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performance contracting Archives - Michaels Energy

Investor Confidence Project – Inoculation Against Hucksters

By Energy Rant One Comment
Led by the Environmental Defense Fund, the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) provides a platform of quality assurance checks and balances for energy efficiency project developers, quality assurance providers, investors (lending companies), and building owners. It could be the greatest mechanism for deep and wide energy savings since the T8 light bulb. I was first introduced to the Investor Confidence Project as I was reviewing abstracts for AESP’s 2016 Spring Conference in Philadelphia. The following snippets are from the abstract summary. There are many investors and tons of capital waiting to be poured into energy efficiency projects. The problem is that...
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performance contracting

Performance Contracting – Getting it Right; Avoiding #1 Matches

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
Per the Energy Services Coalition, energy service companies (ESCOs) that deliver energy savings performance contracts do the following: Identify and evaluate energy-saving opportunities Develop designs and specifications for construction Manage the project to installation and monitoring Arrange financing Train staff and provide ongoing services Guarantee savings will cover all project costs What’s not to like? [vc_single_image image="13080" img_size="full" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="http://bestofpicture.com/far-side-comic-hell.html#modal-6 "] A band of demons staked out in the contract details. I was reminded of this by this noteworthy article published in Buildings magazine. After discussing the author’s points, I will add plenty of my own guardrails to protect...
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EE V IRS

By Energy Efficiency, Government, Investments, Tax Stuff, Utility Stuff 2 Comments
Warning: I am not a CPA or tax attorney, and I do not have 63 years available to determine for myself that all contents of this rant are correct. A couple years ago I wrote an Energy Brief about the need for life cycle cost analysis to make the right decisions for selecting the best option for an energy project.  Since that time, we haven’t exactly been living up to this ideal, in large part because we’ve been doing a lot of work for profit-driven enterprises. Life cycle cost analysis for non-profits is pretty easy.  It includes first cost, borrowing...
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Abracadabra – 10%!

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government No Comments
“Thrown under the bus.”  Now there is a term that has to be going out of style pretty soon.  The phrase is used practically daily by everyone, especially in the news-talk business.  Where did that come from?  Why is it so popular and useable?  Has it ever happened?  It seems it would be very difficult to do.  You would have to take the guy down like roping a calf and somehow stuff them under the cargo hold while the bus is going down the road I guess??  Your timing, strength and technique would have to be impeccable.  It may deserve...
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Horse and Buggy EE Programs

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Utility Stuff No Comments
In many states, energy efficiency programs are meeting annual savings goals and their incentive cash is depleted in a fraction of the year.  States where energy efficiency programs are a new offering are especially quick to meet goals.  These states include Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.  These states rely heavily on lighting, which accounts for somewhere in the range of 90% of the total savings.  Even mature states like Wisconsin and California still get well over half their savings from lighting and other prescriptive measures (rebates).  Wisconsin surpassed goals and ran out of incentives last program year. There are many ways...
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Fortune 100 Energy Efficiency

By Energy Rant No Comments
One of the downsides of the surging awareness and growth in energy efficiency and renewable energy, in my opinion, are all the Johnny Come Lately energy services arms of giant corporations.  Companies include Lockheed Martin, United Technologies, Eaton, and Chevron.  These giants have revenues of $45 Billion, $53 Billion, $12 Billion and a meager $176 Billion, respectively.  Poor Chevron’s revenue dropped from $275 Billion from the year prior.  Maybe they should focus on their core business and leave the energy saving to the rest of us.  Among these, only measly Eaton isn’t in the Fortune 100 (Eaton comes in at...
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No Free Lunch

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
A few years ago, I took my beloved Acura to the tire store for new tires.  As I was sitting on their crappy molded plastic chairs at a Formica table working away on my laptop, a cheesy 20-something sales guy approached me and asked if I would like a free alignment.  “I don’t have a problem.”  “But it’s free.  No obligation”, he goes on.  “Ah what heck, go ahead.”  He returned a few minutes later as I’m hammering away on my laptop and he says my wheels should be aligned because…whatever.  I put on a scrunchy-face look and decide that...
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