When it comes to trying to define "to be energy efficient" or "energy efficiency", there does not seem to be a single commonly-accepted definition of energy efficiency.  it is generally thought that an increase in energy efficiency is when either energy inputs are reduced for a given level of service, or there are increased or enhanced services for a given amount of energy inputs.

Views: 136

Replies to This Discussion

There are many ways of saving energy.  

I can turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater.  or use a programmable and ignore the setting by wearing more clothes.  My bill drops a number of BTUs.

I can take a military shower.  Water on, wet down, Water off.  Soap up, scrub. Water on Rinse off, water off.  In 90 degree F water of course.  My bill drops a number of BTUs. and my water bill drops.

Or

I can add some insulation to the house.  Leave the thermostat setting the same.  My bill drops a number of BTUs.

I can install a tankless hot water heater. The bill drops a few BTUs and my water bill stays the same.

You can change the way people work.  

You can change the way things work.

I believe 'Conservation' is the way people work.

I believe 'Efficiency' is the way things work.

As an Energy Auditor, I can explain to people how the conserve.  They have to make the choice. They have to make it a habit.  I'm not going to follow them around and watch to see they are doing it.

Very much like my physician telling me to eat less, get extra exercise and not to use as much salt.  All on me.

As an Energy Auditor, I can recommend how people can improve their homes to increase efficiency.  They have to buy the stuff (and pay for or provide the labor) to improve their home.

The Dr. wants me to change my habits, and energy conservation is changing my habits.

Efficiency is something that changes energy consumption without requiring more then a one time purchase or install to change how things work.

Both are important. One is less expensive in $$.  One is less stressful to remember.

Design wise I would say that energy efficiency is defined by the Btu / square foot.  This is usually expressed in kilo Btu / square foot annually as well as summed kilo Btu annually for the entire structure.

In design terms, you might want to consider how that a home for instance, could be powered by renewables, where the energy efficiency can make it possible to power a home completely on renewables.  Of course there are days when we do not have enough wind and solar and so we have to use grid power.  The thing then would be that summed together over a year, a home could produce more energy than it uses once renewables are added.  So we have to consider then something like the Btu / square foot and we can compute a design using the old school method of construction using R 11 in the exterior walls and R 19 in the attic as a standard and then do the model with lets say R 19 in the exterior walls and something over R 30 in the attic.  Attic wise I would say R 60 is a good place to start with a design.  Anyways we compare the two insulation values for the same model.  We can then express this comparison in percentage terms.

If we do not increase the energy efficiency of our future designs, then we make it hard for the building owner to invest in renewable energy since they will have to upgrade their buildings energy efficiency to reduce losses.  If the building is already designed to be efficient then a more reasonable investment in renewables is possible.

In software we use "heat degree days" for our area to determine the annual energy cost.  For design purposes we use the lowest average temperature of the winter, and the lowest temperature on record to design a building that we can heat with solar heating or solar electrical power.  Where I live the lowest temperature we reach in the winter is 9 degrees F.

If we are not using renewables and use grid power as well as natural gas, our bills are going to be lower which is something that interest people in itself without them having any interest in renewables.

RSS

Discussion Forum

Affordable Energy Efficient Design

Started by Dannie Jackson Nov 23, 2017. 0 Replies

Whats the Consensus of this group Define "Energy Efficiency"

Started by Barry NewDelman. Last reply by Dannie Jackson Nov 23, 2017. 2 Replies

No More "Damn Architects!" - The Case for Integrated Design

Started by Chris Laumer-Giddens. Last reply by Dennis Heidner Jan 16, 2014. 6 Replies

Energy Efficient Design for the not so rich

Started by James McGarvey. Last reply by Greg La Vardera Apr 11, 2013. 7 Replies

Latest Activity

Brian Robinson replied to Dav Camras's discussion Adding blown insulation to poorly installed batts?
"YES, YES, & YES!!! Bat droppings, mouse droppings, dead mice, nuts, seeds, acorns, lack of…"
9 hours ago
Matt Peterson posted a blog post

The Importance of keeping Professionally Trained Gas Line Installation Technicians happy and loving their jobs!

Our company is very much a family to us, we strive to bring in and develop great people into great…See More
11 hours ago
Profile IconVENI MITTAL, Mark A McCrumb, yanky fogel and 2 more joined Home Energy Pros Forum
14 hours ago
yanky fogel liked Home Energy Magazine's video
yesterday
Franco Oyuela commented on Shawn Weeks's blog post How Homeowners Can Keep Electricity Costs Down in Summer Months
"Cutting back on air conditioning is also good for the environment because it reduces carbon…"
yesterday
Seventhwave posted events
yesterday
Franco Oyuela commented on John White's blog post Top Reasons to Consider Seasonal HVAC Maintenance
"They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to HVAC units, this…"
yesterday
Diane Chojnowski's video was featured

1950s Home Retrofit to Super Efficient Passive House - Urban Green Building

This 1950s Montreal house was retrofitted to become a super efficient passive house by adding a 16 inch thick layer of cellulose insulation to the exterior. Maison Ozalée's builder, Richard Price from Construction Le Tournesol, also used triple…
yesterday
Diane Chojnowski posted a video

1950s Home Retrofit to Super Efficient Passive House - Urban Green Building

This 1950s Montreal house was retrofitted to become a super efficient passive house by adding a 16 inch thick layer of cellulose insulation to the exterior. ...
yesterday
Profile IconSolarBK, Jessica Jankowski, John Scott and 2 more joined Home Energy Pros Forum
yesterday
Daniel Baur-McGuire replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"Running a ceiling fan actually heats up air. Allison Bailes has some great articles on it.  I…"
Monday
Daniel Baur-McGuire replied to Leslie Jackson's discussion DIY Filter Solution for an Evaporative Cooler, anyone?
"Where are the supply runs located? Look to make sure supply runs are sealed. I would second having…"
Monday
Tim O'Brien replied to Jerry Needham's discussion VERY TIGHT HOME WITH OVER SIZED AC
"New build may not have been "dry" before finished and occupied. Residual moisture from…"
Monday
Daniel Baur-McGuire replied to Jerry Needham's discussion VERY TIGHT HOME WITH OVER SIZED AC
"Oversized A/C systems wont pull out enough moisture from the conditioned air. I would check to make…"
Monday
Efficiency First California's blog post was featured
Monday
Jediah Krajcik is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
Monday
Laurie DiDonato posted a blog post

HERS Rater Training Discount ($200) Ends August 20th!

Online: September 17-28th (Times TBA)Classroom: October 1-5th in Manchester, NHFull fee: $2595…See More
Monday
Profile IconNorthWest AeroBarrier and david beckwith joined Home Energy Pros Forum
Friday
John White posted a blog post
Friday
Efficiency First California posted a blog post
Aug 10

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service