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By Samuel R. Avro on Apr 13, 2010 with 21 responses

Study: Efficiency Can Offset Two Decades of Energy Demand Growth in South

Energy Consumption Projection for the South, by Source, 2007-2030.

Aggressive adoption of energy efficiency measures in the Southern portion of the U.S. would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, lower utility bills, conserve many natural resources and offset the amount of expected growth in energy demand over the next two decades, according to a new study released today by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute.

Although only 36 percent of the country’s population resides in the South, they consume a considerably larger share of energy per capita compared to the rest of the U.S.

The region “consumes 43% of the nation’s electric power, 40% of the energy consumed in residences, and 38% of the energy used in commercial buildings,” the report found.

The study listed the following reasons why the South is so much more energy consuming than the rest of the nation:

  • the region’s historically low electricity rates,
  • significant heating and cooling loads that characterize many southern states,
  • relatively weak energy conservation ethic (based on public opinion polls),
  • below average expenditures on energy-efficiency programs.

“An aggressive commitment to energy efficiency could be an economic windfall for the South,” according to the co-lead researcher of the study, Dr. Marilyn Brown of the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Such a shift would lower energy bills for cash-strapped consumers and businesses and create more new jobs for Southern workers.”

Energy-Efficiency Potential by Sector, in 2020 and 2030.

By committing itself to improving its energy efficiency in the industrial, commercial and residential sectors, the South’s economy would stand to create 380,000 new jobs while lowering utility bills by more than $40 billion. In addition, the projected jump in the region’s energy demand  of 13% within the next 20 years according to estimates released by the Energy Information Administration, would be offset by implementing policies requiring higher efficiency standards.

Improved energy efficiency policies include revamped appliance standards and building codes, as well as creating incentives to retrofit energy-guzzling buildings.

Among the three energy demand sectors in the American South, the potential for improved energy efficiency is greatest in the commercial building sector in terms of percent energy reductions, while the industrial sector has the largest absolute energy saving, according to the study.

“In addition,” the report concluded, “it is estimated that 49 GW of new power plant capacity would not need to be built in the South, if aggressive Energy-Efficiency Policies were implemented instead. At the same time, Energy-Efficiency Policies could conserve 90 billion gallons of water that would otherwise be consumed in processes related to energy generation, in the year 2030.”

The full report can be viewed here.

  1. By moiety on April 13, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Efficiency is a key point mentioned in the IEA world energy report 2008.

    The report is available doing a google search but  condensed presentations are here

    http://www.iea.org/speech/2009…..erence.pdf

    http://www.iea.org/speech/2009…..a_MEET.pdf

     

    What is interesting is efficiency has not been mentioned by the IEA before as far as I am aware. Efficiency is goiing to be a key point in any strategy.

     

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  2. By Kit P on April 13, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Conservation and energy efficiency have
    been personal ethical standard practiced my entire life. I just
    wonder when it is going to become popular.

     

    At our universities they use words like
    ‘can’ and ‘could’ like the rest of use ‘do’ and ‘does’.

     

    To start with, electric utilities
    consider conservation and energy efficiency in resource management
    plants but they look at what customers ‘do’ when deciding on new
    power plants.

     

    The first false assumption in this
    study is that electricity is a significant part of a family budget in
    the southeast. The second false assumption is that there is a
    significant potential for economical efficiency gains. There is
    nothing new in the study. I do not have a problem with creating jobs
    doing low income weatherization other than that scam is getting a
    little old.

     

    The third false assumption in this
    study is that producing electricity has a significant environmental
    impact. I am not suggesting that we should waste electricity but
    enjoying a good night sleep on a hot humid night is worth every
    penny.

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  3. By savro on April 13, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Kit P said:

    The second false assumption is that there is a

    significant potential for economical efficiency gains. There is

    nothing new in the study. I do not have a problem with creating jobs

    doing low income weatherization other than that scam is getting a

    little old.

    Residential efficiency upgrade potential accounts for the smallest of the 3 sectors mentioned in the study. The main sectors that stand to gain are the commercial and industrial sectors.
     

    The third false assumption in this

    study is that producing electricity has a significant environmental

    impact. I am not suggesting that we should waste electricity but

    enjoying a good night sleep on a hot humid night is worth every

    penny.

    What does one thing have to do with the next? It may be worth every single penny to sleep in comfort on a hot summer night, but it still can have a significant enviromental impact.

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  4. By moiety on April 14, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Samuel R. Avro said:

    Residential efficiency upgrade potential accounts for the smallest of the 3 sectors mentioned in the study. The main sectors that stand to gain are the commercial and industrial sectors.


     

    Though the gains can still be significant! On the downside
    implementing choices like passive housing require many inputs from both
    regulatory and technological sides that are not always easily married
    especially when there is the possibility of impinging on a citizens lifestyle.

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  5. By russ on April 14, 2010 at 8:40 am

    There are very few homes of more than a couple of years old around that can not:

    1) cut their lighting by 1/3

    2) cut their heating/cooling by 1/3

    3) Many old appliances, beer fridges etc are horribly inefficient – if a person knows how much they are wasting they may be interested in changing

    The problem is how to keep the scammers (siding salesmen, water treatment salesmen for example) out of the mess.  

    Refurbishing anything in a home is wide open to abuse when there are government funds involved.

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  6. By moiety on April 14, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Savings on lighting I think will be minimum though heating savings (northern latitudes) and cooling (southern) are massive energy consumers. The electricity usage is also a large items that can be saved upon.

     

    Sustainable Energy — without the hot air is worth a read (with a questioning mind) to give an overivew of potential savings.

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  7. By russ on April 14, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Sustainable Energy — without the hot air is interesting and well done - 

    Lighting is a small percentage of the overall home use – but relatively easy.

     

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  8. By S. Mark Florence on April 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    According to the Home Energy Saver website, the average American home wastes between 47% to 53% of the energy it consumes. And because many people tend to misunderstand energy efficiency measures, these same people seem to think making improvements to their home will prevent them from “enjoying a good night sleep on a hot humid night.”

    If your home is inefficient your simply throwing your money out the window. In addition, by improving your home’s energy efficiency you’ll also increase the safety and comfort within your home.

    I think one of the biggest obstacles to implementing energy efficiency improvements throughout the United States, which would save consumers billions of dollars in waste each year, is the lack of information or overabundance of misinformation.

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  9. By Kit P on April 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    “The main sectors that stand to gain
    are the commercial and industrial sectors.”

     

    From what I read of the study it is
    claptrap. The same old claptrap. I suspect I read more than anyone
    else too. So Samuel take your best shot! On what page do you think
    you could point me to to read to learn something new. Some new
    concept that has not been around a long time.

     

    “but it still can have a significant
    environmental impact.”

     

    Then Samuel you would be able to show
    me where reducing electricity generation would improve the air
    quality. Not where I live in the southeast for sure. Samuel if you
    same something is a problem, the burden is on you identify the
    problems. You have to convince people to change their behavior.

     

    My air quality is ‘good’ what do you
    want ‘gooder’.

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  10. By Kit P on April 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    “by 1/3”

     

    I do not think you can Russ. Not at my
    house, not in my neighbors house, and not in my friends house with a
    ‘beer fridge’.

     

    You see you are wrong about things
    being “horribly inefficient”.

     

    “if a person knows how much they are
    wasting”

     

    What arrogance! Who defines waste?

     

    I have 10 watts of LED path lighting.
    I enjoy my decorative lights. I share a back yard with someone who
    feels more secure huge street light tacked to the side of the garage.
    My neighbor and I have discussed the idea of shooting out the light
    but I suppose that will not help the widowed lady feel more secure.
    That light did not jump onto the side of the house.

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  11. By moiety on April 14, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Kit P said:

    “The main sectors that stand to gain

    are the commercial and industrial sectors.”

     

    From what I read of the study it is

    claptrap.

     


     

    Why would it be claptrap; commercial space heating and air conditioning is expensive as can easily be seen by the potential savings from smaller spaces rovided by S.mark i.e. homes. Come on provide a refernece.

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  12. By Kit P on April 14, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    “Why would it be claptrap;”

     

    Did you read the report?

     

    “cooling (southern) are massive
    energy consumers.”

     

    Moiety must be a junior, junior
    engineer. I would give him some slack for being from the Netherlands
    but heat transfer is heat transfer. The heating bill for my all
    electric house is about twice that for cooing. The reason is simple.
    All you have to do in the Southeast is knock down the humidity and
    lower the temperature 10 degrees. Ceiling fans, short sleeve shirts
    and shorts make staying comfortable easy with a small amount of
    energy.

     

    In the winter you are looking 30 to 60
    degrees difference. I am not complaining. When I lived farther
    north, 90 degrees difference was not uncommon. The load appears
    different because there are other sources of heating such as oil,
    gas, coal, and wood.

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  13. By moiety on April 14, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Yes I did and used referneces to back up some of the claims.

     

    And perhaps I am a junior junior junior engineer but at least I reference my claims.

     

    Another reference showing for example the lack of influence that lighting has. and again it is for the Netherlands.

    http://www.ecn.nl/docs/library…..x06019.pdf

     

     

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  14. By Kit P on April 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Mark

     

    My typical southeast home exceeds all
    the Home
    Energy Saver
    website requirements except:

     

    “Replace windows with
    solar-control low-emissivity, argon-filled units”

     

    One hallmark of junk science is the use
    of absurd comparisons.

     

    “Vintage: 1970s”

     

    How many 40 year old houses do not
    already have upgrades. Our 30 year old home is on its third heat
    pump. It was expensive but I replaced my whole system with a very
    efficient system. I do not think it has a good ROI but it is hard to
    predict the future cost of energy.

     

    Replacement windows are very expensive
    and we have beautiful windows now. You can compensate for loss out
    windows according to ASRAE (?) handbook using window treatment. We
    have venetian blinds. In the summer I put up some radiant barrier on
    south facing windows. It lowered the temperature in our bedroom 5
    degrees.

     

    I do recommend low-e glass for new
    construction because the cost of very good windows is marginal over
    cheap window over the life of the house. I built low energy house
    house in California with a large window area facing south for solar
    heating. It was built into the side of a hill so shade trees were
    not an option and the view demanded beautiful windows. With no AC
    the hottest it ever got in the house was 86 when it was 117 in the
    shade. Stand in front of the French doors to the redwood deck and it
    was cool but open the doors and it was like a blast furnace coming
    off the deck. The deck was a beautiful place to be on a summer
    morning or evening but very hot in the heat of the day.

     

    My point here Mark is that people
    either conserve or they do not. I do not like being lectured about
    smoking or conservation. This is because the lectures are mostly
    idiot who do not know what they talking about and the lecture is lost
    on those who could use a good lecture.

     

    Think of it this way. I can not save
    $50/month because I already am. Those who can do not care about
    $2/day.

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  15. By Kit P on April 14, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    “at least I reference my claims”

     

    Moiety sounds like one of these young
    kids whose parents did not teach him to turn off light.

     

    Before I am too hard on you, is English
    your native language?

     

     

    Moiety we are talking about of study of
    the Southeast UNITED STATES. When I check the work of junior
    engineer I make sure he is using the correct reference. So please go
    back and read the study for this discussion before getting
    condescending.

     

    I am being condescending with Moiety.
    The climate of the location matters when you are building something.
    If you put the title ‘engineer’ on beside your name you have an
    obligation to not infer expertise in another topic.

     

    I have a great deal of respect for the
    energy work they are doing in the Netherlands especially
    incorporating anaerobic digestion into the generation of making
    electricity. However, the Netherlands and the Southeast UNITED
    STATES have very different climates. I live in the Southeast and
    have been to the Netherlands. They are different.

     

    If Moiety would like to discuss passive
    solar houses, I designed and built one of those more than 20 years
    ago. Did have some issues with Title 24, California’s energy code.
    An example of stupid policy. Before moving back to California, I
    lived in both Spain and Michigan. The state of California want to
    save energy by building a Michigan house in California with limited
    number of windows. This requires lots of AC on hot days. Hot
    climates in Spain use thermal mass and lots of windows. At night
    natural circulation cools the houses and then they close them up
    during the day. It works great.

     

    With the invention of low-glass, there
    is no reason to limit the amount of glazing. I provided 37 pages of
    alternate calculations and has my architect label south facing
    windows on the drawings, to keep my windows. Another energy feature
    of my California house and my present house is a walk out basement.
    Try building the first basement in a county.

     

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  16. By savro on April 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Then Samuel you would be able to show

    me where reducing electricity generation would improve the air

    quality. Not where I live in the southeast for sure. Samuel if you

    same something is a problem, the burden is on you identify the

    problems. You have to convince people to change their behavior.

    My air quality is ‘good’ what do you

    want ‘gooder’.

    You’re not disputing the fact that generating electricity has an impact on the environment, or are you? Perhaps you should start here: http://www.epa.gov/rdee/energy…..index.html

    Since the facts are that indeed it does, it stands to reason that a significant reduction in demand should have a positive effect on the environment.

    Regardless, my interest in this study is not coming from an enviro angle. I’m a lot more interested in the economics and overall impact on the nation’s energy grid.

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  17. By savro on April 14, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Kit P said:

    From what I read of the study it is

    claptrap. The same old claptrap. I suspect I read more than anyone

    else too. So Samuel take your best shot! On what page do you think

    you could point me to to read to learn something new. Some new

    concept that has not been around a long time.

     

    What specific portions and conclusions of the study do you disagree with?

    As far as new facts brought up in the study, I don’t think the overall concept of the importance of energy efficiency is anything earth shattering, nor do I think it was meant to be. What I found most interesting were the forecasted numbers and economics that would impact the South – most notably the fact that the EIA’s projected increase in energy demand in the South during the next 20 years, to the tune of 13%, is capable of being offset by implementations of upgraded energy efficiency policies.

    I think the public is lacking education and awareness regarding the impact and importance that efficiency measures can have on the nation’s energy industry. Studies such as this one, which crunch the numbers and detail the potential benefits are definitely a step in the right direction.

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  18. By Kit P on April 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm

     

    “You’re not disputing the fact that
    generating electricity has an impact on the environment, or are you?”

     

    Of course, it is not a fact! Samuel
    needs to be more precise in terminology. Samuel linked me to a site
    the discusses the ‘effects’ of producing electricity. However, the
    environmental impact of making electricity is regulated so that the
    impact of those effects are insignificant.

     

    “Since the facts are that indeed it
    does, it stands to reason that a significant reduction in demand
    should have a positive effect on the environment.”

     

    If the impact is insignificant, the
    positive can only be insignificant.

     

    “I’m a lot more interested in the
    economics and overall impact on the nation’s energy grid.”

     

    While I am more comfortable evaluating
    the impact of ppb of something compared to a regulatory limit, I
    would be happy to discuss the economics.

     

    On the macro level, the southeast grid
    is well managed and I am not aware of any of the utilities lack
    foresight to maintain a good margin. This is not true of Cal ISO,
    New York, and New England.

     

    From Pg 11,

     

    Together,
    energy efficiency and demand response can delay or completely avoid
    the need for expensive new generation and transmission investments,
    thus keeping the future cost of electricity affordable and freeing up
    energy dollars to be spent on other resources to expand the Region’s
    economy.”

     

    Have
    you heard this before? California,
    New York,
    and New England. So if you are looking for the policies that drove
    business out of those places to the southeast, this is one place to
    start. Sure power plants and transmission lines are expensive to
    build but they last for a very long time.

     

    I know what a efficient heat pump cost.
    I know what that fancy washers cost. I know what improvements in
    building and processes cost. The folks who are against building the
    power plants see no problem with the cost of PV, the cost of BEV, ans
    so forth.

     

    I see not problem promoting energy
    efficiency as longs as utilities keep planning for new demand.

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  19. By russ on April 15, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Kit P – İn my house İ would have trouble saving on energy – it is new and has most energy efficient items built in – it also is no typical. The article is talking about typical homes and not specific homes. Probably won’t run the AC this summer even on the hottest of days and it does get warm here.

    The air infiltration rate in the typical older home (as well as many newer homes) is high – easy improvement by sealing.

    İ am happy to leanr that Kit P can read (comprehending is another thing) but read more than anyone else? Doubt it! İt is also what you read that counts. Reading what you don’t agree with as well is an important part of the learning process – providing one does not know it all already.

    Many older appliances are horribly inefficient – fact – how one can disagree with this is difficult to understand.

    Arrogance? İ guess İ have to defer to Kit P on this as he is the master of the topic.

    Waste – Yes, kWh that are not doing what the consumer intends for them to do are wasted. Leaving exterior lights on at night is such a waste and of use to the prowler more so than the homeowner. İt would take a bit of an ass to shoot it out though.

    At least Moeity knows how to log in – better than some. Yes – cooling is a large energy consumer in the south for most homes. İ have also lived there.

    Many 1970 homes don’t have upgrades or very limited upgrades. İ can believe that Kit P hasn’t seen them as İ don’t expect he is welcome in all that many places.

    Like or don’t like being lectured to about conservation – Kit P you are the one that joined the thread – unless Robert somehow forced you to.

    Your posts seem to become less coherent as they go along?

     

     

     

     

     

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  20. By Kit P on April 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Russ is suffering from compulsive waste
    disorder, or CWD.

     

    CWD causes people to say things like,

     

    “Many older appliances are horribly
    inefficient – fact – how one can disagree with this is difficult
    to understand.”

     

    The cure for CWD is measuring the
    amount of energy used and putting into perspective. About 40 years
    ago I bought new frig with an ice maker. If it was ‘horribly
    inefficient’ I would have noticed since the navy did not pay big
    salaries..

     

    “Many 1970 homes don’t have upgrades
    or very limited upgrades.”

     

    Really, you have some numbers on that?

     

    Here is the interesting thing. My
    utility measures the kwh my family uses and sends me a bill. Been
    getting one for 40 years. I think that my utility does this for
    everyone. The data is available. The theory for energy use has not
    changed. I am skeptical that suddenly large changes in energy use
    can achieved in the trend that is opposite of what is happening. I
    think AC and big TV and beer fridges are here to stay.

     

    I think my parents and grand parents
    got bills for electricity use too. My CWD was earned honestly. I
    was raised people who lived through the depression.

     

    While I have always taught the kids
    turn turn off the lights and not waste energy, I calculated it was
    just not worth yelling at them for an insignificant amount of energy.

     

    “İ have also lived there.”

     

    So Russ how many kwh did you use for AC
    and how much did you use for cooling?

     

    I wrote, “The heating bill for my all
    electric house is about twice that for cooling.”

     

    If you go back and check I even
    explained why.

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  21. By russ on April 16, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Had a home near Charlotte, NC for 20 years – all bills are long gone along with an ex-wife.

    Seriously Kit P you should try running your posts through your infamous BS detector before going on line. Careful that you don’t smoke it though -very well may overload it.

    İt would be a cold day in hades before İ provide a guy like you any data – make up your own like normal.

     

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