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Energy Management

Electric vehicles will have an impact on local power grids

The heavy dependency on fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, along with the drive to limit greenhouse gases, have presented a global concern in the past few decades. Despite the best efforts of many governments to move toward renewable energy solutions, there are technological and economical considerations that affect the short-term outlook.

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With the growing efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids on our streets, have been increasing steadily.

What would happen to our power grid, when tens of thousands, even millions, of electric cars users begin charging their vehicles every day, throughout the day, at work, at home or office?

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Russell Orchards in Ipswich, MA: Biodiesel Powered by Donuts

One of my favorite fall New Englandy activities is apple picking.  Today, my husband and I did our 6th annual day trip to Russell Orchards in Ipswich, Massachusetts.   We love Russell Orchards because they not only have lots and lots of apples and other kinds of fruit that they grow right there on their farm, but it's also a winery, there are adorable farm animals, and they make the tastiest apple cider donuts! ... read more

Open4energy Promotes Open Source Energy Solutions

What is the best way to deal with energy management?  Many believe that Google and Microsoft's energy software solutions are the best. Others see companies involved in the home management market as most suited for creating energy software to structure and reduce energy use.  But could the best software be those created without the goal of profit?  Software created by programmers, both professional and amateur, for free?  Alexander Bischoff, owner of Open4energy, believes so.

OpenrEnegy, Open Source Energy Solutions, Open source is good for me, Bart Simpson

Open4energy is a solution for corporations and small business seeking to lower their energy costs.  Open4Energy utilizes open source energy management software to monitor and reduce the energy used by its' clients.  This practice falls under the heading Green ICT.  Green ICT is defined as the study and practice of using computing resources efficiently.... read more

How to Become a Solar Energy Professional In California

California has been a longtime proponent of solar energy use, which is a major component of the green movement currently sweeping the United States. A recent report from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council supports this fact. Their study shows that solar capacity in California increased by a third from 2007 to 2008, and now represents about two-thirds of the national total.... read more

Building Energy Quotient Enters The Scene

Another metric for judging the energy efficient has been added to LEED and Energy Star, this one stemming from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. This new label will grade buildings based on a system that every school child knows and loves: the letter system. Yes, now buildings will have to go without TV if they are found to have a D- in energy efficiency.... read more

7 iPhone Apps For Energy Management

I read a great article recently about the seven top iPhone apps for home energy management.  The article was wrote by Katie Fehrenbacher of Earth2Tech.  The seven programs listed include home monitoring tools, manual input calculators, utility information interfaces and smart thermostats.  All seven programs provide novel ways for the iPhone user to lessen their energy imprint.  The seven programs are listed below so make sure to check them out if you own the Apple iphone.

iPhone apps for home energy management... read more

Intel is Betting on Renewables

Everyone knows the say, "Put your money where your mouth is." Well, according to a recent CNET Greentech article that is exactly what they are doing.


Intel Renewable Portfolio

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Sandbag Your Carbon Credits

Sandbag, an environmental group that seeks to affect carbon reduction, has a novel approach to the climate problem: buying carbon credits. The group, based in the UK, is using private funds to buy carbon permits in the European Union to make carbon production more expensive for multiple industry.

This approach is centers on negotiating the sale of carbon permits from organizations or businesses that do not take full use of their allotment. Currently, 50% of all carbon produced in the European Union is governed by a carbon cap and trade program. For example, Sandbag recently entered into an agreement with a hospital in England to buy unused carbon credits. These purchased credits are then canceled by the group, making the remaining credits more valuable. This was a foolproof plan until a certain global financial collapse occurred.

Sandbay Carbon Purchase... read more

What is Energy Star?

When shopping for new appliances or electronics, you might see this logo on the box:

Energy Star

But what does the Energy Star certification actually mean?

A little background:  Energy Star was created by the EPA in 1992.  Since then, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the European Union also have the Energy Star certification.  The EPA now estimates that it saved about $19 billion in energy costs in 2008 alone due to Energy Star products AND avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 29 million cars. WOW!  That is impressive! 

From computers to refrigerators, you can get all sorts of Energy Star electronics.   An Energy Star product will also help keep your electric bills down.  When we replaced our old fridge that was already in the house we bought (the fridge wasn't quite of the avocado green era, but the handles did have fake wood paneling!) our electric bill went down significantly on a monthly basis. 

Usually, when you shop for an Energy Star product, they'll have one of those yellow tags on it telling you how much money you can save by using an Energy Star product.... read more

Simple Home Energy Management

Control4, an IP-based home control and entertainment systems company, is announcing a huge new investment of capital to fund an expansion in energy monitoring technology. This move will expand the company's portfolio in networked management of the expanding energy management sector.

Control4 Energy Management

The bread and butter of Control4's business is home theater management.  It networks one's theater and music entertainment through either a console or remote control for a unified system.  Control4 uses either Zigbee or Wi-Fi to network the devices.  But recently the Control4 has been utilizing this technology for other home usage, such as thermostat control and eventually energy management.

The new investment, $17.3 million in equity, is being provided by a conglomerate of interested parties; Best Buy Capital, Mercato Partners and University Venture Fund join current investors Foundation Capital, Frazier Technology Ventures, Thomas Weisel Venture Partners and vSpring Capital.  The reasoning that these interested parties are investing in the company even as Google and Microsoft is producing power management is simple: the display.


Control4 Energy Management

Even if information is available it must still be delivered.  Providing an aesthetically pleasing way to illustrate power usage in a simple graphical manner will be key to widespread adoption.  Contol4 already provides this for the complicated home theater systems in many people's houses.  Therefore, once the energy software is created the interface should be a simple overlay.  The concept is put best by a quote included in the press release.

 ... read more

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