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energy savings Archives - Michaels Energy

efficiency

Fish Fried Conversations of Efficiency

By Energy Rant No Comments
As described last week, net savings and program attribution are measures of an efficiency program's influence on making a project happen for utility customers. There is a range of influence that energy savings has in motivating customers to do a project, and that range is 0% to 100%, while accurate attribution results may be 90% or better. The role of energy savings in a decision can be largely irrelevant in determining attribution. How? Non-energy benefits! The situation reminds me of fluid dynamics, a core course in mechanical engineering. There are major friction losses and minor friction losses. Major losses are...
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buildings

The Simple Recipe to Fail-Safe, Healthy, and Efficient Building Programs

By Energy Rant No Comments
Based on my victims' feedback, I am an above-average cook, but my internal modesty says, barely. To achieve such mediocrity, all you must do is follow the instructions and pay little attention. The next step to greatness, I’ve heard, is to weigh rather than measure things (cups, teaspoons, etc.). No. Thanks. Beyond that probably requires the Malcolm-Gladwell 10,000 hours to achieve excellence as a professional. Designing and constructing buildings is a lot like cooking, and I think most “efficient” buildings are in my categorical class of cooks: mediocre-plus. Unlike great amateur cooks, designers and builders need to be paid for...
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four horsemen

The Four Horsemen of the Rebound

By Energy Rant No Comments
“Hey Honey – our energy costs are down, so let’s have another kid.” This is the absurd logic behind studies linked to a Utility Dive post last week. The subject is the retread canard of the rebound effect, specifically the hoax [sic] that if you use less energy, you use more energy. They even go so far as to claim that consumers drive their cars more when gas prices drop. Why were gas prices in the tank (pun alert) with oil prices bottoming out at minus $37 per barrel in April of 2020? Prices were low-to-negative because people weren’t driving,...
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ouiji board

Performance Programs, Ouija Boards, and Mark Twain

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I could not compete with my former self and Gene Simons from last week, but I went back to the Gallup psychoanalysis barrel for more inspiration. I don’t want to write about myself unless it helps you understand why I’m so, uh, peculiar. Like Mr. Simons, I’m an insatiable consumer of information, maybe not books so much – although I’m sure I broke personal records since the Covid – but digital publications, interviews, conference papers, and journals. The psychoanalysis says, “It’s very likely that you rely, to some extent, on your passion for reading to help you launch conversations. Engaging...
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Gene Simmons

Performance-Based Programs; Do You Have the Delusion?

By Energy Rant No Comments
Employees at Michaels get a free psych-x profile (it’s not my area of expertise) to determine personal strengths through Gallup. My top strength is “context,” which means I’m a historian. What does this mean? I observe history, including my mistakes, others’ mistakes, and continuously analyze human nature. For example, I watched a webinar[1] last week on how to be a “rock star” of success. You’ve heard of others called a “rock star,” right? “Rock star” made lists of overused terms years ago. The presenter said, (paraphrasing) “it doesn’t matter whether the person is a customer, supervisor, owner, or employee; all...
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impact evaluation - yoga

Impact Evaluation, Bull Riding, Cookies

By Energy Rant No Comments
I've been doing a lot of program impact evaluation for the last few months. That comes with pluses and minuses. One of the minuses is that I needed to suspend writing this blog for a while. Pluses include problem-solving, working with staff throughout our company, and forensics engineering. Impact Evaluation But first, what is impact evaluation? I have a broad audience, and I get great feedback, some of which is, "I don't know what you're talking about sometimes." Entities delivering efficiency programs (implementers) are responsible for delivering savings or impacts. For custom efficiency portfolios, which entail a wide variety of...
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impact

Inch or Mile? Indispensable Thumbs Guide Impact Evaluation

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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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No Penalties for Attribution

By Energy Rant No Comments
This week, we finish the series on attribution studies. First, let me explain, while I beat up attribution assessments, they are necessary. This post will conclude with how I think they should be used. Experimental v Quasi-Experimental Second, I want to make a couple comments about last week’s post. Near the end, I explained randomized control trials (RCTs) for determining attribution. Test samples need to be drawn before the attribution study using the RCT. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this never happens when determining the attribution of an efficiency program. The attribution study always occurs after, or at best,...
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Behavior by a Left Brain Efficiency Freak

By Energy Rant One Comment
E2e, and I have no idea what that stands for, is a joint initiative of University of California-Berkeley, The University of Chicago, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their charter is to assess and quantify the energy efficiency gap between estimated, or ex-ante savings, and observed or measured savings; kind of like the Energy Rant attempts to provide. In Kool-Aid and Happy Face Rugs, I first referenced one of their reports in which they critiqued WAP – the federal government’s weatherization assistance program. That paper indicated WAPs produce only 40% of claimed energy savings. The methodology caught a lot of flak...
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Xcel Energy Spending

The BQDM Rounding Error Solution

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week we took care of the seals, mountains, earthquakes, and crickets. This week we are advancing the discussion to cover the realities of demand-side management benefits. I know what it’s like to be short of time, all the time, so here is a super summary of last week’s post to bring you up to speed: Traditional efficiency programs, including 99% of those functioning today, get their savings by giving money to people in exchange for buying efficient widgets – like flipping sardines at clapping seals. Programs are designed around getting widgets installed and finding the next widget to fill...
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