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utility Archives - Michaels Energy

united states

Efficiency in Your State – Hulk Hogan v Rowdy Roddy Piper?

By Energy Rant No Comments
What are the key ingredients to high-performing energy efficiency programs? That is the question that came to mind as I randomly grabbed an old edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly out of my six-inch stack of unread stuff. The article is entitled Top-Performing States in Energy Efficiency by Sanem Sergici with the Brattle Group. You can read that yourself, but I only got about three paragraphs in and realized how broadly one must observe to answer the question at hand. Administrators and Delivery Contractors What is an administrator? They are responsible for the results of a portfolio of programs for a...
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energy storage

Energy Storage with Doug Houseman

By Energy Rant No Comments
In this week's Energy Rant, Jeff Ihnen (CEO at Michaels Energy) interviews Doug Houseman (Principal Consultant at Burns & McDonnell) about energy storage. Doug is a leader and visionary in grid and utility modernization. You'll quickly get a sense of his wealth of knowledge as we take you through our interview-style conversation.
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pay for performance

THE Successful Model for Pay for Performance

By Energy Rant No Comments
Livin' it Up in Hotel California I’ve written about pay for performance (P4P) programs no less than six times in this blog. I’ll start with a recap of those posts and move the ball forward once again. We’re well within field goal range! In Tooling Pay for Performance, I wrote that energy models and dashboards with regression models showing savings performance or lack thereof provide the following Leatherman-like benefits. It provides leverage with visual evidence, so customer stakeholders do more and climb higher. It’s a vise-grip to maintain what was accomplished. It’s a hammer to “persuade” folks. It’s a screwdriver...
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P2P – Proven to Perform – Program Design

By Energy Rant No Comments
This post rolls out better ideas for pay for performance (P4P) programs you read about in the last two posts here and here. But first, I will set the stage from the perspective of the program implementation contractor. Perhaps it is best depicted with a scene from the cartoonish 1977 Clint Eastwood flick, The Gauntlet. I think a bit of cooperative teamwork is needed to make P4P approaches work – and they can work well! [vc_single_image image="14373" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://highteadreams.com/2017/04/16/the-gauntlet-1977-usa/"] Punk There is another issue with third-party P4P concepts, and staying with the Clint theme, it goes like...
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Electricity Subscriptions For Trouble – A Baker’s Dozen

By Energy Rant 4 Comments
The recent edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly features an article that showers virtues of subscribed energy – an all-you-can-eat energy bonanza. There is a reason I’ve grown to crinkle my nose at buffets! Consumers subscribe to Amazon, Netflix, SiriusXM, and per the article, even Lyft is offering a new subscription service for all the rides you want in a month. In the1990s, one token would allow me to ride the New York subway all day – forever actually. Now there is a subscription for you – all the toe fungus, gout, and hair implant remedy ads you can stand for...
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The Millennial Threat and Opportunity For Utilities

By Energy Rant No Comments
One step toward success is ignoring what you like and observing what others like, and how things change with time – I mean, really change! With that note, changes and likes brought about by millennials are a threat, and an opportunity for utilities. My Way I may have been destined for engineering as I rode in the humongous Ford LTD sedan with my parents. I would notice how the automatic transmission would “shift gears” with no apparent action from my parents. I would watch what they were doing just to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Were they clicking a...
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The State of Program Evaluation and Tips for Picking Good Evaluation Practitioners

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant One Comment
This post is brought to you by the International Energy Program Evaluation Conference (IEPEC), circa 19, er 2015.  I moderated one session featuring four great papers and presentations concerning residential space heating and cooling.  I also observed one concurrent session for nearly all the timeslots in the conference.  The theme I found, which was very pleasing to me, is that doing useful research and evaluation is challenging and expensive. The reason it pleases me is that, well, getting things right is everything, but it also levels the playing field.  I hate losing bids, but it is less painful to lose...
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Electricity from Natural Gas – The Game Changer; I’ll Say!

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
[vc_single_image image="9260" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] Last week, I mentioned that having a diversified fleet of power generating plants is a smart strategy for any utility; specifically, diversity by fuel source.  The recent natural gas bonanza cut loose with the perfection of hydraulic fracturing and mind-blowing drilling capability (vertical a few thousand feet, then horizontal a few thousand feet) has unleashed a fury of kneejerk policy and utility strategy changes. As is common with the Energy Rant, Jeff says, not so fast.  It isn’t that easy.  There are consequences and major challenges with racing down this road without thinking. First we have...
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Bounteous Savings at Home

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
Continuing on from the surface scratch delivered in Refrigerator Sitcoms and Lethal Toaster Ovens, this post provides more fact, fiction, and maybe some things you’ve never considered for saving energy. First, I came across some interesting data while reviewing evaluation reports for a major Midwest utility last week.  Recall in Bait and Switch, and again backed by ACEEE as explained just last week, regulatory agencies need to stop stopping fuel switching from dumb uses of electricity to smart uses of natural gas.  The specific item is the electricity guzzling clothes dryer.  As it turns out, the saturation of electric clothes...
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Dude- Cheap Cookies

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
Taking a suggestion from an anonymous rant reader [doesn’t want to get fired], I purchased and have been reading a book called Predictably Irrational.  Figuring out peoples’ decision-making process is my job – to win proposals, design programs that people want, and how to attract and keep the best workforce.  Process evaluation of EE programs contributes a great deal to this as well. Now, I ask you to find a calm state of mind, such as lying in bed on Saturday morning.  Relax.  Hang with me till I explain this.  For worse and better, engineers are more rational than non-engineers. ...
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