The Benefits of Laundry-to-Landscape Greywater Systems

“Laundry-to-landscape greywater systems are a great investment to reduce water consumption with little maintenance and relatively low installation costs. There are many tools available to homeowners looking to install a laundry-to-landscape greywater system. And it can provide as much as a 15% reduction in household water consumption. This practice could make a real difference in water availability if employed on a large scale in drought-prone areas.  “– From: Madeline Valinski, University of Delaware, Class of 2015, Environmental Studies

Interconnecting two different software to maximize building efficiencies

“By working closely with Siemens to jointly test the BACnet integration between the Quantum and APOGEE systems, we are able to provide facility managers with a better user experience and ‘single pane of glass’ for managing their different building systems,” said Mark Jenner, new business alliances director at Lutron. “Instead of disparate pieces of software to manage all of the different building systems — lighting, shading, HVAC, door access, fire/safety, energy metering — BACnet makes it possible to integrate all of the software tools into one, saving valuable time and maximizing efficiencies.”– achrnews

Smart Grid: Austin Energy: A real-life advanced distribution management system (ADMS)


“Austin Energy hopes their ADMS will help them achieve a number of energy efficiency, profitability and customer service goals by 2020, such as”:


  • 35% renewable energy component in its energy mix
  • The deployment of 200 Megawatts (MWs) of solar power, with half of that being installed on roof tops
  • An 800 MW peak demand reduction
  • Overall, customer satisfaction of 82% as measured by a variety of surveys
  • Maintain reliability goals of  System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) of 60 minutes and of System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) of 0.8 interruptions
  • All of these goals must be achieved while meeting affordability measures of no more than an average 2% rate increase per year and ensuring that the average residential bill is in the bottom 50% of the residential bills in Texas.

article by smart grid technology

Retrocommissioning Sensor Suitcase project

“The turnkey product is embedding the knowledge and skills of an experienced building commissioning practitioner into a scalable hardware and software package that can be deployed by a variety of building services personnel.The Retrocommissioning Sensor Suitcase is targeted for use in small commercial buildings of less than 50,000 square feet of floor space that regularly receive basic services such as maintenance and repair, but don’t have in-house energy management staff or buildings experts.” —Linda Hardesty

New green programs are helping to guide small-business owners across NYC

“Small-business requests for green audits and retrofit overhauls tend to spike after natural disasters, a pattern repeated in the wake of superstorm Sandy last fall, said Don Giampietro, assistant commissioner at the city’s Department of Small Business Services. But in normal times, small-business owners often need an extra push.

New York City is also attempting to help businesses navigate the red tape involved in applying for green tax incentives and abatement plans, including discounts for natural gas or subsidies for solar panels.”–Richard Morgan 


Bank of America issues $500M ‘green bond’

“BofA’s green bond is a three-year, fixed-rate bond that’s $500 million in aggregate principal amount. The bank says it’s a senior bond with funds dedicated to finance green investments that further its 10-year, $50 billion environmental commitment. Bank of America viewed this issuance as an opportunity to expand its investor base and to support an important market as investors seek more socially responsible investment options,” the company said Thursday in its announcement about the bond.”–


Johnson Controls to take stake in air-conditioning business of Hitachi

Johnson Controls Inc. will take a 60% stake in the global air-conditioning business of Hitachi Ltd., under a joint venture announced Tuesday.”
“Alex Molinaroli, chief executive of Johnson Controls, in a statement. “The addition of these capabilities adds key technologies to our product portfolio. Combined with our existing $15 billion building technologies and services business, this investment positions Johnson Controls as the world’s largest commercial air-conditioning provider.” Journal Sentinel

Both Hitachi and Johnson Controls offer building technologies as well as energy efficiency and sustainability services.  How does a company offer unbiased consulting services to their client without being slanted by the technology their company sells?

Submetering Leads to Better Energy Management

“To save energy, reduce HVAC loads, and increase guest comfort levels, the Hyatt Regency Houston decided to install window film in 48 southeast- and southwest-facing rooms. To measure heating and cooling savings, the hotel installed submetering to measures HVAC usage in the 48 rooms with window film, as well as in 48 southeast- and southwest-facing rooms without window film. The data from the submeters confirmed that window film installation reduced cooling energy use by 23%, and heating energy use by 25%. Without submetering, this data wouldn’t have been captured to prove that window film was a cost-effective, energy-saving investment that would provide a quick ROI.” –VistaWindow

It is important to note that there are data loggers available on the market for monitoring usage, troubleshooting and measurement/verification.  A submeter tends to be more of a permanent instrument as well as costly.  Additionally, submeters for electric usage require certain existing electrical wiring setup vs. data loggers, one can use a c-clamp and monitor usage of individual equipment.

Would greater use of information-based programs and social networking help with energy-related decisions?

Reducing waste in energy consumption: Do flawed models equal sub-par results? “One of the most important omissions from our models is time, as a scarcity factor entering into the economic decisions of both energy suppliers and consumers. In advanced wealthy economies, time is often the most binding constraint on decision-making, not income or wealth, around which most of our economic models are designed. Time scarcity can create binding constraints on both households and businesses in many energy-related decisions, even when energy efficient products and services may be available in the marketplace, often at competitive prices.


Veolia launches new tool to determine true cost of water

“The metric tool, called the ‘True Cost of Water’, will help businesses and municipalities to assess the financial implications of various risks and impacts concerning water, allowing them to make better decisions in managing water.”–Johann Clere, Veolia global director for business development, industrial markets