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cost effectiveness

The Prickly Pitfalls of a Poor Program Plan

By Energy Rant No Comments

This week’s Energy Rant is courtesy of guest writer, Julie Blackwell, Manager – Program Strategy at Michaels Energy. Poor program planning can and will wreak havoc on your program’s performance. Program design is multifaceted. There is the technical side, focused on measures, standards, impacts, and cost effectiveness. The process side outlines steps, roles, and responsibilities. Communication is responsible for forms, directions, and engaging outreach. These are just a few examples of the many design categories. The point is, the program designer is rarely an expert in every aspect of a program’s design. Therefore, the designer must seek out and engage…

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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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Energy Resources from an Outside the Boxer

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
Since you are reading this, you are probably on board with the theory that ratepayer funded efficiency programs help keep energy costs lower than with the status quo: building generation transmission, and distribution for whatever quantity and whenever millions of customers in aggregate want to use the resource. The “what and when” generates a load curve. We will discuss load shape management in future posts. For now, I will share some insights from a true thought leader in the industry. Costs and Benefits of Efficiency Tom Eckman worked for years with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council as a resource...
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Complexities of Home Energy Retrofits

By Energy Rant 6 Comments
As luck would have it, in recent memory, I’ve been to a couple t-shirt nights at MLB games. Yippy. This isn’t like the free shirts they give out at marathons, where you can take whatever size you need – you know, something that fits. No. Baseball franchises provide one crappy size, extra-large. It fits some of us, but the rest of us have a shirt that might as well go directly to the local Goodwill store. Some deep energy retrofit programs are like the crappy extra-large t-shirt. Let us get started with homes, to which everyone can relate and understand....
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Energy Efficiency Benefit/Cost Tests- And a Handful of Excedrin, Pretty Please

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 10 Comments
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, my friends, speaks volumes...
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Energy Program Evaluation, Not Activism

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 4 Comments
In my day, we didn’t have peewee soccer, football, gymnastics, or tee-ball.  We had to improvise and make up game rules to play two-on-two football.  We had no gear; not even the cheap plastic crap from Sears.  We set the lawn mower as low as it would go to cut the sidelines and goal lines and made up the rules as we went.  We were a bunch of hayseeds throwing a rubber football around, inflicting bone-on-bone pain to each other, pretending to be in the NFL – and we liked it! This may sound like the Grumpy Old Man, but...
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Heat Pumps – Not a Weapon of Mass Destruction

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 2 Comments
In the 1970s, before STAR WARS, my childhood fantasy sci-fi favorite was Planet of the Apes[1].  Like STAR WARS, there were about five movies in the series, but I only remember the story lines of the first two.  Three guys travel through time in a space ship, supposedly light years away.  They land on a planet that is actually California, ironically (can tell from the landscape, and hey, movies were once made in California).  It is several centuries into the future as it turns out, and on the Planet of the Apes, the apes talked (in English of course) and...
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