In partnership with AESP: The increasing roles of DERs, connected technology and Big Data are driving rapid change in energy efficiency. As we shape the Utility of the future, this community will help you keep up with the latest developments. 

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Efficient Reading: Monthly Digest of the Top Content Submitted to the Energy Efficiency Group in Energy Central- May 21, 2020

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The energy efficiency business continues to be a bustling one, even amid the pandemic and while businesses and economies begin to slowly open up. In fact, the changes over the past few months have shown how important energy efficiency measures really are. Not only do customers have an added focus on ways to minimize their energy bill, the public is seeing tangible impacts to reduced overall demand creating environmental benefits, while experts also express surprise that the reduce in total energy demand wasn’t quite as drastic as they had perhaps expected and undercut the opportunity for future improvements to efficiency strategies and models.

It’s with that background that we keep putting this focus on the Energy Central Energy Efficiency Community. So if you’ve fallen behind on your reading, fear not—this digest has some of the highlights from the community over the past four weeks!

Matt Chester

Community Manager

 

Social and Environmental Impacts of Energy Efficiency

Link to original article: https://energycentral.com/c/pip/social-and-environmental-impacts-energy-efficiency

First off, we have a great piece from Faratoluwa Oyenuga—an energy efficiency expert at Eversource Energy—highlighting the social and environmental impacts of energy efficiency. For many customers, the focus on efficiency understandably is tied to saving money. On the utility side, encouraging affordable energy efficiency solutions is also driven economically. However, the social and environmental impacts of effective energy efficiency measures can likewise be profound, and Faratoluwa shares some really compelling data points and ideas in these areas that could serve to drive home for utilities and consumers alike how critical energy efficiency is moving forward into the coming years.

 

Energy Efficiency Continues to Be Cheaper Than Natural Gas

Link to original article: https://energycentral.com/c/ee/energy-efficiency-continues-be-cheaper-natural-gas

A main economical driver for energy efficiency at utilities is the affordability simple efficiency measures have in assisting supply and demand to meet compared with simply ramping up generation, especially as that generation might come from costly peaker plants. Continuing down that same line of thought, this posting from EMP Staff at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab provides an overview of their recently published paper that finds energy efficiency is indeed less costly than natural gas generation. When a utility assesses coming plans for how to keep up with reliable and affordable power, studies like this will help drive investment funds towards energy efficiency measures—creating a great win-win with customers.

What a National Emergency Has Taught us About Customer Engagement and Achieving Energy Savings

Link to original article: https://energycentral.com/c/pip/what-national-emergency-has-taught-us-about-customer-engagement-and-achieving

The COVID-19 situation of course hangs over many decisions being made by utilities these days, and when it comes to energy savings goals that continues to apply. In this insightful article, Tom Kovalak (Director of Utility Business Development at AM Conservation Group) highlights how the lessons we’ve learned from wide-scale reaction and operations amid the pandemic have underscored the best way to reach customers, utility and otherwise. While the lessons may have been learned in the sectors like healthcare or retail, the astute utility professional like Tom is able to realize what those ideas would mean if properly implemented in the energy industry in an effort to increase energy savings.

 

The dark side of the cloud – How energy efficiency programs can make the IoT more secure

Link to original article: https://energycentral.com/c/iu/dark-side-cloud-%E2%80%93-how-energy-efficiency-programs-can-make-iot-more-secure

Lastly, Wesley Whited—a senior consultant of advanced lighting & controls at DNV GL—marries energy efficiency programs with another extremely hot topic these days: cybersecurity. Utilities have traditionally in the past been overly-siloed, with different departments operating independently from the others without communicating effectively about programs and strategies. The effective utility of today and tomorrow, however, has been breaking down those walls—and luckily that means there’s immense opportunity to marry cybersecurity insights with energy efficiency programs in a way that makes both areas of focus even stronger and more effective. Wesley provides some great ideas and insights in that regard.

 

That’s a wrap for this edition of ‘Efficient Reading.’ Know that if you submit a great post on energy efficiency in the next four 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 monthly digest, be sure to let me know in the comments what your favorite articles were.

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