residential energy efficiency


Now this is off the grid and I love it. I really need to say nothing more about it. The world is starting to change.

This Island Will Charge Its Lake-Sized Batteries with Wind Power

This Island Will Charge Its Lake-Sized Batteries with Wind Power

Image: Erik Streb/Wikimedia

Two hundred miles off the coast of Spain, a small island marked by a massive volcanic crater is about to become a case study for an ultramodern, zero impact society.

Over the last twelve years, engineers, researchers, and residents of El Heirro, the smallest of Spain’s Canary Islands, have been building one of the world’s most interesting living laboratories for sustainable off-grid living. They erected five towering wind turbines, built a huge reservoir that works as a battery, and installed three desalination plants that will let the tiny outpost harvest its drinking water from the sea. Now, the $75 million project is almost ready to be brought online.

The entire pioneering system is slated to begin its stab at modern closed-loop living at the end of June. While there are a number of solar power-reliant island communities, the press has dubbed El Hierro the first to live entirely off of the wind. Its only serious predecessor is Samso, a Danish island that’s also powered almost entirely by wind power, but unlike Hierro, it’s still wired up to the mainland’s coal-fired grid.

Right now, El Hierro relies on diesel generators to keep the lights on for its 10,000 residents, a practice that’s both costly and dirty. The new fleet of turbines will be capable of generating 11.5 megawatts of power.

That’s more than enough, when the gusts are ample, to keep electricity flowing to all of its homes and shops, as wells as to its three desalination plants. So when the gales are good, water and power are teased out of the sky—but it’s how El Hierro handles a lack of wind that harbors the biggest innovation.

Inset image of El Hierro: Cnes/Wikipedia

Topics: clean energy, batteries, Earth, energy, wind power, environment

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Go there and read. More next week.

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While they do not mention residential programs per se, I suppose a homeowner could always ask.

http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/energy-efficiency.aspx

Lower Consumption, Lower Costs

Managing total energy cost over time requires an energy strategy focused on quantity as well as price. Energy conservation measures can go a long way toward lowering consumption and associated costs while achieving sustainability goals and meeting regulatory compliance, like LEED certification.

However, financing for these projects is often an obstacle.

Constellation connects power customers with conservation benefits through Efficiency Made Easy – a unique bundled commodity and energy efficiency solution. Businesses with sustainability goals or mandates can save money and reduce energy consumption by baking in the cost of efficiency projects into a power contract.

- See more at: http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/energy-efficiency.aspx#sthash.4Iqb8ya6.dpuf

Lower Consumption, Lower Costs

Managing total energy cost over time requires an energy strategy focused on quantity as well as price. Energy conservation measures can go a long way toward lowering consumption and associated costs while achieving sustainability goals and meeting regulatory compliance, like LEED certification.

However, financing for these projects is often an obstacle.

Constellation connects power customers with conservation benefits through Efficiency Made Easy – a unique bundled commodity and energy efficiency solution. Businesses with sustainability goals or mandates can save money and reduce energy consumption by baking in the cost of efficiency projects into a power contract.

- See more at: http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/energy-efficiency.aspx#sthash.4Iqb8ya6.dpuf

Energy Efficiency

Develop Strategies to Save Energy & Improve Reliability

Industries We Serve

Commercial Real Estate

Develop comprehensive, energy efficient management strategies.
Learn More ›

Education

Customize an energy management strategy to meet fiscal and strategic priorities.
Learn More ›

Government

Reach financial and environmental goals and achieve internal effectiveness.
Learn More ›

Healthcare

Develop effective energy strategies that will allow you to focus on patient care.
Learn More ›

Hospitality

Pursue an integrated approach to energy cost management with comfort and ease.
Learn More ›

- See more at: http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/industries-we-serve.aspx#sthash.mBWPVA8u.dpuf

Well this should be a short post. Excelon will not allow me to borrow any of their page to post here so you will just have to go there and see it. But here is the general page if you are interested in something more than Commercial Buildings.

http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/industries-we-serve.aspx

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Will Chevron have wells in Illinois? Probably not.  They are to busy illegally fracking their wells off of California’s shoreline. But chatting them up can’t hurt.

Day 1 on 11/15/13

Topic: Who can and can’t testify and public hearings when fracking permits are requested. 

 

Go to:   http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/OilandGas/Pages/OnlineCommentSubmittalForm.aspx

Radio Button: Subpart B: Registration and Permitting Procedures (245.200-245.270)

 

Comment: Because air and water travel freely, IDNR should not limit comments during public hearings to individuals living within 1500 feet of wells.  Toxins can travel far beyond 1500 feet via air and water.  Therefore, any person, regardless of where they live, should be allowed to testify.

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Go there and comment. More today.

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Residential energy conservation has stagnated somewhat in the last 3 or 4 years. I do not know what the dampers are, whether it is price or attitude for instance. New houses are a lot more efficient but the efforts to improve existing housing stock have stalled. Here is an article about those latest techniques.

http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Energy-Efficiency-and-Renewable-Programs/Residential/Emerging-Technologies-and-Accelerated-Commercialization.aspx

Emerging Technologies and Accelerated Commercialization (ETAC) in the Residential Sector

Opportunities to achieve energy-efficiency gains in the residential sector beyond traditional building and retrofit techniques have been limited by underutilization of emerging technologies that are commercially-available, but face barriers to widespread adoption in the industry. Technologies and techniques such as solid state lighting, lighting controls, home energy management systems, smart-grid integration, micro-combined heat and power, and super insulation have proven benefits. But they have seen limited market adoption, due to obstacles such as upfront costs, consumer and builder awareness and the lack of infrastructure support, including activities such as supply chain development, sales training and installer certification.

The ETAC initiative seeks to address the barriers to market acceptance by facilitating in-field demonstrations and the subsequent technology transfers. Widespread, large-scale demonstrations will incorporate these technologies into energy-efficiency projects, where the savings potential will be monitored and validated. In parallel, other marketplace needs will be addressed, such as the development of a training curriculum for designers and specifiers, installer-certification standards, consumer-education materials, and maintenance processes. Following the demonstration period, results will be communicated to the marketplace via various means such as case studies, presentations, and webinars.

While this specific initiative is focused on emerging technologies in the residential sector, NYSERDA will also demonstrate emerging technologies for the multifamily and commercial/industrial sectors through parallel ETAC initiative

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I thought I would start us out with a song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOMaqe0LOmo

The days when all the lies are proven false is right here and right now. Wind, solar and geothermal can replace coal gas and oil. And hthey can do it in the industrial heartland. It is the future and ain’t it grand?

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/10/17/us-germany-renewables-boom-idUKTRE79G0N420111017

 

Analysis: Renewable “gold rush” powers Germany’s north shore

 

 

ROSTOCK, Germany | Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:04am BST

(Reuters) – Renewable energy has created a “gold rush” atmosphere in Germany’s depressed north-east, giving the country’s poorhouse good jobs and great promise.

The natural resources attracting investors and industry are of a simple variety: wind, sunshine, agricultural products and farm waste such as liquid manure.

The rush to tap green resources in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state is reminiscent of the frenzies that came with gold or oil discoveries in past centuries. The buzz can be felt in towns and sparkling new factories across the Baltic shore state.

“Renewable energy has become extremely valuable for our state,” said its premier, Erwin Selling, in an interview with Reuters. “It’s just a great opportunity — producing renewable energy and creating manufacturing jobs.

“From an industrial point of view we’d been one of Germany’s weaker areas. But the country is abandoning nuclear power. That will work only if there’s a corresponding — and substantial — increase in renewables. It’ll be one of Germany’s most important sectors in the future. We want to be up there leading the way.”

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This is so bogus. Wind Farms are seen as a “burden” on the community so money is made available from the government to compensate individual households. I do not really know how dollars are changed into pounds but lets call it 70%. That would mean that any household in the US would be eligible for 650 $$$ per year for being near a wind farm. That amounts to what?  Redistribution of tax income or is this actually a subsidy? Hard to tell but here it is:

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/33978

The government’s planned compensation to households near new wind-farm developments may not be enough

The government this week announced a plan to compensate households near new wind-farm developments to incentivise them to accept them. Steve Gibbons, discussing provisional findings from on-going research, suggests that the level of compensation may not cover the costs involved.

News yesterday morning suggests that communities near new wind-farm developments could be in for some form of compensation, through lower electricity prices or other payment schemes. The BBC reports that the compensation could be worth as much as £100,000 per community. This is probably welcome news for residents potentially affected by wind-farm developments, although provisional findings from on-going research suggests that this level of compensation may not cover the costs involved, in terms of environmental, health and other impacts. I find that an operational wind farm reduces housing prices by around 7% up to 5km from the wind farm site. Some rough calculations based on these estimates suggest that the implied social costs on the local community (within 5km) amounts to about £80 million per operational wind farm, or about £500 per household per year.

An extended (user friendly) abstract of the research follows below:

Renewable energy technology has potential global environmental benefits in terms of reduced CO2 emissions and slower depletion of natural energy resources. However, like most power generation and transmission infrastructure, the plant, access services and transmission equipment associated with renewable electricity generation may involve environmental costs. This is particularly so in the case of wind turbine developments, where the sites that are optimal in terms of energy efficiency are typically in rural, coastal and wilderness locations that offer many natural environmental amenities. These natural amenities include the aesthetic appeal of landscape, outdoor recreational opportunities and the existence values of wilderness habitats. In addition, for residents local to operational wind turbines have reported health effects related to noise and visual disturbances.

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They even site the old “health related issues” which have never been proven to exist. Go there and read. More next week.

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I mean really if they are going to drop their insistence on solar panel installations as part of a retrofit then why keep the name? Are they now a software company or are they now a software and then install whatever company? Good questions with no answers. It would be like Tide if it were to stop making soap and started making dishwashers. Would they keep the name and why?

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/a-peak-at-solarcitys-new-energy-efficiency-software?

Has SolarCity Created the Amazon 1-Click for Energy Efficiency?

 

“We believe SolarCity has the best database of residential energy use of anyone in the world.”

 

Stephen Lacey: June 28, 2013

 

After SolarCity shifted its energy efficiency strategy and pulled back from doing residential retrofits in-house, the solar services behemoth is moving straight into intelligent efficiency.

 

GTM’s Eric Wesoff recently reported on SolarCity’s evolving business plan and the resulting changes that company executives say will scale residential efficiency in the same way solar services have scaled residential solar.

 

But solar is very different from efficiency. For the most part, solar is very standardized and installations are uniform from home to home. Efficiency retrofits encompass an extraordinarily broad category of activities and skills. Incentives are also quite different for efficiency, making it more complicated from a financial perspective. That’s why only a handful of U.S. solar contractors have offered efficiency as an in-house service.

 

SolarCity decided that doing the retrofit work itself was not the best way to scale. Instead, it has turned from manpower to the power of big data.

 

The secret sauce is a “simulation engine” that shows homeowners exactly how much they’re spending on energy everywhere in their house. The initial database was created using information from 16,000 home energy audits performed over the last five years. It relies on an algorithm developed at the Department of Energy that crunches 100 million calculations per home for each individual energy efficiency audit (which is still performed by SolarCity when installing solar).

 

“The simulation software looks at every component in a home in relation to one another,” said SolarCity COO Peter Rive. “Every ten minutes, it thinks about what one thing is doing and about its effect on the rest of the systems within the home.”

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The jackonapes in congress prattle on about how there is no Global Warming, and even if there is it ain’t man made. Those in the pocket of Big Coal want to find a way to make it cleaner. Like there is a way and America dithers on while China and India rush ahead. The song should go America the stupid with amber waves of insanity. Still at least the president has put something out there.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/obamas-climate-change-speech-three-words-less-coal-finally/66565/

Obama’s Climate Change Speech in Just Three Words: Less Coal, Finally

 

Philip Bump 4,220 Views 9:20 AM ET

The process of climate change is complex and involves a vast array of contributors. But slowing climate change largely relies on one thing, cutting carbon dioxide emissions, and cutting carbon dioxide emissions heavily relies on reducing the use of coal. For all of the president’s intricate proposals during his speech on the topic of climate change today at Georgetown University, nothing is as important as his plan to reduce America’s use of coal.

It’s important to consider the president’s proposals within an economic context. As Senior Administration Officials™ noted during a call on the topic last night, the president made a pledge to reduce carbon (dioxide) emissions in 2009 that the United States has made great progress in achieving. This is largely due to three things out of Obama’s control, however: the slow economy, a drop in electricity demand (in part due to the slow economy), and the increased use of natural gas for electricity production. Electricity production comes down to money, after all; if you figured out a way to generate gigawatts of power by leveraging the power of bare skin, America would be a nudist camp before sunset. We don’t love coal, we love that coal is cheap and is, by now, well-integrated into our power infrastructure.

Obama’s push to reduce coal use has two parts.

Decrease domestic coal use by limiting carbon emissions at power plants. Again: This is the most important part of Obama’s speech, bar none. If he dropped everything else in his plan, this idea would still warrant a significant amount of attention, both here and abroad.

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Good article and it just goes to show that America is always behind. We cede way to much to the powerful and pay the price. I would be willing to bet that we could half those numbers again with the proper research and development.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2013/06/11/europes-clothes-dryers-consume-half-as-much-energy-as-americas/?ss=business%3Aenergy

William Pentland

William Pentland, Contributor

Europe’s Clothes Dryers Consume Half As Much Energy As America’s

Like the vast majority of U.S. households, I own a clothes dryer that accounts for a non-trivial share of my electricity consumption. Like the vast majority of my fellow Americans, I would likely pay a lot less to dry my clothes if I lived in Europe.

Based on a new study by Ecova, an energy consulting firm in Spokane, WA, Europe’s embrace of new heat pump technologies is largely responsible for the transatlantic disparity in the energy efficiency of clothes dryers. Unlike Europe, heat pump technology has yet to arrive in North America.

There are 87 million residential dryers in the U.S. These clothes dryers account for 6% of residential electricity consumption, which is roughly equivalent to the electricity consumed annually by the entire state of Massachusetts (60 billion kWh per year). The annual cost of operating America‘s clothes dryers adds up to about $9 billion.

The energy efficiency of North American clothes dryers has made at most modest gains over the past two decades. By contrast, the energy attributed to washer use has decreased by about 70% since 1992.

Ecova compared the energy consumption of currently available European heat pump dryers to North American conventional electric dryers spanning a wide range of sizes, prices, features, and manufacturers.

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Other things have not changed. I mean we are still burning coal to fuel electric generators, 30 years after we should have stopped. We still flirt with the idea of Nuclear Powered power plants. But here is part of the Georgia Code, a State not known for anything progressive.

http://www.southface.org/learning-center/library/res-code-faq#24

22.    What is the difference between a mass wall and a basement wall, and what are the insulation requirements for both?

A mass wall is a heavy wall that is more than half above grade wall and is constructed of a fairly massive material (e.g., concrete, block, insulated concrete forms, masonry cavity, non-veneered brick , adobe, compressed block, rammed earth, and solid logs). A basement wall is a wall that is more than half below grade and encloses conditioned space. Insulation requirements for basement walls and mass walls depend on the location of the insulation and the type of insulation (whether it is continuous or insulation installed in a cavity). Requirements also vary by climate zone. Below is a table detailing the insulation requirements in the energy code.

Wall Type Insulation Location and Type Climate Zone 4 Climate Zone 3 Climate Zone 2
Basement Wall Interior – Continuous R-10 R-5 R-0
Basement Wall Interior – Cavity R-13 R-13 R-13
Mass Wall Interior-Cavity R-13 R-13 R-13
Mass Wall Exterior or Integral- Continuous R-5 R-5 R-4
Mass Wall Interior – Continuous R-10 R-8 R-6

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If you are a glutton for punishment, go there and read. More next week.

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