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DoGooder Equity

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 2 Comments
Upon reading some manager/principal/owner interviews in business publications, the publisher asks, “What keeps you awake at night?”  My answer to that would be: Nothing.  The reason for this is utilities are regulated monopolies and the energy efficiency program portfolios they run are cost effective.  I.e., we, as an industry, are contributing to net wealth generation for consumers and not just redistributing it – it’s EE or power plants, poles and wires and either way, the consumer pays, and we are helping them pay less. A major reason I am a huge advocate of EE programs is that they are cost…
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Taxman, Yeah, I’m the Tax Man

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant One Comment
Thank you American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy for clearing the decks to talk about tax policy and energy efficiency – enabling me with its Three Tax Reforms to Encourage Modernization of the Manufacturing Sector. Allow me to divulge some truths about our confiscation, er I mean, federal tax policies.  In five words: small business gets the shaft.  Small businesses earn their profits in the US and they are pass-through entities, the profits from which are taxed at the owners’ personal tax rates far above typical effective corporate tax rates.  The IRS extracts a pound of flesh for every…
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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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Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Utility Stuff No Comments
When I was a kid, I liked to play games; board games, cards, video games, pinball, racing with an electric racetrack, and even golf with clubs on grass outdoors!  BTW, these things kick butt over any video game, any day.  Somewhere between the ages of 12 and 14, I lost interest in this crap.  Why?  Because life is enough game for me.  It’s all about competition, and I’d rather beat others on the court, field, or classroom doing real things with my own skills.  And now, it is business in which I compete. When I go to conferences or seminars,…
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Opting to Make Money

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Investments, Utility Stuff No Comments
In many states that are relatively new to energy efficiency, legislators often cave to large energy users and allow them to opt out of programs because hey, they use a ton of energy and therefore, OBVIOUSLY to any moron, they control and manage these costs as well as any dunce could.  Why should they throw money at a program that won’t help them? Come to think of it, programs available to these large users in many places are dysfunctional, poorly conceived, and not thought through from the perspective of the customer, so I can see their point to some extent. …
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Independence, Finally

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Investments, Uncategorized No Comments
Here is some good news in my view.  Despite nearly 40 years of political claptrap to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, technology from the private sector, not cockamamie pie in the sky, physics-defying dumb ideas will deliver it.  That is, unless of course Washington snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, which it is 100% capable of doing. I went looking for data on our dependence on foreign oil since the first oil shocks of the 1970s.  There is one significant dip in the import percentage Figure 1 and that is due to (1) a deep recession in the early…
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By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
I was becoming concerned this week at rant time, Sunday morning, 9:00 AM.  We had our company picnic the day before on an overcast and nearly perfect day in cheese land.  Sunday was similar.  There were orioles, grosbeaks, yellow finches, house finches, ruby throated hummingbirds, downy woodpeckers, red breasted woodpeckers, cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees and other customers freeloading on our smorgasbord of bird offerings.  But then while reviewing my sources, one of which is the Google energy efficiency updates, emailed promptly at 4:51 PM CDT everyday, I came across this cheery piece.  There’s the topic of the week. It started out…
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Universal Widgetitis

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
As blasted in this blog many times, most recently in Widgetman, humans almost always have their priorities far out of whack.  With EE for example, facility owners should probably establish marshal law to ensure lights are shut off overnight in their office buildings before they start adding photovoltaic panels.  But then, I guess, to the casual observer (schlep) one can see how green the building is during the day, but at night when the building is lit like the headlamp of an oncoming train when no one is there, the wonderful PV panels cannot be seen and nobody pays attention…
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Intelligencize This

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
Last week ACEEE produced a webinar, “Intelligent Efficiency”.  I was late to the party but as I came online, an ACEEE guy, Neal Elliott was talking and the topic was intriguing – system-wide, holistic, intelligent efficiency.  I thought, hmm, maybe somebody read this entire series of rants and was possibly preaching from the gospels of the obvious. Next up was a guy from Schneider Electric and he gave a boring advertisement of – Schneider Electric.  Next was a guy from Johnson Controls to talk about what else – the Empire State building.  The  Empire State Building EE overhaul has been…
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Better than Doritos

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Investments, Tax Stuff No Comments
Last week we looked at the financial benefits of energy efficiency as compared to the stock market.  I’m going to take this a few steps further, as forewarned last week.In both cases we start with the $39,000 investment and the stock market simply grows at its long-term average of 7.5% (Dow Jones Industrials).  Obviously, a smooth appreciation of your investment is not the case and if you don’t have a strong stomach, you should avoid equities.  Why is it called the Dow Jones Industrial Average anyway?  It’s full of service companies, banks, and retailers.  It includes Microsoft, but not Apple,…
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