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ACEEE Summer Study Archives - Michaels Energy

Program Evaluation – Most Excellent Avocado Practices

By Energy Rant No Comments
Everyone has applied for health insurance[1], and many of you have applied for life insurance. Anyone over, oh, 40, 50, or for sure 60, knows health flaws start to accumulate like the dumpster’s worth of unwelcome gifts, used shoes, and outdated clothes for those of you who stay current with the style trends of the day. [vc_single_image image="13528" img_size="full" add_caption="yes" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://au.pinterest.com/pin/550916966893545805/"] Come to think of it, all you digital natives, back in the day before weddingregistry.com (where you shop and make other people fill your house with stuff you want), we just took whatever the aunts, uncles, or...
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Benchmarking Clowns

By Energy Rant One Comment
It’s Halloween. Hundreds of thousands of people have to figure out a different costume because a clown plague has infected the country. While I don’t consume tabloid news, I did hear that in some cities, the clowns are getting beat up. I thought, now that isn’t a bad idea, but I wouldn’t advise that. When I was a kid, Halloween antics included dozens of mushy tomatoes and cucumbers left behind in the garden. These have the impact of water balloons, and they make a fine mess. For this post, I referenced my program booklet for ACEEE’s 2016 Summer Study on...
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Evaluation, Measurement and Verification 2.0; A Whale Bus or an Airbus?

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
Evaluation, Measurement and Verification 2.0, or EM&V 2.0, is a nerdy term coined in 2014, according to this blog by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). The hype of EM&V 2.0, which I will explain later, is that it will automate measurement and verification, putting us engineers out of business. This is not going to happen anytime soon. Definition 2.0 The definition of EM&V 2.0 boils down to using utility meter interval data[1], typically hourly or sometimes every 15 minutes, or maybe even 5 minutes, to disaggregate and measure impacts from energy efficiency measures. One could consider that EM&V 2.0 is...
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ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Benchmarks Lake Wobegon

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 2 Comments
Not that my opinion is worth anything, but the results of Chicago’s 2014 commercial building benchmarking report are excellent.  The report indicates that most of the 348 buildings that were benchmarked for the study were benchmarked using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager.  The cross-cutting data provided reveals interesting facts that are not expounded upon – but I will. The first thing is rather stunning.  The median ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager score for 348 buildings, accounting for 260 million square feet of building space, was/is 76.  By definition, the median score of all buildings in the Portfolio Manager database is 50.  The...
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Energy Efficiency Benefit/Cost Tests- And a Handful of Excedrin, Pretty Please

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 10 Comments
[vc_single_image image="9247" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] Back in May, I wrote that we need to explain the benefits of energy efficiency in simple terms – like our mothers would understand.  In that, I explained that utilities serve a public benefit, like roads.  Since the dawn of energy efficiency, there have been cost effectiveness hurdles – that make little sense to this 20 year veteran, let alone my 80 year old mother.  Since this is not (thankfully) my normal area of expertise, it took me a couple hours to figure things out, and I’m still not sure I have this all right.  That,...
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Energy Code (non) Compliance; Could it be… SATAN?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
I spent last week at ACEEE’s Summer Study for Buildings, and one topic area I maximumly followed was energy codes and code compliance.  In past years, I would rank codes and standards second to the bottom, just above lighting for my priorities.  The reason for my sudden interest is the vaporizing gravy train of widgets, especially lighting and the need for other savings mechanisms.  Why not code compliance? [vc_single_image image="9093" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] States are updating energy codes willy nilly to the next rounds of ASHRAE 90.1 / International Energy Conservation Code.  As the Church Lady used to say, “Isn’t that...
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Outcomes Rather than Energy Codes – One Piece at a Time

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant One Comment
A couple weeks ago in Building Energy Codes - A Blutonian D-, I explained how many/all states are sailing forth with increasingly stringent energy codes, and based on anecdotal and personal experience, I have no doubt that with a million dollars we could demonstrate the results are abysmal.  Utilities and program administrators do not want to be energy code enforcers, but why not make code “enforcement” part of a meaningful portfolio? I like to use allegories and metaphors to explain these abstract concepts.  Think of code compliance as a recipe (as in cooking) compliance.  Know any bad cooks?  Cooking delicious meals...
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Project Performance and Customer Satisfaction – Three Strikes and Yer In, or Out

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
Last week I attended the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) Summer Study for Industry, which had excellent content, but one phrase prompted me to this week’s topic, one that’s been simmering a while in my gray matter.  Due to multitasking and poor note-taking, I don’t remember the phrase exactly, but it was something to the effect of the rule of three.  My version is when it comes to project performance and customer satisfaction (and many other things), three in a row has meaning. Fortunately, the conference featured heavy doses of benchmarking, planning, and continuous improvement, which is...
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Energy Management System – Not Another Litter Box

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
In recent weeks, I have been spending considerable time examining energy management system projects for energy efficiency program evaluation on the east coast.  My conclusion is this: blown opportunity abounds. The program documentation for one particular project drips with evidence that the project is a free rider, which means the project would have happened anyway in absence of the program.  How do I reach this conclusion?  First, the calculation methodology could work if the user knew what they were doing, but it is clear they either don’t know what they are doing or don’t care to get it right –...
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One of these Days

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
Our friends at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) have published another source report worthy of a post on this blog.  The title of this report is Frontiers of Energy Efficiency: Next Generation Programs Reach for High Energy Savings, which can be found here. The report is quite a detailed whomper, but I gravitated to the commercial and industrial sections of the Executive Summary to see what they have to say.  They are singing our (Michaels) song all the way baby, and we can hum to that tune.  Only my dogs will listen to my lyrics in...
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