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energy efficiency programs

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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Slick Willy Sutton is Paid for Performance

By Energy Rant No Comments
In the past couple of months, Energy Rant introduced pay-for-performance[1] (P4P)trends in our industry. See Tectonic Power and Pace, and Tooling Pay for Performance. It reminds me of the overused engineering adage: we provide services that are fast, cheap, and good. Pick two. In the case of P4P, “performance” may include goal achievement, cost-effectiveness, fairness, equity, or a host of other criteria. Pick two. I think most people in our industry would consider P4P to include meeting program goals and cost-effectiveness targets. In other words, we, as the buyer, will pay you, as provider, a bonus for exceeding savings goals...
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How About Some D in DSM?

By Energy Rant No Comments
I have always found it interesting that “demand-side management,” the term that is generally used synonymously with energy efficiency programs, includes virtually no demand management whatsoever. The term “demand-side” simply means the energy consuming side of the energy transaction, whereas, “demand” is an instantaneous power draw from a device, building, feeder line, substation, power plant, or an entire power grid. To date, energy efficiency programs have primarily been in search of any kWh (energy) savings at any time. I call these kWh “dumb kWh”. So, we have dumb energy efficiency savings from a supposedly smart grid. Discuss. This has got...
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Consumer Goods

Guest Post: Want to know the value of a free lunch, comrade? Stand in the bread line.

By Energy Rant No Comments
This week’s Energy Rant is courtesy of guest writer, Brian Uchtmann, Evaluation Engineer at Michaels Energy. Energy efficiency programs remind me of a joke about economists; here is my version for evaluators. Feel free to use this joke at your next party[1]. Two energy efficiency program implementers and an evaluator go on a deer hunt. In the distance, they see a magnificent buck. The first implementer aims and fires. The evaluator yells “Missed, way too high!” and jots down a few notes. The second implementer lines up and shoots. The evaluator yells “Missed, way too low!” and adds an entry...
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Risky Business, Believe Me

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Last week, paragraph two, I warned readers about this post, which discusses the impact risks for energy efficiency programs. When using efficiency impacts for 20-year utility resource planning, nearly all the uncertainty resides beyond the cushy office of the evaluator – in the field. This uncertainty and risk was demonstrated back in July in Drive-by Evaluation. The crux of that post was the uncertainty inherent with installation and operation, compared to risk on paper, which is comparatively very low. For reference, see the chart below where we show the cushy desk review versus reality (site inspected). Advancing the story in...
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Hey, Hey, Hey, Buggy Whip Bites the Dust

By Energy Rant One Comment
A couple weeks ago in Driving Ms. Free Rider Daisy, I wrote about free-riding new construction and lighting programs – that to make a difference we need a change in outdated rules for energy efficiency programs. One reader responded, “Good points that have been around since the word negawatt. Any program ideas, besides stop paying for LEDs, that helps us obtain negawatts beyond the free rider ones?” It is your lucky day. Another Buggy Whip to Walk the Plank You can spend a fortune on personal trainers, dieticians, doctors, and a personal chef to lose weight. Or you can spend...
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Driving Ms. Free Rider Daisy

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
Sitting on high levels of energy efficiency program design and evaluation provides a wonderful perspective and results in some astonishing epiphanies. Warning – data-backed bluster straight ahead. New Construction Programs We study the performance of new buildings all the time, whether it is for evaluation or looking for great retro-commissioning opportunities. Nothing provides a better opportunity for retro-commissioning than a stock of new buildings, whether they filtered through a new construction program or not. The chart below features energy performance of new buildings that went through a new construction program. We implement, and we evaluate projects nationwide (don’t bother guessing...
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Tales from the Energy Program Evaluation Asylum

By Energy Rant No Comments
I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing papers written for the International Energy Program Evaluation Conference, or IEPEC, over the years. I dig the conference, which I like to call the asylum, as I did four years ago. People in the evaluation business can get pretty fired up. While I witnessed no verbal punches at this conference, one guy was practically shouting his comment and quaking during his peanut gallery monologue. Is there a question here, somewhere? Here’s the thing: lighten up, y’all. Don’t take things so damn seriously. On that note, there were very constructive conversations around climate change....
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Energy Rant – Best of I Told You So

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Don’t you hate it when the holidays come, and the A-Team of whatever it may be – radio show hosts, NPR, WPR, other talk radio and news stations - play their “best of” broadcasts? It is essentially retreads of irrelevant, untimely information. Of course we don’t do this at the Rant. Instead, this holiday week, I am going to add some recent reinforcement and other timely information in which you are sure to be interested. Guaranteed, or you may need to see a counselor. Customer Engagement, Take 2 A few weeks ago in Customer Engagement, Get with It or Get...
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saved energy

Cost of Saved Energy – Drop it and Give Me Twenty

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
I was planning to write about industrial efficiency and the crimes of opting out this week, but while searching for supporting data, I found other interesting stuff; namely the cost of saved energy by state and by year. In 2009, ACEEE published a paper, Saving Energy Cost Effectively: A National Review of the Cost of Energy Saved Through Utility-Sector Energy Efficiency Programs (short titles are not one of their strong suits). A few years later they published an updated paper for the 2014 Summer Study For Energy Efficiency in Buildings. This one was called, Still the First Fuel: National Review...
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