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American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Archives - Michaels Energy

Cost Recovery for Energy Efficiency Programs – An Ignorant Idea

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant One Comment
If you haven’t seen Michaels’ recent self-indulgent video, you might want to do that now.  It is many hours of video shooting reduced to a fine sauce, just under four minutes.  My interview, for example, lasted maybe 45 minutes and maybe 30 seconds of it are included in the video.  One line I’m pleased to have been captured and included was the statement that there is a limitless supply (and immense variety) of learning available in our industry.  One thing I know little about is the guts of the utility business and cost recovery for energy efficiency programs.  So why...
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Demand Side Market Transformation

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
Last week I was reading a couple regulatory dockets; one by a citizen and another by an intervener.  They made some good points, including a situation of being locked out of the market[1] in one’s own state, to which I replied, “Welcome to the party.”  Both dockets had a ring of “market transformation”. Our friends at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) define market transformation as, “The strategic process of intervening in a market to create lasting change in market behavior by removing identified barriers or exploiting opportunities to accelerate the adoption of all cost-effective energy efficiency...
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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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Retro-commissioning Savings

Old School EE

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Retrocommissioning (RCx), Tax Stuff, Utility Stuff One Comment
Forging on from last week’s Arthur Fonzarelli crash into Arnold’s chicken stand, this week I will posit some challenges and problems presented with state takeovers of energy efficiency programs.  Per last week’s post, Wisconsin has fallen from 8th place in the nation to 17th place since the state essentially took over its energy efficiency programs.  This is according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, ACEEE, a well respected national think tank (my term) and advocacy organization for energy efficiency. One problem is the money moves further away from where it is collected.  The further program spending is...
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Adrift

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Utility Stuff 2 Comments
Being a critic and a manager, I always love it when somebody else does my work for me and I can lay low, because I often feel like a grumpy old man.  For example, some of my guys are tougher and harsher than I am on issues, people, and their work both inside and outside the company. On a related note, there is a big difference between whining and complaining.  I use a more vivid term for the latter, and I’ll leave it to the reader to guess what that is.  How does one define the difference?  The difference is...
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Lessons from NYC Benchmarking

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Utility Stuff One Comment
New York City recently completed its report for the benchmarking of all its “large” facilities, generally with square footage of 100,000 or greater.  The results of the study are not surprising.  You may be thinking, “Who cares about NYC?”  Answer: this post includes universal challenges with benchmarking whether it’s Batswana or the Yukon. The benchmarking was completed using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which as far as I can tell ranks buildings by source Btu[1] per square foot, otherwise known as energy intensity.  For example, it uses a factor of 3 for electricity, which is one over the efficiency of delivering electrical...
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Delta Lambda Jamba Effect

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Utility Stuff One Comment
I was recently pushed over the edge again by multiple opinion pieces declaring that energy efficiency is a waste of time and money because of rebound effect.  Rebound basically means that if consumers buy an efficient appliance, car, or light bulb, they will simply use it more and therefore save less, or even use more energy at the proverbial “end of the day”. First in this series was an opinion piece from a Cal State Fullerton professor published in The Wall Street Journal.  Below is my response to the journal: Robert J. Michaels’ commentary on August 20th suggests energy efficiency...
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A Radical Idea

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Tax Stuff, Utility Stuff One Comment
This week I was gleeful to find American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy released a study on my two favorite subjects on which to rant: taxes and energy efficiency!  Yeah! I blogged about tax-distorting effects of EE about a year ago in EE V IRS,with many of the same arguments noted in the recent ACEEE paper.  The ACEEE paper points out that: Since the cost of energy is a business expense, it is tax deductible and therefore, the tax code penalizes to the tune of 35% the bottom line improvement from saving energy.  As I mentioned in EE V...
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Opt Out Ruse

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Utility Stuff No Comments
In October 2011, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy delivered a report, “Follow the Leaders: Improving Large Customer Self-Direct Programs”.  But before I discuss/interpret that, what is a self-direct program?  Some large energy users wish to opt out of utility sponsored energy efficiency programs, and specifically they want to avoid paying the energy efficiency cost recovery rider.   This particular rider is a surcharge, similar to tax on gasoline that is supposed to be used for roads.  These large energy users state they can better invest this money in their own energy efficiency program – a self direct program....
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