Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s: Building America Program

DOE1Dear Building America colleague: The May 2015 issue of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building America Update newsletter is now available! Read this issue to learn about:
* Building America teams Advanced Residential Integrated Energy Solutions (ARIES) and the NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, pioneers in innovative building technologies;
* Results from the 2015 Race to Zero Student Design Competition;
* New funding from DOE for Building America team partnerships;
* May 20 Building America webinar: Resolving Codes and Standards Issues to Energy Innovations;
* New Building America Code Compliance Brief for continuous rigid Insulation for cladding/furring attachment. Call for abstracts for Buildings XIII Conference—Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes, due May 29, 2015;
* 2015 Housing Innovation Award application period open through May 31, 2015;
* Upcoming new features for Building America Solution Center: improved navigation, checklists, Building Science Sales Tool;
* Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Buildings Crowdsourcing Community website;
* Call for entries for the 2015 GreenBuilder magazine Home of the Year Awards; and
* Residential success stories highlighting ARIES and NorthernSTAR team projects.

Building America in the news: The latest publications from Building America: measure guidelines, case studies for new and existing homes and technologies, and more!

DOE Building AmericaRead the full May issue for the latest news and information from Building America.

Learn more about the Building America program. And, please forward this notice to interested colleagues.

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This service is provided to you by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

Level and Flow Training Part 1

Learn about Industrial and Commercial Level and Flow Control metering and control with this multi-episode ControlTrends’ live training course, featuring Honeywell Marketing Manager, Tom Brands. Learn about Honeywell’s Smart Line Level Applications and the why’s, how’s, and different ways to measure levels and become a better adviser to your customers.

Tim Chamblee’s Introduction to VFD’s Part 2

VFD Training Part 2: Tim Chamblee continues his Variable Frequency Drive training with an in-depth explanation of the application benefits, the potential energy savings, and the importance of proper grounding and wiring methods — and then demonstrates how to use a Honeywell Variable Frequency Drive to control a cooling tower fan with a Honeywell T775 controller.

Increased Visibility to the Grid is Happening! Read How — Voices of Experience|ADMS

smart_grid1 Consider the Cost of a Power Outage: “The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the $150 billion in annual economic losses because of outages is equivalent to adding 4 cents per kWh of costs to consumers nationwide.” — Annual Energy Outlook 2010, U.S. Department of Energy

February 23, 2015: What is it really like to deploy an advanced distribution management system (ADMS)? In February 2014 the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability formed the ADMS Working Group to collect the experiences, insights, and lessons learned from utilities implementing ADMS. The discussions from the Working Group are captured in a guide called Voices of Experience|Insights Into Advanced Distribution Management Systems.

Excerpt from the Guide: “Considering that this is an era in which smart phones and Google Maps are ubiquitous, it may come as a surprise that utilities have very little visibility into their distribution systems. Most systems still rely on breakers to disconnect the lines in the event of a fault, customers to call in to report an outage, and line crews to find the effected circuit and restore power. However, this may be changing.

Today, a number of utilities are implementing advanced distribution management systems (ADMS), a software platform that integrates numerous utility systems and provides automated outage restoration and optimization of distribution grid performance. ADMS functions can include automated fault location, isolation, and service restoration (FLISR); conservation voltage reduction; peak demand management; and volt/volt-ampere reactive (volt/VAR) optimization. In effect, an ADMS transitions utilities from paperwork, manual processes, and siloed software systems to systems with real-time and near-real-time data, automated processes, and integrated systems.”

Utilities that have deployed smart grid technologies have learned lessons and gained insights along the way—sometimes the hard way—that can be applied to new projects as well as existing projects that may be expanding or are presenting challenges. The hope is that sharing this information will help other utilities overcome or avoid some of the challenges these first adopters identified and be able to deploy their own ADMS successfully and efficiently.

ADMS Working Group Guide Summary: (Note:This report was prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory under contract No. DE-AC36-08G028308.)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 spurred investments in smart grid technology and programs at utilities across the country. The Smart Grid Investment Grant program and Smart Grid Demonstration projects that it funded provided unprecedented opportunities to learn from smart grid implementation.

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (DOE OE), in partnership with electric utilities that received ARRA funds, convened a series of Regional Smart Grid Peer-to-Peer Workshops. These were designed to bring together utilities to engage in dialogues about the most compelling smart grid topics in each region. The meetings offered a platform for smart grid implementers at all stages of project deployment to share their experiences and learn from each other.

Realizing the benefits of bringing utilities together to share their experiences, in February 2014 DOE OE formed the ADMS Working Group by assembling a leadership team of representatives from the utility industry with the mission to collect the experiences, insights, and lessons learned from implementing these systems. This guide is the result of a one-day meeting held at CenterPoint Energy in Houston, Texas, in May 2014 that was followed by a series of conference calls about specific aspects of ADMS, interviews with individuals leading ADMS projects at their utilities, and a final small group meeting at San Diego Gas & Electric in California in October 2014. The information in this guide came directly from the people in the industry on the leading edge of transforming their distribution systems.

Although the working group included more than 40 people and represented 30 utilities and organizations, the following were key contributors of their experience:

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
CenterPoint Energy (CPE)
Austin Energy
Duke Energy
Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L)
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)

We hope that sharing this information will help other utilities overcome or avoid some of the challenges these first adopters identified and be able to deploy their own ADMS successfully and efficiently.

Download the final report.

Additional Information:

U.S. Electric Utility Industry Statistics Number of Electricity Providers % of Total

Publicly Owned Utilities ……………2,008 ……………… 61.4%

Investor-Owned Utilities ……………..202 ……………….. 6.2%

Cooperatives ……………………………..877 ……………… 26.8%

Federal Power Agencies …………………9 ……………….. 0.3%

Power Marketers ……………………….173 ……………….. 5.3%

TOTAL 3,269 100.0%

2014 Energy Savings Solution Product of the Year Nominee — Belimo Energy Valve

BelimoBelimo’s Energy Valve is a strong favorite to win the 2014 Energy Savings Solution Product of the Year because of its incomparable engineering sophistication and bonafide performance that takes HVAC energy savings to the highest levels. Belimo is delivering the future of energy savings — today!

Overview:The Energy Valve is a pressure independent valve that measures and manages coil energy by using an embedded electromagnetic or ultrasonic flow meter, along with supply and return water temperature sensors. The Energy Valve also has the patented Power Control and Belimo Delta T Manager™ logics built-in that monitors coil performance and optimizes the available energy of the coil by maintaining the Delta T. In addition to the standard analog signal and feedback wiring, it communicates its data to the Building Management System (BMS) via BACnet MS/TP or BACnet IP. The built-in web server collects up to 13 months of data that can be downloaded to external tools for further optimization.

Rising Plug-in Electric Vehicle Adoption — Impacts on the Grid (Negligible, for Now) December, 2014″ Six utilities that participated in DOE’s cost-shared Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program deployed in-home and public electric vehicle charging stations and evaluated customer charging behaviors and impacts on the grid. There are relatively few plug-in electric vehicles on the road today, and as a result the six SGIG projects focused on establishing the charging infrastructure with a relatively low number of stations and evaluated a small number of participating vehicles. As expected, project results showed negligible grid impacts from small-scale electric vehicle charging today, but gave utilities important insights into the demand growth and peak-period charging habits they can anticipate if electric vehicle adoption rises as expected over the next decade.

Charging Behaviors: i. The vast majority of in-home charging participants charged their vehicles overnight during off-peak periods. Where offered, time-based rates were successful in encouraging greater off-peak charging. ii. Public charging station usage was low, but primarily took place during business hours and thus increased the overlap with typical peak periods. Plug-in hybrid owners frequently used the (often free) public stations for short charging sessions to “top off their tanks.”

Grid Impacts: iii. The length of charging sessions and the power required varies based on the vehicle model, charger type, and state of battery discharge. iv. The average power demand to charge most vehicles was 3-6 kilowatts, which is roughly equivalent to powering a small, residential air conditioning unit. v. However, depending on the model, the load from one electric vehicle model can be as much as 19 kilowatts, which is more than the load for most large, single-family homes.

Technology Issues: vi. Faster chargers may require more expertise to install in homes and public stations. Installing a 240-volt charging station, which typically charges 3-5 times as fast as a charger using a standard 120-volt outlet, requires a licensed electrician and occasionally service upgrades. vii. Public charging station installation had high costs and required substantial coordination with equipment vendors, installers, and host organizations to address construction, safety, and code requirements. viii. Low usage at public charging stations will require longer capital cost recovery without substantial growth in usage. ix. Some utilities found residential interoperability problems in communication between smart meters and charging stations. SMUD found that the two devices only connected successfully about 50% of the time during load reduction events.

Learn more, download the full report.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure: ($1,997,812,053 or 43% Federal Share) Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is a system of smart meters, two-way communications networks, and data management systems implemented to enable metering and other information exchange between utilities and their customers. In addition, a subset of SGIG projects are conducting statistically rigorous studies of consumer behavior and demand response. These projects include applications of AMI, time-based rate programs, and enabling technologies such as Web portals, in-home displays, and programmable communicating thermostats. They also include the use of randomized and controlled experimental designs with treatment and control groups. This effort presents an opportunity to advance the electric power industry’s understanding of consumer behavior through highly rigorous statistical methods.

Learn more about the SGIG Consumer Behavior Studies.

DOE Publishes Priority Enabling HVAC Technology R&D Initiatives

ENERGY.GOV12_Energy Department Releases Roadmaps on HVAC Technologies, Appliances, and Low-GWP (Global Warming Potential) Refrigerants.

Table ES-2: Priority Enabling HVAC Technology R&D Initiatives Topic Area Initiative/Activity

Collect data and conduct analysis on the pervasiveness and energy impacts of incorrect system commissioning, poor installation, incorrect operation, and improper maintenance of HVAC in all buildings.

Develop and demonstrate an open-source, open-architecture platform that enables smart grid connectivity for demand response, and communication of energy, operational, and financial transactions between HVAC and other building

Develop a low-cost sensor network and control scheme where every surface, critical object, and occupant has a sensor.

Develop standardized methods of built-in data acquisition and data storage for sizing and equipment selection purposes at end of life.

HVAC Technologies R&D Roadmap

For HVAC, BTO targets 12% and 24% primary energy savings by 2020 and 2030, respectively. The recommended initiatives in the report each target one or more R&D needs for residential and commercial HVAC technologies and related systems, such as controls, distribution systems, and design, installation, operation, and maintenance practices.

Appliances R&D Roadmap

For appliances, BTO targets 14% and 29% primary energy savings by 2020 and 2030, respectively. The recommended initiatives in the report target high-priority R&D, demonstration, and commercialization activities that, if pursued by DOE and its partners, could significantly reduce residential appliance energy consumption.

Low-GWP Refrigerants Roadmap

The current generation of refrigerants, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), have significant global warming potential (GWP) when released to the atmosphere. This research and development (R&D) roadmap for next-generation low-GWP refrigerants provides recommendations to the Building Technologies Office (BTO) on R&D activities that will help accelerate the transition to low-GWP refrigerants across the entire HVAC&R industry.

View the Building Technologies Office’s full library of technology R&D roadmaps.

How a VFD Pays for Itself

ga powerThis week Stromquist hosted a Drive to Savings Day with Siemens and GA Power to educate our customers on the benefits of Variable Frequency Drives and GA Power’s current rebate programs for VFDs and other HVAC equipment. Most people already know that installing a VFD can save money by cutting back on the energy it takes to run equipment, but not everyone is aware that there are additional savings to reap by taking advantage of GA Power’s rebate opportunity. For any NEW drive installed on existing equipment, GA Power will issue a $50 per HP rebate. So a 20 HP drive will bring a $1000 rebate. Add that to the money saved in energy costs, and the new drive will pay for itself very quickly!

If you are in Georgia and would like to install some new VFDs, call Stromquist at 404-794-3440. We sell great, competitive drives from Honeywell, Johnson Controls and Siemens. We’d be happy to help you put some money back into your budget. Then maybe you can roll those savings into a new chiller that will also qualify for a GA Power rebate. To get more information on GA Power’s Rebate Programs, click here.

U.S. Department of Energy Webinar on Smart Grid Data Privacy: A Voluntary Code of Conduct

smartgrid.govControlTrends Community, here it is. Participation is requested (and important)! DOE information release, November 17, 2014: On Wednesday, December 11, 2014 the Energy Department’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability in coordination with the Federal Smart Grid Task Force will conduct a webinar to conclude the development phase of a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC) related to privacy of customer energy usage data for utilities and third parties.

Background: Throughout the U.S., intelligence is being added to the grid through the deployment of advanced technologies and grid modernization efforts. This increased intelligence has led to concerns regarding consumer data access and the privacy of consumer energy consumption data. Historically, utilities have taken very seriously the job of protecting customers’ privacy, and privacy and security protections will remain fundamental objectives. However, with the new technologies being deployed today, these fundamental protections warrant new attention. Consumers must feel secure that their data will be protected and treated responsibly. Therefore, it is important that stakeholders on all sides of the privacy debate work together to address concerns and coordinate activities.

The webinar will summarize changes made to the VCC concepts and principles as a result of comments received through the public comment period. In addition, a proposed implementation plan and adoption process will be presented as well as preliminary results from focus groups conducted to gauge consumer sentiment.

Your participation is important! Please forward this email to your colleagues that may be interested in this initiative or future notices email alerts from

Register for the Webinar here.

More information on the Voluntary Code of Conduct can be found on Please forward this email to your colleagues that may be interested in this initiative or future notices email alerts from

November 2014 Issue of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Update Newsletter

building_americaDear Building America colleague: The November 2014 issue of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Update newsletter is now available! Read this issue to learn about:

A new DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement for Building America Industry Partnerships for High Performance Housing Innovation; The 2015 Race to Zero Student Design Competition registration deadline and a free webinar about proven strategies for designing zero energy ready homes; The November 18 webinar, High Performance Space Conditioning Systems, Part II; DOE’s newest Solution Center for energy efficiency programs; BEopt Version 2.3 with enhanced new features; Residential success stories highlighting technologies for winter preparation; Zer Energy Ready Home technical training in December; The latest publications from Building America: measure guidelines, case studies for new and existing homes and technologies, and more!

DOE_FUNDINGThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting applications for the Building America Industry Partnerships for High Performance Housing Innovation Funding. This photo shows two brick homes that have been upgraded into high performance homes. Building America research teams design, test, and demonstrate efficient technologies and practices that result in cost-effective, marketable home performance. Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001117, which will award up to $4 million for research and development (R&D) projects that advance high-impact residential building efficiency technologies and practices. Concept papers are due December 12, 2014; the deadline for full applications is February 4, 2015.

This FOA funds applied R&D in real-world houses to demonstrate strategies that will spur the residential building market to adopt energy-saving measures that will enable 50% savings in new homes by 2025 (based on the 2009 IECC) and 40% energy savings in existing homes by 2030. Project teams will focus on developing and implementing high performance solutions to three core technical challenges: building envelope assemblies and systems; optimal comfort systems for heating, cooling, air distribution, and humidity control; and ventilation systems and indoor air quality strategies.

Read the full November issue for the latest news and information from Building America.

Learn more about the Building America program, which is about Bringing Building Innovations to Market. And, please forward this notice to interested colleagues.