Editor’s note: Progressive Engineer published a company profile on RenewABILITY Energy in the September/October issue. You can see it at http://www.progressiveengineer.com/company_profiles/renewability.htm
Builders and homeowners now have a new, cost-effective way to reduce their Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index scores. Drain water heat recovery (DWHR) technology uses outgoing warm drain water to pre-heat incoming cold fresh water. The result is that the primary water heater uses less energy to provide domestic hot water for the home and, at the same time, increases the effective hot water capacity.
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that water heating is the second largest energy use in single-family homes and multi-family buildings across America. DWHR technology is recognized as an energy-saving measure, and many utilities currently have incentive programs for adoption of DWHR technology.
RenewABILITY Energy developed and has been manufacturing the Power-Pipe DWHR technology for over 10 years. CEO and founder Gerald Van Decker states, “Including DWHR technology in new homes has become common practice for many builders in Ontario in the last few years, and over 35,000 homes now have the Power-Pipe. In fact, the Power-Pipe will be included in at least one out of every three new homes built this year in the Toronto region. A HERS Index credit has been available in Canada for over two years. I’m pleased that American builders and homeowners can now use DWHR technology to reduce their HERS Index scores by 1 to 3 points, dependent upon a number of factors including house size, location, and DWHR rated efficiency.” RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) has designed a spreadsheet tool that calculates and permits for a HERS score improvement by installing DWHR technology. It accompanies approved HERS software. The RESNET DWHR tool, along with background information, can be found at: www.resnet.us/professional/standards/innovative_design_requests
The Power-Pipe primarily saves energy from showers, which use up to 80 percent of the hot water in homes, apartment buildings, and health clubs. The Power-Pipe works with any type of water heating system and is also used in many commercial operations such as hotels, hospitals, laundry facilities, and restaurants as well as industrial processes. Typically the Power-Pipe reduces water heating energy consumption by 20 to 35 percent, though smaller units save less and the larger units can provide up to 48 percent energy savings in the average home. Putting this into perspective, whole-home energy consumption is usually reduced by 4 to 7 percent and as much as 10 percent.
“Decreasing energy costs for American homeowners is an effective way to increase a family’s quality of life,” says Van Decker. “Power-Pipe DWHR systems enable homeowners to cost-effectively save a significant amount of energy, helping to reduce monthly household expenses and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 200 pounds per person per year with natural gas water heating, which is a yearly reduction of more than an average adult’s weight. It is a great carbon weight-loss technology!”
The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) was founded in 1995 as an independent, non-profit organization committed to helping homeowners reduce the cost of their utility bills by making their homes more energy efficient. RESNET is responsible for creating the national training and certification standards for HERS Raters and Home Energy Survey Professionals, both of which are recognized by federal government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. mortgage industry.
The HERS Index was created by RESNET to give homeowners and buyers a standard by which they could measure the efficiency of homes they currently own or want to purchase. To arrive at a home’s HERS score, a Certified HERS Rater first performs an energy audit on the home. The audit data is compared against a reference home of the same size and shape and which would comply to the 2006 International Energy and Conservation Code (IECC). The lower a home’s HERS score, the more energy efficient the home. For more information on the HERS Index visit: www.HERSindex.com. The HERS Index is used by many counties for energy code compliance, used to assess Energy Star for New Homes compliance, for LEED for Homes and a number of other home labelling programs. It can also be used as an alternative compliance path under the 2015 IECC. MLS in a number of States now includes HERS Index Scores for the homes that they list.
Founded in 2000, RenewABILITY Energy manufactures the Power-Pipe DWHR system in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada with American operations based in Hazelton, PA. The systems are sold across Canada, the United States, and Europe. For more details, please visit www.Power-Pipe.com.