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energy performance

Driving Ms. Free Rider Daisy

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
Sitting on high levels of energy efficiency program design and evaluation provides a wonderful perspective and results in some astonishing epiphanies. Warning – data-backed bluster straight ahead. New Construction Programs We study the performance of new buildings all the time, whether it is for evaluation or looking for great retro-commissioning opportunities. Nothing provides a better opportunity for retro-commissioning than a stock of new buildings, whether they filtered through a new construction program or not. The chart below features energy performance of new buildings that went through a new construction program. We implement, and we evaluate projects nationwide (don’t bother guessing…
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Commercial Code Compliance and New Construction Program Failures

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
Earlier this year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey of 2012. The prior release was 2003. The data do not paint a pretty picture for energy code effectiveness. Other data we are accumulating indicate new construction programs are failing to deliver. Regress At first glance, it seems substantial progress may have been made between 2003 and 2012. The first chart is from the EIA website. As EIA states, “the only statistically significant changes since 2003 are for office buildings, education buildings, and commercial buildings overall.” That is weak, especially considering that the data cover all…
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Evaluation, Measurement and Verification; From a Neander Cave

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
A title like Lies, Damned Lies and Modeling: Energy Efficiency’s Problem With Tracking Savings sounds like a natural fit for The Energy Rant, and in this regard, it did not disappoint.  Contributions to the article can be summarized as follows: professionals serving the evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V) business are Neanderthals.  Having just discovered the open flame, these grunting upright creatures appear to be working on their next great discovery: rolling objects. Okay smarty pants.  The challenges for EM&V professionals can be boiled down to two words: Money Access  Little Money The article describes the fact that too much EM&V…
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Commissioning and the Symphonic Cat

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant One Comment
Last week I discussed the need to simplify energy codes to disallow the variable air volume systems that (1) 95% of design and construction professionals don’t understand from an energy perspective, or (2) require constant babysitting by the other 5%.  This week the topic is commissioning; another critical function to achieve real energy performance. Commissioning has become the rage for energy codes, and before long, it will be required along with all the other things that are required and not achieved. Quickly, to douse the risk of losing readers, commissioning is an oversight role that should be fulfilled by an…
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Energy Code Compliance; Any Relation to Performance?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 4 Comments
Last week, I received a late Christmas package in the form of an opportunity to throw a pitch for code compliance that would actually move the needle.  This will be at the AESP National Conference in Orlando.  I owe a substantial thank you to ACEEE for choosing papers at last year’s Summer Study for Buildings and this recently published research report, Energy Codes for Ultra-Low-Energy Buildings: A Critical Pathway to Zero Net Energy Buildings. I discussed the Summer Study papers in a post back in August.  There were seven(!) papers presented on the subject of code compliance.  The lack of…
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Feral Cat, What Say You?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, LEED, Stimulus, Sustainability One Comment
Back in August I came close to posting a blog “Enough of the Empire State Building Already” but that one faded away.  In case you never read anything about energy savings and sustainability, the building is undergoing a $20 million renovation to improve energy efficiency.  The project would shave the facility’s $11 million energy bill (a cool $4 per square foot) by 38%.  Johnson Control ran ads in every trade magazine I get and various publications, including major newspapers, ran articles by the dozens. Coming in a close second to the Empire State Building was the Northland Pines High School…
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Upside Down Consequence of EE?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, LEED, Sustainability, Utility Stuff 2 Comments
Many posts ago, I wrote “The More You Spend, The More You Save” explaining how poor system control wastes energy but results in even greater energy savings for efficient equipment.  For example, consider an air handling system that wastes heating energy provided by an efficient boiler.  The boiler saves x% versus a conventional model, so x% multiplied by greater use (wasted energy) results in “more” savings. Recently I picked up on buzz that argues greater efficiency results in greater energy consumption.  At one point I recall reading in the Wall Street Journal an editorial that argued more efficient vehicles just…
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