The OurEnergyLibrary aggregates and indexes publicly available fact sheets, journal articles, reports, studies, and other publications on U.S. energy topics. It is updated every week to include the most recent energy resources from academia, government, industry, non-profits, think tanks, and trade associations. Suggest a resource by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Buildings drive up to 80 percent of the peak demand on energy grids in the United States. As utilities incorporate more time-of-use pricing based on the cost or carbon intensity of the electricity being generated, grid interactivity has become more important and valuable than ever.
Grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) are energy-efficient buildings that flex their energy load from one time to another based on the cost or carbon intensity of grid electricity. GEBs are constantly responding to minute changes to grid price and carbon intensity, resulting in more beneficial integration between buildings and the grid that can reduce utility costs …View Full Resource
Demand flexibility shows significant potential to reduce carbon emissions from the buildings sector, as RMI found in the report The Carbon Emissions Impact of Demand Flexibility. Demand flexibility is a building’s ability to shed or shift its energy demand from one time to another, based on near-real-time signals such as the price of electricity or the carbon intensity of the grid. With the right signal structure, laws such as New York City’s Local Law 97 (LL97) could enable demand flexibility, which has the potential to cut NYC building emissions by 40 percent or so as the grid approaches full …View Full Resource
Since Thomas Edison threw the switch at the world’s first commercial power plant in 1882 to power 400 lamps, buildings have consumed the lion’s share of U.S. electricity, and today account for three-fourths of the total and even more at peak. Yet, buildings consume power indifferent to grid conditions, blind to the high costs and threats to reliability posed by high peak demand and grid stress; inflexible to opportunities offered by variable, carbon- free renewable power sources; and senselessly missing the smart and connected technology revolution.
Grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) can remake buildings into a major new clean and flexible …View Full Resource
New York City has joined municipalities in 24 states and Washington, D.C. in launching the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan program. As policies in New York require buildings to become more energy efficient and switch to cleaner fuels, this new program can help owners finance upgrades that reduce energy use and carbon emissions.
The new NYC Accelerator PACE Financing Program provides low-cost financing for the upfront costs of energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy system installations in buildings. NYC’s PACE program is available for most private real estate across the city except for one- to two-family homes and some …View Full Resource
To prevent air and water pollution and avoid the worst impacts of global warming, America must move toward meeting our energy needs with 100% renewable energy. Getting there will require that we get the most out of every bit of energy we use – and that we stop burning fossil fuels in our homes and commercial buildings.
Wind and solar power are rapidly replacing dirty fossil fuels like coal as leading sources of our electricity. As our electricity grid becomes cleaner, replacing the direct burning of gas, heating oil and propane in our buildings with electricity will reduce pollution of …View Full Resource
Buildings—from single-family homes to office high-rises—are fossil fuel guzzlers that emit massive amounts of carbon and air pollutants. Scientists agree that if we do not act quickly to phase down greenhouse gas pollution, we are unlikely to meet our climate goals and avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis. Replacing fossil fuel equipment with highly efficient electric appliances and running them in energy efficient homes with clean, renewable electricity are key and necessary parts of the strategy to fight the climate crisis.
In addition to burning heating oil and propane, buildings are currently responsible for about one-third of all …View Full Resource
This policy brief is part of an RMI series focused on federal government action that can move the United States closer to limiting warming to 1.5°C, build a sustainable economy, and create lasting, quality jobs. For the US building stock to be 1.5°C aligned, we need to decarbonize through electrification of combustion-based appliances, deep efficiency retrofits, and construction of decarbonized new buildings—all-electric, highly efficient, and low-embodied carbon. Built from RMI’s existing work and theory of change, the featured ideas below provide significant emissions reductions and other benefits. RMI is available to provide more detailed support to policymakers to further develop …View Full Resource
New technologies, such as air source heat pumps and smart thermostats, are changing the way we produce and use energy — making it cheaper and more efficient to electrify heat and hot water in buildings. As the power grid gets cleaner by adding more renewable energy, it will make home electricity use cleaner too. This reality presents an opportunity for buildings’ energy use to take advantage of the power grid’s flexibility. Home energy technologies can in effect turn a building into a thermal battery, precooling or preheating spaces and water supply, and can help shift electricity demand away from more …View Full Resource
This SEE Action Network report explains basic concepts and fundamental considerations for assessing the actual demand flexibility performance of buildings participating in demand flexibility programs and responding to time-varying retail rates. Demand flexibility is the capability of distributed energy resources (DERs) to adjust a building’s load profile across different timescales. Assessments determine the timing, location, quantity, and quality of grid services provided.
The results can be used for financial settlements and to improve performance of demand flexibility, support its consideration in resource potential studies and electricity system planning, and contribute to cost-effectiveness evaluations.
While practitioners and regulators regularly find opportunities …View Full Resource
The work described in this study was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Building Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, under Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. This study was prepared under DOE’s authority to encourage and facilitate the exchange of information among State and local governments with respect to energy conservation and energy efficiency, and provide technical assistance on such matters. This study was specifically prepared for the use and dissemination of the State and Local Energy Efficiency (SEE) Action Network, a DOE program that DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency facilitate, …View Full Resource