As the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory dissects the possibilities of building energy efficiency, a government Web site is making energy data and resources more available to the public. Both efforts come as a result of funding from the Department of Energy.
The Berkeley Lab is getting $15.9 million in stimulus funding to build a “national user facility” that will attract researchers from around the U.S. and the world to study best practices for improving building energy efficiency, reports the San Francisco Business Times.
The lab will focus on creating net-zero energy buildings that create as much energy as they consume.
The lab will test new air conditioning systems, lighting, on-site power generation, plus new kinds of roofs and skylights. Additionally, the lab will investigate new methods of constructing windows, walls and floors.
Also, on Dec. 14 the Department of Energy launched Open Energy Information, a wiki-style Web site that makes energy information and resources more available to the public, according to a press release.
In addition to information about building energy efficiency that is available to project developers, OpenEI has data sets related to worldwide solar and wind potential, information on climate zones and related best practices.
One sector of the site, dubbed VIBE (Virtual Information Bridge to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), brings together a number of Web resources related to solar, wind, biomass and transportation.
For instance, this page shows a number of charts and data sets from the Energy Information Administration.
And this page shows average prices of a number of energy options.