Seinergy Newsletter – April 2015 –

Momentum savings, Marijuana Efficiency, Open EE Meter

Web Page version Here

Plain Text Version Here:


** Momentum Savings: A Tool For Bonneville or Resource for All?

In early 2014, BPA lead an effort to re-brand energy savings occurring outside utility programs as “Momentum Savings”. Previously called “non-programmatic”, these savings exist above the Council baseline and are not included in NEEA calculations.

In their 2011 Redbook, BPA reported that Momentum Savings comprised 9.4% of the region’s efficiency achievements. Today, armed with newer and better data, they forecast Momentum Savings as 31-54. The magnitude of these savings is undoubtedly worth some attention.

So how does this help Utilities? BPA’s momentum savings will probably be allocated based on load and may help some utilities with regulatory compliance.

However, utilities often value customer service as much as – or perhaps even more than – they value saved kWh from programs. Will utilities leverage regional momentum insights while adding value to local customers? Seinergy welcomes the attention and validation BPA brings to this type of savings.

We have been documenting site-specific Momentum Savings since 2012, helping utilities understand local activity so they can improve outreach and understand remaining potential. We hope that between BPA’s macro research and our local insights, the region will make the most efficient use of resources (pun intended). Stay tuned as this story unfolds.


** Momentum Savings at 2015 Efficiency Exchange

I sat on a panel about Momentum Savings at the Efficiency Exchange 2015 ( in Portland on April 22.

I was honored to share the stage with Tom Eckman who reiterated that these savings have always been in the Council’s targets, are approved in WA for I-937 compliance, and would be expensive to ignore. “Oversupply costs a lot,” he articulated.

The panel was coordinated by Carrie Cobb from BPA, who described how understanding momentum savings can inform how to best leverage utility efficiency spending. My takeaway from Eckman and Cobb are that Momentum Savings are huge, shouldn’t be considered a threat to utility programs, and are a useful planning tool.

Jacob Henry from Grays Harbor PUD, also on the panel, represented the smaller utility perspective and asked energy efficiency existential questions such as, “Will Momentum Savings kill customer incentives? Will upstream incentives replace existing, more costly measures? How will customers respond if/when they learn that utilities are buying their data rather than directly incentivizing them?”

After Henry, I discussed the reasons why so many qualified projects are completed without rebates, and how these savings can be documented at a site specific, fuel specific level. Momentum savings are both an exciting evolution in the efficiency program story, and a potential game changer.


** Bob Visits 1,200 Marijuana Starts

Q: What’s red and blue and a major source of conservation potential?

A: Indoor cannabis production

Indoor marijuana production is and energy intensive scientific process. Blue light spectrum for small plants, and deep red spectrum for blooming plants. However, if left unchecked, grow facilities can consume 60-200 W/SF – an astronomical power intensity for any industry. Most of this energy is consumed by lighting, and for cooling the excess heat produced by lights.

LED’s have the potential to reduce light intensity by 60% and HVAC loads by as much as 85%.

Seinergy now leases LED modules ( to licensed growers, a service that addresses barriers to capital for growers and barriers of influence for some utilities. More news to come on that front.


I recently had the pleasure of meeting Matt Golden, an entrepreneur and energy efficiency policy advocate. He turned me on to a cool new project called Open EE meter:

Here’s a preview from the website

“The EE-Meter measures a standard equivalent unit of efficiency. It makes the negawatt as real as a kWh or BTU for regulators, utilities, contractors, investors, and consumers with transparent, ongoing feedback quantifying energy savings and cash-flows delivered through energy efficiency upgrades, and a standard and reliable measurement for the negawatt markets can rely on.”


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