Skip to main content



Inch or Mile? Indispensable Thumbs Guide Impact Evaluation

By Energy Rant No Comments
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…
Read More

NMEC Hedgehogs and Straw Dogs

By Energy Rant No Comments
As the third in a series, we are going to wrap up the normalized metered energy consumption (NMEC) protocol groundwork this week. See the first and second posts to catch up in case you missed those. The first post covered new construction programs for which NMEC doesn’t apply because a baseline of normalized energy use is needed for NMEC. The first post introduced non-routine events (NREs), which are random and not accounted for in any model. The second post explained that NMEC is ideal for residential behavior and weatherization programs. The second post explained that because of several specific NRE…
Read More

Goals – Think Big or Step Aside

By Energy Rant One Comment
Featured Micro-Rant: Anyone who thinks or says, “We’re all efficient. The candy is gone. The cow is dry. The turkey is cooked. The apple tree died. It’s time to quit.” IS WRONG. (yes, that was me yelling) I believe, as demonstrated last week, that the greater savings and more cost-effective savings are waiting to be harvested through engagement and dispersion of timely, relevant information to energy users. Let us continue from last week with discussions of how to arm building operators to slay their own drift of energy hogs. Information, inspiration, a little direction, and a destination are very powerful…
Read More

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…
Read More

Tax Deduction Pennies

By Energy Rant, Tax Stuff No Comments
Recently, we received our umpteenth “request for proposal” (RFP) to provide the engineering required to capture the elusive $1.80 tax deduction on new or remodeled buildings.  We spend a lot of time, money and effort to drive business through our doors but I’m not sure I want to see another one of these. Like the rest of the universally incomprehensible tax code, the engineering piece of this is relatively complex.  If we did this all the time, it wouldn’t be a problem.  But it seems we get the next RFP just as the rules are overwritten in my long-term memory…
Read More