A zero net energy (ZNE) building is a home or commercial building that on average produces as much energy as it uses, achieved through energy efficiency and renewable technologies. The ZNE concept has captured the imagination of the building design and clean energy communities. Now, policymakers, businesses, and a broader segment of the general public are showing an increased interest in ZNE as a means to reduce building operating costs and environmental impact while addressing energy supply challenges.
Efficiency has become intelligent. We’ve always known that waste is stupid and that efficiency is smart, but now, many energy measures can learn, adapt, and self-optimize. It’s called “intelligent efficiency,” and it’s going to transform how energy efficiency is provided, achieved, and measured. We’re so excited about its potential that we are hosting an entirely new conference on the subject in November.
Commercial buildings consume 20% of the total energy used in the United States---more than the energy consumed by all the nation’s cars, trains, and airplanes put together. A significant portion of this energy can be saved through efficiency in design, systems, and operation. Utilities and other efficiency program administrators have long been incentivizing energy efficiency measures that target various energy end uses such as lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
State and local governments are laboratories for innovation in energy efficiency policies and programs. Policymakers, regulators, and citizens at all levels increasingly recognize that energy efficiency is crucially important to their economies and are increasingly taking action and seeking information on policies and programs in their communities. Today ACEEE is launching a new database tool that highlights the energy efficiency leadership—and opportunities for improvement—of state and local governments around the United States.
The recently released 2013 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranked 34 of the largest U.S. cities on their efforts to save energy—but we don’t think large cities should have all the fun. In order to help other cities see where they stack up, today ACEEE released the Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool (Version 1.0 BETA).
Intelligent efficiency refers to a systematic approach to saving energy that marries traditional energy efficiency with wireless and cloud-based computer technologies. These technologies enhance our ability to gather, interpret, and act upon energy information in order to improve performance and achieve new levels of energy savings.
One of the most overused misnomers in the energy efficiency field is the term “hard to reach” for customer segments that aren’t easily served through existing utility customer-funded programs and marketing channels. The reality is that the segments covered by this term shift constantly as new programs or business models are developed that allow segments to be served cost-effectively, at scale.
Over the past several years, financing for energy efficiency investments has been widely viewed as a promising solution to reducing upfront cost barriers to investment in energy efficiency. However, several markets, including multi-tenant commercial office and multi-family, remain stubbornly hard to reach.
From the increased popularity of front loading washing machines, to an increased use of cold water detergents and wash cycles, consumers are becoming more attuned to energy- and water-saving technology and practices. Improvements in clothes washing are helping consumers save more energy and water than ever, but there are still significant savings to be realized in the residential sector and even more so in the largely untapped commercial laundry sector.
Washington, D.C.—A new analysis of devices and equipment commonly found in U.S. homes and businesses concludes that these products, with more than 2 billion in use, consume more energy each year than many large countries use to power their entire economies.