Latest Stories

A TEPCO spokesperson providing an update during Tokyo's 2003 power shortfall
March 9th 2011
Not long ago, Japan faced a major power crisis. In September 2002, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was forced to shut down 17 nuclear power plants for emergency safety inspections. The winter of 2002-2003 was approaching, and the plants, which were expected to remain closed for months, would be unavailable through summer 2003, a time when demand from summertime air conditioning would normally require those plants to be operational to... Read More
Graph of projected OpenADR deployments
March 7th 2011
The Demand Response Research Center recently posted several one-page PDFs about its recent work. Following is one of these on the OpenADR specification and job creation. Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) is an information exchange model that facilitates reliable and cost-effective automation of both electricity price and system grid reliability signals to support demand response (DR). OpenADR is developed by the Demand Response Research... Read More
Portrait of Mary Ann Piette
February 21st 2011
Consulting firm RoseRyan has published a list of the top 25 movers and shakers in cleantech (2010), as well as a list of 15 people to watch in 2011. Mary Ann Piette, Deputy Leader of the Building Technologies Department was recognized as one of the 25. Piette is also the research director of the Demand Response Research Center, which is funded by the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research program. EETD scientist Evan... Read More
OpenADR logo
January 28th 2011
The OpenADR Alliance, a nonprofit corporation created to foster the development, adoption and compliance of a Smart Grid standard known as Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) held its first members' meeting at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), January 20-21. Automated demand response is a set of pre-programmed steps in a building or other facility, which automatically trigger to reduce peak power use when the... Read More
Berkeley Lab staff members Haley Gilbert, Doug Davenport, and Vipin Gupta
December 6th 2010
Cool-colored roofing materials, developed by researchers at the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, are showcased at a new outdoor display of green technologies just opened in the city of San José just across the street from City Hall. The San José Green Vision Green Energy Showcase kicked off on Wednesday with a ceremony attended by San José Mayor Chuck Reed, Vipin Gupta, a Technical Assistance lead for the Department of Energy Solar... Read More
Portrait of U.S. Energy Secretary, Steven Chu
November 16th 2010
The following is from the U.S. Department of Energy. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, through its Environmental Energy Technologies Divisionis one of the three DOE National Laboratories participating in this effort: U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that 24 projects are receiving a total of $21 million in technical assistance to dramatically reduce the energy used in their commercial buildings. This initiative, supported with... Read More
Bill Nye the Science Guy poses at Chabot Space and Science Center.
November 15th 2010
A new museum show about climate change opens at the Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, California, on Saturday November 20, 2010: Bill Nye's Climate Lab. Several Berkeley Lab scientists and staff served on the Science Advisory Board of the exhibition, including Allan Chen, Bill Collins, Inez Fung, Susan Jenkins, Michael Levi, Chris Somerville, and Paul Willems. In addition, staff members of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division... Read More
Screen shot of the Home Energy Pros website
October 29th 2010
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Home Energy Saver website project, and Home Energy magazine, have announced the launch of Home Energy Pros, an open social network for home performance and weatherization professionals. Home Energy Pros connects building professionals and others interested in home energy efficiency by offering an online community... Read More
Photo of a transmission tower against a blue sky
October 27th 2010
The OpenADR Alliance has been formed to accelerate the adoption of the Open ADR communications specification as a standard for the smart grid. Supported by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), Honeywell, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison, the Alliance is inviting other interested stakeholders to join them. The OpenADR... Read More
Interior of the GreenLight Instrument
October 26th 2010
The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at UC San Diego is operating a set of servers in a campus data center on 380-volt DC (direct current) power. The new modular data center on campus has sensors and other instruments to measure the energy efficiency of information and communication technologies, the infrastructure that supports it - and to help researchers build greener IT systems and software. The... Read More
Portrait Sila Kiliccote
October 22nd 2010
Sila Kiliccote, a researcher in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, has received the 2010 GridWeek Award for Leadership in Smart Grid Acceleration. GridWeek cited Kiliccote for her "leadership, vision, non-traditional approach, ability to create step function vs. incremental change, and willingness to take risk." Gridweek is an annual gathering of Smart Grid stakeholders whose goal is "to explore Smart Grid's impact on the economy,... Read More
Photo of the back of a PC desktop tower
October 20th 2010
The following article was written by Jon Bashor, Berkeley Lab's Computing Sciences Division. A newly approved standard to help reduce energy use by networked devices was driven in part by an informal collaboration between energy efficiency and network experts at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The standard, adopted September 30 by IEEE, the world's leading professional association for technology advancement, gives network... Read More
Photo of a person in mask and a cleanroom suit pulling switch
August 26th 2010
The following article was published today by the University of California, San Diego. William Tschudi and other researchers from the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are participating in this energy-efficient data center demonstration project. San Diego—A consortium of researchers from the public and private sectors have embarked on a real-world experiment to gauge whether large computing... Read More
Photo of the back of a PC
August 25th 2010
“Most energy use in personal computers takes place when no one is there,” says Bruce Nordman, a researcher in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Summing up what many probably intuit but don’t think much about, PCs are fully on and using considerable energy even if they are idle. This is also true of game consoles and set-top boxes. And this is wasted energy. Sleep modes that... Read More
Demand Response Researh Center logo
August 6th 2010
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Pacific Gas & Electric Company were awarded Connectivity Week's Buildy Award earlier this year in Santa Clara, California. According to Connectivity Week, an annual industry trade conference addressing Smart Grid technologies that was held this year in Silicon Valley, the Buildy Awards are presented to "a company or organization that has shown or used new and innovative ideas and... Read More
Portrait of Mary Ann Piette
July 29th 2010
Mary Ann Piette, Deputy Head of EETD's Building Technologies Department, and Research Director of the Demand Response Research Center, has been elected to the Smart Grid Architecture Committee (SGAC). The Committee is responsible for creating and refining a conceptual reference model, including lists of the standards and profiles necessary to implement the Smart Grid. The Committee is part of a collaborative effort called the Smart Grid... Read More
Photo of cool roofs in use
July 27th 2010
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced a series of initiatives underway at the Department of Energy to more broadly implement cool roof technologies on DOE facilities and buildings across the federal government. Cool roofs use lighter-colored roofing surfaces or special coatings to reflect more of the sun's heat, helping improve building efficiency by reducing cooling costs and offsetting carbon emissions. Cool roofs... Read More
Logo for ARPA-E
July 20th 2010
A team of scientists at Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division, and their private-sector partners (DuPont, Bosch, 3M, and Proton Energy), have been awarded more than $1.5 million from ARPA-E to research a novel flow battery system for storing energy on the electric grid. The Berkeley Lab researchers are Venkat Srinivasan, Vince Battaglia, and Adam Weber of EETD. EETD is also a sub-awardee in a project titled "Innovative... Read More
Screen shot of the Home Energy Saver web site
July 16th 2010
Berkeley Lab scientists Evan Mills and Rich Brown developed the Home Energy Saver ( or, a free online tool that helps consumers identify the best, most cost-effective ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their homes. A powerful building energy simulation program is at the core of HES, providing each user with a customized home energy profile and recommendations for home improvements... Read More
Portrait of Mary Ann Piette
May 27th 2010
The marketplace for Smart Grid technology products is expanding thanks in part to an open-source communications specification developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and its research partners.
Photo of a commercial skyscraper against a blue sky
April 8th 2010
As part of an ongoing effort to reduce energy use in new and existing commercial buildings by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), commercial building owners, operators, and technical experts can join DOE's Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) initiative. Three DOE national laboratories—the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)—will... Read More
Photo of two men standing in a data center whilst in conversation
December 21st 2009
A project to improve the energy efficiency of the State of California Franchise Tax Board's data center has won a "Best of California" Award from the Center for Digital Government. Geoffrey Bell, Energy Engineer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Environmental Energy Technologies Division, led the project team. The research was funded by the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, and other... Read More
Photo of a CFL bulb
December 17th 2009
Research by Robert Clear, Francis Rubinstein and Jack Howells of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division suggests that the exposure to mercury in a broken CFL is minimal—equivalent to one bite of albacore tuna—and simple commonsense measures such as opening a window after the breakage and during clean-up are enough to protect room occupants.
Photo of the FABS21 interface
November 18th 2009
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in cooperation with the International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), are releasing for beta testing a computer-based tool to help the world's semiconductor manufacturing facilities ("fabs") evaluate and improve their energy efficiency. "We developed FABS21 to allow the operators of semiconductor manufacturing facilities to continuously benchmark and... Read More
Overhead fish-eye view of a data center.
October 20th 2009
Berkeley Lab researchers, in partnership with Silicon Valley firms and the California Energy Commission, have three new energy-efficient data center technologies available for demonstration.
Photo of a commercial building
September 23rd 2009
Advanced energy-efficient technologies in lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), and control systems are heading for the buildings, laboratories and data centers of several federal agencies. With $1.8 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, experts at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will provide the technical expertise to help federal energy... Read More
Portrait of Evan Mills
September 21st 2009
This San Francisco Chronicle article discusses our R&D on building commissioning, and how it can save a commercial building owner millions of dollars in energy costs.
A building with cool roof technology
December 16th 2008
Hashem Akbari and Surabi Menon, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), and Art Rosenfeld, California Energy Commissioner, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, and former Berkeley Lab scientist, have proposed a "Cool World" plan that would use white roofs, and solar-reflective roofs of other colors, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help delay atmospheric... Read More
Portrait of Art Rosenfeld
October 22nd 2008
The Economist magazine has named California Energy Commissioner Art Rosenfeld recipient of one of this year's Innovation Awards. The weekly British magazine awards Innovation awards in several areas; Rosenfeld won the award in the "Energy and the Environment" sector. A former Berkeley Lab scientist, Rosenfeld was director of the Center for Building Science (Environmental Energy Technologies Division), and he is a Professor Emeritus in... Read More
Photo of a data center
October 15th 2008
Data centers are the unseen workhorses of the global economy. Their numbers have grown rapidly along with their energy use. Now, the government and the information technology industry are cooperating to develop solutions to the rapid rise in data center energy consumption. This article in the U.S. Department of Energy's Conservation Update covers research and program efforts to increase the energy efficiency of data centers.