I’m writing this blog from the floor of the Andover Public Library in Andover, MA. After a major windstorm, power is out all over New England and people are scurrying for the few available power outlets and sources of internet.
Topics: Energy Efficiency
Hi, it’s me again – two blog posts in a row! I still haven’t had the time to compile the full TMY3 comparison picture that I envisioned when I started this rant. (See my last post if you want to learn the TMY3 basics.)
When we undertake energy analysis for commercial building energy retrofits, retro-commissioning, and even new construction projects, we normalize the energy savings to try to reflect average savings over the life of the measures. For measures like HVAC upgrades, savings are usually weather-dependent. The industry has used Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) data as the basis for weather normalization. These TMY data are generated by the National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) and include actual weather data that is determined by NREL to be representative of typical weather over time for each month.
I’ve been writing for a few years about the deficiencies in current energy codes regarding commercial and industrial (C&I) lighting efficiency requirements. The problem isn’t fixed, even though I hear people decrying how the code is so stringent, they won’t be able to design buildings that exceed it.
I had hoped to share my recent sci-fi story about future decisions that might need to be made around a demand-constrained grid in the era of extreme heat waves and self-driving electric vehicles. But, fiction is not the point of this blog. If you want to receive a copy of the story, feel free to request it – we monitor comments. In this post, I’ll discuss a little of the back-and-forth we’ve been having regarding the New England Grid [PDF] and demand constraints.
Energy efficiency program evaluation sounds so arcane, most people, I’m sure have no idea that there are large cohorts of people (cohort is a word we use frequently in evaluation) who spend their lives verifying the results, the savings, from energy efficiency programs. Because energy efficiency program evaluation (evaluation hence forth in this blog) is outside the realm of day to day life, most of us are completely unaware it exists. This post is about my vision for how evaluation and real life (in the commercial, institutional, industrial (C&I) building operations world in which I work) could intersect in ways that could make buildings, programs and evaluation better and lower costs for ratepayers.
Many of the readers of the Building Energy Resilience blog may not know that when I started working in the field of energy efficiency, my focus was on multi-family housing serving people with low incomes. ACEEE recently published this study on the income burden for low-income households. The energy burden is the percent of income paid for energy. It turns out that low-income households have two times the energy burden of the median household – paying over 7% of annual income in energy costs.