The following is an alphabetical list of field descriptions in the E3TNW.org database. Quantitative fields have accompanying comments fields so the author can explain the basis for the quantitative data, which may include data sources, calculations, assumptions, and methodologies.
Organizations and/or individuals that have concluded that this emerging technology has potential for cost-effective energy savings. These are unbiased sources, and do not include product manufacturers.
The envisioned application for a technology. Some emerging technologies may have more than one database record to reflect multiple major applications.
The incumbent technology in a given application, identified for replacement by the emerging technology. In some cases, a group of conventional technologies will best represent the baseline. For example, incandescent, fluorescent, and metal halide lamps could be replaced by LED lamps in a parking garage. In this case, the Baseline Energy Use, First Cost, and Potential Number of Units Replaced by This Technology are based on a pro-rated value for this group of incumbent technologies (e.g., 40% incandescent, 30% fluorescent, 30% metal halide).
Baseline Energy Use:
The estimated electricity use by the baseline technology and application in a typical year, expressed as kWh per unit-year. Use of other energy sources (e.g., natural gas) is not accounted for. The Units (e.g., square foot, ton, or horsepower) for each record are defined in an accompanying field.
Best Estimate of Energy Savings:
Estimates of the difference in annual electricity use between the emerging technology and its Baseline in a given application, based on the most credible data sources we are aware of. Energy savings can be expressed as a range and a typical value or percent.
Descriptions of competing technologies and how they compare with the featured emerging technology now and how they are likely to compare in the future.
An estimate of simple payback in years, for both new construction and retrofit installation. This field is automatically calculated. If the Best Estimate of Energy Savings is expressed as a range, the cost effectiveness will also be expressed as a range. It is assumed that the installation cost is the same for baseline and energy-efficient equipment, but when this is not the case, the split of total costs between equipment and installation may be intentionally modified to compensate for this. This field also assumes that the installation cost is irrelevant for new construction or replacement of failed equipment; installation costs are applied to voluntary retrofitting of operable equipment. Cost effectiveness does not account for savings of other fuels, such as natural gas, so the overall cost effectiveness that a building owner experiences could be greater than what is expressed. It also does not account for impacts of the emerging technology on Operation and Maintenance Costs. In many cases, there is little or no difference in maintenance costs between new and old technologies, but if the emerging technology lasts five times longer, this could also result in an actual cost effectiveness that is better than what is calculated in this field.
A more detailed description of an emerging technology: how it works, good and bad applications, why it is important, impacts on other energy systems, etc.
The expected life of the technology.
Energy Savings Reliability (ESR):
The reliability of the Best Estimate of Energy Savings based on how thoroughly and comprehensively the technologies have been studied and tested. The six levels of ESR include:
- 1. Concept not Validated: Claims of energy savings may not be credible due to lack of documentation or validation by unbiased experts.
- 2. Concept Validated: An unbiased expert has validated efficiency concepts through technical review and calculations based on engineering principles.
- 3. Limited Assessment: An unbiased expert has measured technology characteristics and factors of energy use through one or more tests in typical applications with a clear baseline.
- 4. Extensive Assessment: Additional testing in relevant applications and environments has increased knowledge of performance across a broad range of products, applications, and system conditions. Applications are described with greater precision, leading to specification of a measure for reliable improvement in efficiency over baseline.
- 5. Comprehensive Analysis: Results of lab and field tests have been used to develop methods for reliable prediction of performance across the range of intended applications. Measures are approved for deployment in demonstrations or pilot programs.
- 6. Approved Measure: Protocols for technology application are established and approved.
A two-level taxonomy to aid in searching, including energy systems (such as lighting, HVAC, and water heating) as well as subsystems within each energy system.
Energy Use of Emerging Technology:
An automatically calculated field based on Baseline Energy Use and Best Estimate of Energy Savings.
The cost of baseline and energy-efficient equipment as well as the cost of installation. As with all quantitative fields, this is the cost per Unit (typically per square foot). This can be a problematic field. In some cases, the Baseline technology does not involve any installation (such as not installing window film). Costs can vary significantly with the volume of a purchase order and the specific product purchased (a low-cost functional model versus a high-cost designer model), and costs for emerging technologies can change rapidly (LEDs are a good example of this). Furthermore, accurate costs can be hard to obtain because case studies may be limited or unavailable, and vendors may be reluctant to share accurate cost information with someone who is clearly not a customer. The comments field may include notes about the relative costs of alternative baseline technologies.
Manufacturer’s Energy Savings Claims:
Energy savings claims from manufacturers’ websites, brochures, and conversations, expressed as low, high, and/or typical values, along with comments about the assumptions or applications noted by the manufacturer to put the claim in context.
Operation and Maintenance Costs: The approximate cost of annual operation and maintenance for the baseline and emerging technologies. This can be quite difficult to estimate, so this field is often left blank if there are no appreciable differences in the O&M costs between the two technologies.
Potential Number of Units Replaced by This Technology:
The approximate maximum number of potential applications in the Northwest Region (the BPA service territory*) where this technology could replace the baseline technology. This number is a rough estimate of the number of product replacements that could occur in a perfect world where the product is free and everyone loves it, so this value is larger than the economic or achievable potential.
*The BPA service territory includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and the eastern portion of Montana, as well as small parts of eastern Montana, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.
Regional Technical Potential:
An estimate of the technical potential for electricity conservation in the region for a given application of an emerging technology. It is expressed in TWh (terawatt-hours) per year and aMW (average megawatts). One TWh is equal to a billion kWh and to 114.15 aMW. This field is automatically calculated based on the Best Estimate of Energy Savings, Baseline Energy Use, and the Potential Number of Units Replace by This Technology. Note that any energy savings of less than 50,000 kWh/year will show up as 0.00 TWh/year, but such technologies may still be worth considering.
General categories of technology use, including residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, and electric utilities.
A succinct characterization of the emerging technology.
Highlights information about each technology, which can include description, performance, applications, cost, regional potential, development status, and any other fields, but it has no strict format. For records that are only sparsely completed, the synopsis can include just a few sentences about what is known to date about the technology.
A single, rough rating (from 1 to 5) of a technology by Technology Advisory Group (TAG) members to estimate the overall value of a technology. Based on minimal information, TAG members consider five criteria (emerging status, energy efficiency, customer need, technically sound, and ease of implementation) and give each technology a single value from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. These ratings are averaged, and the technologies are then ranked from highest rated to lowest. The highest ranked technologies may be selected to be assessed for a TAG Technical Score, which involves a much more detailed process than TAG ratings.
TAG Technical Score:
The average score (from 1 to 5) assigned to a technology by Technical Advisory Group (TAG) members who rate five different areas: energy savings, non-energy benefits, technology readiness, ease of adoption, and overall value. Unlike the TAG Rating, TAG members give one score for each of the five areas that is rated for a technology. These five scores are averaged to determine the highest scores. Technologies are scored following the TAG webinar presentation and discussion of a detailed technology assessment. Only some of the highest-rated technologies are scored, typically about five per TAG. Technologies that do not have a TAG Technical Score have not been rated high enough in a TAG to warrant scoring, not been assessed through any TAG, or been added to the database after the last TAG related to that technology had concluded its work. If a technology has been scored by more than one TAG, the most recent score will be displayed in search results and exported spreadsheet.
TAG Ratings are also expressed on a scale from 1 to 5, however a TAG Rating is a single, much rougher estimate of overall value estimated after a very brief discussion.
TAG Top Rated:
The top-rated emerging technologies rated (out of 5) by a Technical Advisory Group (TAG). For most TAGs, this is the top quartile of the rated technologies, typically 30 to 100 technologies per TAG. For example, if 60 technologies were reviewed, the TAG Top Rated would be the top 15 highest-rated technologies. However, for Measure Development TAGs that review only a small number of technologies that are all known to be important, all of the technologies would be considered TAG Top Rated. If a technology has been rated by more than one TAG, the most recent ratings will be used to determine if it is Top Rated.
Technical Advisory Group (TAG):
Groups of regional and national energy efficiency experts that convene to help E3T identify, rate, assess, and score emerging technologies in a particular area, such as HVAC or lighting. “Scanning TAGs” start with an extensive list of technologies (TAG members may suggest additional technologies for consideration)that is rated (see TAG Rating). The highest-rated technologies are considered by a BPA Steering Committee for more detailed assessment. A presentation about these technologies is given at an E3T Showcase Webinar, followed by TAG scoring. The TAG Technical Score, as well as comments from TAG members, are captured in the database, E3TNW.org. “Measure Development TAGs” provide a deeper investigation of a small number of important, related technologies, such as smart thermostats. For more information on TAGs, see TAG Portal on the E3TNW.org menu. For video archives of past webinars, see the Webinars page in the database.
The top title is a succinct description of the emerging technology. The subtitle below it that has three parts:
- The application that the emerging technology and the baseline technology have in common
- The emerging technology
- The baseline technology
The increment used to express Baseline Energy and Energy Use of Emerging Technology, as well as First Cost and Regional Technical Potential. The unit is most commonly, but not always, per square foot of floor area, but it could be per horsepower, ton, or a customized unit (lamp, boiler, etc.).