Archive

December 2015

Blog Post | December 31, 2015

First-ever pump efficiency standards reflect industry and advocate consensus

The Department of Energy (DOE) issued new efficiency standards today for commercial and industrial pumps that are based on efficiency levels negotiated by manufacturers, efficiency advocates, and other stakeholders. In addition to establishing the first-ever national efficiency standards for pumps, the final rule also provides a mechanism for energy efficiency programs to incentivize high-efficiency pump packages.

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Blog Post | December 24, 2015

DOE just issued a proposed rule for ceiling fans and a final rule for ceiling fan light kits

Yesterday, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued two rules affecting ceiling fans: a proposed rule that would establish the first efficiency performance standards for ceiling fans, and a final rule that improves the efficiency of the lights attached to ceiling fans.

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Blog Post | December 22, 2015

New Orleans is on the move

This holiday season, New Orleans residents have cause for celebration as they receive an unexpected holiday gift: a new focus on energy efficiency savings.

Cities are responsible for the majority of energy consumption, and local governments can play a critical role in addressing energy and environmental challenges. So, cities have a real opportunity to lead by pushing for ambitious policies to reduce energy waste in their own backyard. New Orleans’ city council did just that with some recent legislation.

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Blog Post | December 22, 2015

Vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards are working well, but could fall short of climate goals

The latest news from the EPA on light-duty vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions is…complicated. There’s good news and not-so-good news, and the array of factors that figure into EPA’s accounts of these matters is mind-boggling for those not tuned into the fine points.

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Blog Post | December 18, 2015

Energy efficiency and industry: the national trend

The industrial sector, which includes dozens of individual industries spanning agriculture, forestry, fisheries, construction, mining, and manufacturing, accounts for about one-fifth of the US gross domestic product. Industry is unique among the end-use sectors in that its energy intensity has declined consistently over the past 35 years, as can be seen in the figure below.

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Blog Post | December 11, 2015

The housing effect and its impact on residential energy use

Energy efficiency comes into a house from many directions: standards make appliances, equipment, and electronics more efficient, building codes ensure the right amount of insulation and ventilation, utility programs help families manage their energy use, and smart technology saves money with programmable thermostats and energy-sipping LED lighting. So it may come as a surprise that, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), on-site residential energy consumption actually grew 8.9% from 1980 to 2009.

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Blog Post | December 7, 2015

Why economists and practitioners need to work together to improve energy efficiency programs

In the past year, a growing number of papers from economists have questioned the effectiveness of energy efficiency programs and policies. We have reviewed many of these studies and blogged about several of them (see hereherehere and here).

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Blog Post | December 3, 2015

What is energy intensity, and how does it relate to energy efficiency?

From 1980 to 2014, energy use in the United States increased from 78 quads (quadrillion Btus) to 98 quads, an increase of 26%. (A quadrillion is 10 to the 15th power.) But over the same period, our gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 149%. A common approach for looking at these two variables together is to examine energy intensity, defined as energy use per real dollar of GDP.

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