Energy blogs

  • WikiSysop
    1 Sep 2014 - 18:34 by WikiSysop

    Bioenergy: America's Energy Future is a short documentary film showcasing examples of bioenergy innovations across the biomass supply chain and the United States. The film highlights a few stories of individuals and companies who are passionate about achieving the promise of biofuels and addressing the challenges of developing a thriving bioeconomy. This outreach product supports media initiatives to expand the public’s understanding of the bioenergy industry and sustainable transportation and was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Green Focus Films, and BCS, Incorporated.
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  • WikiSysop
    22 Aug 2014 - 11:12 by WikiSysop

    The city of Knoxville is in the running for a $5 million prize that could be applied to public and community efforts to reduce energy consumption. Watch the video about this in the link below, then post comments, suggestions, questions, etc. as a response to this post.

  • WikiSysop
    12 Aug 2014 - 14:18 by WikiSysop

    Wearable technology devices are arguably one of the most interesting advances in the past few years. While the format is not there yet, and most wearable devices are abandoned within a short amount of time by their users, the more unobtrusive and low maintenance devices may start catching on soon. Here's an interesting article about some of the most recent advances:

    What do you think about wearables? Would you wear them? What would convince you to wear a communications device?

  • Ewilson
    21 Jul 2014 - 16:34 by Ewilson
    Utility Rate

    NREL, in collaboration with Illinois State University, with funding from the Department of Energy Sunshot Program, has enhanced the U.S. Utility Rate Database with the following new features:

    • - Ability to download entire utility rate database as a CSV file
    • - More powerful searching and filtering capabilities (e.g., commercial rates for zip code 94102)
    • - Increased speed and flexibility (by moving the database from Semantic Media Wiki to MongoDB)
    • - Improved quality control and automated error checking mechanisms
    • - Historical tracking of rate changes (using the “supersedes” field)
    • - New fields to accommodate additional types of utility rate structures
    • - More intuitive data structures in machine-readable JSON schema (see comment below for specific JSON schema changes)
    • - Better geographic lookup capabilities (single API call to return rates for an address/ZIP/lat.-long.)
    • - Improved website access (
    • - Better tracking of database usage using API keys (coming soon)

    Illinois State University continues to populate the database with additional utility companies and rates. Unlike the previous wiki-based database, users do not have editing privileges by default. If you’d like to contribute to the database, send us an email:

    The recent progress on capturing rates can be seen in the maps below. As of July 10, 2014, the database has over 45,000 rates included covering nearly all 3,500 utilities across the United States.

    Coverage as of July 10, 2014

    OpenEI URDB Coverage Map as of July 10, 2014

    Coverage as of March 13, 2012 (for comparison purposes)

    OpenEI URDB Coverage Map as of March 13, 2013

    The URDB can be accessed in several ways (and hopefully more to come):

    Via the System Advisor Model for PV economic value analysis. See for more information about downloading the free SAM tool and how utility rates can be used within the tool.

    Via the BEopt (Building Energy Optimization) software for residential energy modeling and economic optimization of efficiency and PV. See for more information about downloading the free BEopt software and how utility rates can be used within the tool.

    The direct link to the interactive website for the URDB is:

    Version 3 API documentation can be found here:

    1 comment(s)
  • Jleyshon
    17 Jul 2014 - 13:42 by Jleyshon

    Deadline - July 31, 2014

    The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) RFP (Sol. # SPE600-14-R-0415) seeking up to 830,843 megawatt-hours of renewable energy certificates (RECs) for ultimate transfer to U.S. Air Force and various Federal Civilian Agencies to include one-time deliveries in September 2014; quarterly deliveries starting in December 2014 and ending in September 2015; and a two-year delivery period beginning in May 2015 and ending May 2016. The agency will accept RECs generated from wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and tidal electric power generation facilities.
    Contact: Brandon Budman, 703-767-8901

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