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AESP

Save the Ships

Save the Ships for the Energy Transition

By Energy Rant No Comments
I’m not a casino gambler because I know who wins. I learned long ago that a stock is worth what the next guy will pay for it – nothing more and nothing less. Bad news is good news, and good news is bad. It’s entirely unpredictable. For example: Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Two hundred thousand jobs were added last month, well short of the 500,000 expected increase.” CNBC: “That was a horrible jobs report today!” Stock Market: “Hurray! The Fed won’t raise interest rates,” and the market climbs two percentage points. Commodities have more intrinsic value than securities, and therefore,...
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What's in your name?

What’s in Your (Org’s) Name?

By Energy Rant No Comments
After several weeks of hardcore grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs) discussion and brutal challenges, I’m giving your brains a break this week – kind of like a shot of whiskey after weeks of drinking green protein smoothies in preparation for that marathon you always wanted to do. Pronunciations Speaking of GEBs – how do you say GEBs? Gebs, right? What about SEM. No. SEM aficionados are a highfalutin crowd. It’s es ee em. So dudes, if you don’t like the way people pronounce your organization or activity, name it something simple or deal with the consequences of busy people. What about...
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civic lesson

Civics Lesson in Federal Carbon Policymaking

By Energy Rant No Comments
As the weeks, webinars, conferences, and workshops click by, I contemplate the barriers to decarbonization policy. Next week in our decarbonization course through AESP (register while there is still time) we will discuss policy on the state and regional levels. This post describes federal policy. This next chapter of the discussion comes via the EE Global Forum, an online conference presented by the Alliance to Save Energy last week. That provided more fertile soil to consider issues and barriers with decarbonization policy. The Alliance is rooted in the Washington area and is committed to efficiency at the national level. The...
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Thermal Storage for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings

By Energy Rant No Comments
Aside from efficiency being a core component of my thermos-fluids courses in engineering school, phase changes were also captivating to me. Phase changes from solid (ice) to liquid (water) to vapor (steam) have been used for hundreds of years, and more recently, the last 150 years, give or take, to generate electricity, refrigerate, freeze and keep us cool in the summer heat. Like water, practically anything will freeze, melt or vaporize. Take copper, please. It is widely used to conduct electricity in homes and buildings. It too melts and vaporizes. When it vaporizes, you don’t want to be near it...
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Byrds, Dogs, Burning Hair, and Restless Anticipation

By Energy Rant No Comments
Distributed, independent, economical, efficient, reliable, resilient, flexible, adaptable, technical, clean, redundant, modern, profitable, renewable ready, and doh, smart! What is this? A microgrid? No, it’s Michaels Energy. We’re back[1]. The Rant is back, and we’re ready to rock and roll! Let us take a look back a year and briefly review what has progressed in our company. As our clients know, before the microbe, which shall not be identified, forced the closure of bars and hair salons nationwide, we reorganized the company and modernized our team to possess microgrid characteristics. The reorganization required my first-ever sabbatical from the Rant in...
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natural gas

Natural Gas Savings, Traps, and H Vacs

By Energy Rant One Comment
I flipped open AESP’s[1] annual magazine to pick up a topic for this week. I chose the last article on natural gas programs. I’ve always found it interesting that folks perceive natural gas to be an enigma for finding savings. If natural gas is being used, the potential for savings is not more difficult to find than electricity savings. Steam “Traps” Let’s start with steam traps. Programs that maintain and replace steam traps are akin to electric programs that fix compressed air leaks. Traps capture things, right? Mousetrap. Ant trap. Beartrap. Ackbar trap. However, a steam trap doesn’t trap steam....
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Strategic Energy Management is Elvis

By Energy Rant No Comments
You’ve been there – on the phone trying to get some help from a car dealership, appliance store, online retailer. The menu choices are unclear, especially for auto stores (hit zero). It makes me cringe when I hear my Mom say she called Dell for help with her computer. Yikes, Mom. This isn’t the plumber on Main Street. Maybe Dell isn’t bad, but hearing my Mom say she was on the line “with them” for two hours, I have my conceptions. I would expect no help from an organization like that. Any help would be above and beyond. So what’s...
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Kooky Car CEOs Catch Stockholm Syndrome

By Energy Rant No Comments
As a company leader and owner, efficiency advocate, and AESP Board Member, I spend many of my waking hours and maybe many of my unconscious hours analyzing and processing behavior. What motivates people, and why do they choose what they choose? When I read a headline like White House Poised to Relax Mileage Standards - Rebuffing Automakers, the caution lights start spinning in my mind. What is going on here? Why on earth would they want this? Read on. The Trump administration seeks to reduce the federal average fuel mileage standard from the Obama-set 54 miles per gallon to 37...
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Efficiency – With Tectonic Power and Pace

By Energy Rant One Comment
I am no mountaineer, but without looking, I know the Himalayan range is growing taller. How do I remember this? Because the earth’s crust is made up of tectonic plates that are always moving. The edge of tectonic plates forms fault lines for earthquakes. Did you know, that at some point, coastal California will be neighbors with Alaska? It’s true. A hell of a lot of earthquakes will happen in between, giving “bumpy ride” new meaning. In Southern Asia, the plate that India sits on is slamming into Asian landmass, thrusting Everest higher, adding roughly 2.4 inches per year to...
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Modern Efficiency and the Disappearing Clapping Seals

By Energy Rant One Comment
A couple of weeks ago I was directed to an article in AESP’s[1] magazine discussing ways to improve efficiency program cost-effectiveness.  Although it wasn’t about avoided-cost and benefit-cost tests, it provides good stuff for elaborating in this blog. “Cost effective” in the context of the article means lowering the cost per unit of energy or demand saved.  Certainly, this helps to improve benefit-cost ratios, for most of the convoluted tests, that must have been concocted by graduate students under the influence of mind-altering chemicals.  Boy, do I wish we could dial back forty years so we could simply compare the...
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