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EE Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Michaels Energy

Chester the Energy Advisor

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Utility Stuff No Comments
We are from the government and we are here to help.  Kaboom!  That would be my door slamming in their collective faces. A number of years ago, and just recently I was reminded of it again, the federal government was selling it’s handouts to citizens – actually advertising free stuff, food or services are common.  This is perverted.  We do not have people starving in the streets of this country and this is a lock because if we did, the media would be all over it like flies on watermelon rinds.  Quite the opposite: we have a type 2 diabetes...
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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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Paint by Numbers EE

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
True or false: It’s easier to teach Pablo Picasso how to paint a house than it is to make a house painter into a Picasso-grade painter/artist.  For the answer, keep reading. I was sitting in a session at last week’s AESP conference sipping my weak overpriced Starbucks when I almost sprayed a mouthful on the bystanders sitting in front of me.  Not one, but two guys opined that it is easier to teach, for example, a refrigeration expert retrocommissioning than it is to teach a retrocommissioning/energy expert efficient refrigeration.  Allow me to demonstrate with an example, a true story. A...
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Replacing the Burger

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Sustainability 2 Comments
The race is on to develop and deliver next generation successful energy efficiency programs.  There is indeed innovation in the marketplace.  The days of what I call “hamburger selling” will end, probably in the next decade.  Selling EE in these cases is like selling hamburgers – who can sell the most and the cheapest hamburgers that people will eat.  The product is unsophisticated – lighting, primarily.  The market is huge and opportunities ubiquitous.  Marketing and selling the burger is the name of the game and will be for a few more years. In the past five years, energy efficiency has...
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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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No Pain? No pain.

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
This will blow your mind.  How many large power plants (500 MW) does it take to cook the thanksgiving turkey across the nation – just the ones cooked with electricity?  Answer is provided below.  Guess.  Don’t be a loser.  Guess. I’ve seen perhaps 100 ads for dust collecting contraptions that everyone including the buyers know will end up under the bed, in the closet, or basement, and finally onto the garage sale to somebody else who will decycle it.  These include the things like the Ab Buster 5000 (just made it up), junk you sit on, junk you rock on,...
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Occupying Ignorance

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Sustainability No Comments
Have you had your fill of Occupy Wall Street, (OWS) which has spilled over into dinky, surrounding, wannabe towns including one nearby with a population of a whopping 4,000?  Apparently, these in-duh-viduals are protesting rich people and the fact that the rich keep getting richer and the poor, well, are the poor.  My response: that’s life.  Life isn’t fair.  I don’t like the word “fair”.  Rather, I like “not cheating”.  “Fair” is too often used by whiners.  Some of these OWSers are self described anarchists and communists.  Oh yeah, there you go.  That’s what we need is communism.  There’s a...
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Water-Boarding Over Picasso, Any Day

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Renewable Energy No Comments
I had a really bad week last week – nothing significant occurred to me in the world of EE, and nothing really enraged me or even made me snicker, although I could always rant about federal spending on EE and renewable energy.  Actually, if you are so inclined, Kim Strassel from The Wall Street Journal takes it to Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, if you are interested.  Who would name their kid “Mitt”?  What kind of a name is that?  Is that short for Mitchell?  Mitt for short, with two ts?  Or is it short for Mitten?  Why are there...
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TGTBT You Can Believe In

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Utility Stuff 2 Comments
In 1984 was not like 1984, I talked about greeting change with gusto to win the future but with few specifics.  This post will cover one such “innovative” way for all stakeholders to benefit from energy efficiency. The typical utility-sponsored energy efficiency portfolio works like this: A small percentage of billed energy consumption, aka a rider is paid by customers to fund EE programs. Programs provide incentives for energy efficient equipment and in some cases services such as studies. Evaluators determine impacts attributable to programs and make recommendations for improvement. Regulators oversee it all to help ensure consumers aren’t being...
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EE, Policy, and Irony

By Energy Efficiency, Government, LEED, Stimulus No Comments
As my crop of silver hair continues to expand, I have become more of a historian, particularly when it comes to cause and effect, and peoples’ behavior.  I step back and observe what is happening and what has happened as a result of this or that policy.  Theories are nice, and they may be well thought out and make sense but if they fail miserably, should we double down and try it again?  Policy isn’t like launching rockets or breaking the speed of sound. For those things, you can test, observe failure/problems and make adjustments.  For example, Chuck Yeager was...
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