Skip to main content

Evaluating Custom Efficiency – The 4D Dysfunction Report

By June 5, 2017November 6th, 2021Energy Rant

A disturbing trend with custom efficiency is sweeping the industry, and guess what, I’m going to rant all over it like black on my little spazoid Labrador, Lily, aka, Blacky.

Michaels is packed to the rafters with engineers who know a thing or two about energy, thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluids – all the building blocks of being an expert in custom efficiency. We know this because our job candidates get an eclectic, off-the-wall quiz when we interview them. Candidates have to leave their props and crutches on the table or in their pockets, exposing only their brain and how it works.

Energy models and simulators are worth nothing, and in fact, are dangerous in the hands of a schmuck who doesn’t know how to think big picture, especially when they are untethered from reality – as we often find during evaluation.


Help Me Help You

On a few occasions I’ve consulted with a doctor, attorney, or realtor, i.e., professionals bound by licensure of their professions. I give them the big dump and tell them to be sure to ask if they need any additional information, so I maximize their ability to succeed, and do it fast and inexpensively. I don’t start the conversation with, “I have a friend,” if you know what I’m saying. I do not throw them some kibbles and see if that’ll do the job. I do not avoid talking about socially sensitive topics, stigmas, body parts, or functions. I let ‘em have it. They’ve heard it all and seen it all. There is nothing of which to be scared or ashamed. A zillion other people have the same issue. It reminds me of a funny refrigerator magnet I saw last week, “Don’t worry. From the outside, we look like a normal family”. And guess what, professionals appreciate the candor and will work harder to solve my problem. I am totally convinced of that.

Let me sum it up this way – if you want problems solved to maximize your wellbeing, do not be the fake news. That is, do not deceive, lie, give biased information, OR not report critical information!

Energy Efficiency and the Normal Family

No family, company, or program fixes problems with ease as depicted in Leave It to Beaver. If you think so, you have been lucky until now. Your day will come. That’s life, and you can’t deny it!

Problems can and should be a blessing because when the next one comes, it can be addressed with honesty rather than denial. Solutions will present themselves in greater number, and they are easier to implement. Sometimes the solution is accepting failure and moving on.

This all reminds me of what I call my mother’s 4D report: that is, the death, divorce, disease, and dysfunction report. “Mom, I don’t really care.” Why? Because I do not stew about issues over which I have no control – and believe me, a goldfish is easier to control than, say, a coworker.

Evaluating Custom Efficiency

Jeff gets a little riled up when our job is to help our patient, er, client help themselves, and the patient buckles to immature desires of the program implementer who doesn’t want to reveal anything for competitive reasons. Consider, when savings estimates exceed consumption, you have a problem, dude.

Let’s compare to a 48 year old patient who loses his breath climbing one flight of stairs and has a propensity to sleep a lot and be tired all the time. I’ve personally known people with these symptoms, and it could be heart disease or a brain tumor. They go to the doctor (evaluator) and are only willing to get on the scale, but provide no additional information. You weigh 270 pounds, Jeff. That is a little overweight for a man of six feet in height. What’s the problem doc? Uh, you’re overweight. Yeah, why do I need eleven hours of sleep, and I’m still dragging all day?


See what I’m sayin? Smell what I’m cookin? Hear what I’m playin?

The Sham of Protectionism

Having the energy model, calculations, simulations, and tools are extremely valuable for doing a decent evaluation. Beyond that they are worthless to an evaluator for numerous reasons. We cannot and will not use them in the future because:

  • We have non-disclosure agreements and are bound by contract to not steal, use, decode, reverse engineer, etc.,
  • As with the other professions mentioned above (law, medicine), we are bound by ethics of our profession, engineering. This isn’t the Sopranos.
  • We don’t want your stuff. Trust me.
  • The next client doesn’t care about our stuff versus your stuff because the client thinks it’s all the same, like BMW versus Mercedes – different brand same quality.
Jeff Ihnen

Author Jeff Ihnen

More posts by Jeff Ihnen

Join the discussion One Comment

Leave a Reply