Archive

June 2014

Blog Post | June 30, 2014

The good news, and the not-so-good news, on the new DOE water heater test procedure

On Friday, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a new test procedure for residential and some commercial water heaters. The new procedure addresses a number of longstanding testing issues in order to better replicate real-world usage and to more accurately measure energy consumption across various technologies. Unfortunately, DOE missed an opportunity to ensure that one of the most energy-efficient technologies, the electric heat pump water heater (HPWH), performs as expected in cold temperatures.

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Blog Post | June 25, 2014

Taming an energy hog with efficiency standards

The Department of Energy (DOE) issued new efficiency standards today that will dramatically reduce the energy use of a little-known home energy hog. Furnace fans, which circulate heated and cooled air throughout a home, consume more than twice the electricity in a year as a typical new refrigerator. The new standards will cut the cost to power furnace fans by about 40% and also deliver improved comfort.

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Blog Post | June 24, 2014

Tracking a home's energy fitness

If you’ve gone for a jog or visited your neighborhood gym recently, you may have noticed new accessories popping up amid the sea of iPhones and earbuds. There’s a good chance that some of your fellow runners or gym goers have been using wearable performance monitors—like the Fitbit Flex or Jawbone UP—to track their physical activity. Or perhaps you’ve seen a post from a friend on Facebook bragging about their new personal record for fastest mile. The idea behind these devices and apps is simple: the better you track performance, the more knowledge you have to improve your routine.

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Blog Post | June 23, 2014

Ohio SB 310 post mortem: It’s worse than you thought

Despite an amazing amount of opposition to the bill from a diverse group of interests (business, environmental, consumer advocates, faith groups, local government, and the general public), the Ohio legislature passed SB 310,and Governor Kasich signed the bill on Friday, the 13 th of June. A very inauspicious day for the state.

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Blog Post | June 12, 2014

How to save 2 million barrels of oil per day

In 2011, the EPA and NHTSA adopted the first-ever fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and engines built for the 2014 to 2018 model years. Those standards, although not demanding enough to promote adoption of all available efficiency technologies, will benefit truckers and consumers and save over a half-million barrels of oil per day by 2030.

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Blog Post | June 10, 2014

Utilities are frightened of a “death spiral.” They shouldn’t be.

The electric and gas utility industries are facing substantial changes. For decades, rising sales have contributed to increasing revenues and profits, but the combination of improved energy efficiency with the growing use of solar electric systems and other forms of “distributed energy” has reduced growth rates, which could lead to small declines in future sales.

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