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efficiency Archives - Michaels Energy

carbon reduction

Opening Salvo to Grid-Interactive Buildings

By Energy Rant No Comments
To help accommodate intermittent renewable solar and wind power generation while minimizing grid and supply-side energy costs, the Department of Energy, its national labs, and our industry are exploring possibilities to use buildings as grid resources. The acronym de jour is GEBs, for grid-interactive, efficient buildings. What about the I? A focus group decided that gebs sounds better than giebs; therefore, GEBs[1]. Potential GEB benefits include: Accommodating large penetrations of renewable energy by shaping loads to take excess power when it is available for use when it is not available. Decarbonization. Energy conservation. Less-expensive energy supply. More customer control over...
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Case Study in Energy Transition

By Energy Rant No Comments
No one will confuse me with Simon Sinek, a great speaker, but one thing I can do is nail my timeslot. If I’m mindful of the time I have available, 20 minutes, etc., I will nail it – except one time[1]. That was last fall as I was doing my fourth rendition of electrification for the Wisconsin Public Utilities Institute. I update my presentation every year for current data and trends because the audience deserves it. But I tried too much stuffing for that bird. After several practice runs, I was consistently 10 minutes over the time limit. I thought...
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Energy Demand Management

Energy Demand Management for Mad Dogs

By Energy Rant No Comments
Does every decision boil down to a binary choice? A binary choice is a decision between two alternatives, like yes or no, and do or do not.  This applies to determining what ‘is’ and ‘is not’ a factor in decision making. For example, deciding that the color of a car you may be considering ‘is’ or ‘is not’ important is a binary choice. This is how we slice through the peanut butter, decide what matters, and get on with it. We narrow down and hone into what is essential. Binary decisions are primitive, as demonstrated in a December post featuring...
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zero net energy

Zero Net Cost for Zero Net Energy – Melt the Calf

By Energy Rant No Comments
Have you ever thrown a cat into the deep end of a swimming pool? Neither have I, but I bet they wouldn’t like it. Likewise, status-quo program evaluators will not like what’s coming down the pike for several reasons, starting with one in this post for residential and commercial new construction programs. A few weeks ago, I read a post from fellow small-time blogger (speak for yourself, Jeff) Joel Gilbert. His topic was low carbon foods. He wrote, “But, I offer this observation [about the food craze]:  I have never seen such a groundswell of enthusiasm around these ideas.  Perhaps...
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grid modernization

Grid Modernization Risk and Protest

By Energy Rant No Comments
God, it’s great to be back writing again. On that note, here is a quote, “There’s an old saying: Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.” I’ve been under a rock all my life because I had never heard that one. It’s the opening line to this NIMBYism and grid modernization article. This subject, ironically, is one of the very first ones I wrote about over ten years ago in Renewable NIMBY. According to the article coopted by Energy Central and written by ersi (what it stands for is anyone’s guess), and references the DOE,...
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impact

Inch or Mile? Indispensable Thumbs Guide Impact Evaluation

By Energy Rant No Comments
Hi. How’re you? Jeff Ihnen here. I’m back and almost live. I’ve been away on several temporary assignments that are starting to wind down. We are thrusting forth into the 11th year of the Energy Rant! Indispensable Thumbs Unless you have broken one, lost one, or had one immobilized, you probably have no idea of the value of your thumb and its equivalent, the big toe. I’m sitting on an airplane as I bang this out, munching a bag of almonds. Thumb and a finger. Thumb and a finger? That’s how you and I and anyone with a fully functioning...
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climate

Little People Take on the Climate Industrial Complex

By Energy Rant No Comments
My undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum at South Dakota State University included requirements for six credits of humanities and nine credits of social sciences. What is this? Who needs this stuff? Walk on the Slippery Rocks I actually enjoyed most of these courses, one of which was philosophy. What a flaky class. There was no work. There were no exams. The goofball professor spewed philosophy and moderated discussions of paradoxes and whatnot. One of those discussions was whether South Dakota should be America’s garbage dump, for princely fees of course. Essentially, should we trade self-induced exploitation for money so we can...
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Strategic Energy Management is Elvis

By Energy Rant No Comments
You’ve been there – on the phone trying to get some help from a car dealership, appliance store, online retailer. The menu choices are unclear, especially for auto stores (hit zero). It makes me cringe when I hear my Mom say she called Dell for help with her computer. Yikes, Mom. This isn’t the plumber on Main Street. Maybe Dell isn’t bad, but hearing my Mom say she was on the line “with them” for two hours, I have my conceptions. I would expect no help from an organization like that. Any help would be above and beyond. So what’s...
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energy

Soaked to Crisp Threats and 100% Renewable Energy

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week I attended the International Energy Program Evaluation Conference, IEPEC, which I had affectionately dubbed the Energy Program Evaluation Asylum, EPEA, six years ago. Back then, I called it the Asylum because it included annual scrums over subjects such as net-to-gross (NTG) studies, free ridership, and so on. The Family Feud is Dead You’ll never believe this, but the industry seems to have moved on. The only time I heard “NTG” was during the opening-night entertainment exercise – a gameshow wannabee modeled after the Family Feud. “One hundred evaluators were surveyed. The top six answers are on the board....
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energy cost

Property Value, Rent, and Energy Cost Exclusivity

By Energy Rant, Uncategorized No Comments
About twenty years ago, I moved into my first home, which sits on a beautiful lot where the cattle used to graze. When you think about it, all homes sit where wildlife used to frolic, but I digress. The point is, a first-time homeowner, especially one with a substantial lot and a long driveway, is in for a few surprises. I remember saying $10,000 checks were flying left and right, and that’s not even for the mortgage payments. Driveway: $5,000. Lawn seeding: $2,000. Mowing tractor and snow removal equipment: $7,500. There were at least twice that many nickels and dimes....
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