January 2020 Newsletter

#EnergyTrends #January #Newsletter


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Happy New Year! We hope energy efficiency made it onto your list of resolutions this year. Working collectively, we can lower the energy footprint here in Illinois. Check out our list of energy trends to look for in 2020 and learn more by visiting our website.



What is COMcheck?

The U.S. Department of Energy developed COMcheck, a software used to track commercial energy compliance. With the necessary building data, COMcheck can tell a user whether they meet the latest International Energy Conservation Code or ASHRAE 90.1 Standard.


COMcheck is used by general contractors, lighting installers, architects, code officials, and other industry professionals to indicate what percentage of the building's proposed systems pass or fail the code requirements. It combines mandatory and prescriptive provisions with envelope trade-offs. This means that if the envelope does not meet the energy requirements in one area, it can make up for it by exceeding requirements in another area. The software helps clarify trade-offs and prescriptive requirements and aids in interpretation of the code. COMcheck is available as a free download or online application.


For new homes, additions, or alterations, architects and contractors can use REScheck to determine energy code eligibility. Like COMcheck, this software combines mandatory and prescriptive provisions with envelope trade-offs. REScheck can also be used free through download or online use.


The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), a partnership between 360 Energy Group and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offers free online courses which can be accessed here. Learn more about these energy code tools with the latest course offerings, REScheck Walk-through and COMcheck Walk-through. Participants who take one of our online courses can earn continuing education credits from the International Code Council (ICC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).


Simon Says

For better temperature control and less energy consumption, consider ductless mini-splits. Like conventional split systems, ductless mini-splits are air conditioning systems composed of an indoor evaporator section and outdoor condenser section but are much smaller and do not require ductwork.


From an energy perspective, the advantage of ductless mini-splits is their modularity. Each unit conditions a small zone and units can be turned on or off based on zone demand. A centralized system does not allow for this level of control flexibility and must condition all zones at the same time. Mini-splits work best in retrofit scenarios where air conditioning is being added, in small spaces with unique runtimes and temperature requirements, and in spaces where the cooling load cannot be met with the centralized system.


The Social Media Corner



New Tool to Help Municipalities Optimize Energy Policies


The ACEEE launched a new tool for municipalities to benchmark and evaluate their community's clean energy efforts. Read more in our latest blog post.





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