Advanced Energy Perspectives

THIS IS ADVANCED ENERGY: Efficient Building Envelope Systems

Posted by Caitlin Marquis

Jun 29, 2016 11:30:00 AM

This post is one in a series featuring the complete slate of advanced energy technologies outlined in the report This Is Advanced Energy.

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Image courtesy of Sage Glass.

The building envelope consists of all the elements of a building that separate its interior from the exterior environment: external walls, insulation, windows, and roofing. Advanced building envelope materials can reduce building energy use and costs by lowering heating and cooling loads, which account for roughly 50% of energy consumed by a typical U.S. home and 40% in commercial buildings. Heating and cooling loads can be reduced by as much as 40% simply by using efficient building envelope technologies. Roof and attic insulation alone can reduce heating and cooling needs by 10% to 15%.

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Topics: This Is Advanced Energy

Natural Gas Vehicles Slow Down due to Low Oil Prices

Posted by Frank Swigonski

Jun 28, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post is one in a series of feature stories on trends shaping advanced energy markets in the U.S. and around the world, drawn from Advanced Energy Now 2016 Market Report, which was prepared for AEE by Navigant Research.

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The unexpected collapse of world oil prices that began in late 2014 persisted throughout 2015 and even accelerated late in the year, driving both manufacturers and consumers to reevaluate their alternative fuel strategies particularly around NGVs. With oil prices now expected to remain well below $100 per barrel for at least several more years, much of the operating cost advantage of NGVs that helped offset the acquisition cost premium has evaporated, particularly in North America. In other regions of the world, natural gas still holds a cost advantage, although not to the degree it has in recent years.

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Topics: Advanced Energy Now

Grappling with the Water-Energy Nexus in California

Posted by Emilie Olson

Jun 23, 2016 9:30:00 AM

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California is entering its fifth year of drought and is in the midst of decision-making about the future of the state’s climate goals. California’s water infrastructure represents one of the state’s largest energy users, consuming 19% of the state’s electricity for treating, pumping, and conveyance. The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with California’s water use are equal to the emissions from more than 7 million cars. This is what we call the water-energy nexus, and it is the next frontier for California’s climate and energy leadership. Advanced Energy Economy recently provided policymakers with our business-based perspective on it.

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Topics: State Policy Update, California Engagement

Internet of Things Comes to Life at Home

Posted by Frank Swigonski

Jun 22, 2016 12:00:00 PM

This post is one in a series of feature stories on trends shaping advanced energy markets in the U.S. and around the world, drawn from Advanced Energy Now 2016 Market Report, which was prepared for AEE by Navigant Research.

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The IoT concept, though much hyped for its future potential, is not just coming. It is already well on its way – into the home. Smart thermostats allow a user to remotely control household temperatures via a smartphone. Smart meters can connect to thermostats for DR. Some LED lights have embedded radios that allow the user to remotely control them from mobile devices. Smart appliances and security systems are able to connect via wireless or wired technologies and share status or other data for home automation, safety, and convenience. These devices enable customers to input data into behavioral ef ciency software which can generate recommendations to lower energy use. Though still early, this trend is accelerating as device manufacturers add connectivity to more devices.

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Topics: Advanced Energy Now

Do Demand Charges Make Sense for Residential Customers?

Posted by Coley Girouard

Jun 21, 2016 4:30:00 PM

This post was originally published on SmartGridNews. Read it in full by clicking here.

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The rise in customer-sited distributed generation (DG) and the success of energy efficiency (EE) programs in reducing load growth have brought rate design to the fore as utilities look for ways to ensure cost recovery and reduce risk. The large uptick in fixed charge proposals has continued as a result, but now a new trend toward a more sophisticated rate design has emerged - demand charges. Demand charges, the argument goes, are intended to better align revenue collection with cost and provide a strong incentive for customers to reduce their peak consumption. But do they really make sense for residential customers?

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Topics: State Policy Update, PUCs

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Advanced Energy Perspectives is AEE's blog presenting news, analysis, and commentary on creating an advanced energy economy. Join the conversation!

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