Best Available Research on Attic Fans and Power Ventilators

09 Jul

Do attic fans lower the cost of cooling your home?

Solar attic vents are not good for energy efficiencyAre solar attic fans worth installing? Common sense suggests they would be but are powered attic fans really a good idea for energy efficiency based on research and science? I have a master’s of science degree and my initial belief was it made sense. It just seems logical that a cooler attic would lower the cost of cooling the house in summer. While researching radiant barriers for the attic and reflective paint (Kool Seal Premium White) for our metal roof, I came across a few articles strongly suggesting powered attic fans were a dumb, and possibly dangerous, idea based on science. Here’s what I found so far and why I removed my attic fan:

  • The Scientific Spin on PAVs (powered attic ventilators – fans): Cooling off hot attics with powered attic ventilators (PAVs) seems like a good idea. After all, doesn’t cooler attic air mean less work for the HVAC system, longer shingle life, and reduced energy costs? Unfortunately that’s more myth than fact.
  • Drawbacks Of Powered Attic Ventilators:Powered attic ventilators, already suspected of using more energy than they save, can also create excess moisture, structural problems, discomfort, and combustion safety problems for home occupants, according to a recent study. John Tooley of Natural Florida Retrofit, and Bruce Davis of Alternative Energy Corporation’s Applied Building Science Center in North Carolina, presented “The Unplanned Impacts on Houses by Powered Attic Ventilators” at the 1995 meeting of the Energy Efficient Building Association.The paper describes research conducted on eight homes over a period of three months. As a result of this research, Davis said that he wouldn’t recommend the use of powered attic ventilators. He emphasized, “If someone chooses to use a powered attic ventilation strategy, they need to do additional performance tests and take responsibility to be sure that it won’t cause other problems.” The potential for hazardous conditions is particularly high in homes with combustion gas appliances, because the ventilators can create negative pressures that cause backdrafting.
  • Energy Star: Attic Fan Ventilation – Attic fans are intended to cool hot attics by drawing in cooler outside air from attic vents (soffit and gable) and pushing hot air to the outside. However, if your attic has blocked soffit vents and is not well-sealed from the rest of the house, attic fans will suck cool conditioned air up out of the house and into the attic. This will use more energy and make your air conditioner work harder, which will increase your summer utility bill.
  • Ask the Builder: Powered Attic Fans – Attic Insulation Facts: “I used to recommend PAVs [powered attic ventilators – fans] for houses, but I don’t anymore.”
  • Building Science, Unvented Roof Summary Article

The best solution appears to be making sure your attic is well insulated and well-ventilated using passive vents and natural air flow. Inspect your attic insulation and ventilation, or have a contractor do so for you. Just add more insulation or natural (passive) ventilation, if needed. Both measures will reduce the cost of cooling and heating your home; no electricity required and they are perfectly quiet.

ADDITIONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESOURCES

  • Contact the local power company website and local energy associations for more information on constructing an energy efficient home in your area.
  • Building Science Corporation, Unvented Roof Summary Article: Excellent resource with in-depth research and hard-core science. Building Science is dedicated to teaching and providing factual information concerning building science and energy efficiency. This resource is used extensively by builders “in the know” when it comes to energy efficiency.
  • Building Science Guides and Manuals: Good place to start if you want reference documents for some of the most important building science topics.
  • Building Science Information Sheets: Fact sheets and overviews; another great place to start for those relatively new to the field.
  • Energy Star : The Energy Star website has extensive information on energy efficiency.
  • Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium: Geothermal is the most energy efficient method known today for heating and cooling. However, you will benefit by first making sure your home or building is insulated properly and as air tight as possible (within the limits of the appropriate building codes and safety concerns) before considering an expensive geothermal system.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY PRODUCTS

Whether or not you are using an attic fan and you own a fireplace, a great product to consider is a fireplace plug. Battic Door sells several energy conservation products including a simple fireplace plug; stops drafts and saves energy by sealing the chimney when not in use:

Fireplace Plugs Save Energy Stops Fireplace DraftsThe Fireplace Draft Stopper is an inflatable urethane chimney plug balloon pillow measuring 38″ x 16″. A round Fireplace Plug is also available. It is quickly and easily installed in the fireplace just below the damper level. The Fireplace Plug can be adapted to work in almost all fireplaces. Even if you have an unusual construction, the Fireplace Plug can be successfully installed in less than 2 minutes.

The Fireplace Plug is provided with 5 “slittable” areas that can be cut to provide an opening for a damper handle. As the Draftstopper is inflated it seals around the damper handle sealing the opening (helps reduce energy costs). Easy, quick and clean installation.

 

Geothermal Heat Pumps Helpful Videos

05 Jul

There are several helpful videos that explain Geothermal energy and the operation of geothermal heat pumps (GHP). Geothermal is considered the most efficient way to cool and heat your home or business with respect energy efficiency. As we come across geothermal videos we’ll publish them for you. Here’s what we have so far on geothermal:

 

 

Geothermal Ground Source Explained

 

What to Consider Review of Geothermal HVAC Pros and Cons

02 Jul

Geothermal Heating and Cooling – How it Works

Geothermal heating and cooling uses the relatively constant temperature of the earth below the ground to heat and cool. Geothermal systems use 40% to 70% less energy than conventional systems. While conventional furnaces and boilers burn a fuel to generate heat (traditional HVAC systems), geothermal heat pumps (GHP) very efficiently use electricity to transfer heat from the earth into buildings; your home or a commercial building. In fact, the most efficient fuel-burning heater can reach efficiencies around 95%. That sounds great but consider a geothermal heat pump that transfers up to 4 units of heat for every unit of electricity needed to power the system. What this means in comparison is geothermal energy results in over 400% efficiency.

A geothermal heat pump transfers heat stored in the earth (soil, surface water or ground water) into a building during the winter, and transfers it out of the building and back into the ground during the summer. In other words, the ground acts as a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer. The technology is used for space heating, cooling, and hot water.

PROS of Geothermal

The US Environmental Protection Agency considers geothermal the cleanest and most energy efficient heating and cooling (HVAC) system for any home.

Geothermal heat pumps cost significantly less to operate than traditional HVAC systems; you benefit from lower monthly utility bills. And, geothermal systems have fewer moving parts which tends to lower maintenance costs compared to traditional HVAC systems. In addition, GHPs equipped with a device called a “desuperheater” can heat the water in your home. During the summer heat that is taken from the house is used to heat the household water (hot water supply). In the winter, water heating costs are reduced by about half.

Tax credits are available to home owners that install geothermal systems (until 2016 currently). And, tax credits are dollar for dollar reductions in the amount you owe in taxes – every dollar credited is one dollar less you pay in taxes. Tax credits are far better than tax deductions which only reduce your taxable income. The IRS energy tax credit program is called the“Credit for Residential Energy Efficient Property” and the purpose of the program is to encourage people to build green.

Geothermal Tax Credit Summary:

  • 30% of cost with no upper limit for ENERGY STAR qualified geothermal heat pumps
  • Expires: December 31, 2016
  • Details: Existing homes and new construction qualifies. Both principal residences and second homes qualify. However, rental properties DO NOT qualify for geothermal tax credits.
  • More information on Energy Star and Geothermal Tax Credits
  • Some restrictions may apply and it is recommended that you consult your accountant and/or the specific IRS code for all of the details.

NOTE: All geothermal heat pump components certified by the manufacturer in the “Manufacturer Certification Statement” will be covered by the 30% tax credit according to the IRS (see IRS code for details), as well as the installation costs associated with these components. There may be some add-on components that will not be covered such as an emergency back up system and the ducts. According to certain IRS guidance, these components are not directly related to the efficiency of the covered geothermal heat pump property.

IRS Guidance: Notice 2009-41 Section 3. (1)(e) Qualified geothermal heat pump property expenditures are expenditures for equipment which uses the ground or ground water as a thermal energy source to heat the dwelling unit or as a thermal energy sink to cool the dwelling unit, meets the requirements of the Energy Star program which are in effect at the time that the expenditure for such equipment is actually made (even if under § 25D(e)(8) the expenditure is deemed made at a later time for purposes of determining the taxable year for which a taxpayer may claim the credit), and is installed on or in connection with a qualifying dwelling unit. (SOURCE: Energy Star: What parts of a geothermal heat pump are covered by the tax credit?)

CONS and Disadvantages of Geothermal Systems

The initial capital cost for geothermal systems is higher, often 2x or more higher. The upfront cost is the main disadvantage and it might take anywhere from 2 to 10 years to recover your initial investment through reduced utility expenses. Another possible disadvantage might be the availability of a qualified and experienced contractor in your area. It is typically easy to obtain references for contractors that are experienced with the installation of traditional HVAC systems but you might find it more difficult to obtain references for geothermal contractors.

The installation of the equipment in the ground requires heavy equipment (backhoe for horizontal loops or drilling equipment for well installation). In most cases, there is a cost associated with landscaping. For example, horizontal loops require up to 250-300 feet of trench per ton; a 3,000 sq. ft. home might require a 4-5 ton geothermal heat pump. The loop and trench design is highly dependent on your situation; the size of your yard, accessibility, etc. You may incur the expense of removing a fence or other landscaping. Also, the yard will almost always require landscaping after digging the trenches and/or installing vertical wells. Heavy equipment does tear up a yard.

Most GHP require the system to be “running” to produce hot water. However, newer systems are being designed that will produce hot water without the main system running. Read about ClimateMaster’s “Q-Mode” and the Trilogy 40 (see below) – a new development in technology that allows hot water to be produced without the system running. Also, WaterFurnace’s 7 Series (41 EER) run very efficiently with variable speed compressors. Little energy is used while running the system in a powered-down state that allows for hot water production (not as much of an issue with the latest and greatest GHP systems introduced this year, 2012).

GEOTHERMAL REVIEWS

Evaluating Geothermal Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps are rated in terms of Coefficient of Performance (COP) for the winter. The higher the COP, the higher the efficiency. Where gas furnaces have COP values in the 0.78 to 0.94 range, ground source heat pumps have COP values in the 3.0 to 5.0 range.

When comparing geothermal heat pumps, first determine the EER; the EER is the ratio of effective cooling (heat removed) to the energy used at maximal load. EER is the standard measure of cooling effectiveness for geothermal heat pumps. One way to compare both the COP and EER is to review the list of Energy Star qualified GHPs. Until recently (July 2012), the highest EER rating currently available was 30; note that many Energy Star qualified heat pumps have EERs as low as 17.

CLIMATEMASTER
ClimateMaster facilities operate in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; the GHP units are manufactured in the United States. They offer a complete line of geothremal heating and cooling systems. For example, the TRANQUILITY 30 DIGITAL series units are two stage with a variable speed fan and a variable speed loop circulation pump for added energy savings. They also feature advanced “iGate” controls, a stainless steel drain pan, and coated air coils for durability. The THW series water to water units are higher temperature units for hydronic systems and provide higher water temperatures for improved heating. The TMW models are for normal temperatures. All of the units are backed by a warranty. (visit the products page at climatemaster.com for more info)

ClimateMaster recently announced that their new Trilogy 40 geothermal heat pump (GHP) had been certified by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) to exceed 40 EER under ground loop conditions.Therefore, this makes the Trilogy 40 significantly more efficient for cooling; it is now one of the most efficient commercially available GHP. Also, note that 40 EER is more than twice as efficient as some Energy Star qualified GHPs. The following is from the ClimateMaster website:

The Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has partnered with ClimateMaster — a leading manufacturer of geothermal and water-source heat pumps — to develop an appliance that could provide space conditioning and all domestic hot water needs while consuming at least 50% less energy than conventional minimum efficiency equipment.

The partnership between the Department and ClimateMaster began in 2008 in an effort to develop a more efficient ground-source integrated heat pump. Based on field tests and analysis, the new Trilogy 40 Q-Mode™ could save about 60% of annual energy use and cost for space conditioning and water heating in residential applications compared to new minimum efficiency conventional systems. Also, it’s about 30% more efficient than any other available ground-source heat pump [Editor’s note: The statement that it is “30% more efficient that any other availabe” was true when the statement was published. However, Waterfurance recently released the “Series 7” GHPs (41 EER) which are significantly more efficient than their Series 5.

ClimateMaster Press Release: Oklahoma City, OK March 19, 2012 – ClimateMaster announced an efficiency breakthrough with introduction of the Trilogy™ 40 series, the first geothermal heat pumps ever certified by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) to exceed 40 EER at ground-loop (GLHP) conditions.

The revolutionary new Trilogy™ 40 utilizes variable speed technology to provide an extremely wide range of heating and cooling capacities, with the ability to perfectly match loads to as low as 30% of maximum. In addition, patent-pending Q-Mode™ technology produces year-round domestic hot water on demand, even when space conditioning is not required.

The Trilogy 40 Q-Mode series is the outcome of a five year collaboration between ClimateMaster and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), which was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Program. Based on field tests and analysis by ORNL, the Trilogy 40 Q-Mode can save 55–65% of annual energy use and cost for space conditioning and water heating in residential applications versus new minimum efficiency (SEER 13) conventional systems and 30–35% versus current state-of-the-art two-stage geothermal heat pumps. (Read the full press release from ClimateMaster here)

WATERFURNACE
WaterFurance offers a wide variety of geothermal units using the latest technologies. They are backed by one of the best standard warranties in the industry according to a few website geothermal forums. (visit the product page at www.waterfurnace.com for more info)

The WaterFurnace 7 Series is a new level of innovation and performance with all new advanced controls mated with variable speed compressor technology. Featuring the highest efficiencies (Over 40 EER and 5.3 COP ISO/AHRI 13256-1 GLHP) available in AHRI, the 7 Series is available in 3 variable speed capacity sizes (3 to 5 ton) with Danfoss Variable Speed Compressors.

Company Description: WaterFurnace Renewable Energy, Inc. specializes in the design, manufacture and distribution of geothermal and water-source systems. It’s the United States subsidiary companies are WaterFurnace International, Inc. (WaterFurnace) and LoopMaster International, Inc. (LoopMaster). In December 2010, it incorporated two Australian subsidiaries: WaterFurnace International Asia Pacific Pty. Ltd. (WaterFurnace Asia Pacific) and Hyper WFI Pty. Ltd. (Hyper WFI). WaterFurnace designs, manufactures and distributes geothermal water source heating and cooling systems for residential, commercial and institutional buildings. LoopMaster installs geothermal loops for residential applications, does commercial conductivity testing and provides design and installation assistance. Hyper WFI designs, develops and builds devices that limit the inrush current, which electric motors draw upon start up. On January 21, 2011, the Company acquired inventory and fixed assets from Binary Engineering Pty. Ltd. (SOURCE: WaterFurance)

Additional Resources

ENERGY STAR Guide to Energy Efficient Cooling and Heating (PDF)

Dept. of Energy Report – Assessment of Hybrid Geothermal Heat Pump Systems

Forbes article: Geothermal Heat Pumps: Waterfurnace verses ClimateMaster

Forbes article: Geothermal Heat Pumps: The Next Generation

Energy Star: COP and EER table for review – List of Energy Star Qualified GHPs

RECOMMENDED READING: The Elephant in the Room, HVAC for High Performance Homes, 2009 RESNET Conference, David Butler – Optimal Building Systems

In new homes, poor HVAC design and installation practice accounts for more energy waste than any other single factor. Unfortunately, when it comes to HVAC, it’s easier to sell high efficiency boxes than high efficiency systems, a distinction invariably lost in a competitive marketplace. As a result, HVAC remains the weakest link in most high performance homes.

As homes have become more efficient, oversized HVAC equipment has emerged as one of the more serious problems in building science. Although there’s general awareness of this issue among industry practitioners, few understand the full extent of the problem or its consequences.

There are numerous reasons why oversizing is a bad idea:

  • Oversized equipment costs more and requires larger electrical circuits
  • Oversized compressors have a shorter life expectancy
  • Excess capacity compromises comfort (larger temperature swings)
  • Excess cooling capacity compromises moisture removal, a big deal in humid areas
  • Larger compressors and blowers produce more noise
  • Excess capacity compromises indoor air quality (less run time = less filtration)
  • Excess cooling capacity increases the potential for structural damage from moisture
  • Oversized equipment is less efficient, thus increases operating costs

Said differently, right-sized HVAC systems cost less up front, last longer, provide better comfort, improve moisture removal, run quieter, provide better filtration, and cost less to operate. (SOURCE: Optimal Building Systems)

Geothermal Heat Pumps Definitions

GHPs are also known by a variety of other names: geoexchange heat pumps, groundcoupled heat pumps, earth-coupled heat pumps, ground-source systems, ground-water source heat pumps, well water heat pumps, solar energy heat pumps, and a few other variations. Some names are used to describe more accurately the specific application but most are the result of marketing efforts and the need to associate (or disassociate) the heat pump systems from other systems.

Geothermal Heat Pumps – Common Abbreviations

  • cfm = airflow, cubic feet/minute
  • EWT = entering water temperature, Fahrenheit
  • gpm = water flow in gallons/minute
  • WPD = water pressure drop, psi and feet of water
  • EAT = entering air temperature, Fahrenheit (dry bulb/wet bulb)
  • HC = air heating capacity, MBtu/h
  • TC = total cooling capacity, MBtu/h
  • SC = sensible cooling capacity, MBtu/h
  • kW = total power unit input, kilowatts
  • HR = total heat of rejection, MBtu/h
  • HE = total heat of extraction, MBtu/h
  • HWC = hot water generator capacity, MBtu/h
  • EER = Energy Efficient Ratio
  • = Btu output/Watt input
  • COP = Coefficient of Performance
  • = Btu output/Btu input
  • LWT = leaving water temperature, °F
  • LAT = leaving air temperature, °F
  • TH = total heating capacity, MBtu/h
  • LC = latent cooling capacity, MBtu/h
  • S/T = sensible to total cooling ratio

Energy and Environment Links

Do Materials Matter? Choices Affect Efficiency Cost of PV

21 Jul

For those interested in PV systems, GTM Research and Dupont are presenting a webinar. It is for system developers, system designers, EPCs, installers, financiers, engineering firms, and others who specify, recommend, or influence the selection of PV equipment and components (cells, modules, etc.) for PV installations. The event is sponsored by DuPont.

Webinar Summary:

Over the next five years, photovoltaic (PV) systems will achieve grid parity in many major global markets with low-cost, high-efficiency systems that have 25 or more years of system life. A driving factor in achieving grid parity is the quality and durability of materials in PV cells, modules and other system components. This seminar will explore the crucial role of materials in determining the efficiency, reliability and cost of PV systems. Discussion will focus on key considerations, and provide guideposts for those who specify or influence the selection of PV components.

Date and Time: Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 2PM (ET). For additional info and to register for the PV Systems webinar visit Greentech Media here.

car2go First All-Electric Carsharing Fleet

19 Jul

OilObit.com News/Source: Daimler AG: SAN DIEGO – car2go N. A. LLC, a subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, announced that San Diego will be the first North American city to have a 100-percent electric vehicle (EV) carsharing program. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, Nicholas Cole, President and CEO of car2go N. A. LLC, and Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality, made the official announcement at a news conference at the El Cortez this morning.

“We’re proud that car2go has chosen to launch the first North American all-electric carsharing service in San Diego,” said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. “car2go’s launch here further supports our efforts to make San Diego the nation’s electric vehicle capital.”

The all-electric car2go program in San Diego is going to start operations before the end of 2011 with 300 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles. Read more

Oilobit.com: PV Outlook 2010-2015

29 Dec

Solar Panel | Oilobit.comOverall, 2010 was a good year for the PV industry. But, the global PV industry is getting complex as it becomes more and more competitive. What’s the outlook PV technology, production and cost for the next five years?

You can find out what Greentech Media’s Senior Analyst Syyam Mehta thinks during an upcoming webinar. Mehta will discuss findings from the third edition of GTM Research’s PV supply chain report, PV Technology, Production, and Cost Outlook: 2010-2015. The webinar will cover topics such as: Read more

Most Sustainable Award Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid

30 Nov

Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec HybridOilObit.com News/Source: Daimler PR, Düsseldorf/Stuttgart – November 29, 2010: Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche was presented with the German Sustainability Award 2010 by European Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger. The award’s conceptual sponsor is the German Sustainability Award Foundation in Düsseldorf.

The award is presented to companies that combine business success with social responsibility and nature conservation, and that act sustainably to promote further growth. The focus is on consistent sustainability management and sustainability-related issues in brand management.

The jury’s explanatory statement included the following remarks: “Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid addresses various challenges to sustainability. The adjustment of hybrid components to the vehicle operating strategy reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by between ten and 15 percent – and the savings can even be higher, depending on topography and operating conditions. When the vehicle is braking or coasting, the electric motor serves as a generator that feeds energy into the lithium-ion batteries, which are subsequently available for handling special load situations. The Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid is therefore an environmentally friendly vehicle with which Daimler is setting benchmarks worldwide.”

At the award ceremony in Düsseldorf, Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche said: “Daimler has the clear aim of maintaining its pioneering role even in the new automotive environment. That’s why we already are the manufacturer with the biggest range of alternative drive systems on the road – from the small electric smart to hybrid trucks for distribution services. The Atego BlueTec Hybrid’s performance speaks for itself. The truck is exceptionally quiet, produces very little emissions, and is just as reliable, safe, and versatile as a conventionally powered Mercedes-Benz Atego.”

The Mercedes-Benz Atego’s innovative hybrid drive marks the first time that Daimler is offering this very low emission technology in Europe ex works, thus making it immediately available to customers as a highly sustainable form of freight transport. The vehicle is based on the Euro 5-compliant Atego 1222 L, which already meets the environmentally friendly EEV standard for especially low particulate emissions and can therefore be driven on German highways toll-free. Its compact and lightweight four-cylinder diesel engine with 4.8 liters of displacement generates 160 kW (218 hp). The engine is complemented by a water-cooled electric motor with a maximum output of 44 kW. The motor is supplied with electricity by powerful, high-energy lithium-ion batteries.

The electric motor is mounted behind the combustion engine and clutch, but in front of the transmission. With this configuration, both drive units can power the truck individually or in combination. Thanks to this parallel hybrid drive architecture, it is possible to start solely on electric power, recover braking energy, obtain a boost from the electric motor, and optimize the diesel engine’s characteristic curve. The drive power of the diesel engine is engaged via the clutch between the diesel engine and the electric motor. Until this point, the combustion engine serves solely to power the ancillary components. This setup not only substantially reduces fuel consumption and emissions by up to 15 percent, it also produces less noise. The engine’s automatic start-stop function reduces fuel consumption, emissions, and noise to zero when the vehicle is waiting at traffic lights.

The first batch of 50 Atego BlueTec Hybrids will be delivered to German customers from the distribution sector in early 2011 in order to demonstrate this important future-oriented technology’s suitability for everyday use. The German Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development is helping to fund the vehicles as part of its Electric Mobility Support Program.

The Mercedes-Benz Atego BlueTec Hybrid is part of Daimler’s Shaping Future Transportation initiative. As such, it helps the Group achieve its medium- and long-term environmental goals. At the same time, this practical contribution to sustainable freight transport also benefits customers and the European freight-forwarding sector.

Energy Star Revised Specs Recommit Deadline Nov. 30

29 Nov

Energy StarRevised Specifications for January 2011 Recommitment: On October 26, 2010, EPA finalized the revisions to the Product Manufacturer Partner Commitments to include participation in third-party certification for the ENERGY STAR program. All existing manufacturer/private labeler partners must recommit in order to continue their partnership with EPA to manufacture/label products eligible for ENERGY STAR qualification. The deadline for recommitting is November 30, 2010 to avoid partnership interruption. These new Program Requirements will be active January 1, 2011.

For more info, visit the Energy Star website here or contact the ENERGY STAR Hotline at 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).

Final ENERGY STAR Partner Commitments and Product Specifications

EPA has finalized the new ENERGY STAR Partner Commitments and Product Specifications (i.e., Eligibility Criteria, Test Methods) in support of upcoming testing and verification requirements that will take effect on January 1, 2011. EPA reviewed, carefully considered, and in many cases accepted stakeholder comments on the Draft Partner Commitments and Product Specifications, which are posted below. EPA shares its rationale for the edits made to these final documents in the EPA cover memo and supporting documentation also provided below.

Existing ENERGY STAR partners will need to recommit to the new Partner Commitments and Product Specifications by November 30, 2010 to continue their ENERGY STAR partnership without interruption. More information on the steps that existing partners will need to take under these new requirements is provided in the EPA cover memo. An FAQ document can also be viewed here PDF .

In other energy and environment news…

Here are a few energy & environment blogs that are getting attention on the National Journal’s website, “Energy & Environment” Expert Blogs (good or bad we’re not sure yet):

FL Approves Larger Rebates For Natural Gas Appliances

10 Sep

Natural Gas Incentives RebatesOilobit.com | Energy News/FL Natural Gas Assoc. PR:

From the $1500 tankless water heater tax credit to multiple Florida utilities offering up to $1350 in cash rebates on new appliances, the incentives to include natural gas seem to be ever-expanding. And with the Florida Public Service Commission’s (PSC) recent decision to increase cash rebates, it will be more feasible than ever for homeowners to build with — or switch to — natural gas.

Increasing by up to $150 per energy-efficient natural gas appliance, larger cash rebates will take a bigger load off the appliance purchase price — encouraging substantial, long-term energy savings. This supports statewide conservation initiatives by driving greater participation and interest in the Residential Appliance Replacement Program, Residential Appliance Retention Program and Residential New Construction Program.

Natural gas appliances generally eligible for conservation rebates include tank/tankless water heaters, ranges, clothes dryers and furnaces. Rebate availability and amounts vary by natural gas utility.

Utilities affected by the recent rebate increase include: Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, Florida City Gas, Florida Public Utilities, Peoples Gas System, Sebring Gas System, and St. Joe Natural Gas Company. All are members of the Associated Gas Distributors of Florida (AGDF) trade association.

The Florida Natural Gas Association (FNGA) is a non-profit organization that promotes and encourages the growth of the natural gas industry in the state of Florida. It also seeks to protect the interests of the industry, its members and consumers. Our members include distribution companies, transmission, gas supply marketers and affiliate members. With a membership of more than 100 companies, FNGA represents every segment of the natural gas industry.

SOURCE: Florida Natural Gas Association

Florida Natural Gas Association
Jenna Bernardo, FNGA staff member, 321-779-1010
jenna@mtninc.com

Natural Gas Resources

Florida Natural Gas Association
www.floridagas.org

American Gas Association
www.aga.org

American Public Gas Association
www.apga.org

Southern Gas Association
www.southerngas.org

Natural Gas Supply Association
www.naturalgas.org

State of Florida
www.myflorida.com

Florida Public Service Commission
www.psc.state.fl.us

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
www.dep.state.fl.us

Florida Energy Office
www.dep.state.fl.us/energy

Florida Department of Consumer Affairs
www.dca.state.fl.us

U.S. Department of Energy
www.energy.gov

Energy Information Administration
www.eia.doe.gov

Fueling the Future – American Gas Foundation
www.fuelingthefuture.org

Alliance to Save Energy
www.ase.org

Interstate Natural Gas Association of the Americas
www.ingaa.org

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