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Efficiency is 'First Fuel'
FERC Chair Tells Forum

Managers and policy makers are referring to efficiency as the 'first fuel' and as 'virtual generators,' Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told the US Energy Association's energy forum.

Citing and showing Lawrence Livermore lab's energy flow chart, he pointed out that of the 94 quadrillion BTUs of energy consumed in the US, only 40 quads resulted in useful work or comfort. The remainding 54 quads were lost as heat or other forms of waste.

He quoted the Clean Tech Group as forecasting that energy efficiency investments will be a prime energy investment of 2010.

Other speakers included former Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and Shell executive vice president Russ Ford.

To the right Jon Wellinghoff, FERC Chairman
addresses the National Press Club.

Complete Video of Energy Forum

News from our recommended news reading list

30 Energy Leaders Under 30
Forbes - 2012-12-26
Forbes profiles inventors and innovators who are getting more energy out of material and processes.

Wind and solar power paired with storage could power grid 99.9 percent of the time
Science Daily - 2012-12-10
Delware scholars run massive computer simulations to test different configurations of solar and power installations. The researchers optimized their tests for cost efficiency rather than storage capability

Nano-technology solar cell achieves 18.2% efficiency for electricity production
Printed Electronics World - 2012-10-18

DC Building Energy Benchmarking Law Approaching - 2012-07-31

LEED-Platinum Luxury Condos Focus on Energy Conservation
EcoHome Magazine - 2012-05-16

Siemens claims 33.9 percent solar module efficiency with Semprius Concentrating Photovoltaic
- 2012-04-18

My Master Metered Condo and Its Energy Priorities | The Energy Collective
- 2011-09-17
A case study of a Montgomery County, Md, Condo

Community View: A better world, and independence, through energy efficiency | The Journal News | |
- 2011-09-17

Providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineers information on nonresidential building systems and products | Consulting-Specifying Engineer
- 2011-09-17

Electric Industy Study on Efficiency Finds Information Gaps to Fill
The Energy Tribune - 2010-09-04

President Outlines 'Cash for Caulkers' Program - 0000-00-00

President Outlines 'Cash for Caulkers' Program

President Obama announced a program of rebates for home energy efficiency work which would refund up to $3,000 on qualified energy conservation work.

Called the HOMESTAR program, the Federal subsidy would give point of purchase rebates for new appliances and home renovations.

The White House said that unemployment in the construction industry is about 25% and that this $6 billion program would provide jobs for workers in that sector.

Its first level would be called Silver Star, and would receive $1,000 to $1,500 for purchases such as insulation work or energy-efficient refrigerators, up to 50% of the purchase price.

A more extensive Gold Star program would provide $3,000 in rebates when an energy audit is conducted and a plan is implemented that would cut home energy use by 20%. Additional monies could be available for programs that reduce energy use by more than 20%.

Also, the government said it would apply quality standards for the products and contractors who were eligible for the rebate-qualifying work.

The certification to show competency in energy retrofit work can cost between $800 and $1,000, the Christian Science Monitor quoted an expert as saying. Start-up investment for providing the services could be about $5,000, it continued.

CEOs Call for Climate Policy Certainty
Reuters - 2010-03-05
Leading CEO's in the energy and alternative technology sectors called for clarity in government policies designed to combat climate change. Speaking at a Wall Street Journal conference, executives of firms in efficiency technology, coal and oil said they would support cap-and-trade regulations.

$3B Loan for S Africa Coal Plant Analyzed
The Washington Post - 2010-03-03
The World Bank is considering lending $3 billion to South Africa's national utility for coal-fired electricity plants. The 4,800 megawatt Mepudi generating stations. It is also proposing $730 million for alternative and efficiency tech work. The Washington Post critiques the program and describes opposition to it.

Boat with 500 Square Meters of Solar Cells Unveiled
Environmental News Service - 2010-02-27
Planetsolar presented its 98-foot catamaran to the public at a shipyard in Germany. The boat is powered by 38,000 solar cells with 22 percent efficiency and plans a world cruise in April 2011.

Struggle to Save Energy in Condo Continues - 2010-02-20
Owners and board members of condominiums can make significant gains in improving the energy efficiency and comforts of their buildings, the editor of GlobalResourcesNews wrote for a real estate blog. But homework, critical thinking and due diligence are the first steps in greening a condo.

DOE Seeking Comment on Energy Standards for Manufactured Housing - 2010-02-22
The Department of Energy is approaching its deadline, under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, to establish standards for energy efficiency in manufactured housing.

Specifically under provisions of the act, the department must make the standards compliant with the most recent version of the International Energy Conservation Code, unless they decide that alternate methods would be more effective.

The standards will address differences in climate zones and considerations based on factory construction versus on-site construction.

The notice in the Code of Federal Regulations can be found here. The deadline for comments is March 24.

Related site:
DOE page on the background and status of building codes

Overview of the International Energy Conservation Code

Consumer Federation Notes Most Americans Concerned About High Fuel Prices, Want More Fuel Efficient Cars
Automotive News - 2009-11-24
The Consumer Federation of America released survey reports showing that 78 percent of Americans support higher fuel efficiency standards for cars and that 74 percent are concerned about higher prices of fuel. Here is the full CFA Statement.

French Office Building Achieves 95% Energy Efficiency Over National Average
- 2009-10-25
The Elithis Tower in Dijon is designed to use 20 kilowatts per square meter of electricity.

GlobalResourcesNews stories on the search term: efficiency

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Chu Calls for Research on New Energy Sources

Efficiency is 'First Fuel' FERC Chair Tells Forum

Plan for 2050 Energy Mix Calls for Big Cuts
In Carbon Emissions and Fossil Fuel Use

What’s the Latest on Energy Efficiency for DC Co-ops and Condos

New Clean Energy Geopolitics Emerging

Green Jobs Will Grow with Investment of 2% of Global GDP: UN Forecast

Reporting, research and editorial services about commodities, conflict, risks and solutions.

Links for the search term: efficiency

Energy Efficiency for Condominiums: A Guide for Association Officers and Directors

A Green Building Means Nothing Without a Green Super: The Job Goes High-Tech

New semiconductor alloy's 'crazy physics' makes it a possible photovoltaic power source for satellites
Adding one or two percent nitrogen to gallium arsenide improves efficiency

Funding Opportunity Exchange for DOE's Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy program

SCHOTT announces a 20% efficient solar PV cell
SCHOTT Solar AG on Dec. 12 announced a breakthrough: it manufactured a new type of industrial wafer size silicon solar PV cell with nearly 20% energy conversion efficiency that contains no silver Source: Clean Technica (

Sample ASHRAE study of a new residence hall at Harvard University

The Difference Between ASHRAE Level 1, 2 & 3 Energy Audits | Microgrid Energy

Sample Applications and Request for Proposals for energy studies, provided by the Cuyahoga County Municipal Energy Program

Robert Burgess presentation on ASHRAE Level 2 assessment

An example of how a Federal Government facility used ASHRAE energy assessments

Sample ASHRAE Level 2 study: Harvard's Andover Library

HowStuffWorks "How much coal is required to run a 100-watt light bulb 24 hours a day for a year?"
The thermal energy content of coal is 6150 kWh/ton. So one pound is 0.325 KWh (or enough to run a TV or desktop computer for three hours if the energy could be used at 100% efficiency.)

So moving a 3,042 Prius a distance of 5,280 feet (1 mile) would take 16,061,760 feet pounds or 6.04 KWh (at the conversion rate of 2.655 x10^6 foot-pounds per KWh). This is equal to the thermal heat energy in 1.967 pounds of coal. (This generates 4.2 pounds of CO2.)

Public Housing Energy Conservation Clearinghouse: ECMs: Control Air Leakage - HUD - Fuel Efficiency, Save Gas and Gas Mileage Forum

BTS | Table 4-23: Average Fuel Efficiency of U.S. Passenger Cars and Light Trucks

HowStuffWorks "How Gas Prices Work"
From the Web site: 'Each barrel of oil contains 42 gallons (159 L), which yields 19 to 20 gallons (75 L) of gasoline. So, in the United States, something like 178 million gallons of gasoline is consumed every day.'

Primer on efficient air conditioning chillers
Describes the types of new chillers and how to assess their efficiency ratings.

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