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energy codes Archives - Michaels Energy

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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Modern Efficiency and the Disappearing Clapping Seals

By Energy Rant One Comment
A couple of weeks ago I was directed to an article in AESP’s[1] magazine discussing ways to improve efficiency program cost-effectiveness.  Although it wasn’t about avoided-cost and benefit-cost tests, it provides good stuff for elaborating in this blog. “Cost effective” in the context of the article means lowering the cost per unit of energy or demand saved.  Certainly, this helps to improve benefit-cost ratios, for most of the convoluted tests, that must have been concocted by graduate students under the influence of mind-altering chemicals.  Boy, do I wish we could dial back forty years so we could simply compare the...
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program

Program Adoption Curves – Telephones and Televisions

By Energy Rant No Comments

There are certain energy efficiency programs that we are never going to pursue – all those that are in the late majority and laggard stages. Those ships left the pier 10-15 years ago, and we are not going to attempt to catch them. In two words, they are widget programs, up, down, mid, over, under-stream programs of all stripes, including direct install. The previous chart[1] shows theoretical adoption and market share curves. Of course, in reality, adoption isn’t nearly as pretty, as shown in the next chart, which is fascinating. You will want to get your own version of that…

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DOE

DOE Pumping Standards – Can-a-Corn

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
Apparently, the nauseating term “low-hanging fruit” is not even a relevant idiom. According to Priceonomics.com, low-hanging fruit is all there is these days. Priceonomics says growers have for centuries been developing the modern Frankenfood-producing apple trees of today, but this miserable term lives on anyway. Priceonomics produced the following chart showing the use of four idioms for “easy” in recent decades. First, I must ask, why is pie easy? Making a good crust is as easy as dunking two basketballs at once. And why are fish in a barrel? My choice for replacing the miserable “low-hanging fruit” is “can of...
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Rant

The Rant, Behind the Scenes

By Energy Rant No Comments
This week, with the holiday slowdown, I am catching up on a bunch of stuff from the list of which would bore you. One that I don’t think will bore you is results and findings from the survey we launched a couple months ago. There were close to 100 respondents with the vast majority being from outside our firm. Thank you all for responding and congratulations to Elizabeth Titus (NEEP) for winning the cash prize drawing. What’s it about? Two primary objectives of the Rant include attempting to set the record straight and provide opposing views. It should be of...
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Energy Audits – Segmenting ASHRAE’s Jello, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

By Energy Rant No Comments
Just about every energy efficiency portfolio offers customers some sort of energy audit. They practically all feature home audits, audits with direct installation of measures, level II audits, feasibility studies and retro-commissioning studies. What are the differences between these audits? As evaluators, implementers, regulators, utilities, and energy users (i.e. everyone reading this[1]), you need to know. Like energy codes themselves, ASHRAE[2] is the source for defining various levels of audits. Audit levels 1, 2, and 3 simply define the rigor and depth of investigation and analysis provided by the audit. I have never liked the ASHRAE definitions because they are...
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Energy Codes – Bahahaha, You’re Killing Me

By Energy Rant One Comment
Last week’s post for Strategic Energy Management was milquetoast calm and civil. This post will provide more of what many Rant readers crave: brash provocation, with concrete reality to back it up. Here begins the fantasy of energy code effectiveness and compliance. This topic was spawned as I was assessing ACEEE’s 2015 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, for The Daily, Michaels’ internal daily news blog. The ACEEE state scores are developed from 50 total points, allocated as follows. [vc_single_image image="12715" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] My comment was/is that points for code enforcement and level of stringency should be reversed; i.e., there should be...
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Code Barriers to Efficiency; Sticking Customers with the Bee Gees

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
Our industry really needs to call timeout; take a look around and ask, “what the hell are we doing?”  Build it [energy program] and they will come?  No.  Build it, and they will be alienated and give it the middle digit. As noted most recently in a post on condensing boilers, I have written extensively about energy codes[1] outstripping the reality of human flaws; specifically, complex design and control sequences that require a 10-year industry expert and a licensed professional engineer to even understand the intent of a vast swath of the code. Another perversion of the incomprehensible mumbo jumbo...
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Commissioning and the Symphonic Cat

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant One Comment
Last week I discussed the need to simplify energy codes to disallow the variable air volume systems that (1) 95% of design and construction professionals don’t understand from an energy perspective, or (2) require constant babysitting by the other 5%.  This week the topic is commissioning; another critical function to achieve real energy performance. Commissioning has become the rage for energy codes, and before long, it will be required along with all the other things that are required and not achieved. Quickly, to douse the risk of losing readers, commissioning is an oversight role that should be fulfilled by an...
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Energy Code (non) Compliance; Could it be… SATAN?

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
I spent last week at ACEEE’s Summer Study for Buildings, and one topic area I maximumly followed was energy codes and code compliance.  In past years, I would rank codes and standards second to the bottom, just above lighting for my priorities.  The reason for my sudden interest is the vaporizing gravy train of widgets, especially lighting and the need for other savings mechanisms.  Why not code compliance? [vc_single_image image="9093" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] States are updating energy codes willy nilly to the next rounds of ASHRAE 90.1 / International Energy Conservation Code.  As the Church Lady used to say, “Isn’t that...
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