University of Nebraska Lincoln Selected for Home Energy Efficiency Research Partnership
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineers and architects, partnering with University of Florida researchers, Nebraska home builders, remodelers and other businesses are doing research to develop and improve technologies for making homes more energy efficient.
Beginning in September 2010, the University became eligible to receive up to $2.5 million per year in U.S. Department of Energy funding over the next 4.5 years for work to identify, test and validate energy efficiency measures in new and existing homes. The funding comes from a $30 million grant to improve energy efficiency in American homes.
Specific studies will explore how to improve an existing home's insulation, install renewable energy systems at a lower cost, create a sustainable retrofit market and improve space heating and cooling efficiency. Researchers also will identify the most cost-effective strategies to improve a given home's energy efficiency.
Jonathan Shi, professor in UNL's College of Engineering, heads the team.Private sector partners include Nebraska-based builders HearthStone Homes, Rezac Construction and Excite Builders, the Home Builders Association of Lincoln, Lincoln Remodelers Council, Omaha's Holy Name Housing Corp., Lincoln's Kinder Porter Scott Family Foundation, the cities of Lincoln and Omaha and utilities including Omaha Public Power District and Black Hills Energy.
Shi said the federal goal is to retrofit about 6 million homes each year and achieve energy savings of 20 percent over the next five years, and 50 percent by 2025, which would reduce energy consumption and save homeowners money.BioTrucker.com Helps Drivers Find Biodiesel
Biodiesel fuel is sold at truck stops and fueling stations across Nebraska. Now a new website makes it easier for truckers to find fueling stations that sell biodiesel. At BioTrucker.com drivers can find a wealth of information on biodiesel fueling locations and biodiesel news, as well as helpful information on receiving discounts on biodiesel fuel purchases. Truckers can also call 1-866-246-3437 for more information.
U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Release 2012 Annual Fuel Economy Guide
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy released the 2012 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with information about estimated mileage and fuel costs for model year 2012 vehicles. Choosing the most fuel efficient vehicle in a class will save consumers money and reduce carbon pollution.
Fuel-efficient models come in all types, classes, and sizes. The 2012 Fuel Economy Guide can help consumers easily identify the most fuel efficient vehicles that meet their needs. Overall, the best fuel economy performers are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles which are hybrids with high capacity batteries, but the 2012 fuel economy leader list also includes fuel efficient clean diesels as well as gasoline models.
Each vehicle listing in the guide provides an estimated annual fuel cost. The estimate is calculated based on the vehicle's miles per gallon rating and national estimates for annual mileage and fuel prices. The online version of the guide allows consumers to input their local gasoline prices and typical driving habits to receive a personalized fuel cost estimate.
The 2012 Fuel Economy Guide also features a section which allows consumers to compare vehicles side-by-side. By entering two or more vehicles' year, make, model and engine size, the Fuel Economy Guide shows consumers each vehicle's miles per gallon, cost to fill the tank, and tank size along with other information that can help make purchasing decisions.
The federal agencies will provide additional fuel economy information online as more 2012 vehicles, including electric and plug-in hybrid cars, become available.
In addition to being available on the website and in automobile dealer showrooms, the Fuel Economy Guide is also readily accessible from many mobile devices (fueleconomy.gov/m).
More information, including a complete version of the guide is available at www.fueleconomy.gov.
View the most and least efficient 2012 vehicle models at www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/best-worst.shtml.