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energy management Archives - Michaels Energy

Big Tech

Chasms of Big Tech and Utilities

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last month, Utility Dive posted an article describing how big tech (Google, Amazon, etc.) is taking the lead for home automation and energy management. But there is still hope for utilities – they have trusted relationships with customers, Dive says. Chasms of Risk Tolerance There may not be a pair of industries more dissimilar than big tech and utilities. Big tech has so much cash flow they can afford to have half their products bomb: Amazon failures include Fire, Destinations, Local, Register, and Importer. I only recognize Fire and none of these other boondoggles. Too bad, so sad for Mr....
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energy management - Jeff's team

The Sport of Energy Management

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week I proved that energy management is too much work and hassle for the average schmo, unless… That is the subject of this week’s post. I am the youngest of four kids who lived on a farm, so walking or even riding a bike to Jimmy’s or John’s house was not a viable option. Play with the siblings? Pffft. We competed in everything from board and ancient-video games to table tennis. I was damn good at that, by the way. We Want to Destroy You We didn’t have soccer at all, but thankfully, one parent/organizer in a nearby town...
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Prestige, Not Pain – Efficiency at Home

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
I call your attention to the brilliant marvel of engineering shown in the image below. This model was developed before most of you were born. It is the little diesel engine that could – get 60 mpg, in my second car – a 1984 Ford Escort Diesel. Most people didn’t even know they existed, but as a college sophomore, when I got tired of my crappy, rattling, vibrating, chintzy Mustang, I snapped up this baby for a deep discount from the Billion auto empire in Sioux Falls, SD. [vc_single_image image="14536" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] There was no air conditioning or power anything,...
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Saving Energy – Lessons in Self Improvement

By Energy Rant One Comment
Last week in Behavior Freak, we explored the ratio of energy savings to beer consumption at the Delta house (answer = χ/∞ = 0 ). Specifically, that post explained why college students’ only motivation to save energy is currency, and absent currency, the needle does not move. This week we explore more interesting behavioral success with commercial building actors, also operating under no specific personal monetary drivers. The secret ingredient: timely, useful information, and maybe a little human nature – energy management success or failure for large office building facility operators. This post is based on a paper presented by Buildings...
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Strategic Energy Management or Strategic Anger Management – Which is Right for You?

By Energy Rant One Comment
I have written about, and formally discussed, strategic energy management (SEM) so much I was sure I already wrote a Rant on the topic. After looking, I wrote about SEM and Yoda, Try Not, Do or Do Not, a year ago, but that was about measures and opportunities. This time, let’s consider SEM programs. SEM Beyond Industrial Strategic energy management is often pigeon-holed as an industrial or manufacturing effort. This is unfortunate and wrong. Strategic energy management is great for commercial and multi-family facilities. Strategic energy management is especially good for MUSH (municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals) but also office...
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Utility Innovation – Smart Load Building, Yes; Smart Apps, Not so Much

By Energy Rant One Comment
Constant, 60 Hertz, 120/208 Volt, 277/480 Volt power, 99.999% of the time. That’s it. That is all electric utilities need to supply their customers. Like Porsche’s slogan, “There is no substitute,” a utility’s slogan should be, “There is nothing else[1].” This post features examples of what utilities can do, and probably not do, for increasing customer engagement, sales, and services. Smart Load Building - Yes Smart load building fulfills a customer need, and in many cases, produces net benefits to the environment and reduces emissions. Not-smart load building includes selling toaster coils to make hot water or space heat –...
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Strategic Energy Management – Try Not, Do or Do Not

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
A couple months ago, I co-authored an AESP Strategies article with Diana Husmann from Nexant and Teri Lutz from Tetra Tech. The subject was non-residential behavior programs. One of the undercurrents that was revealed to me in that process is that strategic energy management, SEM, seems to get pigeonholed as a “behavior program”. First, to digress a bit, every program is a behavior program. ACEEE summarizes these nicely in their Field Guide to Behavior Programs. A super summary of behavior elements are as follows, taken directly from that paper. Cognition programs focus on delivering information to consumers. Categories include general and targeted communication...
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Technology Application – The Crown Jewel

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Utility Stuff No Comments
As I watched one of the bowl games on New Year’s Day (darned if I can remember which one), the team behind had possession of the ball around mid-field with maybe a minute to go on the clock to score a touchdown and win, or not and lose (behind by four points).  Armchair QB advice: either throw the ball over the middle far enough downfield to be worth the time that will burn off the clock, or chip away with short out patterns to get out of bounds and stop the clock.  So, what is the boneheaded call?  A lateral...
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Energy Management System – Not Another Litter Box

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
In recent weeks, I have been spending considerable time examining energy management system projects for energy efficiency program evaluation on the east coast.  My conclusion is this: blown opportunity abounds. The program documentation for one particular project drips with evidence that the project is a free rider, which means the project would have happened anyway in absence of the program.  How do I reach this conclusion?  First, the calculation methodology could work if the user knew what they were doing, but it is clear they either don’t know what they are doing or don’t care to get it right –...
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