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electricity consumption

Evaluation, Measurement and Verification 2.0; A Whale Bus or an Airbus?

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
Evaluation, Measurement and Verification 2.0, or EM&V 2.0, is a nerdy term coined in 2014, according to this blog by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). The hype of EM&V 2.0, which I will explain later, is that it will automate measurement and verification, putting us engineers out of business. This is not going to happen anytime soon. Definition 2.0 The definition of EM&V 2.0 boils down to using utility meter interval data, typically hourly or sometimes every 15 minutes, or maybe even 5 minutes, to disaggregate and measure impacts from energy efficiency measures. One could consider that EM&V 2.0 is…
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clean power plan

Clean Power Plan v the World

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week, a colleague asked about my take on climate change. This is a wide open question, and my response was babbling and incoherent. Having some time to forge a coherent response, there is nothing in the technological pipeline, nor is there an existence of policy with teeth that will make a significant difference from status quo. Happy Holidaaaayyyys! Happy Holidaaaayyyys! While the merry bells keep ringing… Assume the Clean Power Plan (CPP) survives the blizzard of court cases and is successful by the year 2030. Consider the 32% reduction goal of the CPP by 2030. Using round numbers, if…
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Relative Humidity, by Socks and Jeans

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Sustainability No Comments
It is mid-June, and strangely here in the northern Midwest we have experienced virtually no warm, humid weather yet this year.  The weather can flip like a switch from a pattern of rain and clouds of the past several weeks to one that is hot and humid with little precipitation.  Now is a good time to talk about relative humidity and moisture. Relative humidity is something everyone knows about but hardly anyone understands.  How many times have you heard “It was 100 degrees with 99 percent humidity?”  I guarantee these conditions are 100% impossible, at least in the ambient outdoors,…
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State of the Electric Utility; Get Engaged

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Utility Stuff No Comments
Recently, Utility Dive released its report, 2015 State of the Electric Utility – a compendium of utility company prognosticative surveys.  Findings include: Utilities will move away from vertical integration – see last week’s Utility 2.0. The biggest opportunities are distributed generation, transmission, and customer relationships. The biggest challenges include old infrastructure, old employees, and primitive regulatory models. The biggest concern is flat to declining sales. There will be more use of natural gas, wind, solar, and distributed generation. As my personal finance instructor used to say, the most likely price (trend) tomorrow is the price. First, I wanted to see…
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Decoupling – A Love Story

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Utility Stuff 2 Comments
Perhaps I am naïve, but to be more effective it seems interveners would do well to understand motives of profit-driven enterprises and their customers.  Consider, for example, this recent article in Midwest Energy News lamenting CenterPoint Energy’s withdrawal from decoupling.  You may recall a post I made eons ago where I described the perverse impact of decoupling on prices for consumers.  Allow me to recap. Utilities have fixed cost of hardware and labor to deliver energy to customers – poles, wires, pipes, transformers, compressors, trucks, etc.  This stuff makes up the rate base and fixed cost of energy delivery.  They…
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Energy Savings Rubbish

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
The best thing about working in our industry is the potential for continuous learning, unlike nearly any other field.  There are enough things to learn about buildings, manufacturing, systems, how they are built, as in design, construction and commissioning to fill a 45 year engineering career.  One always finds something “new” even in old buildings – bizarre design concepts for example.  Have you ever seen how Fig Newtons are made?  It isn’t easy. Engineers might think, what else is there to programs besides determining energy savings, simple payback and possibly ROI?  About 75%, if not, more.  There are market assessments,…
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