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Research and Evaluation

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Decades of deep technical expertise

Our 35 years of industry experience in program design, implementation, research, and evaluation provides our clients with a multifaceted understanding of how programs function – and what they might do better to deliver more cost-effective savings. Our engineers get technology – both established and cutting edge. They know when systems work correctly and efficiently – and when they don’t.

Insightful research, factual evaluation. Our consultants and engineers think differently about research and evaluation. We approach projects with curiosity. We explore the how and why of program performance. This curiosity, combined with attention to detail and accuracy, instills confidence in our results, along with recommendations that move programs and portfolios forward.

Our Flagship Offerings

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in our traditional services below, contact us today. We’re always cooking up new innovative offerings from electrification, grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs), specialized training, and more.

We couple our program design, delivery, and evaluation expertise with analysis of regulatory proceedings and policy to identify opportunities to embrace a smarter energy future. These deep-dive or focused quick-turnaround studies help our clients navigate the present and strategically prepare for the future.

Whether it be a need for actionable intelligence to inform program design and delivery or a thirst for continuous improvement, embedded research and evaluation can help. This practice provides fast feedback to program staff, facilitating continuous learning and improvement. Embedded research and evaluation provides program staff and administrators with critical information giving assurance that program objectives (such as customer engagement and satisfaction, energy savings, and regulatory mandates) will be met, or identifying if they are at risk. This is the way to ensure success for performance–based goals and contracts.

Understanding markets can improve your programs’ success by providing insight into active and inactive market actors, your targeted customers, and the interventions that are more likely to drive participation. Michaels conducts all types of market research – trade ally network skill and location gap analysis, saturation studies, market characterizations, and attribution estimates, to name a few. Our deep technical expertise comes in handy as we talk with program participants, non-participants, and program partners in terms they understand. We understand when and how to gather important details when responses suggest additional questions will garner deeper insight.

Third-party evaluation and verification can present a real risk to program administrators – particularly for more complex projects. If verified results are substantially different than reported results, utility goals, customers’ incentives, or program administrators’ performance payments may suffer. To mitigate this evaluation risk, Michaels provides independent review of project documentation, baseline determinations, and savings calculations prior to incentive payments to ensure project results are defensible during an independent evaluation.

Michaels Energy has conducted independent third-party impact evaluations for residential, multi-family, commercial, institutional, and industrial energy efficiency programs for more than 30 years. Our engineers have a deep understanding of diverse stakeholder interests, and a vast array of technical and program expertise. Through gross savings verification, cost effectiveness testing, attribution assessment, and technical reference manual development, we deliver accurate impact evaluation with sound, defensible engineering. Evaluation is as much about the future as it is about the past, and Michaels staff are passionate about improving program impacts for our clients.

The program design, delivery, and evaluation experts at Michaels can help you get more out of your process evaluations. Our first-hand experience with programs from conception to evaluation allows us to dig deeper into program operations, measure effectiveness, and customer experiences to glean valuable insight that might otherwise be overlooked. Through process activities such as journey mapping, conversations with customers, focus group discussions with trade allies, and in-person observations of program interactions, we identify how programs are really working and develop actionable process improvements when warranted.

An energy audit is an on-site review of a customer’s facility which provides an overview to start prioritizing energy efficiency efforts and develop an energy management plan with minimal cost. Michaels presents the audit findings in person to ensure customers understand the measures and can move to the next step – implementing measures or a further detailed study.

With Beneficial Electrification Evaluation, we assess and analyze the potential benefits, costs, and overall impacts of electrifying specific technologies, sectors, or applications. This helps determine whether the transition from fossil fuel-based systems to electrified alternatives would result in positive outcomes in terms of energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, and economic considerations.

Michaels assesses and analyzes new and innovative technologies that are in the early stages of development or adoption to understand the potential benefits, risks, and implications of incorporating them into various applications or industries. The evaluations help decision-makers, researchers, and stakeholders make informed choices about the adoption, investment, and integration of emerging technologies.

The goal of these studies is to gain a comprehensive understanding of how energy is utilized at the end-user level, providing insights into consumption patterns, efficiency opportunities, and potential strategies for demand-side management. These studies are often conducted to inform energy efficiency programs, policy development, and technology deployment.

Large-scale data collection involves the systematic gathering, processing, and analysis of extensive volumes of data related to energy production, distribution, consumption, and efficiency. This is crucial for optimizing operations, enhancing energy efficiency, supporting renewable energy integration, and informing policy decisions.

Non-Wire/Pipe Alternative (NWA/NPA) studies are used to explore and assess alternatives to traditional investments in new electricity transmission or natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Instead of building new physical infrastructure, non-wire/pipe alternatives focus on leveraging advanced technologies, demand-side management, and innovative solutions to address capacity, reliability, or other operational challenges on the energy grid.

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Looking for a partner to help with your energy programs?


Michaels Energy has been using our passion for all-things-energy to help building owners, utilities, consultants and partners save energy and design high performing systems, processes and programs since 1984. Energy efficiency, resource preservation, and long-term cost effectiveness are an integral part of everything we do.