B4 2021 Session 1: Energy management through smarter neighborhoods

March 24, 2021

Energy efficiency begins at home, but true grid reliability and resilience takes a village. In session one's technical session, presenters from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) cover three ways in which communities can work together to provide more resilient, reliable homes through smart controls and advances in energy management.

Technical Session 

Dr. Xin Jin showcases the benefits and challenges of net-zero energy (NZE) communities, highlighting solutions such as non-wire distribution and advanced control technology. Bethany Sparn discusses real-world challenges associated with smart home technology from a demonstration project in New York City. Finally, Dr. Lieko Earle will describe the results of recent modeling analysis that looked at the impacts of retrofitting existing homes in Denver with advanced measures to make them more efficient and grid-interactive.

Fireside Chat

Slipstream's own Dianna Cacko and Greg Nahn, along with Rex Ambs from Geofurnace Heating and Cooling, will lead an informal fireside chat on the how in decarbonizing residential homes. They'll discuss the role of cold climate heat pump technology and planning for all electric homes. Bring your questions and learn more about what the future of home heating holds.   

As a result of this webinar, you will be able to:

  1. Discuss emerging SMART controls for community developments
  2. Recognize barriers to home energy management adoption
  3. Communicate research results determining how best to integrate distributed energy resources into existing neighborhoods
  4. Understand emerging microgrid controls utilized in net zero community pilot demonstrations

Continuing Education Credits

  • BPI: This course has been pre-approved for 0.75 BPI CEUs.  
  • WI-DSPS:  Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services has approved this course for 1.5 CEUs for the following credentials: Dwelling Contractor Certification and UDC-Construction Inspector Certification. Note that you may not retake the same course for credit more than once during the 1-, 2-, or 4-year term of your specific credential.
  • RESNET: The Better Buildings: Better Business Conference is a regional RESNET Conference and this course has been approved by RESNET for 1.5 professional development credits.  
  • NAHB: This webinar offers 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for the following NAHB professions designations: CAPS, CGA, CGB, CGP, CGR, GMB, GMR and Master CGP.
  • NARI: This course is approved for 1.5 NARI CEUs.

This course will not be pre-approved for GBCI credits; however, if you believe the content is applicable to your credential, you can self-report credits.

Credits are only available for the technical session. 

Click here for an important note on continuing education credits

If you need continuing education credits for this webinar, you will need to pass a quiz with a score of 80% or higher. You will be able to view the course on-demand, take the quiz, and complete the evaluation in Slipstream’s Learning Management System. Create an account (you only need to do this once) or go directly to the on-demand webinar. This link will not allow you to access the LMS until AFTER the live broadcast. The quiz will be available immediately after the live broadcast ends and the on-demand recording will be posted within a few days of the live broadcast ending. All credits have different expiration dates, so it is to your advantage to take the quiz as soon as possible.

About Our Speakers

Dr. Lieko Earle

Dr. Lieko Earle
NREL

Dr. Lieko Earle is a senior researcher in the Building Technologies and Science Center. Her current research centers around innovations that enable buildings to be grid-interactive, including home energy management systems (HEMS), connected/smart appliances, and electrification strategies. She is particularly interested in challenges and opportunities around how to retrofit existing buildings. She has worked at NREL for 11 years and has led the Residential Group’s field testing program for most of that time.  She holds a BS in Physics from Brown University and a PhD in Physics from the University of Colorado. 

Bethany Sparn

Bethany Sparn
NREL

Bethany Sparn joined NREL in 2010. Her research focuses on connected building loads, residential HVAC equipment, heat pump water heaters, automated home energy management devices, and whole-house performance field testing. She supported the design and build-out of the Systems Performance Laboratory in the Energy Systems Integration Facility, which provides a test bed for evaluating home energy management systems, demand response strategies, distributed energy resources, smart appliances, and other innovative sensors and controllers. She has a BS in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound, BS in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University.

Dr. Xin Jin

Dr. Xin Jin
NREL

Dr. Xin Jin joined NREL in 2014 and is currently a senior researcher in the Building Technologies & Sciences Center. He is also the Sensors & Controls innovation area lead for NREL’s Buildings Research program. His research focuses on building-grid integration, smart home and smart community, building controls, and machine learning & AI applications in building systems. He has authored more than 50 peer reviewed technical publications and is the recipient of a U.S. patent and the 2018 R&D 100 Award. Xin holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and an MS in Electrical Engineering, an MS in Mechanical Engineering, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. 

Dianna Cacko

Dianna Cacko
Slipstream

Dianna Cacko is a Field Outreach Manager at Slipstream and focuses on the implementation of residential HVAC rebate programs for Michigan’s rural electric cooperatives. The integration of heat pumps into existing homes across Michigan to reduce electric resistance and propane based heating sources is her primary focus. Dianna has been involved in the implementation of energy optimization programs in Michigan since 2011, and has been working with contractors to increase awareness of cold climate heat pumps and the benefits they can provide homeowners and contractors since 2016.  Over the last few years she has been an active contributor to Slipstream studies monitoring market installed dual fuel central air source heat pumps and heat pump water heaters in the State of Michigan. 

Greg Nahn

Greg Nahn
Slipstream

Greg Nahn is a Senior Building Science Specialist and has spent the past two plus decades working to advance the design and delivery of effective residential energy efficiency and building retrofit programs. He is a proven visionary, trainer and communicator with extensive background in supporting energy professionals and the identification and promotion of energy efficient technologies and retrofit strategies for both existing and new residential construction. Greg is passionate about increasing energy efficiency in the residential housing through the re-development of buildings with emerging technologies and proven solutions to meet the challenges and opportunities of a clean energy transition.

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