The US EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program, created in 1992 under the President George H. W. Bush administration, is a star performer in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic energy efficiency success story. NEEP states and efficiency programs – from the District of Columbia to Maine – rely on the ENERGY STAR label to distinguish quality and efficient lighting products, home appliances, consumer electronics, and homes and buildings in order to help meet aggressive energy savings goals, comply with legislative mandates, and reduce carbon emissions.
We buy clothes, books, and airplane tickets online. We virtually hail taxis, bank, and make international phone calls. We share photos of cats and start viral revolutions with bytes of data. Energy efficiency may be fashionably late to this e-party, but with strong partnerships and a focus on customer convenience, the movement is underway to transform how this least-cost resource is captured online.
So how are shoppers discovering energy efficient products online?
We are periodically asked how much different policies have saved and which policies have had the largest impact. In our recent report on energy efficiency progress over the past 35 years, we reviewed many current energy savings estimates and projections. Here I wanted to summarize which policies appear to be saving the most energy today, looking at estimated energy savings in calendar year 2014.
In the world of energy efficiency, clothes dryers were the kids picked last during recess basketball games, overlooked for more promising appliances. As refrigerators, clothes washers, and dishwashers became incrementally more efficient over time, clothes dryers were left to their energy squandering ways.
Last we left Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS), they were overseas playing a major role as Energy Continuity Systems (ECS) in Japan after the devastating Fukushima disaster disabled forty-eight of Japan’s fifty nuclear reactors. Rolling blackouts and sporadic outages plagued the Land of the Rising Sun years after the monstrous earthquake rocked the world, instilling a heightened awareness of energy reliability and a towering demand for homes equipped with HEMS.
LEDs are steadily moving to the forefront of retail shelves as energy efficiency programs continue to financially support their widespread adoption. With the cheapest ENERGY STAR certified LEDs costing about $10 each, efficiency program rebates are necessary if prices are to come close to other alternatives. Strong signals, however, are indicating that the LED invasion is beginning to gain some ground.
Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) are one of the fastest growing heating and cooling technologies in our region. They have impressive efficiency profiles, high customer satisfaction reviews and are all electric, which means they can take pressure off fossil fuels and also be integrated with on-site solar generation.
Last week, during a special meeting of the Cambridge City Council that ran for more than six hours, through the night and into the next day, the Cambridge City Council approved a Building Energy Usage Disclosure Ordinance. What brought the meeting beyond the midnight hour? Continue below to find out…
First Things First: What is Building Energy Benchmarking?
The products that we use every day (Appliances, Electronics, Lighting, etc.) may sound mundane and not at all dangerous, but when accumulated, their electrical consumption contributes to climatic and environmental damage. One of those products that continues to draw large quantities of power is the home’s hot water heater. Up until recently we had no alternative – no opportunity to realize energy, financial, and environmental benefits.