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Continuous Commissioning - Energy:Minute

Continuous commissioning goes by many names. It's a way of making sure building systems are running at peak efficiency. Learn about it, in a minute. (podcast)

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Rooftop Solar Ownership Models - Energy:Minute

When you see solar modules on the roof of a building, they might not actually belong to the building's owner. Two common ownership scenarios have been around for several years. Lately, utilities have been devising new ownership models, to meet renewable energy requirements in their states. Learn the differences, in a minute. (podcast)

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Zero Energy Buildings - "Zero" of What? - Energy:Minute

"Zero energy" is a term we'll see applied to more and more buildings. It means the building produces as much energy on site as it uses. But that's not the whole story. There are many variations. Learn what they mean, in a minute.

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Energy Monitoring - Energy:Minute

You can't manage what you can't measure. Monitoring is an essential component of managing energy use. (podcast) (transcript)

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Building Information Modeling (BIM) - Energy:Minute

Building Information Modeling is a computer-based simulation of a construction project, linked with a database of information about the project. (podcast) (transcript)

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Daylighting for Commercial Buildings

Natural daylight has been steadily regaining popularity for about 25 years, ever since the first studies showed that people have a positive psychological reaction to it. (podcast)

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Split Incentive and the Green Lease

Net leases create a "split incentive" when it comes to making energy-efficiency improvements to commercial buildings. A "green lease" includes terms that share the benefits of lower utility bills. (podcast)

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The Meaning of Zero Energy and Carbon Neutral Buildings

Energy Minute: As we go from discussing energy efficient buildings, to zero-energy and zero-carbon buildings, the definitions steadily become less clear. What exactly to the terms "Zero Energy" and "Carbon Neutral" mean when applied to buildings? (podcast)

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Biomass for Central Heat

Energy Minute: Biomass is slowly gaining popularity for space heat -- in part because it's a renewable energy source, and in part because it's less expensive to operate than a conventional furnace. (podcast)

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Networked Building Controls: Open or Proprietary?

Energy Minute: Systems in a facility can be networked so they can interoperate. Just stringing a wire between a security system and a lighting controller isn't enough. Your choices will affect the life cycle cost of your building or campus.

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Spain's Navarre Region Runs with Renewable Energy

Energy Minute: A small region of Spain is far ahead of almost everyone in its use of renewable energy. It uses wind, solar, biomass and hydro to produce 60 percent of its power. (podcast)

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Smart Meters

Energy Minute: Smart electric meters communicate over a network, so utilities can verify demand response and provide net metering of on-site renewable energy. (podcast)

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Rooftop Concentrating Solar

Energy Minute: Rooftop concentrating solar is a scaled-down version of the technology behind the largest utility-class solar power plants. A handful of companies are working on innovative approaches. They promise to have products on the U.S. market by 2008. (podcast)

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Solar America Initiative

Energy Minute: The U.S. Department of Energy announced $168 million in funding to accelerate solar energy technology development. This brief podcast explains what the research will accomplish and how it will happen. (podcast)

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Can Renewable Energy Help Manage Peak Demand?

Energy Minute: Demand response programs ask customers to stop buying as much power during periods of peak demand, because there's not enough energy to go around. This "triple-shot" Energy Minute examines whether those customers, or the utilities, could somehow use renewable energy instead. (podcast)

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Stirling Engines Generate Power from Practically Any Heat Source

Energy Minute: Stirling engines have been around since the 19th century, but today some small and large applications are bringing them into the limelight. (Podcast)

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Demand Response Programs Help Utilities Avoid Rate Hikes

Energy Minute: Demand response is a program where electricity customers reduce their consumption at critical times. It's a way for utilities to avoid large capital expenditures and postpone rate hikes. (Podcast)

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Solar Glass Offers Unique Option for Glazing

Energy Minute: Building-integrated solar glass generates electricity, often qualifies for financial incentives, and has the uniqueness of custom glazing that generates electricity. (Podcast)

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Norway Floats Energetic Plan: Deepwater Wind Turbines

Energy Minute: The Norwegian company Hydro this week was awarded a concession from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate for placing a floating windmill seven miles offshore in the North Sea. The wind turbines will cost more, but produce more energy. (Podcast)

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Broadband over Powerlines Delivers Internet through the Electric Grid

Energy Minute: Customers with broadband over powerlines, or BPL, can get high-speed internet connections through their electrical outlets. The technology has been around for a long time, but it's getting more attention as demand for broadband grows. (Podcast)

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Peak Demand Management in a Nutshell

An alternative to grid construction is based on changing when energy is used. Several programs are in place across the nation, designed to level the load on the grid by reducing peaks. Consumers use the same amount of electricity, but slightly earlier or later than usual. This example shows how peak demand management works using technology. Programmable thermostats allowed BPA to remotely raise or lower the temperature setting. Using remote switches, BPA also could turn off the heating elements in water heaters, or turn off pool pumps.

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