HOW FEDERAL ENERGY ACTS BOOST JOB CREATION
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy recently made an estimate of the numbers of jobs created by federal Home Star, Building Star, and Industrial Energy Efficiency Grants. ACEEE used Bureau of Labor Statistics projections for productivity and economic impact modeling software to figure job effects in various community sectors. You can see the calculator yourself at www.acee.org/energy/national/recovery.htm
ENERGY BILLS FOR THE AVERAGE HOME
The Environmental Energy Technologies Div. at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed what it calls the first web-based do-it-yourself energy audit tool at hes.lbl.gov. Entering a zip code brings an energy cost comparison between an average house and an energy efficient house in the area of interest. Interesting details then emerge, such as the fact that the average home in Brooklyn, N.Y. uses $616 more in energy costs annually than the average home in Cleveland, Ohio.
WHERE THE POWER GOES IN ESCALATORS
Researchers from the Institute of Systems and Robotics at the University of Coimbra in Portugal studied energy use in a variety of escalators. They were particularly interested in energy consumed during normal use versus that consumed in standby mode, where the escalator shuts itself off or slows down when motion detectors sense it is empty. In the escalators they analyzed the active power in low-speed mode ranges from 450 to 960W and in stop mode from 42 to 60W. One escalator they analyzed had no low-speed mode. Standby consumption in escalators ranged from around 1.3 to 54.3% of the total overall energy consumption (111 to 3,017 kWh/year).
HOW MUCH WILL ELECTRICITY GENERATION COST?
The International Energy Agency and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency studied the cost of generating electricity for a wide variety of fuels and technologies, figuring the lifetime costs of electricity — including the initial investment, operations and maintenance, cost of fuel, and cost of capital — per MWh for almost 200 plants. The study of LCOE (levelized cost of energy) shows that whether or not a given electricity generating technology is cost competitive depends on a number of factors which may vary nationally and regionally.