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utility programs

Better than Best Program Practices

By Energy Rant No Comments
When Val Jenson talks, I listen. When he writes, I read. His recent article in Energy Central triggered an avalanche of ideas for a program, portfolio, and industry overhaul needed to get us there, which is the next level of savings equal to the last 25 years of lighting replacements and retrofits. Those days are gone, and unfortunately, the line of thinking that got us here (light bulbs) won’t get us there. Downstream Days are Numbered Let’s start with my favorite need for an overhaul, which is my greatest peeve – rebates and cash incentives to customers, known as a…
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Why Energy Efficiency? – Five Findings

By Energy Rant No Comments
This year ACEEE published a three-part series on why people and companies invest in energy efficiency. First, they provide some guesstimates of energy efficiency investment in the United States. Their researched estimates vary from $60 billion to about $120 billion, annually. Is this a reasonable guesstimate? According to their State Scorecard, program spending on natural gas and electric demand-side management programs held steady at about $7.5 billion in 2016. Check. The International Energy Agency pegs worldwide investment at $231 billion and about $40 billion in the U.S. Check. As a laugh test, $100 billion is a measly 0.5% of the…
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Energy Program Evaluation, Not Activism

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant 4 Comments
In my day, we didn’t have peewee soccer, football, gymnastics, or tee-ball.  We had to improvise and make up game rules to play two-on-two football.  We had no gear; not even the cheap plastic crap from Sears.  We set the lawn mower as low as it would go to cut the sidelines and goal lines and made up the rules as we went.  We were a bunch of hayseeds throwing a rubber football around, inflicting bone-on-bone pain to each other, pretending to be in the NFL – and we liked it!This may sound like the Grumpy Old Man, but it…
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ACEEE Summer Camp 2010

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Sustainability No Comments
Well here I am again – a prisoner in the penitentiary that is the Minneapolis Airport.  Northwest Airlines now part of Delta Delta Delta can I help ya, help ya, help ya (YAH! – you can get me the hell out of here) can’t fly through a swarm of mosquitoes without being delayed.  This is the burnt crust on the dessert that was otherwise a great week.  And as usual, I can’t help but sit here and ignore the MASSIVE amount of energy gobbled up by this place.  It’s a bowl of hot soup outside.  It is about 68F inside…
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Paying to Lose

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Utility Stuff No Comments
Jenny Craig customers do it all the time – pay money to consume less.  This may make perfect sense to people who understand customers’ needs, but to others it seems really stupid to pay somebody to help use less of something.  This is a bit like utility programs that spend money for customers to use less of their product. The vast majority of our energy work comes from referrals and repeat clients.  On numerous occasions, we seemed to have customers at the tipping point, only to have them bail out at the last minute.  Why?  The utility introduced us to…
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Energy Efficiency Stimulus and Oversight

By Energy Rant, LEED, Stimulus One Comment
Most energy efficiency programs are required by regulators to be evaluated to ensure ratepayer money is being spent wisely and reported savings are being achieved.  If only such oversight were to happen for the millions/billions/gazillions being shelled out to state and local governments in the name of energy efficiency. State and local governments have Amazon-wide budget gaps to fill, and I can assure you that earmarks (dirty word) for energy efficiency will find their way to plug budget holes to keep buildings open, replace roofs, buy new lawn mowers and pickup trucks, and avoid staff reductions. We in Wisconsin have…
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