Archive

February 2016

Blog | February 26, 2016

A brief history of CHP development in the United States

Combined heat and power (CHP) systems, also known as cogeneration, generate electricity and useful thermal energy in a single, integrated system. Heat that is normally wasted in conventional power generation is recovered as useful energy, which avoids the losses that would otherwise occur from separate generation of heat and power. While the conventional method of producing usable heat and power separately has a typical combined efficiency of 45 percent, CHP systems can operate at efficiencies of 60–80 percent or more.

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Blog | February 24, 2016

Here’s a how-to guide to help states cut their emissions with energy efficiency

As inhabitants of the Information Age, we have the power to do whatever we put our minds to. Want to learn to tie a tie? There are tutorials on YouTube. Thinking of baking macaroons? Look it up on Pinterest. Want to learn a new language? There's an app for that. No matter what task you are tackling, there is likely an online guide to help you "do it yourself." While we might not be able to help you assemble IKEA furniture or truss a chicken, ACEEE can help you develop a strategy for complying with the Clean Power Plan while avoiding energy waste.

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Blog | February 23, 2016

Why we need innovations AND insulation

Bill Gates, billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, marked several items off his 2015 to-do list when he announced the creation of two coalitions (one of international governments, the other of billionaire investors) for investing money in developing renewable energy innovations, while pledging one billion dollars of his own money to the effort.

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Blog | February 17, 2016

Meet the $100 billion market of energy efficiency financing

As the stock market soared to new heights after the Great Recession, so too did energy efficiency financing. Our new paper, Energy Efficiency Finance: A Market Reassessment provides an overview of structures that are working in the energy efficiency finance industry today, which markets still remain elusive, and what opportunities the future may hold.

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Blog | February 12, 2016

Four reasons we can breathe easy despite the Supreme Court’s stay

Earlier this week the Supreme Court granted a motion to stay the Clean Power Plan while the DC Circuit Court hears arguments. That means there is a freeze on the rulemaking process while the CPP goes through legal challenges in the DC Court. What does it mean for energy efficiency?

Not much. Here’s why:

1. Regulation of CO2 from power plants is still going to happen. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate greenhouse gases from major emitters. They’ve done it for cars, and power plants are next on the list.

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Blog | February 12, 2016

Take a ride on the energy slide with building codes

Building codes have protected people with minimum health and safety requirements for buildings since the Code of Hammurabi in 1754 BCE. Energy provisions in US codes have protected owners and tenants from excessive energy waste since the 1970s. They set minimum performance levels for energy features in new buildings and renovations, notably insulation, windows, air sealing, and to some extent, lighting and heating and cooling equipment.

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Blog | February 10, 2016

It’s time to implement good industrial energy efficiency programs in your state.

The industrial sector represents a big opportunity for low-cost energy savings from utility energy efficiency programs. In general, investments in energy efficiency lower operating costs for manufacturers, which increases their productivity and improves competitiveness. When these investments are made through utility programs, businesses get the added value of access to technical expertise, project implementation support, and financial incentives that reduce initial costs.

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Blog | February 5, 2016

Fuel-efficient heavy trucks are on the horizon

Heavy-duty vehicles (more than 8,500 lbs. gross vehicle weight) are central to our economy: tractor-trailers carry goods, vocational trucks and heavy pickups help provide services, and transit buses transport passengers. In 2015, heavy-duty vehicles represented only 5% of on-road vehicles but consumed 30% of all highway fuel. Tractor trucks dominate this sector, accounting for about two-thirds of heavy-duty oil consumption, followed by vocational vehicles and heavy pickups.

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