Northwest Meets Midwest in Webinar Hosted by MEEA

Making Good Programs Great: Best Practices in Program Delivery

Date: Thursday, December 12
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Tune in as City of Seattle and Puget Sound Energy take a break from the rain and spread a little sunshine. Hear program best practices from your Northwest peers.

Join the webinar Making Good Programs Great, brought to you by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance & EnergySavvy!

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In Seattle, Community Power Works completes nearly:


Puget Sound Energy‘s recent email outreach resulted in:


The speakers divulge best practices and techniques in 4 key areas based on program data transparency and control:


Expert industry speakers include:

  • Luke Giustra from Puget Sound Energy
  • Ruth Bell from Cascadia Consulting Group
  • Adele Bihn from Data Marketing, Inc.
  • Scott Case from EnergySavvy

Special thanks to the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance for hosting the webinar. View the webinar now!

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Join the Better Buildings: Better Business Conference in Chicago

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The residential, multifamily and small commercial building and remodeling community will come together December 10-11, 2013 at the second annual Illinois Better Buildings: Better Business Conference®. Our friends at the Energy Center of Wisconsin have organized this second annual event with a new convenient location at the Crowne Plaza near Chicago O’Hare. Hear the latest on building technologies, strategies, techniques, financial incentives, code requirements and more. EnergySavvy is proud to participate as a Bronze sponsor.

From the conference organizers…

Whether you’re looking to obtain continuing education credits (more than seven hours of continuing education for builders, remodelers, contractors, architects, building performance consultants, home inspectors, raters, LEED APs, LEED Green Associates and more are available), stay ahead of the latest trends, increase your technical skills and code knowledge, find new business opportunities or learn new ideas—the Illinois Better Buildings: Better Business Conference is a not-to-be-missed event. The conference will feature 42 sessions and 44 topnotch local and national experts who will share their knowledge in various platforms to fit different learning styles.

You can choose from 12 different tracks and attend an entire track or mix and match the sessions that interest you most. You’ll definitely want to check out the demos at some point. These reality-based learning experience will give you the chance to challenge the technology and talk with those who know their products best.

 

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Industry Embraces Staged Retrofit, Energy Efficiency Pathway to Deeper Savings

EnergySavvy Announces New Capabilities to Support Emerging Best Practice

Utility spending on energy efficiency programs will continue to grow rapidly, up to a projected $10 billion in 2015[1], despite the wind-down in public funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). As the market matures, utility and state programs require new strategies in addition to whole-building upgrades and retrofits. Programs are turning toward incremental approaches to achieving deep energy and cost savings. New technical standards like Home Performance XML (HPXML), are enabling these initiatives to reach scale.

Staged Retrofit Offers an Energy Efficiency Pathway vs. ‘All or Nothing’ Approach

The Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), which runs energy efficiency programs in multiple regions of Virginia, and EnergySavvy have announced the deployment of a business and technology strategy to grow energy efficiency savings in a post-ARRA world through the implementation of staged retrofit.

Early adopters of upgrades and retrofits were able to take advantage of generous federal, state, and local incentives and rebates. Often, those incentives drove comprehensive whole-house and whole-building retrofits.

But the low-hanging fruit is increasingly harder to find. To make energy efficiency more attainable for a larger number of customers, programs have figured out that people are more likely to make a to-do list and chip away over time as they have the money.

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Quantifying and Delivering on the Promise of Staged Retrofit

Technical sophistication is required to track, quantify and deliver energy efficiency measures and savings in a staged approach. Energy efficiency programs offered by states and utilities need to generate leads and track progress through multiple projects and potentially multiple programs.

Optix, EnergySavvy’s demand-side management system, has built-in staged retrofit capabilities to:

  • Provide programs with sophisticated customer targeting algorithms
  • Track measures implemented over time through multiple projects and programs
  • Re-market to customers through each stage
  • Maintain a consistent record of each customer across programs

The Optix staged retrofit template is one of many program templates within the SaaS platform alongside single measure, energy audit, home retrofit, commercial assessment, commercial single measure, commercial retrofit, and others.

Industry Support for Staged Retrofit and Software Standards

“Every step of the way LEAP has invested in the tools and processes necessary to achieve greater scale. Staged retrofit will be an important strategy to continue to generate energy savings. And HPXML will allow us to interact more efficiently with our trade ally contractors, increasing participation and satisfaction, by giving them more choice in the tools they use and by reducing data errors and redundancy.”

—Cynthia Adams, Executive Director, LEAP

 

Leading industry organizations, such as National Home Performance Council (NHPC), are advocating for a staged approach to energy efficiency that encourage “homeowners to plan for the long term and implement energy efficiency improvements over time in such a way that they would eventually achieve a certain level of energy savings (i.e. a specified decrease in energy consumption).” (NHPC, 2013)

This staged approach may reduce program costs and minimize the upfront costs to homeowners by allowing them to make improvements over time, or to bundle energy efficient improvements with other, planned improvements. Having the infrastructure in place is crucial for implementing this strategy; programs or participating contractors must be able to track and measure energy savings from improvements over time, as well as predict how different measures, implemented over several years, will add up to a given level of savings.

Larry Zarker, CEO of the Building Performance Institute (BPI), helps develop standards for the industry. “Our goal is to help contractors, utilities and financing entities share information without imposing a burdensome new data collection process on each,” said Zarker. “This allows the industry to cost effectively track the energy savings created by home efficiency improvements, which in turn builds consumer confidence in the home performance industry.”

What are your thoughts about emerging best practices like staged retrofit or the adoption of industry standards like HPXML? Leave a comment below… 


[1] Barbose, Galen L., et al. “The Future of Utility Customer Funded Energy Efficiency Programs in the United States.” Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, January 2013. PDF file.

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Five Million Data Points Uncover State-by-State Energy Efficiency Potential

Online Energy Audit Data Now Available for the First Time

Housing attributes and energy habits from more than 120,000 U.S. households illuminates the opportunities for energy efficiency upgrades and potential savings in the country.

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Interactive infographic provides insight on energy efficiency potential by state among consumers actively exploring opportunities to improve their homes.

Generic residential building stock data is widely available. Utilities, city planners, and other professionals rely on this data to understand the profile of homes in a given market. However, representative housing data cannot help determine the triggers or motivations of homeowners; in short, why they would act.

The key piece of missing information is a homeowner’s propensity to seek out energy efficiency information, rebates, incentives, and potential. Access to residential building stock data from homeowners and residents who have expressed an interest in energy efficiency improvements can help utilities and cities design incentives and build programs that will move the needle on energy efficiency and demand-side management programs.

Interactive Infographic Unlocks the Data

EnergySavvy has compiled a Residential Data Assessment, the result of more than 120,000 completed online energy audits with Optix Engage on EnergySavvy.com between 2010 and 2013. The audits were completed by homeowners and residents who visited EnergySavvy.com, primarily as a result of natural search terms indicating an active interest in home energy efficiency upgrades (for example:  ”energy rebates Boston”).

This interactive infographic pinpoints energy efficiency potential by state through analyzed, region-specific data. It uncovers opportunity for savings by aggregating the potential within heating, cooling, wall and attic insulation, appliances, and usage habits, as well as attributes like draftiness, age, and size of home.

For EnergySavvy’s utility customers, the source data is available for custom analysis on a state-level and within specific service territories. Data from a customer implementation of Optix Engage can help utilities design and plan energy efficiency programs that match specific needs in the market, as well as provide the tools to target the appropriate segment of households that are in the market for those programs.

Using this type of data, a utility DSM executive could answer questions like:

  • Which homes are oil-heated and would have the best return on an upgrade to a high efficiency gas furnace or electric heat pump?
  • Which homes reportedly feel drafty and could benefit from low-cost, high impact air sealing?
  • Which homes have thermostats set high in the winter and low in the summer and could benefit from incentives for programmable thermostats or behavioral programs?
  • Which homes have old refrigerators and could take advantage of recycling programs and rebates on a newer, more efficient model?

The EnergySavvy Residential Data Assessment data set contains over five million data points that help uncover untapped energy efficiency potential across the country. For utility marketers, program managers or DSM portfolio executives, this information could be invaluable.

Energy Efficiency Opportunity by State

Here’s a look at some specific insights by state:

Lighting:  North and South Dakotans report using more conventional light bulbs than any other state, at 1.5 times the national average. Vermonters, by contrast, report using efficient bulbs at the highest rate, 1.8 times the national average.

Appliances:  States with the most stand-alone freezers in addition to a primary fridge and freezer? Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, all in excess of 2x the national average.

Heating Set Point:  West Virginians like it warmer in the winter. They set their thermostats higher than most other states. Rhode Islanders keep their homes the coolest in winter.

Air Conditioning:  Mississippians have the highest percentage of homes with central AC older than 15 years. 28% of homes with central AC could be candidates for upgrades or replacement. 

Cooling Set Point:  Alabamans set their thermostats cooler than any other state in the summer. Others who keep their AC chillier than average include residents of Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Need More Data?

For more information on our data or products, please contact the EnergySavvy Team.

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Seattle is Paving the Way for More Women in Software Development

New Seattle-based program, Ada Developers Academy, is launching a year-long intensive software development training school for women.

Seattle is known for its vibrant tech scene and it is no secret that we rely heavily on our software developers. Here at EnergySavvy, we are lucky to have one of the best and brightest engineering teams around. You may know that hiring developer talent is extremely difficult – there are 20,000 unfilled STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs in Washington, and 65%of new STEM positions are in computer science. Not only that, but 85% of software developers are male.

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Source: Ada

It’s been shown that diverse teams frequently outperform. Especially in Seattle, we could all benefit from greater diversity and would love to see more women, in particular, taking more positions in computer science. We want to do everything we can to bring more women into software development, for the betterment of the entire tech community.

What’s the buzz about Ada?20130911115029-ada-indiegogo

Scott Case, our COO, and Kalpana Narayanaswamy, our VP of Engineering, have been actively driving the development, sponsorship and direction of Ada Developers Academy, a year-long intensive software developer training program for women in Seattle. It’s a free (did someone say free?) course that combines six months of classroom instruction in cutting-edge web technologies with up to six month of apprenticeship at a Puget Sound-area tech business. It can even include a monthly stipend to accommodate all financial situations.

With Scott & Kalpana’s direction, we are proud to announce our involvement and excitement as a sponsor of Ada.

  • As a sponsor, we’re not only making a financial contribution for a student to learn everything she needs to know to become a successful developer, but we’re also hosting an intern for six months.
  • The first class starts October 28th, and the application window closes soon- September 30th. If you know of any women who are interested in careers in software development, please encourage them to apply.

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