Trying to get the boss to invest in energy efficiency upgrades is often an uphill climb, but channeling such efforts through a quality management process may help level the field. By portraying energy waste as a "defect" requiring correction, some have used such methodologies (e.g., TQM, ISO 14001, Six Sigma) to secure superiors' support. Each process includes problem definition, measurement, analysis, and continuous improvement. All involve senior management personnel as part of a team approach.
Federally chartered independent system operators (ISOs) now control the power grids and wholesale markets for more than half the retail power customers in the U.S. In such areas, electric bills may soon (or already) include a charge to pay for keeping installed generating capac-ity (ICAP) available regardless of how much electricity it actually produces. While that ICAP charge is controversial (some regions avoid or have fought against it), power customers having backup generators may also be able to make money from it.
Many engineers tend to avoid or delegate the nitty gritty of a ground source heat pump system, from soil moisture effects to building system (im) balance. It's time for designers to get in the loop. Learn more about Grounded In Reality in the December issue. Other topics in the December issue include health care HVAC, Boilders, check out the Back2Basics, and more.