Nov 2018
Newsletter
SEDAC Announcements

Socialize with SEDAC

Don't miss your chance to join SEDAC for an evening of food, drinks, energy efficiency and networking! We're inviting our friends, colleagues, clients, and supporters to visit our Chicago office to discuss ways we can work together to decrease the energy footprint of the State of Illinois. 

When: December 6, 2018 from 5:30-7:30pm
Where: The National Building
125 S. Clark St., 17th Floor
Chicago, IL 60608

The event is free, but please RSVP here.
Energy Code Training Opportunities
 
Now is a great time to attend SEDAC workshops about the Illinois Energy Conservation Code, as the code will be updated to the 2018 IECC in March, 2019. We'll be hosting the workshop,  "2018 IECC Updates" on December 7, 2018 from 9am-12pm in Wheaton, IL.
Find out more and  register here.
 
Have a question about the Illinois Energy Conservation Code? Call SEDAC at 800-214-7954 or email us at energycode@sedac.org for technical support and individualized guidance. 
 
Funding for this program has been provided in whole or in part by the Illinois EPA Office of Energy.
Condensing vs. non-condensing boilers: What's your opinion?

When working with customers, we frequently recommend purchasing a high-efficiency condensing boiler that modulates. These boilers can be over 20% more efficient than existing systems. Our  Boilers Tech Note makes a strong case for replacing an antiquated boiler with a modern condensing unit.
 
However, we've noticed that not everyone is a fan of condensing boilers. We want to understand why some of you prefer condensing boilers while others do not. 
 
Will you help us? Take this anonymous short survey about boiler preference. We will use what we learn to offer more helpful advice to our customers. We're really hoping to hear from building operators and facilities personnel.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Smart Tip 

SEDAC has analyzed dozens of wastewater treatment facilities, helping them select the most energy efficient options, both for their pocketbook and for the environment. 

Read SEDAC's new and improved Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Smart Tip to get the latest advice on energy efficient equipment and cost effective strategies for saving energy and money. 

Interested in a free energy assessment for your wastewater treatment plant? Apply now for the Illinois Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Assessment Program at sedac.org/wastewater , call us at 800.214.7954 or email us at info@sedac.org to get started. 

Funding for this program has been provided in whole or in part by the Illinois EPA Office of Energy.
Chief Engineers & Facility Managers Conference Call for Papers

Do you have advice to share about a technology or application to improve the efficiency and sustainability of buildings? Consider presenting at the 70th Annual Chief Engineers & Facility Managers Conference, held March 6-7, 2019 in Champaign, IL. 
 
The deadline has been extended for submitting abstracts for papers and presentations. Abstracts are now due by  Friday, November 30th, 2018  to Scott Randall at  svrandal@illinois.edu.  
 
The conference seeks high quality educational presentations on the latest technologies and applications used in the efficient and sustainable operation of buildings. Learn more about potential topics and the conference  here
 
The Conference is organized by the University of Illinois, in partnership with SEDAC. 
Notes from the Field: Preparing for Solar

In this brand new SEDAC newsletter feature, we explore issues that have arisen from our field experience and offer advice about taking advantage of upcoming opportunities. 
 
When we talk with our customers about energy efficiency, we find that many of them are interested in generating their own renewable energy. Now is a great time to be thinking about renewables because of upcoming opportunities available through the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). This groundbreaking legislation will make it easier and more affordable than ever to benefit from renewable energy. 
 
The Illinois Adjustable Block Program will support the development of photovoltaic distributed generation systems (i.e., rooftop solar) through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits. Community solar will allow people to participate in renewable energy generation even if they are unable to have an on-site system. 
 
It's important to act quickly if you want to secure the best pricing. Customers who sign up in an early "block" will be able to lock into higher incentive levels. Once this block of customers fills, new blocks will open up at lower incentive levels. In addition, Federal tax credits  for solar will start declining soon. 

First steps

The Adjustable Block Program is scheduled to open in January, 2019. Here are a few things you can do to prepare. 
  • First, do everything you can to improve the energy efficiency of your building by getting an energy assessment. Using less energy means that you need to generate less energy. 
  • Consider the site conditions. Does your roof get adequate sunlight for solar generation? Is it in good structural condition? Work with a certified solar installer to determine if rooftop solar makes sense. 
  • Find out about the incentives available through the Adjustable Block Program and Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credits. Start the process of securing cash or loans needed to pay for the system.
  • To connect rooftop solar to your utility's electric distribution system, find out about your utility's interconnection and net metering application process.
  • Find out what your city's requirements are for installing rooftop solar. There are zoning policies that impact where solar can be installed, and you may need to go through a permit process to install rooftop solar.
SEDAC offers quick advice and referrals related to energy efficiency and renewables. Contact us at 800.214.7954 or info@sedac.org
Energy Code Tip: Windows
US Dept. of Energy: What Makes a Window Energy Efficient? 

Some people associate energy efficiency with feeling uncomfortable--we sacrifice comfort by turning down the thermostat a few degrees. However, energy efficient improvements are much more likely to  improve  comfort, especially when it comes to windows.   

What the Code Requires:  The Code establishes requirements for U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and air leakage values for windows to make them more energy efficient.
  • U-factor measures thermal transmission through windows. A lower U-factor indicates better insulating properties. Depending on which Climate Zone you are in, the maximum U-factor allowed by the energy code for residential windows in Illinois is U-0.35 or U-0.32 (U-0.32 or U-0.30 when the Code is updated to the 2018 IECC in March of 2019). This is substantially lower than a typical single pane (1.0) or double pane window (0.5).
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) indicates how well a product blocks heat from sunlight. SHGC is a number between 0 and 1 (the lower the SHGC, the less solar heat transmitted). For commercial buildings, the SHGC requirements depend on the zone, the orientation of the window and the projection factor, and range from 0.40 to 0.64. See Table C402.4 of the 2015 IECC. Blocking heat from the sun is particularly important when large expanses of glass are present. Excessive heat gain can contribute to uncomfortable conditions and increase cooling loads. 
  • The Code also has requirements for sealing the space between windows and framing, and requires air leakage testing of residential buildings. The maximum air leakage rate for fenestration assemblies in commercial buildings is 0.20 cfm/sf. 
  • The Code also specifies how much vertical wall area can be allotted to windows.
Why this matters:  Heat is lost or gained through a window from direct conduction through the glass and frame, convection currents between the panes of glass, radiation into and out of a building, and air leakage. Following code requirements will lower heating, cooling, and lighting costs and make buildings more comfortable. 
 
Learn more about building envelope requirements in our Energy Code  online courses .
SEDAC is an applied research center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,  
working in collaboration with 360 Energy Group. SEDAC provides technical assistance and performs research to reduce energy consumption. SEDAC also provides energy efficiency services to Illinois public sector agencies through the utility energy efficiency programs.  

sedac.org / 800-214-7954 / info@sedac.org
Providing effective energy strategies for buildings and communities