Yesterday, UC Berkeley announced several new energy-related tools designed to reduced campus energy use. From the email announcement:
Starting April 3, 2012, the campus community can visit the myPower website to see real-time energy use data for 57 campus buildings. … These dashboards will provide evidence of the cumulative impact of the energy-saving measures you and others in your building take, demonstrating that small actions can add up to a large impact. The website also provides information about proven ways to save energy in offices, labs, and residence halls.
The screenshot above shows the dashboard for Wurster Hall, which houses the Department of Architecture, among others. I’ll be checking out some of the other campus buildings over the next few days.
In addition to the bad news about CBECS 2007, the U.S. Energy Information Administation is facing an immediate 14% funding cut. This means there will be less information and analysis about energy.
The following is from an EIA press release:
“The lower FY 2011 funding level will require significant cuts in EIA’s data, analysis, and forecasting activities,” said EIA Administrator Richard Newell. “EIA had already taken a number of decisive steps in recent years to streamline operations and enhance overall efficiency, and we will continue to do so in order to minimize the impact of these cuts at a time when both policymaker and public interest in energy issues is high,” he said… …
Initial adjustments to EIA’s data, analysis, and forecasting programs include the following:
Oil and Natural Gas Information
- Do not prepare or publish 2011 edition of the annual data release on U.S. proved oil and natural gas reserves.
- Curtail efforts to understand linkages between physical energy markets and financial trading.
- Suspend analysis and reporting on the market impacts of planned refinery outages.
- Curtail collection and dissemination of monthly state-level data on wholesale petroleum product prices, including gasoline, diesel, heating oil, propane, residual fuel oil, and kerosene. Also, terminate the preparation and publication of the annual petroleum marketing data report and the fuel oil and kerosene sales report.
- Suspend auditing of data submitted by major oil and natural gas companies and reporting on their 2010 financial performance through EIA’s Financial Reporting System.
- Reduce collection of data from natural gas marketing companies.
- Cancel the planned increase in resources to be applied to petroleum data quality issues.
- Reduce data collection from smaller entities across a range of EIA oil and natural gas surveys.
Electricity, Renewables, and Coal Information
- Reduce data on electricity exports and imports.
- Terminate annual data collection and report on geothermal space heating (heat pump) systems.
- Terminate annual data collection and report on solar thermal systems.
- Reduce data collection from smaller entities across a range of EIA electricity and coal surveys.
Consumption, Efficiency, and International Energy Information
- Suspend work on EIA’s 2011 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), the Nation’s only source of statistical data for energy consumption and related characteristics of commercial buildings.
- Terminate updates to EIA’s International Energy Statistics.
Energy Analysis Capacity
- Halt preparation of the 2012 edition of EIA’s International Energy Outlook.
- Suspend further upgrades to the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). NEMS is the country’s preeminent tool for developing projections of U.S. energy production, consumption, prices, and technologies and its results are widely used by policymakers, industry, and others in making energy-related decisions. A multiyear project to replace aging NEMS components will be halted.
- Eliminate annual published inventory of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States.
- Limit responses to requests from policymakers for special analyses.
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“We need to separate data from information from advice from advocacy.”
– Peter Morris
photo credit: freefoto.com
Many of you may have heard about the goings-on around the widespread installation of smart energy meters in California (after all, there have been lawsuits, legislative hearings, and mandated independent meter testing, just for the Pacific Gas and Electric meter installations).
So why go through all that to install smart energy meters? Because they hold huge promise for helping consumers reduce their energy use and for adding flexibility and reliability to how the grid is managed.
What you may not have heard as much about is that smart water meters are also being installed – more than half of California water utilities have some smart meters in their districts (via the New York Times). Ideally, smart water meters would provide real-time (or near real-time) feedback on water use to both the water utility and the consumer.
Also, Oracle has apparently developed an interest in smart water meters as a potential future market, as they already sell software systems to water (and power) utilities (via GreenTechmedia).