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ACEEE

Baker’s Dozen Energy and Carbon Saving Tricks

By Energy Rant No Comments
Do squeaky wheels get the grease? No. They get replaced (Peter’s principle). Adulators get dessert. That is the case this week as I had considerable positive feedback from last week’s post: 12 schemes for waste and carbon-reduction. I will move one step upstream of that pie chart that showed shares of carbon emissions by household. That was a page by globalstewards.org, featuring 20 ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some of Global Steward’s recommendations. 1. Walk when your destination is within a two-mile radius. This is great, except it comes with a big non-energy penalty: time. This is...
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bathe less

12 Schemes to Reduce Carbon Emissions

By Energy Rant No Comments
Back in the day, when I was interviewing college kids for full-time employment with us, I would ask them to tell me about things they have done in their personal experiences to save energy. The purpose was twofold, 1) do you dig efficiency, or are you just looking for employment – any employment, and 2) creativity. I thought I had everything covered, but some real zingers gave me a chuckle. It’s too bad I cannot recall them at this time. Nevertheless, I came across an old paper that appears to have been published for an ACEEE Summer Study in 1994,...
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The Non-Energy Benefits of COVID, and Energy

By Energy Rant No Comments
Way back in April, I had generated a list of non-energy benefits of the COVID. One was the lack of traffic. That made driving easier and running a little safer with less hassle. Second, my, uh, wellness trainer stopped making trips to Europe, so rather than being gone a week a month, he’s never gone. As a result, my Feng and Shui have been in balance. Third, my car insurance company has credited my account a few times because they think I’m driving less – which reminds me of the fourth: gasoline prices are lower than ever, inflation-adjusted. Fifth, I’ve...
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Breaking Bread with Lost Sheep

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10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” – Mathew 9:10-12.[1] I was lost in the wilderness in search of inspiration for another post when Jesus came to mind. So I thought, “Jesus ate with sinners. I’ll look that up and see what I find.” What I found...
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A Possum Bucket of Behavioral Joy

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Rant topics come in waves. I have no control over how or when others follow what I’m writing, but when they publish something related, I pounce. We’re bleeding-edge fresh here, so I must respond to ACEEE’s most recent published paper, Reducing Energy Waste through Municipally Led Behavior Change Programs. This week is not only about behavior, it includes a cornucopia of goodies, like all the Thanksgiving leftovers. At Michaels, we call these goodies, including Jell-O and pie, carefully layered into a repurposed Folgers can, a beloved possum bucket. Strategic layering is crucial for a successful possum bucket treasure.  While sour...
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Efficiency at ACEEE – Something New, Something New

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Last week, I participated in ACEEE’s Summer Study for Buildings in Pacific Grove. This week’s Rant features themes of our industry’s direction as described by the hundreds of papers presented at the conference. Most of what I’ve been writing about in recent months is happening in many places. Hurray! EISApcolypse?  Bring It! EISA (you say ee-suh, I say I-suh), otherwise known as the Energy Independence and Security Act, will in 2020 mandate the use of light emitting diodes as the standard for applications. While EISA may not mandate LEDs, or even mandate LED-level efficacy[1], the horse has left the barn....
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How About Some D in DSM?

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I have always found it interesting that “demand-side management,” the term that is generally used synonymously with energy efficiency programs, includes virtually no demand management whatsoever. The term “demand-side” simply means the energy consuming side of the energy transaction, whereas, “demand” is an instantaneous power draw from a device, building, feeder line, substation, power plant, or an entire power grid. To date, energy efficiency programs have primarily been in search of any kWh (energy) savings at any time. I call these kWh “dumb kWh”. So, we have dumb energy efficiency savings from a supposedly smart grid. Discuss. This has got...
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trailing loads and forecasts

Mindbender: Efficiency Thrashes Supply

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
A couple months ago in Outside the Boxer, we considered efficiency as a resource to be compared with supply-side resources. In May, we challenged minds with We All Un-Bundle, suggesting that utilities get markups for services delivered over their infrastructure. Let’s advance these concepts! Efficiency – A Utility Perspective Utilities are slow to change for many reasons: Every interest group and intervenor wants more from them. They are rewarded for 30-40 year investments and not breakthroughs like iPhones. Customers demand reliability, resilience, and low cost above all else. Utilities have captive customers with few (but growing) options. They deliver a...
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Why Energy Efficiency? – Five Findings

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This year ACEEE published a three-part series on why people and companies invest in energy efficiency. First, they provide some guesstimates of energy efficiency investment in the United States. Their researched estimates vary from $60 billion to about $120 billion, annually. Is this a reasonable guesstimate? According to their State Scorecard, program spending on natural gas and electric demand-side management programs held steady at about $7.5 billion in 2016. Check. The International Energy Agency pegs worldwide investment at $231 billion and about $40 billion in the U.S. Check. As a laugh test, $100 billion is a measly 0.5% of the...
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Energy Program Evaluation Tales from the Dark Side

By Energy Rant No Comments
The Energy Rant is not for the weak-kneed who prefer to live in the land of unicorns, fairy dust, and lollipops. This week is no exception. This Rant is brought to you by the recent ACEEE paper, Recent Developments in Energy Efficiency Evaluation, Measurement and Verification. Burned on the Alter of 90/10 A major objective of most evaluation contracts is to punch the 90/10 ticket. To recap, 90/10 simply means there is a 90% chance that the results of the population, if evaluated in full, will be within plus or minus 10% of the results for the sampled, studied projects....
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