Energy Management Best Bits: Week of Feb 25th

March 2, 2013

Energy Management Insider Best Bits

Below is a list of most notable Energy Management stories that came across our desk this week. These are stories that received the highest traffic, largest amount of ReTweets, or had a high number of shares from our blog.

We hope you find these stories helpful and informative. Please feel free to share your energy efficiency and management stories from the week in our comments section.

Is Congress Jumping on Energy Efficiency?

This post from Green Tech Advocates discusses the changing political climate in Washington D.C. regarding energy efficiency. Thanks to a study recently produced by the Alliance to Save Energy and a strong mention in the President’s State of the Union speech, supporting energy efficiency has suddenly become en vogue.

The article highlights support and comments from ‘both sides of the aisle’. As well as identifying specific supporters, making the piece a great reference. See the original article Is Congress Jumping on Energy Efficiency for details and links.

The Psychology of Saving Energy

Alex Laskey TED 2013 Energy Management Insider

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

The annual TED Conference was held this week in Long Beach, California and energy efficiency was a key part of the agenda. One specific talk, given by OPOWER President Alex Laskey showcased findings from a behavioral study to encourage competitive energy savings between homeowners.

Results of the original pilot were not overly encouraging, so the team had to get a bit creative in its revised approach. For more information, see the TED Blog post titled The Psychology of Saving Energy: Alex Laskey at TED2013.

Menino Takes On Boston Buildings’ Energy Use

Boston Mayor Menino Energy Management Insider

Image Courtesy Boston Globe

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is jumping on the voluntary disclosure bandwagon. Following similar ordinances enacted in New York City, San Francisco, and others. The proposal would require owners of commercial buildings to collect and report energy consumption to a centralized database for analysis and public record.

The database would also connect with the heavily-used EnergyStar Portfolio Manager  to rank energy efficiency. Those receiving a score of 75 or higher could be eligible for the prestigious EnergyStar Label.

This proposal is subject to City Council approval and may take a while to enact. But as Mayor Menino shared, “In order for Boston to continue to be a sustainability leader, Boston’s buildings must continue to aggressively invest in energy efficiency”. For additional information see the Boston Globe article “Menino Takes on Boston Buildings’ Energy Use“.

Disclosing Energy Use in the Built-Environment

greentech-media-logoContinuing the discussion on voluntary disclosure, Stephen Lacy at  GreenTech Media crafted a post regarding transparency of data. And the benefits that New York City is already realizing from its comparison of city-wide energy data to other databases, such as medical and occupancy rates.

The post continues by lobbying for a national database of building energy efficiency data. A bit confusing to me, since most municipalities are using the EPA’s EnergyStar Portfolio Manager tool, which does just that.

It will be interesting to see how big data tools are used in the near future to associate energy efficiency with non-energy parameters. Stephen’s article is titled “We Disclose Calories, Fuel Mileage and Toxic Emissions—Why Not Energy Use?

America: The World-Wide Leader in Wasting Energy

The U.S. is known for many things, but probably not for being one of the most energy-inefficient countries on the planet. Especially among developed nations. The article mentions that China is even more energy efficient than the U.S., but I would like to see how the data was analyzed before agreeing with those numbers. I’m not interested in living like most Chinese in order to improve national energy efficiency scores.

The article is titled “America: The Worldwide Leader In Wasting Energy” written by Alex Laskey (again from OPOWER) and Tom King, President of National Grid. Data is shared highlighting the difference in energy use increases in locales with energy policies vs those without.

There is also mention of mimicking the “Race to the Top” education program, which we also heard this week from Jennifer Granholm in her TED Talk presentation “A clean energy proposal — race to the top!“. Another case of a good idea having a thousand fathers?

DOE Developing commercial building energy scoring tool

Building Exterior

Photo Courtesy of @ Flickr

Our own post regarding the U.S. Department of Energy’s efforts to develop a new tool to measure energy efficiency of commercial buildings gathered a large amount of attention. Named the Commercial Building Energy Asset Score, this tool hopes to compliment EnergyStar Portfolio Manager by diving deeper into performance efficiency of major energy consuming systems.

Basically a building owner or representative would use Portfolio Manager to generally rank the facility, then leverage the DOE Asset Score to identify major sources of waste. This could be from antiquated components or poor operation.

Additional information regarding the tool can be found in our post “U.S. DOE Developing CommercialBuilding Energy Asset Score Tool“.


We hope you enjoyed this week’s selection. Please feel free to share using the buttons below or add your own energy efficiency Best Bits from the past week. Thanks again for visiting us!

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