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Efficient Reading: Bi-Weekly Digest of the Top Content Submitted to the Energy Efficiency Group in Energy Central- January 23, 2020

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Hard to believe we’re already three weeks into 2020, but the energy efficiency news rolls on no matter the time of the year! In fact, it may even be even more important to focus on energy efficiency during these winter months as heating leads homes to the highest utility bills of the year, so a focus on how to educate on efficiency and empower customers to save themselves money, while decreasing the overall load on the grid, is as vital as ever.

With that important topic as a back drop, let’s dive into what articles had Energy Central’s Energy Efficiency Group Buzzing over the past few week. And as always—if you think there’s a critical development that’s being missed in this digest, submit an article to Energy Central about it and flag it to me as a great topic for the next edition of ‘Efficient Reading’!

Matt Chester

Community Manager


Using Behavioral Nudging to Supercharge Energy Efficiency Programming

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All of the technology in the world can only do so much to bolster energy efficiency and reduce power demand if the human side isn’t also addressed. An area of increasing focus is in this behavioral aspect of energy efficiency, teaching and convincing users to adopt efficient practices or even use energy efficient technology in the optimal way. The expert models and engineering plans can promise all the potential savings in the world, but the user can (and too often does) stand in the way of delivering on that.

With that backdrop, Chelsea Froklage submits some important data and figures about the potential savings from tapping into behavioral efficiency initiatives and strikingly the amount of wasted opportunity when these aspects are not considered.


Smart meters gain popularity, but most utilities don’t optimize their potential to save energy

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Customers aren’t the only one at fault for not working to truly unlock the efficiency potential of these new technological advances. That’s the takeaway from this article posted from the blog of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Specifically, smart meters have a great opportunity to collect data, identify trends, and help utilities work with customers to optimize efficient behaviors. But in a study done by ACEEE that looked into 52 different utilities, they only found 1 of those surveyed utilities actually building out its capacity to optimize use of this data for the purposes of saving energy. Clearly the takeaway from these two articles is that there’s plenty of work to be done on all sides of efficiency.


3 Big Technologies Driving Energy Efficiency

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That focus on optimization and behavior, though, is not to say that the technology developments in energy efficiency are not critical. Quite the opposite, there are some really exciting trends in tech that are opening up new and innovative ways to capture energy efficiency. In this article, Karen Marcus highlights how the buzzworthy tech trends of IoT, AI, and blockchain are all moving past just an area for hype and into delivering real energy efficiency for customers and utilities alike.


Energy Central Power Perspectives™: Efficiency for All, an Interview with Kristol Simms of Ameren Illinois

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Last but not least is the topic of ensuring that energy efficiency measures are not the sole purview of those who can afford upgrades and retrofits. Justice and equity in energy efficiency is so critical, as the lower-income households are the ones that can most directly benefit from cost savings that come with efficiency measures. To highlight the opportunities in this space, Kristol Simms of Ameren Illinois is presenting an overview of ‘Efficiency for All’ at her presentation at the upcoming AESP 30th Annual Conference, and I had the pleasure of interviewing her ahead of time about this important and timely topic, so be sure not to miss that!



That’s all I’ve got for this edition of ‘Efficient Reading.’ Know that if you submit a great post on energy efficiency in the next two weeks, you very well may be featured in this spot for the next issue! And if you want to make sure your favorite piece doesn’t get overlooked in this bi-weekly digest, be sure to let me know in the comments what your favorite articles were.


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