EPA releases updated biogenic emissions framework

Read the full story from Biomass Magazine.

On Nov. 19, the U.S. EPA released a revised framework for assessing biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from stationary sources. According to a notice published by the EPA, the second draft of the framework will undergo further review. The agency has also issued a memo providing regulatory guidance on how the updated framework will impact the Clean Power Plan and Prevention of Significant Deterioration Program.

Energy Efficiency Exchange 2015

August 11-13, 2015
Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix AZ
For more information, visit

As the nation’s largest energy consumer, the federal government has a tremendous opportunity and clear responsibility to lead by example, while working to meet federal and agency-specific energy management objectives. Join project implementation specialists and subject matter experts in addressing the challenges and opportunities of energy consumption, sustainability, energy efficiency, and energy security in and across federal agencies.

Energy Efficiency Exchange 2015 will provide International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) continuing education units (CEUs) and help agencies satisfy requirements outlined in:

  • Federal Building Personnel Training Act of 2010
  • Energy Policy Acts of 1992 and 2005
  • Executive Order (E.O.) 13423
  • Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
  • E.O. 13653
  • President’s Performance Contracting Challenge
  • National Defense Authorization Act.

FEMP Launches New Training Search Tool

The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) recently launched the FEMP Training Search, a Web tool that lists free training opportunities to help agencies meet Federal energy, water, and sustainability laws and requirements.The new user-centered FEMP Training Search provides additional options to easily find and select training offerings by topic area, topic series, course format and type, and by level of difficulty—introductory (101), intermediate (201), and advanced (301).

Visit the FEMP Training Search to:

  • Take comprehensive courses, which offer continuing education units (CEU)
  • Register for upcoming live webinars and in-person workshops
  • View informative on-demand webinars.

FEMP is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and awards IACET CEUs upon the successful completion of eTraining core courses, First Thursday Seminars, and select in-person workshops.

FEMP training courses are designed to foster and maintain a high-performance workforce to construct, operate, and maintain facilities in an energy-efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective manner.

For more information about FEMP Training, read the frequently asked questions. Use the FEMP Training Search to register for live webinars and in-person workshops or to take on-demand courses.

An Assessment of the Energy-Efficiency Gap and its Implications for Climate-Change Policy

Download the document.

Discussion Paper ES 2014-3, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

This Discussion Paper is the third in an annual series supported by the Enel Foundation addressing important topics in international climate policy.

The Harvard Project will co-sponsor a side event, based in part on this paper, at the Twentieth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru on Monday, December 8, 2014. For details see here.

Improving end-use energy efficiency—that is, the energy-efficiency of individuals, households, and firms as they consume energy—is often cited as an important element in efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Arguments for improving energy efficiency usually rely on the idea that energy-efficient technologies will save end users money over time and thereby provide low-cost or no-cost options for reducing GHG emissions. However, some research suggests that energy-efficient technologies appear not to be adopted by consumers and businesses to the degree that would seem justified, even on a purely financial basis. We review in this paper the evidence for a range of explanations for this apparent “energy-efficiency gap.” We find most explanations are grounded in sound economic theory, but the strength of empirical support for these explanations varies widely. Retrospective program evaluations suggest the cost of GHG abatement varies considerably across different energy-efficiency investments and can diverge substantially from the predictions of prospective models. Findings from research on the energy-efficiency gap could help policy makers generate social and private benefits from accelerating the diffusion of energy-efficient technologies—including reduction of GHG emissions.

Computers Use More Energy Than Previously Thought

Via the California Energy Commission.

According to two studies commissioned by the California Energy Commission, computers are not going into sleep mode or automatically being turned off as often as users think, leaving opportunities to save more energy. The implications of the research are that workplace desktop computers consume significant amounts of energy even when not in use.

The first study, “A Survey of Computer Power Modes Usage in a University Population,” surveyed more than 2,000 respondents to obtain detailed information about the use of more than 3,000 office desktops, home desktops, and laptops. This large user-centric study is unique compared to most previous studies because of the focus on user behaviors regarding power management features.

“People think when they leave their workstation, the computer will reduce its own energy consumption after a specified amount of time,” said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, the agency’s lead on energy efficiency issues. “These studies show a strong desire and intent by computer users to reduce energy use. Identified user error and knowledge gaps indicate significant room for improvement in the power management options and interfaces available to computer users.”

Computers have built-in power management software—with settings such as sleep, hibernate and shutdown—that enables computers and monitors to consume less energy when not in use; however, these features are not delivering the full energy savings potential.

Additional findings:

  • Respondents report using automatic power management features over manual modes. The survey showed that 39 percent of the time users regularly use manual controls to put office desktop computers into sleep, hibernate, or off modes. Of those office desktops not taking advantage of automatic power management, 61 percent are left on all the time.
  • Users changed power management settings themselves in 50 percent of laptops, 41 percent of home desktops and 20 percent in office desktops. Respondents have less control over their office desktops than their laptops or home desktops.
  • According to the survey, the two main reasons computers were left on, even when not in use for hours, are that users felt restarting is too slow and the belief the computer will automatically go into sleep or other lower-power mode. For office desktops, two other main reasons were “need to leave computer on for updates or backups” and “needs to be available for remote access.”

The second study, “Monitoring Computer Power Modes Usage in a University Population,” used software to remotely monitor 125 computers in the first study, 24 hours a day for several weeks. Research was gathered by monitoring actual computer usage patterns, a supplementary questionnaire, and direct observations of computers’ power management settings. The findings were compared to those of the first study.

Among the findings of the second study:

  • The monitoring study showed a large difference between direct observation of user’s computer settings and their survey responses. Researchers observed that 20 percent of computers had automatic power management enabled whereas the survey responses indicated that 84 percent of computers had at least one automatic power setting enabled. The data suggest users incorrectly believe automatic settings are engaged when they are not.
  • Workplace desktop computers are on 76 percent of the day, even though they were only being used 16 percent of the day. Sleep mode was enabled for about 7 percent of the day.
  • Overall, workplace desktop computers in the study were on and not being used more than 60 percent of the time. If computers had manually or automatically been turned off or put in sleep mode, energy use would be less.
  • The majority of computers (69 percent) are off for less than 5 percent of the time, and most of those are off for a few minutes a day, likely when rebooting.

“The considerable amount of energy that is being consumed by computers that are on, but not in use, shows that with better power management alternatives, a large amount of energy could be saved with improved power management features,” McAllister said.

The California Plug Load Research Center conducted the two studies to better understand computer use patterns and identify potential ways to reduce energy waste in California. The Energy Commission will use these studies to supplement other research as it develops a draft staff proposal for computer and monitor energy efficiency standards.

Building a sustainable future: why energy efficiency is everybody’s business

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Few dispute the need to make building stock more energy efficient. But is a lack of coherent central government thinking and bold grassroots leadership stalling progress?

Webinar: ARPA-E University – Strategic Military Partnerships

Webinar Date: Thursday, November 20, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Register here.

Moderator: Dr. Ryan Umstattd, ARPA-E Senior Commercialization Advisor
Presenters: Tom Stepien, Primus Power, CEO; Ryan Farris, Raytheon DoD/Civil EO Systems Design Section Manager

This webinar will provide an inside look at how one ARPA-E project team, led by Primus Power, formed a strategic partnership with a major defense contractor to demonstrate its innovative energy storage system. Don’t miss the chance to learn more about Primus Power’s innovative EnergyPod and how the company has worked with Raytheon to advance the technology.