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AESP – Energize energy efficiency

Conferences seem to energize us.  It is an opportunity to get together with the brightest people in the industry and talk, network, strategize, and really connect.  It was wonderful to be with more than 800 industry professionals for a week at the AESP national conference in Phoenix, sharing professional insights and personal connections.

This year, there was a subtle change among the conference topics.  It was interesting to see AESP address both the personal and technology side of our business.  I thought I was headed to a session on RFPs and found myself in a session on work/life balance!  The discussions about work-life balance indicate that we are all concerned about trying to do more with less, and finding the goldilocks “just right” zone for both work and play.

In addition to finding inspiration from attending AESP National, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be the 2016 AESP Vice-Chair for the Implementation topic committee/C&I.  While at the conference, the C&I team discussed many of the current topics in an ever-changing industry.  Our focus for 2016 will be: overcoming barriers and converting C&I audits to installations, bundling energy efficiency as part of supply-side procurement, and upstream/midstream programs– challenges and lessons learned.  Also of interest is the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and we will likely focus on that after the state submissions are filed later this year.  The Implementation topic committee’s goal is to write two AESP Strategies articles and conduct two brown bags this year.

Stay tuned for what is coming in the April Strategies newsletter with the first of a two-part article on midstream programs.  This first part will highlight myths, benefits, challenges, and barriers.  Part two will be published in May and detail success stores and case studies.

DNV GL’s contribution is based on our extensive experience delivering midstream programs.  We have found that for the customers, utilities, and distributors, midstream programs are a win-win-win scenario.  For the customers, they simply purchase a reduced-cost product and instantly recognize the savings.  For the utility, midstream program administration costs are lower, paperwork is significantly reduced, and all products and incentives are agreed on in advance.  For the distributor, they track sales, provide data to the program, and then receive the incentive check after the data is validated without any complicated applications or delays.

As the program administrator for midstream programs, DNV GL has learned that the education of distributors is critical.  The DNV GL outreach team trains distributors on the program rules, submission and software requirements, and provides collateral materials.  This time spent educating the distributors pays off when the data on the program comes back with a high degree of accuracy, making QC of program data and reducing M&V risk a less frustrating task for all involved, ending with an incentive check for the distributors and savings for the utility.  Many midstream programs focus primarily on lighting products; however, there are significant opportunities in other measure categories.  At DNV GL, we have added transformers and battery chargers, with HVAC terminal units, commercial kitchen, and compressed air equipment rolling out in the near future.

Please reach out to discuss how we can help you with a midstream offering to help your organization meet its energy efficiency goals in a safer, smarter, greener way with DNV GL. For more information on our experience with midstream programs, read my colleague Steve Baab’s blog on the topic.

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