Does subsidizing energy reduce the incentive to economize?

” Worldwide, the amount of energy employed to produce a unit of gross domestic product fell by 0.4 percent a year from 2000 to 2010, according to theInternational Energy Agency. Last year and the year before, the annual declineaccelerated to 1.5 percent. Looking ahead 20 years, though, the IEA (in effect, a club of energy ministers) estimates that two-thirds of the potential for energy efficiency will remain unexploited.”— Bloomberg News



BlocPower, a social enterprise that aims to provide job training and energy-efficient products in underserved neighborhoods

Baird, 31, runs BlocPower, a social enterprise that aims to provide job training and energy-efficient products in underserved neighborhoods.

“One in three men in that neighborhood was incarcerated, and so many of them who had served their time in jail had come back to the neighborhood and had nothing to do,” Baird said. “No one would hire them; they were not given a second chance. It was not clear what they were supposed to do with the rest of their lives.”

“Using about $2.5 million from the city’s federal stimulus funds, the group weatherized 400 houses, while training 20 formerly unemployed workers to do the work. He said the trainees received health benefits and were paid a wage high enough to sustain a family of four.”–WILLIAM HARLESS

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.


The Growth Path For Zero Net Energy Homes

The Growth Path For Zero Net Energy Homes

“The information age technologies incorporated into a comprehensive solution ZNE home will enable home operations to realize target performance results measured by:
  • Occupant comfort and productivity
  • Cost optimization across a range of options including energy efficiency, onsite generation, grid purchases and use of onsite battery storage
  • Demand avoidance during critical grid-peak time periods
  • Reduced environmental impacts  ”  —By Bill Roth

The article mentions “four components of comprehensive building design” but leaves out an important component: Building Envelope.  A poor building envelope will result in oversizing of HVAC equipment and renewable solutions.  Another key component is education for proper operations and maintenance.  A home maybe designed with technologies to make it more energy efficiency and reduce consumption but if the individual operating and maintaining the technologies/home is not trained there is a potential for problems.

PECI tests New Buildings Institute’s plug load energy use metrics at HQ

“The intent of NBI’s new metrics is to set a benchmark for plug load energy use and make it easier for building owners and managers to spot opportunities to improve energy efficiency. The methodology allows an apples-to-apples comparison of plug load energy use across commercial buildings, even if they have vastly different plug load makeups and characteristics.”–PECI

Energy Management Trends: The Power Of Plugs

Energy Management Trends: The Power Of Plugs

“Approaches to reducing equipment energy use at minimum cost can be grouped into three categories: software, hardware, and people….The increased attention being paid to this source of energy use in facilities is resulting in new technologies, methods, and resources for firms who aim to put plug loads in their place.”– Higgins and Harris