ACEEE Highlights Different ApproachesJeff Perkins for Zondits, December 12, 2013
ACEEE runs some of the best conferences in the energy efficiency industry and their recent event in Nashville was no exception. While you can find all of the presentations from that event on their website at www.aceee.org, the three highlighted here below tell a compelling story together. The first outlines what makes a good industrial energy efficiency program and concludes that the industrial sector provides some of the biggest gains and has among the lowest costs to acquire efficiency. The second one highlights NSTARs very successful MOU program which fosters a close working partnership with the largest customers by providing specific terms for assistance and incentives in exchange for a committed package of efficiency projects. And the third one reviews Ohio’s industrial self-direct program, sharing lessons learned and underscoring some of the drawbacks to that approach.
With high potential and low cost of acquisition, plus positive side effects for the entire rate base, it is clear that industrial clients are a critical piece of the efficiency pie. There are plenty of people who believe that if the efficiency proposition is that good, a smart business would do it without outside help, but years of history have shown this is simply not the case. Most businesses are stretched thin and focused primarily on their product (as they must) with little time for side projects no matter how viable. Without some form of outside catalyst, even the most beneficial of projects can languish. While another article we featured on this site reports that in some states industrial clients are looking to opt out, these three make it clear why that is not the best idea.