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‘2017’ Articles

Building Controls: The Next Code Compliance Opportunity

Building Controls: The Next Code Compliance Opportunity

Building system controls that automate the use of HVAC, lighting and ventilation systems in commercial buildings continue to become more sophisticated, and the model energy code is keeping pace with these changes. In fact, since 2004, a third of all changes to the model energy code for commercial buildings are related to building system controls. [Continue]

This Home is a Total Zero (Good!)

This Home is a Total Zero (Good!)

There are many paths to building a highly energy efficient new home, including Passivehaus, Living Building Challenge and the soon-to-be-released ASHRAE 90.2 standard. Policies designed to save energy are also driving up demand for efficient housing. California, for example, will soon require that all new homes be zero net energy. Given increasing [Continue]

Michigan’s IRP Assessment Kicks Off this Week

Michigan’s IRP Assessment Kicks Off this Week

The MPSC’s IRP Authority One big story coming out of the Michigan energy package enacted this past December is the significant authority given to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on a number of critically important facets of energy policy analysis, administration and implementation. The MPSC’s new IRP process (PA 341 Section 6t) [Continue]

New Research: Tailoring EE Programs for Multifamily Buildings

New Research: Tailoring EE Programs for Multifamily Buildings

Multifamily housing is a substantial portion of the housing stock in Midwestern states, making up 11-22% of the housing market, depending on the state. Energy efficiency for multifamily housing seems like a sure bet. Estimates show possible energy savings in multifamily affordable housing as high as 22-31%. Nevertheless, there are significant [Continue]

Ditch the Switch

Ditch the Switch

At any moment there are thousands upon thousands of lights on all across America that are lighting rooms that no one is in. These unattended lights are wasting countless kilowatts of energy and a ton of money for the owners. But there is a simple solution that is becoming more and more common: the occupancy [Continue]

St. Louis Passes Benchmarking Ordinance

St. Louis Passes Benchmarking Ordinance

On Monday, January 30, St. Louis, MO became the fifth city in the Midwest to pass a mandatory energy benchmarking ordinance. The “Building Energy Awareness” ordinance requires certain buildings to record annual whole-building energy and water consumption data into the free ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager software. City-owned buildings will lead [Continue]

ASHRAE Residential Code Nears Completion

ASHRAE Residential Code Nears Completion

After a hiatus of more than a decade, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is close to completing the update of the residential building code ASHRAE 90.2: Energy Efficient Design of Low Rise Residential Buildings. ASHRAE 90.2 is the companion standard to the better-known ASHRAE 90.1, which is the [Continue]

The Clean Power Plan Roller Coaster

The Clean Power Plan Roller Coaster

A year ago, the Clean Power Plan (CPP) – a federal rule aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil-fuel burning power plants – was in peak health. The rule had been finalized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Several states were on their way to preparing their initial plans for complying with [Continue]

Benchmarking Heats up in the Midwest

Benchmarking Heats up in the Midwest

In the last month, energy benchmarking at the city level has really heated up in the Midwest. Benchmarking policies have proven to be a crucial first step to achieving energy savings for cities. Buildings comprise around 40 percent of the total energy consumption in the United States. Kansas City, MO Kansas City is preparing for [Continue]

St. Louis Considers Benchmarking Ordinance

St. Louis Considers Benchmarking Ordinance

St. Louis, Missouri is aiming to become the fifth city in the Midwest with a mandatory energy benchmarking ordinance. On December 9, 2016, Alderman John Coater introduced a potential benchmarking ordinance which would help reduce building energy use, an objective of the city’s Sustainability Plan. The ordinance is similar to other benchmarking [Continue]

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