Archive for July, 2009

Consortium for Energy Efficiency

July 28, 2009

MODELA~1Recently I have written about the short-comings of the LEED building rating system in relation to building-wide energy efficiency performance.

There are alternatives.

Up in Boston the Consortium for Energy Efficiency is addressing building-wide analysis to coincide with the DOE Energy Star Program. The consortium publishes criteria used by Energy Authorities such as NYSERDA and Building Owners’ Associations such as BOMA. For example, to establish the meaning of “High Output” T8 fluorescent lighting systems, one goes to and finds both prescriptive and performance criteria for ballasts and lamps, and either criteria may be used as a qualifier.

CEE also conducts program development to assist electric utilities with criteria they use for their PSC-mandated energy efficiency programs.

Model of International Place, Boston, Johnson Burgee Architects, curtain wall design D. A. Booth and Salvador Behar.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

July 27, 2009


NYSERDA have been designated as the NYS agency that shall distribute ARRA funds to applicants. NYSERDA solicitation PON 4 is now accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

Unlike typical NYSERDA programs which are funded from the System Benefit Charge collected from the electric and gas utilities, PON 4 grants will use federal funds. Another key distinction from typical NYSERDA programs: municipalities that purchase power from NYPA and LIPA qualify for PON 4.

The solicitation is geared to NYS municipalities, schools, colleges and non-profits. The intent of PON 4 is to produce projects that achieve Energy Conservation.

Enterprises may combine projects into a joint application to reduce the time and effort in applying.


The 164-kilometer, 21st and final stage of the Tour concluded yesterday with a Mark Cavendish sprint victory.

Overall Tour Winner: Alberto Contador

Second Place: Andy Schleck

Third Place: Lance Armstrong.

Cycling is a pretty efficient activity, however, it costs a cyclist in the range of 0.3-0.4 calories per kilometer cycled per kg of body mass—or about 25-30 calories per km. A 180 km stage will cost an athlete around 4000 calories, depending on the amount of drafting. A cyclist’s total energy expenditure for one day of the tour is very high. His Resting Metabolitc Rate (1500 cal) plus his exercising energy expenditure (4000 cal) adds up to 5500 calories, which is probably the equivalent of 15+ cheeseburgers! So just to remain in energy balance a Tour rider must consume 5000+ calories a day.


Efficient Lighting

July 23, 2009

money stackMeXSI participates in a NYSERDA program called Commercial Lighting.

This allows us to offer free lighting design and payback analysis for customers in the Con Ed territory.

All we need to start is a copy of the customer’s Con Ed invoice.

090723 A-3-4ADD3 Layout1 (1)

Customers taking advantage of this are not required to build or install the scheme in any way, the design and energy analysis is at no cost to the customer. No written agreements are required as there is no exchange of funds between the customer and MeXSI.

Once installed, the normal NYSERDA installation rebates apply and are available to the customer.



passerelle_debilly_2012-337-year-old Lance Armstrong did some torrid climbing in yesterday’s grueling mountain stage, the toughest of this year’s tour. He emerged from the second chase group on the last climb,  summitted fifth, hammered the downhill at 50 MPH, and crossed the finish line fourth for the stage. He helped defend the lead of teammate Alberto Contador, who is trying to emerge as the new Patron of the peloton. Contador chased all attacks and decided the winner of the stage should be Frank Schleck, gracefully refusing to sprint and crossing second himself. Today is the last Time Trial, and Lance, currently fourth, will make up time on Schleck’s brother Andy,  and set himself for a podium finish in the city of lights.

Photo of Passerelle

Energy Links

July 18, 2009

untitled NYC jpeg

*Electricians show a marked preference for LED lighting, according to a survey with 2,100 respondents.

* The “New Energy Crisis” is here, more or less.

* Ocean Thermal Conversion is being studied as a way to vitiate the power of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. Any readers willing to study the thermodynamics and feasibility of this scheme are invited to write in. Some smart guys seem to think it has a chance of working.

* Natural gas futures are bouncing off $3.60/ Million BTU.

* A very credible source reports that the NYC Council is considering a Local Law mandating energy audits for buildings over 50,000 SF, with mandatory ECM implementation of all ECM with under a four or five year payback.

* The NYC DoB has begun auditing submitted plans for energy code compliance. An often-used and good program, ResChek, is only applicable to 1 and 2 family dwellings, and as such compliance with ResChek does not signify energy code compliance.


stage-14Tour de France experts have been waiting for Lance and team mate Alberto Contador to finally take control in the Alps. Now, the Alps are finally on the horizon, with the Armstrong-Contador showdown for the yellow jersey nearly upon us. Whether George Hincapie can put up any further challenges after today is unknown. After 14 stages, Nocentini retains the yellow for another day, Lance is fourth at +0:08, conserving energy while relinquishing no time to the leader in today’s stage.

LED Links

July 14, 2009


* President Obama meets with Cree CEO to discuss LED lighting.

* DOE-sponsored workshop on Solid State Lighting opened today in the windy city.

* Seoul Semiconductor P4 Series Natural White LED achieves a Color Rating Index of 93.

* USA companies Microchip and National Semiconductor provide the Driver Integrated Circuits for Seoul Semiconductor P4 Series LED.

* NYSERDA is making US$10 million available to energy efficient lighting manufacturers to expand production in NYS.

* The NYS Bridge Authority has lit the Mid-Hudson Bridge with RGB LED.

* Texas bans lighting designers, deems architects and engineers only ones qualified to provide lighting services.


Lance maintained his third place standing, 0:08 behind, finishing today’s stage within the peloton. Tomorrow the Tour heads back to the flats after two mountain stages. The lights of Paris are 12 stages away.


B&W photo courtesy Arquitecto Moises Levi

NYSERDA Generator Rebate

July 10, 2009


NYSERDA have increased their rebates for gen-sets located in Con Ed service territories from $160./kW to $200./kW.

Here is what the PM wrote me in this regard:


“The incentives you are referencing ($600/kW) are for a Combined Heat and Power projects, not gen sets used in response the NYISO’s ICAP/SCR program.  On page 8 of the document for the EFP there are incentives ($200/kW) listed for emergency/backup generators that are registered with the NYISO’s ICAP/SCR program.  These incentives require new generators to meet the most recent federal manufacturers New Source Performance Standards for emissions criteria.  Existing generators must emit less than 7.5 g/bhp-h of NOx.  or DEC regulations that may supersede this requirement.  These generators must be properly permitted and run only for emergency purposes or NYISO/SCR events.

“Senior Project Manager”

EPA Tier 3 emissions requirements apply to generators under 750 horsepower, and Tier 2 apply to those over 750 hp. Those are the NYSERDA guidelines; Cummins makes generators which meet the guidelines.

The bottom line: based on conservative construction cost estimates which we run for real projects, those nice folks at NYSERDA and Con Ed are giving customers 30% of the capital cost for generator projects. They calculate that rebating distributed generation is cheaper than upgrading transmission infrastructure.

Customers will also realize cash flow from the NYISO programs referenced.


Lance is in second place, 0.00 behind, as they head into the mountain stages. Today’s stage is a series of ascents and descents in peloton. During uphill time trials, cyclist ouput average .39 kW, or 1/2 hp.



July 7, 2009

Image4NYSERDA has divided the Loan Fund into two programs, Residential and Commercial. The residential portion remains open and funded. The Commercial portion is closed. It was meant to have reopened in the Spring of 2009. In response to my voicemail about its status, the PM wrote as follows:

“Hello Sal-

“I was on vacation for the holiday and didn’t get your voice mail till this morning.  The Loan Fund is waiting for the approval of at least 2 different funding sources.  Unfortunately we have no way of knowing when those funds will be released.  So I am conservatively saying that the Commercial Loan Fund will remain closed till the end of the year.   If funding becomes available before then, a notice will appear on our website and in the contract reporter… Thank you for your interest in the program!


“Project Manager, Energy Efficiency Services”

Projects contemplated to be submitted to either Loan Fund are allowed to be designed prior to Loan Fund application, unlike some of the NYSERDA grant programs. This is the protocol we followed with a Loan Fund application which lent  funds for the implementation of a central heating/cooling plant project.


Lance won his 12th career Tour de France time trial today, in the Team Time Trial. At maximum output, Lance can produce 1 kW of power, enough to power, well… at 240V, thats 2.41A.

Lighting Links

July 2, 2009


* DOE has new Energy Star rating criteria related to Solid State Lighting. For outdoor pole-mounted area and roadway luminaires, application requirements are a minimum light output from the luminaire of 1,000 lumens (initial).

* The OSRAM Sylvania CEO discusses lighting retrofits as they relate to the ARRA.

* 40W LED retrofit kit is now available in either Type III or Type V light distribution pattern.

* NYC enterprise and non-profit customers can now receive rebates for demand reductions. For a single outdoor fixture retrofitted from 175W metal halide lamp (plus 35W ballast) to 54W plug load LED, the rebate comes to $109. per fixture. This is cash, not tax breaks.

* Two elite NYC colleges have begun their LED exterior lighting retrofits. Call for details and scoop the press releases.

Photo of historic fixture fronting Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building. Reason for quintuple array: natural gas lamps had low efficacy.

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