Interactive tool analyzes corporate energy-efficiency scenarios

Summary:A new site from the Department of Energy helps businesses assess the implications of their future energy consumption.

For anyone who is having trouble prioritizing or justifying energy-efficiency investments within their organization, the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is beta-testing a new interactive Web site that could help with these decisions.

You can think of Building, Industry, Transportation, Electricity and Transportation Scenarios (aka BITES) as a what-if sort of application.

It allows researchers, educators and operations managers to adjust their assumptions to account for things like the variable price of energy generation or transportation fuel use, which will give them an idea of how carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) or utility bills might be affected. So, a facilities manager could study how certain policies or new equipment might change the emissions at a particular site or consider the impact of product design choices.

"For instance, someone could calculate how much energy could be saved by making homes and businesses more efficient," said Austin Brown, an NREL analyst, in a press release about the BITES site. "They could also look at how much petroleum could be saved by making cars, trucks and planes more efficient. And then, users can put it all together and look at the combined impact of these situations."

You can choose to do this in private, or you can submit information to the BITES community for public discussion or feedback.

Topics: Innovation


Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

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