Idle Load Reduction Strategies for Energy Efficiency Gains and Clean Air

NRDC: Always-on but inactive devices may cost Americans $19 billion and 50 power plants’ worth of electricity annually.

Source: www.nrdc.org

>”  […]  Idle load or “baseload” electricity consumption includes appliances and equipment in off or “standby” mode but still drawing power; in “sleep mode” ready to power up quickly; and left fully on but inactive. Much of this always-on energy provides little or no benefit to the consumer because most devices are not performing their primary function and home occupants are not actively using them.

The Natural Resources Defense Council partnered with Home Energy Analytics and the Stanford Sustainable Systems Lab to assess the impact of the growing cohort of always-on devices on consumer utility bills. We used three separate data sets: smart meter data from 70,000 northern California homes; smart meter and additional information for 2,750 San Francisco Bay Area homes; and a detailed in-home audit of 10 Bay area homes.

We found that “always-on” electricity use by inactive devices represents on average nearly 23 percent of northern California household electricity consumption.

But if all homes in the United States reduced their always-on load for inactive devices to the level that a quarter of the homes in our study already achieve, it would:

save consumers $8 billion on their annual utility bills,avoid 64 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity use per year, andprevent 44 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution, or 4.6 percent of U.S. residential sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation.

[…] Ensuring that electronics, appliances, and miscellaneous electrical devices consume only as much electricity as necessary when unused presents a huge opportunity to save energy and money. Eliminating this energy waste also decreases the number of fossil fuel–burning power plants necessary to generate electricity, thereby reducing harmful air pollutants and carbon emissions that threaten our health and the environment.

Given that these power plants account for nearly 40 percent of U.S. carbon pollution, smarter energy use can have a measurable impact on overall emissions and would help states comply with emissions reduction targets under the government’s Clean Power Plan to set the first-ever limits on this dangerous pollution. In addition, optimizing energy use helps eliminate the need to build new expensive energy infrastructure, saving utilities and their customers money.

In the meantime, consumers can take these steps in their homes and businesses:

Optimize the efficiency of their current devices;Buy more efficient appliances, electronics, and miscellaneous devices, such as those labeled ENERGY STAR™, whether replacing old models or purchasing new ones;Urge lawmakers to enact idle load labeling so shoppers can avoid products with high idle loads; andInsist that all devices be required to meet idle load efficiency standards so there is no need to worry about models needlessly wasting electricity, the same way regulatory mechanisms ensure that our vehicles are safe to drive and foods are safe to eat.  “<

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Operations – Systems & Controls, Maintenance & Commissioning

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Clothes Dryers Latest Home Appliance to Obtain Energy Star Certification

For the first time in six years, Energy Star certification, a standard seal of approval for energy efficiency, has been expanded to include another major household appliance. Clothes dryers, perhaps the last of …

Source: www.pddnet.com

>” […] Clothes dryers, perhaps the last of the major household appliances to be included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s program, became available in 45 Energy Star models starting Presidents’ Day weekend, according to the EPA.

“Dryers are one of the most common household appliances and the biggest energy users,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

While washing machines have become 70 percent more energy-efficient since 1990, dryers — used by an estimated 80 percent of American households — have continued to use a high amount of energy, the agency says. […]

“Refrigerators were the dominant energy consumer in 1981. Now dryers are the last frontier in the home for radical energy conservation,” said Charles Hall, senior manager of product development for Whirlpool.

Energy Star-certified dryers include gas, electric and compact models. Manufacturers offering them include LG, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag and Safemate.

All of the energy-efficient models include moisture sensors to ensure that the dryer does not continue running after the clothes are dry, which reduces energy consumption by around 20 percent, the EPA says.

In addition, two of the Energy Star-approved models — LG’s EcoHybrid Heat Pump Dryer (model DLHX4072) and Whirlpool’s HybridCare Heat Pump Dryer (model WED99HED) — also include innovative “heat pump” technology, which reduces energy consumption by around 40 percent more than that, the EPA and manufacturers say.

Heat-pump dryers combine conventional vented drying with heat-pump technology, which recycles heat. The technology, long common in much of Europe, is similar to that used in air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

Although Energy Star models can cost roughly $600 more than comparable standard models, Hall said the higher cost is more than balanced out by energy savings and up to $600 rebates offered by government and utility incentive programs.

But the real impact will be felt once the transition to Energy Star models is complete. According to the EPA, if all the clothes dryers sold in the U.S. this year were Energy Star-certified, it would save an estimated $1.5 billion in annual utility costs and prevent yearly greenhouse-gas emissions equal to more than 2 million vehicles.

To earn the Energy Star label, products must be certified by an EPA-recognized third party based on rigorous testing in an EPA-recognized laboratory.”<

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Study Finds Global Opportunities for Improvements in Elevator Efficiency

1259707a-d405-4e90-9e4b-4b7660c1a1d0.jpgElevators and escalators make up 2 to 5 percent of the energy used in most buildings, but can reach as high as 50 percent during peak operational times. At 5 percent, that means the yearly energy consumption of U.S. elevators is approximately five times of that used in all of Washington D.C.

 

 

 

image source: http://www.thyssenkrupp.com/en/produkte/energieeffiziente-aufzugssysteme.html

Source: aceee.org

>”Chicago—More energy-efficient elevators can significantly reduce the costs of operating a building, but the information needed to help building owners identify the appropriate elevator system—and the savings associated with it—aren’t readily available, according to a new study published by a leading policy group. The study, by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, was published with the support of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, the parent organization of Otis, the world’s largest manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products.

[…] The technology exists today to reduce that consumption by 40 percent or more, especially by cutting energy use between trips, when an elevator is idle, according to the study. Some technologies have been found to reduce consumption by as much as 75 percent, but without a standard way to measure energy savings and a rating system to distinguish more efficient elevators, building owners may be unaware of the benefits of upgrading to a more efficient system or choosing a more efficient system for new construction.

“Enhanced visibility when it comes to elevator efficiency can help customers grasp the full value package of better controls, improved performance, reduced sound, and increased comfort,” said Harvey Sachs, ACEEE senior fellow, and the study’s lead author. Sameer Kwatra of ACEEE presented the study on Tuesday, January 27 at the 2015 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Winter Conference in Chicago.

The study lays out a framework for industry leaders to set common standards for measuring elevator efficiency. Those standards could lead to a rating system, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® ratings already in place for heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, and many home appliances. Clear standards also could lead energy utilities and government agencies to offer incentives, such as rebates, for very efficient models. And building label programs, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® program, could include elevator efficiency as a factor in certifying buildings. Right now, the LEED program considers elevators a part of unregulated “process loads,” and there are no direct credits for installing more efficient systems.

“Owners see elevators as an extension of the building lobby — a way to include their personality and values in the building,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “As consumers and tenants better understand and value the effects green buildings have on the health and productivity of inhabitants, clear standards for measuring elevator efficiency can provide a great opportunity to reduce operating costs and showcase the environmental attributes of a building.”

The report identified energy-efficient elevator technologies that can be included in building codes and factored in elevator rating and labeling systems. […]”<

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Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency Standards Cost Less than Estimated

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Washington, D.C.—A new report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) finds that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been overestimating the impact that energy efficiency standards for appliances and other products have on their price tags.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Today’s study, entitled Appliance Standards: Comparing Predicted and Observed Prices, looks at nine appliance standards that took effect over the 1998-2010 period and found that DOE overestimated price impacts in every case, usually by a wide margin. ACEEE and ASAP found that across the nine rulemakings, DOE estimated an average increase in manufacturer’s selling price of $148. On average the actual change in price was a decrease in manufacturer’s selling price of $12.

Estimates of the overall benefits of energy efficiency standards for consumers will likely have to be revised as well. In 2012, ACEEE and ASAP released a study estimating that standards for appliances and other equipment would save consumers more than $1 trillion cumulatively by 2035, even after subtracting estimated increases in product prices.

“Energy efficiency standards are proving to be an economic powerhouse, driving even more consumer savings than we realized,” said report co-author and ASAP Executive Director Andrew deLaski.<

See on www.aceee.org