Lies, Damned Lies and Tracking Energy Efficiency Savings

June 12, 2015

I just read an interesting piece by Stephen Lacey in greenTechMedia called “Lies, Damned Lies and Modelling: Energy Efficiency’s Problem With Tracking Savings.”

The article discusses the issues around determining the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs — and how the Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) industry is scrambling to find meaningful, accurate and timely ways to measure the impact of the huge amounts of money spent every year in the US on ratepayer-funded efficiency programs.

“Utilities in the U.S. now spend more than $7 billion per year on ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs. Within a decade, ratepayers may be supporting up to $15 billion per year in utility efficiency spending, according to government estimates.”

With so much tax-payer money invested in these programs, utilities are desperate to show value in return, and often turn to consulting firms (and a bit of modelling “hocus pocus”) to validate their programs.

"To me, the real scandal is how much utilities spend on consulting firms to determine cost-effectiveness. They don't use energy data; they use projections, models and widgets.” said Blasnik, now a senior building scientist at Nest Labs.
The article goes on to hi-light the important role submeters will play in the eventual solution, harkening back to the age old adage that “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”.

“Efficiency entrepreneur and policy advocate Matt Golden, a frequent contributor at GTM, believes utilities are ignoring their most important piece of infrastructure: the smart meter.”

Read original article here

Gord Echlin, VP Sales and Marketing, Triacta