       

      Social Networking

      September 2011 - The WSU Extension Energy Program is now part of the social networking scene. Visit us on Facebook or Twitter to discover how we promote environmental and economic well-being in Washington state, our nation and beyond. We also feature energy tips, conference and class information, the latest energy news and much more. Our Wikipedia page is another useful resource where you will find a list of current projects and our program’s history.

       

      Shared Resource Conservation Management

      August 2011 – The Shared Resource Conservation Management (RCM) Program – developed by the Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Commerce – helps public facilities reduce energy and resource use. An RCM tracks and analyzes the resources used in facilities owned and operated by public agencies, and uses the data to establish strategies that enhance energy efficiency in the long-term. Washington’s Shared RCMs are already reporting savings after only a year on the job.  For more information about the Shared RCM Program, see the WSU Energy Program’s RCM Network website.

       

      Northwest Clean Energy Application Center

      July 2011 – The five-state Northwest Clean Energy Application Center (Northwest CEAC) is headquartered at the WSU Extension Energy Program and covers the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. It is one of eight regional centers in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program. The Northwest CEAC focuses on the following technologies: combined heat and power (CHP), waste heat recovery, anaerobic digestion, and district energy. Northwest CEAC website

       

      Online Help for Complying with Residential Energy Code

      June 2011 – The prescriptive approach is the simplest method of complying with the Washington State Energy Code. However, depending on the prescriptive option and exceptions used, documentation of compliance can be quite complex. A narrated step-by-step training is available online to assist in filling out prescriptive worksheets for residential buildings in Climate Zone 1. The Prescriptive Worksheet Training was created by members of the WSU Extension Energy Program’s code support team. You can stop/start the training as needed and select topics from an outline view.

       

      Gil McCoy Conducting Motor Management Training

      May 2011 – Gil McCoy, Senior Energy Systems Engineer with the WSU Extension Energy Program, has been busy conducting motor management trainings. In April, by invitation of the Resource Conservation Manager of the U.S. Navy, Gil provided motor management training at the U.S. Naval Base in Guam. He also recently conducted a motor survey and motor management training at a Ball Corporation packaging plant in Weirton, West Virginia. Ball Corporation has 32 food and beverage plants nationwide and has enrolled in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Save Energy Now Leaders Program, pledging to reduce energy use by 25 percent within 10 years. Gil provided the services to Ball Corporation at the request of DOE and has been contacted about conducting similar assessments in Pennsylvania and Florida.

       

      Air Leakage Testing Applications Due April 30

      April 2011 – The WSU Extension Energy Program released a request for proposals (RFP) designed to establish air leakage testing infrastructure in Washington State. Funding will provide testing equipment (blower doors and/or duct testers) and training to qualified individuals and businesses in under-served areas of Washington for compliance with the 2009 Washington State Energy Code. The grants are provided with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds through the Washington State Department of Commerce. Applications are due April 30, 2011. Further details and application instructions.

       

      New Air Leakage Video and Builder’s Field Guide

      April 2011 – The WSU Extension Energy Program’s building science staff recently produced the video Air Leakage In Homes: The Invisible Thief. Hosted by Rich Prill, the video covers the measurement of building tightness, air sealing for both new and existing homes, and combustion safety. You may choose to view all seven chapters or only those specific to your needs. Video information and links. Also new is the 8th Edition of the Builder’s Field Guide, which outlines accept­able residential construction practices that meet the 2009 Washington State Energy Code adopted effective January 1, 2011.

       

      Energy/Facilities Connections Conference, May 2011

      March 2011 – The 2011 Energy/Facilities Connections conference is scheduled for May 11-13 in Leavenworth, Washington. The event brings together facility professionals from schools, universities, municipalities, state and provincial agencies, tribes, non-profits and utilities. Attendees benefit from a focused environment to share best practices, learn innovative technologies, and learn from top-of-the line facility experts. Presented by the WSU Extension Energy Program’s Plant Operations Support Consortium, the conference theme is “Now…More than Ever!” and stresses creative “out-of-the-box” thinking. Details, including agenda and registration information

       

      Use Online Tool to Easily Track State Energy Legislation

      February 2011 – Monitoring the status of energy bills during the 2011 Washington State legislative session is easy. An online tool that tracks energy bills is provided courtesy of the WSU Energy Library. In addition to monitoring the status of a bill, the tool provides links to the full text, amendments, fiscal notes, and more.

       

      Extension Energy Program Employee Recognized by U.S. Department of Energy

      January 2011 – Lee Link, WSU Extension Energy Program Clearinghouse Division Manager, was recently honored with the Secretary’s Appreciation Award from Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. The award recognized Link’s “superior performance and leadership to assure success for the U.S. Department of Energy in efforts associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” Link accepted the prestigious award on behalf of the WSU Extension Energy Program. “This honor is for the entire team…” he said. “Their commitment, attention to detail and great customer service paid off – not because of this exciting award – but in the real difference that their efforts made in the energy arena for the country.” More details.

       

      Meet Our Team

      December 2010 – The WSU Extension Energy Program recently launched its new website. An enhanced feature is “Meet Our Team.” The searchable database showcases our staff of approximately 100 people (energy engineers, energy specialists, technical experts, software developers, energy research librarians and more). Search by last name or by program area to find short biographies of staff members.

       

      Industrial Energy Efficiency Program Recognized Among Best In U.S.

      November 2010 – The WSU Extension Energy Program’s industrial program is among the winners in "States Stepping Forward: Best Practices for State-Led Energy Efficiency Programs,” the first awards initiative by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). In total, 18 programs from 14 states were recognized for exceptional state-led energy efficiency programs. While the winners differed in their approaches, they all achieve substantial energy savings for customers, lowering energy costs and reducing the negative environmental impacts of energy use. WSU was the only program in the Northwest recognized, and only two – including WSU's – were university programs.

       

      Energy Recovery Act Dollars for Washington State

      October 2010 – A webpage launched September 30 provides current information on American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funding received by Washington State from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The webpage provides links to the DOE Recovery Act website and offers details on the federal energy funding awarded to the Washington State Department of Commerce, as well as to other Washington state agencies, companies, and organizations. Visit the new Washington State Recovery Act Energy Funding webpage.

       

      November Workshop to Focus on Healthy/Green Homes

      October 2010 – A two-day workshop, Sustainable Communities Start with Healthy and Green Homes, is scheduled for November 9-10 in Seattle. The workshop will explore the connections between the homes and communities where we live and the impact they have on our health. WSU Extension Energy Program staff members Rich Prill and David Hales are speakers at the event, joining others who will share their views of what has worked and what the future looks like. See details, a draft agenda, and registration information at the workshop website sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency.

       

      Consortium Facilitates Donation of Surplus Building Units

      September 2010 – Recent actions between The Boeing Company, the Squaxin Island Tribe and the WSU Extension Energy Program will allow the tribe to enhance youth and senior programs. Boeing donated a 10-unit modular cafeteria complex of approximately 7,200 square feet to the tribe. “The opportunity to secure and relocate this cafeteria complex was brought to our attention by the WSU Extension Energy Program’s Plant Operations Support Consortium,” said Ray Peters, executive director of the Squaxin Island Tribe. “This will save us more than $250,000 and make a real difference in our community programming.” For additional details, see the news highlight in WSU Today (August 10, 2010).

       

      Setting National Standards for Home Energy Efficiency Retrofits

      August 2010 – David Hales of the WSU Extension Energy Program was one of about 35 experts invited to meet to draft the first-ever national standards for home energy efficiency retrofits. Their June 2010 drafts will be reviewed for applicability in different climatic regions and by national laboratories. They will then be forwarded to Vice President Joseph Biden who is scheduled to release them at the end of September for final public review and comment. In a letter to Hales, Vice President Biden acknowledged that “Your efforts on the Standard Work Specifications … will set the bar for quality in retrofitting homes for energy efficiency in the future…”

       

      ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award

      July 2010 – The Washington State University Extension Energy Program received a 2010 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The award recognizes the Extension Energy Program’s work in promoting and qualifying energy-efficient construction. Despite the recent downturn in the housing market, it is clear that both home builders and home buyers are continuing to invest in high performing homes. Nearly 20 percent of all single-family homes built nationally in 2009 earned an ENERGY STAR label, up from 17 percent in 2008.

       

      Learn New Ways to Save Energy…or Prepare for a Career!

      June 2010 – A number of new trainings offered by the WSU Extension Energy Program are now scheduled. Among the offerings are “Steam System Assessment,” “Heat Pump Commissioning,” and “Duct Testing.” Other classes will prepare students to take the tests necessary to become a certified HERS Rater, Energy Star Homes Northwest Energy Star Verifier, and an Energy Star Homes Northwest Performance Tester. Check out the opportunities, and register on-line at: http://www.energy.wsu.edu/apps/training.aspx

       

      Energy/Facilities Connections 2010

      May 2010 – The conference “Innovative Approaches for the New Decade” will be held in Leavenworth, Washington, May 12-14. The WSU Extension Energy Program’s Plant Operations Support Consortium is planning the conference to address economic and energy conservation challenges from a facility perspective. Conference tracks focus on custodial, technical, and leadership skills, all aimed at forward-thinking approaches to handling the challenges of the next ten years and beyond. Keynote speakers include State Representative Hans Dunshee; Bob Cowan, Director of Facilities Engineering at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center; and Stephen Ashkin, well known throughout the professional cleaning, education, healthcare, and building-management industries as the "Father of Green Cleaning". More information

       

      Guidance for Managing Mold, Radon, and Pests

      April 2010 – Schools have many challenges, including maintenance of indoor air quality (IAQ). A recent IAQ News, published for Northwest schools by the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, presents step-by-step guidelines for preventing or dealing with mold. According to the article’s authors, Dave Blake and Rich Prill, mold can be a concern for indoor air quality in both old and brand-new schools. Radon and pest management are topics of other articles in this issue of the newsletter.

       

      Good Reviews for Biomass Gasification Guidebook

      March 2010 – Carolyn Roos, Ph.D., an engineer with the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, has updated her popular guidebook Clean Heat and Power Using Biomass Gasification for Industrial and Agricultural Projects.  The guide was recently recommended on the bioenergy listserv of the Renewable Energy Policy Project as "The best intro to producer gas and syngas!"  View the publication

       

      Consortium Announces Winter Issue of Shop Talk Newsletter

      February 2010 – The Plant Operations Support Consortium publishes Shop Talk, a quarterly electronic newsletter focused on facility operations.  The Winter 2010 edition reflects the diversity of facility issues and successes of Consortium members.  Two articles offer views on the critical topic of security -- one focusing on communication and emergency alert systems at Olympic College, and the second on physical/personal safety from a K-12 school perspective.  Yet another article describes activities at the Vancouver BC Convention Centre as it gears up to host nearly 10,000 international journalists and support staff as they report on the XXI Winter Olympic Games in February.  Visit the following link to view these stories and more: Winter 2010, Shop Talk Newsletter

       

      State Energy Legislation Easy to Track with Online Tool

      January 2010 – Monitoring the status of energy bills during the 2010 Washington State legislative session is easy. A tool that tracks energy bills is available on the Washington State University Extension Energy Program website, courtesy of the WSU Energy Library. In addition to monitoring the status of a bill, the tool provides links to the full text, amendments, fiscal notes, and more. To use the tracking tool, visit: http://www.energy.wsu.edu/library/bills/energybilltracking.cfm

       

      Infrared Training Scheduled for February

      January 2010 – The Washington State University Extension Energy Program is partnering with The Snell Group on a series of trainings called "Infrared for Building Applications." While assessing the condition of your building can be aided by infrared thermography, training is essential for proper use of the infrared (IR) equipment and for accurate assessments. Trainings will be offered in both Olympia and Spokane. A two-day “Residential & Weatherization” course is followed immediately by a two-day “Schools & Commercial Buildings” course. Class size is limited. For additional information, see this flyer

       

      New Duct Sealing Video Available On-line

      January 2010 – The WSU Extension Energy Program recently produced a video called “Duct Sealing for Comfort, Energy and Indoor Air Quality” (16:45 minutes). Hosted by Rich Prill, Building Scientist and Indoor Air Quality Specialist, the video shows how heating and ventilating ducts move air, where common leaks are, and how to fix them. Duct sealing is an extremely cost-effective energy efficiency action that also improves indoor air quality. The video is for building professionals or do-it-yourself homeowners. Even if you aren't planning to do the work yourself, this video shows why it is important to have it done. To view the video, visit: http://vimeo.com/channels/energyexperts#8129040

       

      Washington Industries Eligible for State Incentive Funding

      December 2009 – Manufacturing facilities located in Washington may be eligible for newly released incentive funding for energy improvement projects. The $1.2 million funding is part of a $9 million Enron settlement to the state resulting from the energy crisis scandal in 2000-2001.

      The WSU Extension Energy Program can provide up to $100,000 per project, and will help conduct energy assessments and teach industrial businesses how to become more energy efficient. Eligible projects include lighting retrofits, steam system improvements, energy efficiency improvements in pulp and paper mills, and refrigeration improvements. “Ideal candidates are energy efficiency projects in need of funds to help ‘tip the scales’ into implementation,” said Todd Currier, Division Manager at the WSU Extension Energy Program.

      According to Christine Love, Project Manager, the goal is to have all funds obligated by early 2010. Manufacturers chosen to receive funds will have until late 2010 to complete their projects. For further information, contact Love at (360) 956-2172.

       

      Report Recommends Producing More Rural Energy

      December 2009 – A national alliance of farmers, foresters and ranchers has adopted a vision that "by 2025, America's farms, forests and ranches will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States…" Many states have state-level groups working to support this vision.

      Washington has already reached this goal, with 25.4 percent of the total energy consumed in the state being both rural and renewable. A new report by Stacey Waterman-Hoey, WSU Extension Energy Program, analyzes state energy data and recommends that Washington “consider adopting a stretch vision.” To view the report, Estimating the Contribution of Rural Energy Sources to Washington State’s Energy Production and Consumption, visit http://www.energy.wsu.edu/documents/renewables/WARuralEnergyUseNov2009.pdf

       

      Washington Industries Eligible for State Incentive Funding

      December 2009 – Manufacturing facilities located in Washington may be eligible for newly released incentive funding for energy improvement projects. The $1.2 million funding is part of a $9 million Enron settlement to the state resulting from the energy crisis scandal in 2000-2001.

      The WSU Extension Energy Program can provide up to $100,000 per project, and will help conduct energy assessments and teach industrial businesses how to become more energy efficient. Eligible projects include lighting retrofits, steam system improvements, energy efficiency improvements in pulp and paper mills, and refrigeration improvements. “Ideal candidates are energy efficiency projects in need of funds to help ‘tip the scales’ into implementation,” said Todd Currier, Division Manager at the WSU Extension Energy Program.

      According to Christine Love, Project Manager, the goal is to have all funds obligated by early 2010. Manufacturers chosen to receive funds will have until late 2010 to complete their projects. For further information, contact Love at (360) 956-2172.

       

      Developing Washington’s Workforce for Energy Efficiency Industry

      December 2009 – The WSU Extension Energy Program recently released the first of a two-part study indentifying trends and workforce issues in the energy efficiency industry in Washington. The research can assist employers as well as educators and trainers to support continued growth in the energy efficiency industry. The report, Energy Efficiency Trends and Workforce Development in Washington State, is available at: http://www.energy.wsu.edu/documents/workforce/Energy_Efficiency_Workforce_Study.pdf

       

      WSU Extension Energy Program Facilitating $14 Million in ARRA Grants

      November 2009 – Governor Christine Gregoire recently announced more than $14 million in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for programs providing energy efficiency upgrades to middle-income homes and small businesses in Washington. The Washington State Legislature directed the WSU Extension Energy Program to identify, select and administer these community grants across the state.

      Eight private and public projects – Pioneer Human Services, the Opportunity Council, the City of Ellensburg, Snohomish County PUD, Sustainable Living Center, Sustainable Works, the Thurston Economic Development Council, and Clark Public Utilities – were selected by an independent review committee based on their ability to:

      • Increase energy efficiency in residential and small commercial buildings – reducing energy use and utility expenses for middle-income residents of our state.
      • Create or retain jobs in Washington.
      • Leverage other funds.

      Work will take place in these counties: Clark, King, Kittitas, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Walla Walla, and Whatcom. "These projects demonstrate bold steps our state is making to increase energy efficiency in our neighborhoods and help create jobs and economic growth throughout Washington," said Jake Fey, Director of the WSU Extension Energy Program.

       

      Plant Operations Staff Joins WSU Extension Energy Program

      October 2009 – On September 1, 2009, staff members of the Plant Operations Support Consortium--Bob MacKenzie, Larry Covey, Sue Brown and Phil Partington--were welcomed as WSU Extension Energy Program employees. Since 1995, the Plant Operations Support (POS) Consortium acted as a clearinghouse for facility managers at state agencies, colleges, school districts, ports and municipalities. With its credo of "Don't Re-invent the Wheel," the Consortium now includes hundreds of members with varied experience and expertise who regularly share solutions and lessons-learned. Staff members are housed at the WSU Extension Energy Program office in Olympia. For more information about the POS Consortium, visit http://www.energy.wsu.edu/apps/PlantOperations.aspx

       

      Fuel Cell Expertise Showcased in New Textbook

      September 2009 – Erin Kanoa, Hydrogen, Fuel Cell, and Geothermal Specialist at the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, authored a guest article published in the textbook, Introduction to Environmental Engineering. The textbook by P. Aarne Vesilind, Susan M. Morgan, and Lauren G. Heine was published in May 2009. The topic of Kanoa's article is "Biogas to Energy Using a Fuel Cell." For more information on the WSU Extension Energy Program's work in the field of hydrogen and fuel cells, visit http://www.energy.wsu.edu/projects/renewables/H2FuelCells.cfm

       

      Leadership Award from ENERGY STAR

      August 2009 – The Washington State University Extension Energy Program was recently recognized with a "2009 ENERGY STAR for Homes Leadership in Housing Award" from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The award was presented to the Extension Energy Program for its work in "verifying more than 1,000 ENERGY STAR qualified homes in the past year."

       

      New Venture - DOE Recovery Act Clearinghouse

      July 2009 – On April 23, 2009, the Washington State University Extension Energy Program began operating the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Recovery Act Clearinghouse. The new clearinghouse helps increase the availability of information about DOE's "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" activities, and informs DOE about what is learned from interactions with the public.

      The Recovery Act Clearinghouse provides initial consultations and, when appropriate, makes referrals to other information sources (e.g., websites, documents, DOE staff). For further information about the clearinghouse or the Recovery Act, visit: https://recoveryclearinghouse.energy.gov

       

      Building Performance Rating Project Now Complete

      June 2009 – Rich Prill and Rick Kunkle of the Washington State University Extension Energy Program recently completed a market transformation pilot project that created a rating system for scoring the performance of commercial buildings. The rating system addresses factors such as building energy performance, operation and maintenance of roof-top HVAC units, and building occupant satisfaction. Six buildings in Washington State were recruited and used to obtain input from the building owner/manager, occupants, and O&M service providers and to field test the proposed rating system tools. The project’s final report, which includes score cards developed and tested by the project, is available at: http://www.energy.wsu.edu/documents/building/project/Commercial_Bldg_O&M_Rating_System_Prill.pdf

       

      Honoring Washington's Industrial Energy Leaders

      November 2013: Industries in the State of Washington are legendary for revolutionizing how people live and work – here at home and around the world. But you may not know that many of these industries are also working behind the scenes on new ways to do business while using less energy.

      The WSU Energy Program and the Washington State Department of Commerce, with support from the Bonneville Power Administration and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, developed the Washington Industrial Energy Leaders program to honor exceptional energy efficiency efforts by Washington state industries. The 2013 winners will be honored by Governor Jay Inslee on December 10, 2013 at the Washington State Capitol.

      Industries will compete for awards in three categories:

      • Leadership in Energy Performance
      • Leadership in Innovation
      • Leadership by Example

      For additional information or to nominate a company, visit: Washington Industrial Energy Leaders, http://www.energy.wsu.edu/WIEL.

       

      New factsheet: Data Center Energy Savings Through Heat Recovery

      February 2013: Read about the innovative techniques the WSU Energy Program IT staff employed to cool the server room while saving energy.  

      Two new how-to factsheets for Resource Conservation Managers

      February 2013: WSU Energy Program staff produced two new factsheets to help resource conservation managers address these important topics:

       

      Energy Related Bill-Tracking Tool ready for the 2013 session of the Washington State Legislature

      January 2013: In advance of the 2013 session of the Washington State Legislature, the WSU Energy Program Library has released the updated Energy Related Bill-Tracking Tool. This database is refreshed regularly during session so policy watchers can track the progress of energy-related bills introduced into the Legislature. read more ...

      New Opportunities for Dairy Farmers in Whatcom and Skagit Counties

      October 2013: The Farm Energy Efficiency Audit Program is now accepting applications from dairy farmers who would like to have an energy audit performed on their dairy operation. This program will serve the first 24 applicants who formally sign up.

      This program is being offered by the WSU Energy Program with program funding provided by the Northwest Clean Air Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Rural Development, in cooperation with the Skagit and Whatcom conservation districts and Puget Sound Energy.

      For more details, please refer to the Farm Energy Efficiency Audit Program flier.

       

      Industrial Energy Leaders

      December 2012: On December 5, Governor Chris Gregoire, the WSU Energy Program, the Washington State Department of Commerce, founding sponsor Bonneville Power Administration, and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance honored Washington’s Industrial Energy Leaders for their exceptional accomplishments in improving energy efficiency.

      And the winners are:

      • The Governor’s Award for Leadership by Example – Nucor Steel Seattle, Inc.
      • The Governor’s Award for Leadership in Energy Performance (large energy user) – Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging, Inc.
      • The Governor’s Award for Leadership in Energy Performance (small/medium energy user) – Stemilt Growers LLC
      • The Governor’s Award for Leadership in Innovation – North Pacific Paper Corporation
      • Honorable Mention for Leadership in Energy Innovation and Performance – Rainier Fruit Company

      In addition, three companies were recognized by their serving utilities for their exceptional success in reducing energy use:

      • Sponsor’s Award for Leadership in Innovation – Shields Bag & Printing Co., nominated by Cascade Natural Gas
      • Sponsor’s Award for Leadership in Innovation – Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation Facility, nominated by Avista
      • Sponsor’s Award for Leadership by Example – Trident Seafoods, nominated by Puget Sound Energy

      Congratulations to all of our Energy Leaders!
       

      WSU Energy Program Research Featured in Home Energy Magazine

      July 2013: The July/August issue of Home Energy magazine includes an article by WSU Energy Program building science specialists Mike Lubliner and David Hales. "Past, Present, and Future: Directions in Single-Family Energy Auditing and Retrofits" describes round-robin energy audits and analyzes findings of a building science stakeholder survey to help inform technical and policy discussions for single-family homes.  read more ...