Wind turbines above a wheat field

Iowa Energy Storage Report: Can more storage get us to renewables faster?

In 2020, Slipstream partnered with Synapse Energy Economics (Synapse) of Cambridge, MA to evaluate the benefits and potential barriers of expanding energy storage in Iowa. Continue reading

Energy use by residential gas water heaters: a technical field study in 10 Wisconsin homes

Published: 2010 As part of a larger national project investigating the performance of residential gas-fired water heaters, the Energy Center of Wisconsin has monitored and evaluated performance of several types of water heaters in 10 southern Wisconsin homes. Report number: 254-1 Continue reading
paper house in grass

Energy efficiency pays off for low-income households

The national Weatherization Assistance Program has been working to reduce the energy burden on low-income households for more than 40 years. And it works! Households continue to reap savings years after weatherization. Households participating in Wisconsin's Home Energy Plus Low-Income Weatherization program can save $500 each year on average. Their homes are more energy efficient and more comfortable—warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer. Continue reading
heating and cooling

Heat pumps: Gaining ground in cold climates

There are many advantages to using a heat pump versus another heating and cooling system that uses fossil fuels—even in cold climates. This article, sponsored by Xcel Energy, describes how education, better training, and marketing programs can help heat pumps gain ground in cold climates. Andrew Kotila, Slipstream program manager, shared his recommendations on promoting this advancing technology. Thank you to Xcel Energy and Building Performance Journal for the opportunity to share this article. Continue reading
commercial building plans

Codes push building performance forward. Efficiency programs don’t need to be left behind.

Minnesota raised the bar on commercial building energy performance with historic code advancements. Utilities still have a vital role to play in the commercial new construction market. But how will the utility role change? Continue reading
commercial building

Add Retro-commissioning to energy efficiency programs to boost savings results

Slipstream’s field study found that programs that add retro-commissioning (RCx) can recapture energy savings that are lost as buildings age. Our report outlines triggers to identify the most promising targets for RCx and the important role training can play. Continue reading
Dane counties

Slipstream supports Dane county communities in developing energy plans to reduce energy consumption

Many of the largest US cities adopted ambitious goals to reduce their energy and carbon emissions. However, not all communities have the same resources to tackle complex issues of reducing overall energy consumption. To leverage the resources that collaboration can provide, seven communities in Dane County (Fitchburg, Marshall, Middleton, Monona, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, and Waunakee) came together to develop energy plans that provide clear guidance on near term actions for each community. Continue reading
building with wireless communication network

Better buildings, cleaner grid. Slipstream commits to new solutions around building/grid interaction

Why are so many utilities pivoting to grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEB)? Because load flexibility is becoming as important to decarbonization as energy efficiency. In some jurisdictions, utility demand charges can be 30-70% of a customer’s utility bill. Utilities and clean grid advocates see real potential in GEB. Utilities can use flexible building loads to help mitigate grid stresses in peak demand periods and help keep fossil fueled power plants offline. GEB can provide certain grid services like load shifting, load shedding, and modulation. Continue reading
smart grid

How can we make our building systems work together to interact effectively with the grid? We discover how commercial buildings can become better grid citizens.

Peak demand patterns are changing and stressing the grid in new ways. What if our buildings could mitigate grid stress during peak demand? Connected lighting. Automated shades. Intelligent energy storage. Slipstream is analyzing how, when these systems work together, we can achieve maximum flexible load for the grid. We will design and implement the integrated systems on two real buildings. We’ll find out how these systems work for the grid and for people. Continue reading
supermarket refrigeration

What is the best method to harness thermal energy storage in refrigeration systems?

Industrial refrigeration consumes more energy per cubic foot than any other utility load. Refrigerated facilities are energy intense and have a large peak demand. This demand creates significant impact on the grid. For an owner or operator, these facilities are expensive to operate. Thermal storage creates the opportunity to save energy and reduce or shift peak demand – resulting in energy cost savings. It also increases system resiliency. Continue reading