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efficiency programs Archives - Michaels Energy

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Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings Part 4: Utilities Ask, Why?

By Energy Rant No Comments
This is the fourth in a series of posts on grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs). Here is a summary of the series: August 23 – Why GEBs? What is it, and why do it? August 31 – GEBs are difficult to achieve, beyond efficiency that should be done regardless. September 7 – What will customers think of this madness? Let’s peek at where we’ve been and where we are going. This series is based on a list of challenges noted in DOE's National Roadmap for Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings: Consumer awareness (Covered 07SEP21) Complexity (Covered 31AUG21) Utility interests (Today) Regulatory models Policymaker...
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impact evaluation - yoga

Impact Evaluation, Bull Riding, Cookies

By Energy Rant No Comments
I've been doing a lot of program impact evaluation for the last few months. That comes with pluses and minuses. One of the minuses is that I needed to suspend writing this blog for a while. Pluses include problem-solving, working with staff throughout our company, and forensics engineering. Impact Evaluation But first, what is impact evaluation? I have a broad audience, and I get great feedback, some of which is, "I don't know what you're talking about sometimes." Entities delivering efficiency programs (implementers) are responsible for delivering savings or impacts. For custom efficiency portfolios, which entail a wide variety of...
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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. [vc_single_image image="14603" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] Traps capture things, right? Mousetrap. Ant trap. Beartrap. Ackbar trap. However, a steam...
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bipartisan

Efficiency’s Problem: Cyborgs, Fragments, and Climate

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
The number of bipartisan political issues that can be counted on one finger is shrinking fast. All this while the definition of bipartisan has been lowered to a single vote from the opposing party. Energy efficiency is not among the bipartisan issue (sic). It is unfortunately limited to the left-wing of the political spectrum as once again demonstrated by Ohio where the deep red legislature in House Bill 6 passed a $1.1 billion bailout to keep two nuclear plants afloat, and efficiency - dead. Ohioans – Screwed, Coming and Going But there is more. Since it would be unfair to...
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Breaking Bread with Lost Sheep

By Energy Rant No Comments
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” – Mathew 9:10-12.[1] I was lost in the wilderness in search of inspiration for another post when Jesus came to mind. So I thought, “Jesus ate with sinners. I’ll look that up and see what I find.” What I found...
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Stifling Impacts of Jurassic Evaluation Dogma

By Energy Rant One Comment
If efficiency programs were telephones, the evaluation community would still be using wall-mounted analog dial-ups rather than the iPhone. Yes, I’m going to tell you why programs are designed to be evaluated and not to be effective, part 2, herein. The following is the list of flaws in demand-side management theory, as presented last week. Efficiency must cost more than inefficiency Building energy codes are sacrosanct Efficiency has to be the primary factor in customer decision making Customers must “get their money back” The unfamiliar get fifty cents on the dollar Immortality is fantasy Last week we covered the first...
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Stop Conforming to Waste

By Energy Rant 4 Comments
Two weeks ago, I wrote that efficiency programs are designed to be evaluated. They are not designed to be effective. That quote, or paraphrase, came from the great Val Jensen, Exelon’s Senior VP of Strategy and Policy, as spoken at AESP’s 2019 Annual Conference. Val is great because he is genuine, authentic, and tells it like it is, at least as far as a utility spokesperson can take it. I’d love to hear him if we could remove his utility filter. That would be fantastic. There would be sufficient material for thousands of Rants. Like many things with which I...
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Pay 4-Performance Sequel

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
For some strange reason, I’ve learned a lot about pay for performance in recent weeks. To spare tongues everywhere, let’s call it P4P. P4P efficiency programs are on the move once again. It is interesting to note that the last time P4P was the rage was during the deregulation gambit, almost 20 years ago. Like denim preferences, what goes around comes around with efficiency fads. The Original One of the most popular programs during the prior faddy P4P era was called a “Standard Offer” program. What marketing genius(es) coined that brand? I like metaphors, but I can’t think of any...
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Xcel Energy Spending

The BQDM Rounding Error Solution

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week we took care of the seals, mountains, earthquakes, and crickets. This week we are advancing the discussion to cover the realities of demand-side management benefits. I know what it’s like to be short of time, all the time, so here is a super summary of last week’s post to bring you up to speed: Traditional efficiency programs, including 99% of those functioning today, get their savings by giving money to people in exchange for buying efficient widgets – like flipping sardines at clapping seals. Programs are designed around getting widgets installed and finding the next widget to fill...
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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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