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What is a low-energy house?

Description: Traditionally, a ``low-energy`` house has been one that used little energy for space heating. But space heating typically accounts for less than half of the energy used by new US homes, and for low heating energy homes, space heating is often the third largest end use, behind water heating and appliances, and sometimes behind cooling. Low space heat alone cannot identify a low-energy house. To better understand the determinants of a low-energy house, we collected data on housing characteristics, incremental costs, and energy measurements from energy-efficient houses around the world and in a range of climates. We compare the energy required to provide thermal comfort as well as water heating, and other appliances. We do not have a single definition of a low-energy house, but through comparisons of actual buildings, we show how different definitions and quantitative indicators fail. In comparing the energy use of whole houses, weather normalization can be important, but for cases in which heating or cooling energy is surpassed by other end uses, other normalization methods must be used.
Date: August 1, 1994
Creator: Litt, B. R. & Meier, A. K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reducing Leaking Electricity to 1 Watt

Description: In this study we examine some specific opportunities toreduce standby losses in electronic appliances. A review of powerconsumption levels for the major components responsible for standbyfunctions indicates that nearly all standby functions can be performedwith a total appliance standby power consumption of one watt or less. Wetherefore propose that standby losses be limited to one watt perappliance, a significant reduction from current levels for manyappliances. This target could be achieved with little or no extra cost tomanufacturers and could save over $2 billion in annual U.S. energy costs.Globally, a one-watt plan would lead to a significant reduction in carbonemissions.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Meier, A. K.; Huber, Wolfgang & Rosen, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Developing energy and environmental reporting protocols

Description: In this paper, we concentrate on the reporting and verification of energy and emissions reductions rather than absolute levels. Absolute emissions levels are collected by the US Department of Energy`s (US DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA) and other agencies, using reporting and verification procedures that are straightforward and build upon previous data collection activities. In contrast, energy savings or reductions cannot be measured directly; instead they must be estimated by subtracting the final energy use from initial energy use. In the meantime, conditions may change, such as economic activity or weather, so that a simple subtraction may yield misleading results. Therefore, estimation, verification, and reporting of energy and emissions savings require considerably more information to ensure that the reductions are due to efficiency improvements rather changes in other conditions. The treatment of this additional information is a major challenge in efforts to report and tabulate energy savings in a consistent manner. This paper identifies several problem areas in reporting programs and some of the mechanisms for dealing with them.
Date: August 1, 1994
Creator: Schrock, D.W.; Stoops, J.L.; Meier, A.K.; Vine, E.L. & Solomon, B.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Use of Home Audio Products in the U.S.

Description: We conducted a bottom-up analysis using stock and usage estimates from secondary sources, and our own power measurements. We measured power levels of the most common audio products in their most commonly used operating modes. We found that the combined energy consumption of standby, idle, and play modes of clock radios, portable stereos, compact stereos, and component stereos was 20 TWh/yr, representing about 1.8% of the 1998 national residential electricity consumption.
Date: December 1, 1999
Creator: Rosen, K.B. & Meier, A.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department