Archive for the 'Energy Efficiency' Category

Seventh National ACEEE Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource: Report to U.S. Department of Energy

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 by

This report summarizes the content and themes of the ACEEE Seventh National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource, held in Nashville, Tennessee from September 22 to 24, 2013, per the agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy.  The successful conference demonstrated the progress of energy efficiency as a resource in the Southeast and leading regions of the country.  Speakers and sessions examined progress and energy savings achievements, and how programs in the field are evolving past previous limits towards greater savings and participation. Challenges and policy issues arising after a decade of growth were addressed in-depth.

See also the presentations available on the conference web site.

DOE’s OSTI Launches SciTech Connect, Consolidates Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 by

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) has launched SciTech Connect, a new portal to free, publicly available DOE research and development (R&D) results. SciTech Connect incorporates the contents of two of the most popular core DOE collections and employs an innovative semantic search tool enabling scientists, researchers and the scientifically- attentive public to retrieve more relevant information. OSTI plans to gradually phase out its current DOE Information Bridge and Energy Citations products and replace them with the improved search interface of SciTech Connect.

OSTI developed the new resource to help increase access to science, technology and engineering research information from DOE and its predecessor agencies. SciTech Connect represents one of the largest deployments of semantic search by a federal agency to date.

“OSTI historically has been a leader in pioneering the use of new technologies to make more DOE and federal science accessible to more people more conveniently than ever before,” said OSTI Director Walter Warnick. “Now, with SciTech Connect, we are expanding deployment of innovative semantic search technology to make DOE R&D results easier to retrieve and thereby better serve our dual core mission – getting DOE results out to the scientific community and beyond, and getting the community’s results into DOE.”

Consolidated in SciTech Connect, DOE Information Bridge and Energy Citations accounted for approximately half of the 298 million transactions OSTI handled in 2012. OSTI will work to ensure a smooth transition for patrons as it consolidates these two web-based services into SciTech Connect.

Product Scope

SciTech Connect contains all the full-text documents and citations previously found in Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database. Thus, SciTech Connect contains over sixty-five years of energy-related citations created and/or collected by OSTI. There are over 2.5 million citations, including citations to 1.4 million journal articles, 364,000 of which have digital object identifiers (DOIs) linking to full-text articles on publishers’ websites. SciTech Connect also has over 313,000 full-text DOE sponsored STI reports; most of these are post-1991, but close to 85,000 of the reports were published prior to 1990.

SciTech Connect includes technical reports, bibliographic citations, journal articles, conference papers, books, multimedia, and data information sponsored by DOE through a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or similar type of funding mechanism from the 1940s to today. This collection continues to grow as new scientific and technical information resulting from DOE research becomes available.

The records for the early years represent a comprehensive worldwide collection of nuclear science literature. In addition to reports from the Atomic Energy Commission and other U.S. Government agencies, this collection includes numerous non-governmental publications, as well as foreign and foreign language material. In the mid-1970s, the scope of the database expanded to cover all forms of energy-related scientific and technical information.

Semantic Search

With the release of SciTech Connect, OSTI is expanding its deployment of semantic search, an innovative technology to radically improve the quality and relevance of search results across the majority of its DOE content. Semantic search is a way to enhance search accuracy contextually. Rather than relying on search algorithms that identify a specific query term, semantic search uses more complex contextual relationships among people, places and things. It is an especially effective search approach when a person truly is researching a topic (rather than trying to navigate to a particular destination).

SciTech Connect employs a semantic search technique known as keyword-to-concept mapping. It accepts keyword-based queries and returns concept-mapped queries as in a taxonomy; a search term is mapped to other associated terms, including narrower and related concepts.

In this way, semantic search enables the new SciTech Connect search engine to recognize and make use of the logical relations among concepts in different scientific documents, regardless of whether those documents use standard descriptors to express those concepts. As a consequence, even the casual user easily recognizes the superiority of semantic search results over traditional word/phrase search results in a side-by-side comparison.

SciTech Connect also includes a number of other features, including basic and advanced search; faceting; in-document search; word clouds; and personalization which allows users to save searches, define alerts based on saved searches and create and manage document libraries.

Transition Details

While SciTech Connect will eventually replace DOE Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database, the transition will be gradual and seamless. The transition period should be completed in July 2013. Because SciTech Connect provides improved access to all the information previously available via DOE Information Bridge and Energy Citations Database, OSTI recommends that users bookmark this new product and start using it as their primary access point to OSTI’s collection of DOE research and development results.

7 steps to effective energy management

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 by

For the month of December, Cam Metcalf, Executive Director, Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, wrote an article for GreenBiz’s P2 Pathways Column on the seven step process for implementing an energy management system in organizations to systematically get to P2 and E2 outcomes.

Here is the link to the P2 Pathways landing page: http://www.greenbiz.com/business/engage/enterprise-blogs/p2-pathways.

10 Webcasts for Climate and Energy Staff: measure climate change health impacts, access sustainability tech help, and more

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 by

EPA Webcasts

October 4, 3:00-4:00 PM (EDT) – Free Technical Assistance Available through EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program

EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program provides short-term, targeted technical assistance to help communities implement smart growth development approaches, such as creating a green streets strategy, linking land use to water quality, or conducting a parking audit. Participants will learn about the types of assistance available from EPA and its four grantees, and how to apply. This webinar is being held in response to requests for a repeat of the webinar that was held on Sept. 21; the content will be essentially the same.

October 11, 2:00-3:30 PM (EDT) – Estimating the Health Impacts of Climate Change and Clean Energy Programs

State and local climate change and clean energy policies can improve air quality, reduce negative impacts on human health, and save lives. This webinar will cover three EPA tools that state and local governments can use to estimate and communicate the health and related economic benefits of actions that reduce air emissions:

Audience: Recommended for state and local air quality, energy, public health, sustainability, and transportation planning staff.

October 11, 1:00-2:30 PM (EDT) – Solar Energy for Water and Wastewater Utilities: Step-by-Step Project Implementation and Funding Approaches
EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management hosts this webinar on helping water utilities understand how they can use solar energy to increase their energy efficiency. The first part of this webinar will detail the process of implementing solar energy projects at water or wastewater utilities, the various types of solar technologies available, and where they can be used most appropriately. The webinar will also highlight innovative funding approaches, including those with no up-front capital requirements, that result in long-term energy cost savings and stability. Finally, this webinar will present the case study of a successful solar installation at a small wastewater utility in Grafton, Massachusetts.

ENERGY STAR Webcasts

ENERGY STAR offers free online training to help you improve the energy performance of your organization. To register for any of these trainings or to see other upcoming ENERGY STAR trainings, visit the ENERGY STAR Trainings page.

October 3, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT) – Top Communication Strategies to Build Support for Your Energy Program

This month’s ENERGY STAR National Building Competition webinar will explore how ENERGY STAR partners are building top-down and bottom-up support for energy initiatives through effective communications. Key strategies include sharing energy goals and data; bringing together internal teams to exchange expertise and lessons learned; communicating through reports, creative materials, and events; and engaging occupants to take an active role and interest in saving energy through competitions and other initiatives.

October 16, 12:00-1:00 PM (EDT) – Beyond the Basics of Benchmarking: Advanced Features of Portfolio Manager

So you’ve benchmarked your building, now what? This session builds on the Basics of Benchmarking, highlighting more features you can use in EPA’s Portfolio Manager to help you understand your building’s energy performance, set goals, and share and report data.

In this session you will learn about:

  • Strategies for keeping your data up-to-date and accurate;
  • Metrics to use to assess your building’s energy performance; and
  • How to use Portfolio Manager to demonstrate energy efficiency improvements with the goal setting, reporting, and sharing features.

Additionally, there will be time during the session to get your specific questions answered.

October 18, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT) – How to Apply for ENERGY STAR Certification

You’ve benchmarked your building in EPA’s Portfolio Manager, you’ve worked hard to improve its energy efficiency to get the building’s score up to a 75, and now you want to get EPA recognition for this accomplishment. The ENERGY STAR Certification will distinguish your building as a superior energy performer.

October 24, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) – How to Launch an ENERGY STAR Energy Efficiency Competition

Time and time again, leading ENERGY STAR partners have found that a spirit of healthy competition and the opportunity for recognition are among the best drivers for participation in organization- or community-wide energy management. Any organization can run a competition, including trade associations, commercial businesses, manufacturing companies, local and state governments, schools, congregations, and more. Join ENERGY STAR for this hour-long presentation to learn about (1) the many benefits of energy efficiency competitions; (2) the basic steps you can take to plan and launch an energy efficiency competition; (3) common barriers and possible solutions; and (4) the resources made available by ENERGY STAR that can help you in this process, including the ENERGY STAR Guide to Energy Efficiency Competitions.

October 30, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) – Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR

Learn how public sector organizations are improving energy efficiency with innovative solutions to financial barriers. Attendees will learn about financing projects in the public and private sectors, the basics of performance contracting, and how EPA’s tools and resources can help you make the decision to improve your facilities now or later.

NALGEP (National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals)

October 3, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) – EPA’s Brownfields Area-wide Pilot Program: Lessons Learned and New Funding Opportunity

EPA’s Brownfields Area-wide Pilot Program is helping 23 pilot communities respond to local brownfields challenges, particularly where multiple brownfield sites are in close proximity; connected by infrastructure; and limit the overall economic, environmental, and social prosperity of their surroundings. The webinar, sponsored by NALGEP and the Brownfield Communities Network, will discuss lessons learned from the program, share pilot examples, and preview plans for the upcoming RFP for the next round of pilot grants.

ACEEE (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)

October 11, 4:00-5:00 PM (EDT) – Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) and Home Energy Retrofit Programs

The ACEEE webinar will be co-hosted by staff from the One Change Foundation, who will be on hand to discuss details of their High Five philosophy for mounting CBSM campaigns in support of home energy retrofits. High Five is one of the approaches discussed in the recent ACEEE white paper,Reaching the “High-Hanging Fruit” through Behavior Change: How Community-Based Social Marketing Puts Energy Savings within Reach. This white paper, the first in a forthcoming series on social and behavioral insights and their application for energy efficiency programs, will be available for download on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

From the State and Local Archives

Climate Change Adaptation for State and Local Governments

This three-part series is one of the most popular series we’ve ever hosted. You can listen to all of it online, in addition to the dozens of other webcasts we have archived on our website.

  • Part One: Climate Impacts and Risk Communication
  • Part Two: Adaptation Planning and Implementation
  • Part Three: Federal Resources and Support for Climate Change Adaptation

Exemplary Utility Energy Efficiency Programs — Nominations Now Open!

Monday, September 10th, 2012 by

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) seeks to recognize and profile America’s leading utility-sector energy efficiency programs. ACEEE will award these programs a “Certificate of Recognition” and will feature them as exemplars of best practices in a compendium of program profiles to be published by ACEEE in the Spring of 2013.

Eligibility

We’re looking for leading examples of energy efficiency programs for all types of customers (residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural) and end-uses. The only constraint is that they must be “utility sector” energy efficiency programs (i.e., funded by customers through utility rates, public benefits charges, or other similar utility revenue mechanisms). The programs can be administered by utilities, government agencies, or “third party” independent administrators. Both electric and natural gas programs are eligible. Programs recognized in ACEEE’s 2003 and 2008 reviews are eligible for this new review. In these cases, program data and results need to be updated to reflect the latest information available.

Organizations may only nominate themselves for a maximum of three programs each.

[Note: we are NOT seeking nominations for “load management” or “demand response” programs, with one exception: we are interested in “integrated” programs where broader energy efficiency measures and savings are incorporated as an explicit priority in the program design in addition to load management. Inclusion of integrated, significant energy efficiency measures and savings (not just peak reduction) also need to be well documented.]

Selection Criteria

The primary selection criteria for recognition by ACEEE are:

  • Direct Energy Savings: Demonstrated ability of the program to deliver significant immediate and long-term kWh (and/or therm) savings from energy efficiency.
  • Market Impacts: Demonstrated ability of the program to produce desirable and lasting improvements in the energy efficiency characteristics and performance of the targeted market.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Demonstrated ability to yield significant energy savings and related benefits relative to the costs of the program.
  • Customer Service and Satisfaction: High quality of services available and provided to customers participating in programs.
  • Innovation: Incorporation of particularly innovative measures, program designs, and/or implementation techniques that have achieved positive near-term results and promise significant future impacts.
  • Transferability:  Well documented programs with characteristics amenable to replicating the program design in other similar settings.

Additional factors that may be regarded favorably include: success in serving “hard to reach” target populations; success in achieving “deep” energy savings by participants; and the ability to leverage significant customer investments in energy efficiency.

To demonstrate achievement according to the various  criteria, it is advantageous that nominated programs have used good quality ex post evaluation and verification methodologies to document savings impacts, market effects and other results achieved by the program.

How to Nominate a Program

To nominate a program, ACEEE asks that you complete an online nomination form here. Hard copy/paper nominations will generally not be accepted without permission. The review and selection process will consist of two phases: (1) an initial screening of nominated programs to identify leading candidates, and (2) a more in-depth review of these candidate programs; in this 2nd phase ACEEE is likely to request supplemental data and information on the programs, such as evaluation reports or other documentation. An expert panel (ACEEE staff plus external experts) will review the nominations and select the final set of programs.

Nominations due October 5, 2012.

For additional information, please contact:
Seth Nowak
snowak@aceee.org
608-256-9155

or

Dan York
dwyork@aceee.org
608-243-1123

Please note: ACEEE will confirm receipt of all nominations. If you do not receive a confirmation within one week of your submission, please call Seth Nowak at the above number.

Please feel free to distribute this invitation widely. Self-nominations are perfectly acceptable (a limit of 3 self-nominations per organization) All nominations will be kept confidential unless otherwise requested. The results of ACEEE’s second national review of exemplary programs can be found here: http://www.aceee.org/research-report/u081.

Register for GLRPPR/EPA Region 5 Webinar

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 by

Join the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) and U.S. EPA Region 5 for a webinar on May 12.  Space is limited. Reserve your webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/440261202.  After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The GLRPPR/EPA Webinar provides an opportunity to hear about P2 Programs in the region, ask questions and stay connected.

Agenda:

  1. Opening comments by Julie Guenther, Region 5 EPA
  2. Presentation by IL: a. GLRPPR – Bob Iverson; b. I-CORE – Mike Springman
  3. Presentation by MN – Phyllis Strong: a. P2 Grant work; b. Green Chemistry and Design program; c. P2 integration program
  4. Presentation by MI – Karen Edlin: a. Economy, Energy and Environment (E3); b. Michigan’s Sustainable Hospital Initiative; c. Advancing Green Chemistry
  5. Presentation by IN – Jennifer Schick

Title: GLRPPR/EPA Region 5 Forum
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2011
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM PDT  

System Requirements:

  • PC-based attendees–Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
  • Macintosh®-based attendees–Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Contact Bob Iverson, GLRPPR Executive Director, for further information or questions.

Our thanks to Donna Walden, Regional Coordinator at the Western Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Network (WSPPN), one of our sister P2Rx Centers, for assisting with the set up and administration of this webinar.

Deadline Extended for International E-Waste Design Competition

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 by

International E-Waste Design Competition LogoThere’s still time to submit entries for the 2011 International E-Waste Design Competition. The deadline has been extended to 4:59 p.m. CT, May 9, 2011. College students and recent graduates from around the world submit ideas for reusing e-waste to create new and useful products, or for preventing its generation in the first place (e.g. by re-designing an existing electronic device to facilitate reuse or otherwise extend the product life cycle). Entries include, among other elements, a video uploaded to YouTube highlighting the proposed design idea. Six winning teams or individuals (three in each of two categories) will receive monetary prizes. The competition is part of the educational component of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI; www.sustainelectronics.illinois.edu). For more information and online registration, see www.ewaste.illinois.edu, or contact Joy Scrogum at jscrogum@istc.illinois.edu or 217-333-8948.

Greening Gym Class

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 by

It’s a cliche, but things sure have changed since when I was in school. As I mentioned previously, my daughter recently started kindergarten. In addition to recess, which one would expect, she actually has physical education (P.E.) every third day (alternated with music and art classes). I’m pleased she’s being kept active, but surprised to be thinking about gym class quite so soon. In the midst of watching her explore the brave new word of P.E., I received an e-mail inquiry regarding the Greening Schools web site. This was a joint project of the Illinois EPA and GLRPPR’s parent organization, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC, formerly WMRC), which is unfortunately no longer funded (please e-mail me any ideas regarding funding sources to maintain and expand this site). The inquirer was interested in greener lesson plans geared toward P.E. I’ve seen resources related to greening athletic facilities, but the idea of actually greening the P.E. curriculum was an interesting twist to me, so I decided to share some of the resources I provided in response here. In this post I’ll discuss both resources for more sustainable P.E. facilities as well as curricula.

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New GLRPPR Sector Resource on Light Pollution

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 by

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The Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) has recently released a new Sector Resource on Light Pollution.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) defines light pollution as “any adverse effect of artificial light, including sky glow, glare, light trespass, light clutter, decreased visibility at night, and energy waste.”

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Resources for IT/Data Centers

Sunday, October 11th, 2009 by

The Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) recently added a “Data Centers” subcategory to both the “Consumer Electronics” and “Energy Efficiency” Sector Resources.

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