Very Low Energy Houses

Houses with very low energy demand can be readily constructed today, reducing the need for heating energy by up to a factor 10 compared to the European average home. Over 10,000 such project have already been realised. There are very few single solutions that offer such a massive potential for contributing to energy sustainability, while producing significant social and economic side benefits.

But many challenges remain to realise this potential, in particular:

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Eight US utility companies call for tougher transformer efficiency standards

Department of Energy proposal considered too weak

Distribution transformers in the USA currently conform to the energy efficiency standard NEMA TP-1. This is a voluntary industry standard, set by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

Last August, the federal Department of Energy (DOE) released a proposal for an efficiency standard for distribution transformers that goes further than the NEMA standard. According to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, the DOE is authorised to establish energy conservation standards for various consumer products and industrial equipment.

Surprisingly enough, eight utility companies have stated that the DOE proposal does not go far enough.Read full article

Telecare for chronic heart failure patients

Lower costs, improved quality of life

One group of patients that benefits particularly from telecare are people suffering from chronic heart failure. During a pilot project in Germany, re-admittance rates of those patients to hospital were halved, while patient satisfaction increased.

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Home hospitalisation wrestles with administration costs

On average, administrative costs may run to one third of the total costs of hospitalisation at home. A study in France has calculated the average total cost of home care at € 140 per day: € 98 medical costs and € 42 administrative costs.

In France, the hospitalisation at home (L’Hospitalisation à domicile) is well integrated into the health sector. Dating back to 1956 (and relaunched in 1970), it has been accepted as an alternative to traditional hospitalisation since 1991.

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