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commercial buildings Archives - Michaels Energy

The Non-Energy Benefits of COVID, and Energy

By Energy Rant No Comments
Way back in April, I had generated a list of non-energy benefits of the COVID. One was the lack of traffic. That made driving easier and running a little safer with less hassle. Second, my, uh, wellness trainer stopped making trips to Europe, so rather than being gone a week a month, he’s never gone. As a result, my Feng and Shui have been in balance. Third, my car insurance company has credited my account a few times because they think I’m driving less – which reminds me of the fourth: gasoline prices are lower than ever, inflation-adjusted. Fifth, I’ve...
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natural gas

Natural Gas Savings, Traps, and H Vacs

By Energy Rant One Comment
I flipped open AESP’s[1] annual magazine to pick up a topic for this week. I chose the last article on natural gas programs. I’ve always found it interesting that folks perceive natural gas to be an enigma for finding savings. If natural gas is being used, the potential for savings is not more difficult to find than electricity savings. Steam “Traps” Let’s start with steam traps. Programs that maintain and replace steam traps are akin to electric programs that fix compressed air leaks. [vc_single_image image="14603" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] Traps capture things, right? Mousetrap. Ant trap. Beartrap. Ackbar trap. However, a steam...
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Energy Efficiency in a Land of Renewable Foie Gras

By Energy Rant No Comments
A couple weeks ago in Renewable Energy, Bad Parents, and Strawberries, I wrote that the value of an electrical generating resource depends a little on how cheaply it can produce energy (kWh), but a LOT on when and the (new word alert) dispatchability of the resource. For instance, California already has so much solar generation at the wrong time of day that it needs to dump kWh by paying producers to quit. This is demand response in reverse, or (new term alert) supply response. Yes, they are curtailing less than 1% of sales, but they are also two years ahead...
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Commercial HVAC – Retrofit v New Construction: Apples v Poutine

By Energy Rant No Comments
This post is the main course following last week’s appetizer that covered some complexities of deep energy retrofits for homes. The thrust of that post was that even retrofitting homes requires considerations of many things that have nothing to do with energy – just to achieve desired energy results. This week, we are advancing the subject to commercial buildings. [vc_single_image image="13507" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="13504" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] Case Study: 100 Year Old School Let’s start again with a 100-year-old middle school shown nearby. This building has already had a deep energy retrofit, and I’ll explain how to tell later (below). I pulled...
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Complexities of Home Energy Retrofits

By Energy Rant 6 Comments
As luck would have it, in recent memory, I’ve been to a couple t-shirt nights at MLB games. Yippy. This isn’t like the free shirts they give out at marathons, where you can take whatever size you need – you know, something that fits. No. Baseball franchises provide one crappy size, extra-large. It fits some of us, but the rest of us have a shirt that might as well go directly to the local Goodwill store. Some deep energy retrofit programs are like the crappy extra-large t-shirt. Let us get started with homes, to which everyone can relate and understand....
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Benchmarking Clowns

By Energy Rant One Comment
It’s Halloween. Hundreds of thousands of people have to figure out a different costume because a clown plague has infected the country. While I don’t consume tabloid news, I did hear that in some cities, the clowns are getting beat up. I thought, now that isn’t a bad idea, but I wouldn’t advise that. When I was a kid, Halloween antics included dozens of mushy tomatoes and cucumbers left behind in the garden. These have the impact of water balloons, and they make a fine mess. For this post, I referenced my program booklet for ACEEE’s 2016 Summer Study on...
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Big Deal Big Data – Usain Bolt v Engineer

By Energy Rant No Comments
A year ago, I opened one Rant with Smart meter. Smart meter. Smart meter. Smart meter. Smart grid. Smart grid. Smart grid. Smart grid. I hereby open this post with Big Data. Big Data. Big Data. Big Data. Big hype. Big whoop. The Association for Energy Services Professionals held an online conference last week, and the theme was…. Big Data. Like smart grid and smart meters, big data presents an enormous opportunity for energy efficiency, the evolving energy infrastructure, and utilities in general. Like smart grid and smart meters, the Pacific Ocean lies between where we are and the new...
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building

Building Energy Simulations – More is NOT Better

By Energy Rant One Comment
[vc_single_image image="12660" img_size="full" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="http://theneotraditionalist.com/2015/03/08/chicago-countdown/"] Do you recognize the city shown?  It is Chicago.  How many twin buildings do you see?  Ok.  Consider downtown in your city.  How many twin buildings are there?  Ok. Why are they all different?  I would guess because if, say Donald Trump is going to build a $500-$1000 per square foot tower in the middle of all this, he wants an icon.  Wouldn’t you?  Besides, you’re not going to stop an architect from making it so anyway.  They want every building design to be a trophy for their wall.  Why not? Even schools, office...
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The Deaf and Mute Smart Meter

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 5 Comments
Smart meter.  Smart meter.  Smart meter. Smart meter. Smart grid.  Smart grid.  Smart grid.  Smart grid. So what?  What are customers, utilities, rate payers, and tax payers getting for their money? At an AESP conference several years ago, I sat in place of a colleague for a Pricing and Demand Response Committee meeting.  I’ve been in/on the committee ever since.  Within the last year, I took a survey from the committee, and I asked questions that went something like this: What does demand response in the US look like?  How much of it is interruptible rates?  How much is direct...
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Love Thy Backup Punter, Or Pay Dearly – The Unloved Exhaust Fan

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
[vc_single_image image="9283" img_size="full"] Everyone reading this blog is at least a stage 1 energy geek.  A stage 1 energy geek will notice the type of light bulbs used in their hotel room and complain that the place isn’t green enough.  A stage 2 would file a complaint if the cleaning crew takes the used bath towel that is clearly hung up to dry for the next shower.  A stage 3 will appreciate the guest room occupancy-sensing thermostat.  A stage 4 will browse the web for hotels with satisfactorily green features, before booking.  A stage 5 will actually bring their own...
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