New resource added to Energy Services Water Conservation page

Coal, the most abundant fossil fuel, currently accounts for 52 percent of US electricity generation, and each kilowatt-hour generated from coal requires withdrawal of 25 gallons of water. That means US citizens may indirectly depend upon as much water turning on the lights and running appliances as they directly use taking showers and watering lawns.

Photo by Sandia National Laboratory
(Photo by Sandia National Laboratory)

Utilities can expect water conservation to play a growing role in their efforts to comply with the Clean Power Plan. In fact, Water/Energy Nexus: Claiming Energy Savings for Water Measures and the Associated Calculations was chosen by utilities as a topic for the pre-forum workshops You are leaving Western's site. at the Utility Energy Forum.

Working out these issues will take time, but you don’t have to wait to encourage your customers to save water. Summer is the season for gardening, swimming and—yes—extra showers, so take a moment now to explore Energy Services’ Water Conservation resources. This page is loaded with information about drought management, irrigation and water-saving tips for commercial and residential customers.

In that last category is a new resource from the Southwest Florida Water Management District You are leaving Western's site. that could help motivate your customers to get on board with a water conservation program. The Water Use Calculator is an easy-to-use tool that allows the user figure out how much water they consume at home, both individually and as a family.

Most people will be surprised—even a little alarmed—to discover how much water everyday activities use (the Energy Service staff was, and we think about these things a lot). Try placing the link on your website or running it in your online newsletter to get your customers’ attention. Then follow it up with customer communication on tips for cutting down water consumption, such as Water Use it Wisely You are leaving Western's site. for residential customers. You can find those resources on the Water Conservation page as well.

While you are there, check out the information on water efficiency for commercial and agricultural customers. This customer segment is already motivated to cut water use, so be ready to help them with Best Management Practices for Water Efficiency and Water Efficiency Case Studies.

For many utilities, water conservation is already an important part of their resource management activities. If you have a favorite tip sheet, calculator or strategy for determining savings, share it with Energy Services. Once an esoteric concept, the water-energy nexus is now everybody’s business.

FEMP offers renewables management training

Renewable energy technology is so diverse and evolving so quickly that it can be difficult to determine if a resource is going to be the right fit for your power portfolio. Utility resource managers can gain a better understanding of the capabilities and constraints of different renewable technologies from a new on-demand training series from the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP).

This updated series of e-learning courses, focused on renewable energy technology applications for federal sites, will have much to offer utility professionals as well. Participants will learn how to evaluate and select the technologies that are most effective for their specific sites. Presentations will also cover integration of intermittent renewable energy into the grid. Each course offers 0.1 CEU (continuing education unit).

Covering bases
The series highlights six forms of renewable energy and concludes with a course addressing interconnection.

  • Solar Thermal and Concentrating Solar Power Technology: Discover the non-PV applications for solar energy, such as solar ventilation air preheating, solar water heating, types of solar collectors, dish engine technology, parabolic troughs, linear Fresnel systems and power towers.
  • Wind Energy Technology: Learn about types of towers, and scale-oriented wind applications, and find out how to evaluate wind resources and site turbines.
  • Biomass Technologies: Gain an understanding of biomass sources and conversion processes, including direct combustion, gasification and pyrolysis.
  • Hydropower and Ocean Energy Technologies: This overview of hydropower covers dams, micro-hydro and run-of river, as well as ocean energy technologies for wave, tidal, current and ocean thermal energy conversion.
  • Geothermal Energy Technologies: Discover the benefits and challenges of open- and closed-loop ground source heat pumps as well as dry steam, flash steam and binary cycle geothermal power technologies.

Partnering with best
The instructor for this series is Andy Walker, Ph.D., principal engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. At NREL, Walker conducts engineering and economic analysis of renewable energy projects for FEMP and other non-governmental clients.

FEMP is hosting the series in partnership with the Whole Building Design Guide You are leaving, a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences. These interactive courses are designed to support the Federal Building Personnel Training Act competencies, and to provide up-to-date information needed by federal energy, water and sustainability managers.

At your convenience
Like all FEMP e-learning seminars, the Renewable Energy Technology Applications series is free to all interested individuals, and you do not need to travel to attend. The courses are available on-demand, and are self-tracking and self-paced. You will need a computer with Google Chrome, Firefox 4.0+, Internet Explorer 7.0+ or Safari, and the Adobe Flash player or Adobe Flash 9+ plug-in to participate.

There is no better time—or price—to expand your knowledge of the expanding energy choices available to utilities. Register today, or contact the FEMP training manager at 202-586-7753 for more information.

Federal agencies invited to join 2012 REC solicitation

Free webinar
March 14, 10 a.m. MST

Western and the DOE Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) invite Federal agencies to participate in the 2012 renewable energy certificate (REC) soliciation. RECs can help Federal agencies meet their renewable energy goals and mandates, while improving the environment and supporting national energy security.

To participate in this solicitation, download and complete the Statement of Intent for Federal Agencies to Purchase Renewable Resources from Western’s Renewable Resources for Federal Agencies website. Fax or e-mail the completed form to Sandee Peebles at 916-985-1931 no later than April 20. Western will competitively procure the desired RECs with FEMP covering the administrative cost of the solicitation, a savings that will accrue to the participants.

Learn more about the key requirements and steps associated with this REC purchase by joining a 45-minute webinar March 14 at 10 a.m. MST. Register today for this free event.

FEMP workshop highlights energy service contracting for Federal agencies

As part of its ongoing First Thursday seminar series, the Federal Energy Management Program presents Utility Energy Service Contracts and Energy Project Incentive Funds, April 7, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Take part in a concise, insightful discussion about how your facility can partner with its local utility to fund energy improvement projects. Two major programs will be featured to help you get underway!

Utility Energy Service Contracts

  • Understand the most important UESC purposes and benefits to help meet your agency’s mission-critical energy mandates;
  • Learn about the legislative authority and primary contracting methods pertaining to utility energy service contracts;
  • Find out about the steps involved in successfully implementing a UESC project; and
  • Learn about the wealth of FEMP resources available to help you.

Energy Project Incentive Funds

  • Understand different types of funds, what is driving them, and what the trends are;
  • Locate which funds are available to you;
  • Learn the rules about what incentives can be accepted and retained by Federal agencies.

This live event is free, but registration is required.

FEMP First Thursday Seminars are a series of seven FREE training sessions on the first Thursday of each month from February through August 2011, available via satellite broadcast and streaming web video.