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Happy October from Seinergy. Here are a few thoughts about what’s going on in the energy efficiency space these days from my perspective.
[EPA rules] should account for both utility and non-utility programs and therefore should be based on gross savings rather than net savings.
Above is an excerpt from the NWEC’s draft comments to the WA Department of Ecology, suggesting how WA State should respond to the Federal Act. WA State will provide EPA with official comments by June, 2015. Stay tuned for updates.
BPA chases NP savings
“You don’t want estimate that you have to build a power plant or obtain additional resources when in fact [energy efficiency] is happening but you didn’t know about it,” said BPA’s Carrie Cobb in this YouTube video (http://youtu.be/jhPeC47KRvA) .
BPA is ramping up efforts to document energy efficiency impacts from measures installed without direct utility incentives–aka, non-programmatic savings. According to a 2011 BPA report as much as 14% of the region’s residential, 15% commercial and 10% of overall conservation resources may occur outside utility programs. Currently most of these are not quantified. Considering the region spends about $2.5 billion on utility programs every 5 years, the “market value” of these unreported savings is pretty significant.
Like NEEA, BPA leverages data samples from a variety of sources, estimates where these measures land (by building and fuel type) and then extrapolates to Public Power’s share of the region. These numbers only get reported to the Power Council. Although big numbers are intriguing, they don’t offer utilities insights about their customers, loads, and effects on remaining conservation potential. For utilities seeking this type of data granularity, other solutions exist. Hint: rhymes with “energy”. 😉
The not-so-Sustainable Works
We were surprised (and disappointed) that Sustainable Works closed its doors in September. This Seattle non-profit promoted fuel neutral residential energy efficiency in the Seattle and Spokane areas. Sustainable Works was a prominent non-utility recipient of significant ARRA and SEP (State Energy Program) funding, receiving nearly $4.0 million in grants since 2008. The organization employed nearly 50 people and kept many subcontractors busy. We wish all of their former staff well, and hope that the industry momentum they encouraged carries forward.
The demise of this company appears to correlate with the reduced availability of external funding opportunities. To me this serves as a cautionary tale to any entity that pursues grant funding without a solid plan to establish viable (read: sustainable) operations that will persist beyond the initial stimulus.
Community Power (still) Works
The Seattle home performance industry is pleased that Community Power Works continues to provide funding and services to homeowners pursuing whole home retrofit packages. Unfortunately participation in CPW requires the full “soup to nuts” treatment, which starts with a comprehensive audit. Residents wishing they could get individual rebates–to insulate a single part of their home, just add windows, or just upgrade their heating system, for example–are not eligible for funding through this program model.
Smith sets sail
Mary Smith will set sail from the utility world on October 30. Pun intended. Adventures await as she and her husband, Jeff (also retired from Snohomish PUD), sail to Europe by way of the Panama Canal in their 44′ ketch, the SV Finte. Bon voyage, Mary!
Hirsch on the move
We are thrilled to see our friend, Nancy Hirsch, promoted to the Executive Director at the Northwest Energy Coalition. Nancy has been an EE expert and policy stronghold within the Coalition for years, and we look forward to having her at the helm.
Smit heads south
Kevin Smit recently joined the NW Power and Conservation Council to help, most immediately, with the 7th Power Plan. The Council must be thrilled with this hire, which leaves so many utilities across the state now wondering: who will do their Conservation Potential Assessments now? Good news for consultants in the utility CPA business.
Rosolie & Shepard-Gaw
Just in case you missed it, Eugene Rosolie shortened his commute this fall by taking a role with NEEA. David Shepard-Gaw filled Eugene’s shoes at Cowlitz PUD, joining them from WA Department of Commerce.
What happened to Ray?
Seinergy offers overdue congratulations to Ray Grinberg. Formerly an energy efficiency staff at Peninsula Light Cooperative, Ray is now General Manager at Lakeview Light and Power (just south of South Tacoma). Congrats, Ray!
EPA 111d Legislative Hearing in Olympia, Monday October 27.
NEBC “Future of Energy” Conference at Seatac Hilton, Wednesday November 5.
WA UTC Legislative Hearing for I937 “Proposed rule adoption hearing”, (also) Wednesday November 5.
NW Energy Coalition Annual Conference and Gala, at Portland Hilton, Friday & Saturday Nov. 7-8.
WCTA Annual Breakfast Meeting, Seattle, Wednesday November 12.
ACEEE Conference, San Francisco, Sunday-Tuesday November 16-18.
Seinergy is in full production mode within Snohomish County and Grays Harbor County this Fall. We will document over 1 million worth of 2014 electric kWh savings in the two PUD service territories.
South Sound catalog grows
Seinergy continues to engage installers across the state to catalog where energy efficiency is hitting the ground, er, grid. Right now we’re collecting hundreds of gas and electric jobs in the South Puget Sound are – energy resources that affect loads serving Mason, Pierce, Thurston, King, Lewis and Cowlitz Counties.
Carl Davis joined the Seinergy team this month part time, focusing on Snohomish County customer service and contractor engagement. Carl comes to us most recently from Neil Kelly, an energy efficiency and remodeling contractor. Carl is BPI certified and is a sub-subcontractor also performing PSE Home Print assessments when not engaging contractors for Seinergy.
1. Seinergy is pleased to join the Cleantech Association WA (WCTA) (http://www.cleantechalliancewa.org/) and looks forward to the first annual breakfast meeting on November 12. WCTA is made up of about 300 individual, tech, and utility members.
2. Seinergy also joins the WA Weatherization Association (http://www.washingtonweatherizationassociation.com/) , providing networking and knowledge sharing in the weatherization space since 1987.