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

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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

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.

The State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

“According to the 2013 State Scorecard, the five states most in need of improvement (starting with dead last) are: North Dakota; Wyoming; South Dakota; Alaska; and Mississippi. However, Mississippi also appears on ACEEE’s list of the top five most improved states, revealing an upward trend as more and more states embrace energy efficiency. Last year Mississippi passed comprehensive energy legislation that included energy efficiency as a major component. The bill included provisions setting an energy code for commercial and state-owned buildings. Mississippi is now set to become a regional leader in energy efficiency. West Virginia’s score improved due to the state adopting stronger building codes. The other three most improved states in 2013 were:  Maine, Kansas, and Ohio.”—ACEEE

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz said: “Energy efficiency is a critical tool for cutting harmful carbon emissions and the best way to reduce energy bills for America’s families. We applaud the continued progress in energy efficiency nationwide and stand ready to help states as they make their communities cleaner and more sustainable, while saving taxpayer dollars and fostering greater economic growth.”