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Small embedded data centers in Wisconsin

SEDCs are one of the fastest growing end uses of electrical energy in commercial buildings. This equipment consumes approximately 98 GWh annually at a cost to Wisconsin businesses of $10.7 million. Almost one third of this energy use is unnecessary and could be reduced through a range of IT measures and strategies, many of which are eligible for Focus on Energy incentives. We conducted a study to provide Focus on Energy a better understanding of number, type and efficiency level of SEDCs in Wisconsin.

Residential heating/cooling installation and maintenance

We conducted research on residential heating and cooling systems in Minnesota homes to help improve installation and maintenance practices for furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps. The study is supported by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources and will provide useful information for existing efficiency programs run by Minnesota’s electric and natural gas utilities.

Rooftop units in commercial buildings

Minnesota findings RTUs are used in more than one third of U.S. commercial buildings, the highest of any cooling equipment type. Why? They are reliable and have a low capital cost, as well as established service and distribution networks. There is anecdotal evidence, however, that these systems operate inefficiently. To validate or refute this evidence, we conducted a multi-level field study sponsored by Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources.

Plug load in office buildings

In this field research study funded by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources, we demonstrated and measured savings from potential plug load reduction strategies in office buildings. We also characterized the types of devices and baseline usage in those offices, and documented occupant acceptance, operational issues and the cost-effectiveness of reduction strategies.

Potential energy savings in manufactured homes

The manufactured home market offers an affordable housing option—and sometimes the only option—for many would-be homeowners. Residents of manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes) are more likely to be low-income than residents of other single-family homes, and energy costs may comprise a larger portion of their monthly expenses. With funding from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources, we conducted a large-scale field study of Minnesota’s manufactured homes to identify energy savings potential and help inform energy efficiency programs that will save residents money.