Solid State Lighting – Why state of the art energy solutions are not applied

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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Should SolarCity Change Its Name – Changing their name to EfficiencyCity

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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Go there and read. More next week.

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Even Georgia Has Tough Energy Codes Now – Some things have changed

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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Green Investments Pay – Not according to the FHFA

This is an interesting Blog and an interesting post. I am no good at posting videos so:

http://legalplanet.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/are-pace-financed-residential-energy-improvements-capitalized-into-home-prices/

Are PACE Financed Residential Energy Improvements Capitalized into Home Prices?

September 9, 2012

The FHFA believes that an unintended consequence of obtaining a PACE loan is to increase the risk of mortgage default.  The FHFA’s  logic is that if the green investments are not capitalized into home prices then the home owner’s equity decreases as equity =  sales price – debt owed.   Under these assumptions, the green investment doesn’t raise the sales price but does increase the debt owed. My recent research convinces me that this pessimism is false.  Here is  My letter to the FHFA. Here is my July 2012 peer viewed paper on solar panel capitalization effects in San Diego and Sacramento   dastrup-zivin-costa-and-kahn .

We need more regulatory scholarship focused on empirical work and hypothesis testing.  I have an incentive to say this because that is what I do.

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Go there and see the video. More tomorrow.

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When The Oil Runs Out – Capitalism goes down with it

People are always playing out this dystopian vision of what the world will look like if there is a sharp break in the availability of fossil fuels. Most people imagine guys with guns will control their chunk of the world and abuse everyone in it for the own good. Or that we will break into semi-dead towns and farm life like 200 years ago. But, I usually say, what if it is slower than that and what if people cooperate instead of foolishly compete. Then life might look like this, which sounds kinda fun.

http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/07/ithaca-ecovillage-forges-a-path-to-sustainable-living/

Ithaca Ecovillage Forges a Path to Sustainable Living

By Coralie Tripier

ITHACA, New York, Jul 16 2012 (IPS) – Ecovillage at Ithaca (EVI), located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, is an intentional community of 160 people striving for greater sustainability, a better quality of life, and perhaps even a new model for urban planners the world over.

Enjoying breathtaking surroundings, residents wander around the village on pedestrian-only streets, swim in the pond, share meals in the common house, and spend a small amount of their time working together for their community.

EVI’s residents have to volunteer for two hours every week in one of the six work teams – the cooking team, the dishwashing team, the common house cleanup team, the outdoor maintenance team, the regular maintenance team, or the finance team.

“If you had a house, you would have to do that anyway, so why not do it for the broader community and make friends at the same time,” Ashley Click, a young mother and new resident at EVI, told IPS.

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Go there and read about a grand life. More tomorrow.

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Summer Energy Tips – Pretty fancy digs in this one

Well even middle class and rich people gotta pitch in.

http://www.wholeliving.com/136091/keep-cool-summer-home-energy-tips/@center/136755/green-home-guide

Keep Cool with Summer Home Energy Tips

Green Your Home, Slash Your Bills

The prospect of dizzying energy bills, maxed-out power grids, and killer heat waves poses a dilemma for the eco-minded. Crank up the AC, and you’ll burn through countless kilowatts — not to mention your budget. Listen to your green conscience, and you’ll pay with sweat.

But when you maximize the efficiency of your home’s cooling system and adopt smart, low-cost strategies, you can save money and still beat the heat. In fact, by eliminating wasteful habits and power guzzlers, you could cool your home with up to 50 percent less energy and save more than $400 on annual utilities. With 100 million tons of heat-trapping CO2 emitted every year as a result of residential air-conditioning, your new habits will amount to nothing less than a step toward global cooling

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Energy Tips For The Summer – Wow this one is real long

What more can I say. This is actually a pretty thoughtful list and like I said long. I will do the first 5 or so and then:

http://www.floridapsc.com/publications/electricgas/20summer.aspx

  1. Close shades, drapes and blinds during the day (all directions).
  2. Wear light weight clothing (short sleeves, shorts, cotton).
  3. Set the air conditioning thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Raise it a few degrees higher when away in the day. A lower air conditioning temperature makes your costs much higher. Setting your air conditioner at 70 degrees instead of 78 can almost double your operating cost!
  4. Don’t choose a lower air conditioning temperature when you first turn it on. It won’t cool faster –- whenever it’s running it’s cooling as fast as it can. Set low, it cools longer, not faster.
  5. When weather is mild, use fans instead of the air conditioner. Your central air conditioner will use about 100 times more energy than a fan at medium speed.
  6. If you have ceiling fans, run the fans and the air conditioner at the same time but set the air conditioner a few degrees higher, to 80 or 81 degrees. With the breeze from a fan, you should feel as cool as you would at 78 degrees with no fans – but you’ll reduce your costs by about 15%-25%.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Spring Has Sprung In El Paso – They want you to throw open your windows

These tips are really kinda lame but at least they are trying.

http://www.epelectric.com/nm/business/spring-energy-efficiency-tips

As you’re doing your spring cleaning and getting your air conditioner, as well as your house, ready for the hot weather, consider making some changes around the house that will help save energy dollars this summer.

When cleaning windows, check to see if they’re in good condition.  Loose, leaky or single-paned windows allow heated or cooled air to escape, taking hard-earned dollars with it.  Repair existing windows or replace them with energy-efficient models.

  • If you leave your windows open to enjoy the weather, remember to shut off the heating system.  A thermostat will call for heat when it’s set to a temperature higher than the outside air.
  • Clean under and in back of the refrigerator.  Dust can build up in those hard-to-reach areas, causing the refrigerator to run less efficiently.  If you have an old refrigerator that was manufactured before 1993, consider replacing it with a new Energy Star-rated model.  They use half as much energy as models manufactured before 1993 and 15 percent less energy than other new models.  This change can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
  • Unplug the old, inefficient refrigerator or freezer that’s in the garage – it’s wasting energy and money.  If a second refrigerator or freezer is needed, keep it full.  Water and ice work well for this.
  • Dust or wipe light bulbs.  Clean bulbs provide more light for the money.  Replace high-use incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and fixtures – they use two-thirds less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
  • When washing clothes, adjust the water level to match the load size, and use cold water whenever possible.  Use the dryer’s moisture sensor option that automatically shuts off the machine when the clothes are dry, and clean the lint filter before every load.  Consider hanging clothes outside to dry instead.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Saving Energy Contest In Upstate New York – It is great to be a loser

This is what can happen when the entire energy related sector cooperates. Too bad it doesn’t happen everywhere.

http://www.sustainablesaratoga.com/2011/02/the-biggest-losers-win-in-home-energy-efficiency-contest-in-saratoga-springs/

The Biggest Losers win in Home Energy Efficiency Contest in Saratoga Springs

PostDateIcon February 14th, 2011 | PostAuthorIcon Author: admin

The Biggest Losers Win
A Sustainable Saratoga Campaign to Promote Energy Efficiency and Conservation.

(Saratoga Springs, NY)  — The local Biggest Loser Energy Challenge sponsored by Sustainable Saratoga came to a close last week as a group of Saratoga Springs neighbors representing ten households sallied forth in sub-zero weather to focus an infrared camera on their houses in the last educational activity of the contest. As participants each looked at their houses on the camera screen, tell-tale glowing lights signified heat escaping into the cold night air. The infrared camera visually demonstrated where heat losses were the greatest, and gave opposing team members ammunition for teasing owners about missed opportunities to make their homes more energy efficient.

After the chilly outing, participants compared the final tally of their energy consumption over a six-month period to see which group had managed to cut energy use and waste by the largest percentage over the same period last year. Although both teams were happy “losers”, one group did reduce more than the other.

The participants encountered some surprises.  First, it was interesting to see energy use trends over time as there were unexpected spikes and dips in therms (gas) and kilowatts (electricity). Several people who halved their electricity usage speculated in hindsight how they did it. One had unplugged her clothes dryer and used line drying in her basement instead. Another had purchased a new refrigerator that replaced a 30 year old one, exchanged an old cable box for a new one and put the flat screen TV on a plug that could be turned off in order to prevent the significant stand-by energy these modern TVs burn, as well as the hole in our pockets.

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Please go there and read more.

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More tomorrow.

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DYI Green Energy For Homes – Another link request

This guys don’t realize it but I have posted about them before. They know what they are talking about.

 

http://diygreenenergyforhomes.com/

DIY Green Energy | Home Made Energy

diy green energy for homesAre you sick and tired of having to pay huge energy bills? If you answer yes to this question, then DIY green energy is a sensible option for you. You can begin utilizing free, eco-friendly power and reduce your household power bill by more than 80% while doing your part in saving the Earth.

The most significant benefits of DIY green energy is the ability to make big savings in the long run. Bear in mind though that there are significant start up costs associated with the setting up of solar, magnetic or wind power, and it’ll require a bit of time before you start to enjoy the rewards.

Setting up green energy power is really an enjoyable task that can be done by yourself – there is no better satisfaction than the experience associated with getting this done yourself. The very first time I assembled a residential wind turbine involved a couple of weeks, however the thrill of seeing it working in motion is priceless.

There are numerous methods to construct your own homemade green energy generators online which depicts the procedure and show you which components are needed. Don’t ever doubt yourself and don’t forget that anyone can create a workable and effective machine by yourself.

If you wish to reduce your month-to-month electricity bill, become self sufficient or increase the value of your property, this is all merely an arm’s reach away using homemade energy. It is possible to construct DIY solar panels or wind power generator by using simple, straightforward, “any kid could understand it” instructions. We’ve placed together some terrific information on DIY solar panels and homemade wind turbines that will make a massive difference in saving energy if you put them into application.

Regardless of whether you’ve questions on home made green energy or don’t have the slightess idea what is green energy, we have answers for you here. Before you know it, your free electricity dreams will turn out to be a reality.

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More tomorrow.

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