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May 5, 2011

Energy Efficiency as the First Line of Defense – Nicole Biggart EEC Director

To enhance U.S. energy security, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and strengthen the economy, the Obama Administration has made clean and renewable energy a top priority. But most of the payoff for that investment will be over the long term. Energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest and cleanest solution to implement now. Professor Nicole Woolsey Biggart, director of the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, shared her insights on energy efficiency at the 14th annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles in May. She joined Geoff Chapin, founder and CEO of Next Step Living Inc., James Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions, and David Arfin, CEO of First Energy Finance, to address ways to accelerate energy efficiency technologies, practices and behavioral changes. Established in 1998 by the non-partisan think tank, the Milken Institute Global Conference explores the most pressing social, political and economic challenges. Among the participants are hundreds of CEOs from the world’s top-tier companies, senior foreign and U.S. government officials, forward-thinking academic experts, journalists, and leaders in global capital markets, education, health care and philanthropy.

Biggart continues travel to top business schools and international conferences to present her research on how commercial construction industry practices thwart the use of more efficient, innovative and greener technologies. Most recently, she shared this research, co-authored with Professor Thomas D. Beamish of the UC Davis Sociology Department, at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, and at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

In November Biggart served as a biennial Advisory Board member at one of Germany’s most prestigious and successful research organizations, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. The institute’s interests include economic sociology and political economy with specific focus on the European Union. Biggart was among eight international scholars invited to review research productivity and trajectories of the Institute.

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April 11, 2011

EEC Associate Director Turrentine quoted in The Miami Herald

EEC Associate Director and UC Davis Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Research Center Director Tom Turrentine was recently quoted in The Miami Herald article titled "Will buying an electric car make an environmental difference?". For the entire article, go to:

March 22, 2011

EEC Associate Director Siminovitch quoted in The New York Times

EEC Associate Director and UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center director Michael Siminovitch was recently quoted in The New York Times business section article titled "In Battle of the Bulbs, One Based on TV Tubes". For the entire article, go to:

February 6, 2011

UC Davis to Cut Energy Use by 60 Percent

The University of California, Davis and the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) have announced a commitment to reduce the campus’s electricity use for lighting by 60% by the end of 2015. The Smart Lighting Initiative makes UC Davis the first large institution to commit to a sweeping cut in energy use after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) released a plan in September to leverage advanced products and best practices to transform the lighting market and achieve a 60-80% reduction in statewide electrical lighting energy consumption.

The UC Davis initiative would reduce campus electricity use by about 30 million kWh and its carbon footprint by about 6,650 metric tons of CO2E. The university would save an estimated $3 million annually in electric costs, in addition to savings from reduced cooling needs and maintenance costs.


February 3, 2011

UC Davis’ Western Regional Cooling Challenge inspires National Cooling Challenge

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced today its progress towards developing a national public-private partnership that will drive innovation and high-efficiency into new Rooftop Air Conditioning Units (RTUs) offered in the market. Two years ago, UC Davis' Western Cooling Efficiency Center launched a similarly designed effort to facilitate the mass-production of high-efficiency RTUs that are particularly well-suited to the dry, arid climate of the Western U.S. UC Davis' Western Cooling Challenge has been a success in generating high-efficient low peak RTU products and is a model that inspired the development of DOE's national challenge.

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February 1, 2011

Fellowships available for UCD Ph.D Engineering Students

The Renewable Energy Systems Opportunity for Unified Research Collaboration and Education Program—pairs Ph.D. engineering students working on renewable energy technologies with Sacramento-area 6th grade teachers to develop and teach innovative science curriculum. This includes lessons on general energy concepts (kinds and sources of energy, renewable vs. non-renewable energy), as well as lessons related to each Fellow’s specific research (e.g., improving biofuel feedstocks, wind turbines). Fellows hone their communication, collaboration, and teaching skills plus receive an annual stipend of $30,000, in-state fees, and travel reimbursement. Applications are now being accepted for fellowships that start July 1, 2011.

January 11, 2011

Use your gaming skills for research: Microsoft Kinect to control buildings

HVAC Sensors and Controls Based on the Microsoft Kinect

The Kinect is a new gaming device that attaches to any Microsoft Xbox. The Kinect has voice recognition, facial recognition, motion sensing, and skeletal tracking. Together, these features offer revolutionary new opportunities for games and
control of home electronics. These same features offer equally revolutionary opportunities for sensing and control of the indoor environment. Can they also be harnessed to save energy? Create an improved user interface to the building’s
environmental controls? Join the team to investigate and prototype environmental controls and sensors based on the Kinect and other advanced game boxes.

You can get course credit immediately and possibly a real job in future quarters. Graduate students and Juniors/Seniors (including non-engineers) are welcome.

For more information, please contact: Alan Meier akmeier [at] ucdavis [dot] edu

December 15, 2010

Alan Meier, Energy Efficiency Center Associate Director featured on Sea Change Radio

This nationally syndicated weekly radio show and podcast, which focuses on social, environmental, and economic sustainability, features Alan Meier a UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center Associate Director, scientist at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studier, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Sea Change Radio identifies Meier as "the foremost authority on standby power." Listen to the program at:

September 30, 2010

Associate Director Alan Meier Quoted in Washington Post Article on Energy Efficiency in the US Residential Sector

Washington Post staff writer David A. Fahrenthold discusses trends in energy efficiency of American homes. Alan is quoted on the 3rd page of the article, when the topic shifts to the prospect of future dramatic reductions in energy usage.

August 13, 2010

UC Davis Faculty and Cooling Expert Mark Modera featured in National Geographic article

Mark Modera, the Sempra Chair in Energy Efficiency, is Director of the Western Cooling Efficiency Center and Associate Director of the Energy Efficiency Center at UC Davis. He is faculty in the Civil & Environmental Engineering department and an expert on disruptive HVAC products and solutions. He is quoted in a recent National Geographic article discussing the challenges and opportunities facing advanced, energy-efficienct cooling technologies.

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