While the ACEEE 30th Anniversary Policy and Analysis Conference included many excellent presentations on the two topics in its title, based on the scope of discussions, the conference might have been more accurately named the Policy, Analysis, and Communications Conference. It was clear that too often, the policy and analysis communities speak different languages.
Washington, D.C. — The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and efficiency organizations including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) have submitted a petition to the ENERGY STAR program to recognize the benefits of smart appliances and jump start the smart grid. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) estimates that implementing smart grid technologies could reduce electricity use by more than four percent annually by 2030. Smart appliances can have an even more profound impact on reducing expensive peak demand.
Our Perspective on the “Rebound Effect” – Is It True That the More Efficient a Product Becomes, the More Its Owner Will Use It?
Two recent articles have argued that as the energy efficiency of products improve, it becomes less expensive to operate these products and as a result, people increase their use of these products, increasing energy use and potentially wiping out the energy savings caused by the efficiency gains.
Washington, D.C. — Last month, President Obama signed into law a tax package that contains modifications and extensions to energy efficiency tax incentives for homeowners, home builders, and appliance manufacturers. Information on all of these energy efficiency tax incentives are accessible on the Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP) Web site so that consumers and businesses can take full advantage of changed federal tax credits for energy-saving technologies and practices.
Motivating customers and organizations to change their behavior can lead to significant energy savings. A new report from ACEEE, Visible and Concrete Savings: Case Studies of Effective Behavioral Approaches to Improving Customer Energy Efficiency, profiles a variety of programs that spur individuals and organizations to save energy by changing behavior in their homes, businesses, and plants.
More than 500 state and local code officials voted on changes to the nation’s model energy code to achieve energy savings of 30% relative to the 2006 model code. The new 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) meets the 30% savings goal sought by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of State Energy Officials, governors, lawmakers, and the broad-based Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC).
ICF International, Portland Energy Conservation, Incorporated, and the ACEEE staff and Board sponsored Summer Study scholarships for seven undergraduate and graduate students. The award paid for the conference registration fee, housing and meals, and a portion of transportation costs.
On a personal note, I learned about an additional benefit of investing in a super-efficient refrigerator. About two months ago my wife and I finally bought a new refrigerator—the new Whirlpool model that is the most efficient on the market.
Major Home Appliance Efficiency Gains to Deliver Huge National Energy and Water Savings and Help to Jump Start the Smart Grid
Washington, D.C. — Home appliance manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates have agreed to improved efficiency standards and tax policies for refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and room air conditioners.
ACEEE continues to work hard on efficiency policies at the federal level and has made some progress, but the big question is whether a comprehensive federal energy and/or climate change bill will be able to move forward this year.