LAS VEGAS - July 22, 2009 - The UNLV Center for Energy Research, in partnership with Pulte Homes and NV Energy, received $5.7 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a community of Las Vegas homes that incorporate energy-efficient features and advanced utility metering to cut residential energy use by more than half.
The UNLV award is one of eight national projects that received more than $47 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to incorporate new technologies that improve the efficiency and reliability of the nation's electrical grid.
The UNLV Center for Energy Research team is monitoring energy performance of up to 185 homes in Villa Trieste - a community under development in Northwest Las Vegas that combines energy saving features and advanced metering technologies to both improve communication between the homeowner and utility and encourage less energy use. The team will compare actual home energy use with computer simulation models and will have the ability to modify components in the homes to achieve an energy reduction of up to 65 percent.
"Reducing the demand for electricity during peak summer hours has become a significant issue for both homeowners and utilities, particularly in the heat of the Desert Southwest," said Bob Boehm, distinguished professor of engineering and director of UNLV's Center for Energy Research. "Villa Trieste will demonstrate on a large scale that significant reduction in peak energy demand can be achieved through conscientious building design and practical application of new technology."
Villa Trieste's homes incorporate energy saving construction methods and smart grid technology, including:
Energy Efficient Construction
o Roof-integrated solar system that blends seamlessly with roofing materials
o LEED Residential certification includes energy efficient lighting and appliances
o Certified by Environments for Living - a program that encourages builders to incorporate numerous energy and water saving measures during construction
Advanced Metering and Distributed Generation
o Advanced meters provide real-time energy use data with communication between home, homeowner and utility - reducing errors, isolating outages and saving costs
o Centralized battery storage will draw energy from homes during off-peak hours for use during peak periods
o Generated solar power will reduce electricity drawn from electrical grid
o Demand response encourages reduced energy use by allowing utilities to adjust energy
output to homes and high-use appliances when needed
The $5.7 million in funding is for years two through five of a $6.9 million total grant awarded to the Center for Energy Research by the DOE in 2008. Get more information on UNLV Center for Energy Research projects.