Fall Edition
2014 Willkommen! Wishing Everyone
a Colorful Fall Season.


Welcome to another busy autumn for Johnson Consulting Group. During the past few months, our work has been taking us on scenic tours across the country and the globe. It's been wonderful to attend conferences in Monterey, California and Berlin, Germany while also making regular treks to Winter Park, Florida and Little Rock, Arkansas. It's even more exciting to see that ways in which the energy efficiency community continues to expand in so many new and intriguing ways. In addition to our ongoing EM&V work, we are also now engaging in several new policy-related assignments and even tackling the nebulous area of quantifying non-energy benefits.


But no matter where these travels take me, I keep the old adage in mind wherever I go, "East, West, home is best." I hope you all have a chance to have some fun enjoying your home and loved ones during this fall season.



Dr. Katherine Johnson, President

Reimagining Weatherization Programs: New Strategies, Approaches & Tactics      


Weatherization programs, policies and designs certainly seem to be back in fashion. Johnson Consulting Group has been involved in some of the more innovative new program approaches to weatherization programs for several clients in the past few months.' New Proposed Approach to Weatherization


First, we facilitated the Parties Working Collaboratively (PWC)'s Weatherization working group as the seven investor-owned electric and gas utilities, intervenor groups, and key stakeholders worked to develop A Proposed Approach to Develop a Consistent Approach for Weatherization Programs Across All Utilities in Arkansas.


With the assistance from the PWC Weatherization working group, as the Weatherization working group facilitator, we developed the following materials to provide a better understanding of the current market, identify gaps in program delivery, solicit feedback from key stakeholders and incorporate Weatherization Best Practices.     

  • A Summary of Current Weatherization Programs supplemented by an Appendix of complimentary programs that support weatherization activities;
  • Hosted a Weatherization Technology Conference in March in Little Rock, Arkansas. Staff from several Arkansas rural electric cooperatives participated in this Weatherization Technology Conference;
  • Completed a gap analysis of the current program offerings relative to the specific needs and requirements specified in Commission Order No. 7 in Docket 13-002-U;
  • Conduced a literature review of Weatherization Best Practices to identify several other program models that could provide a solid foundation for Arkansas to pursue in developing this consistent approach across all utilities.

The PWC Weatherization working group developed a recommended approach that leveraged the current success of Arkansas' programs. This approach retains a decentralized delivery of a consistent weatherization program by the IOUs. The consistent program consists of core elements[1] that will be offered by all of the IOUs and allows each utility to incorporate additional elements to address the specific needs of the utility's service territory. In addition, this approach retains much of the existing weatherization program infrastructure facilitating an easy transition, which minimizes costs. The Core Program will replace the existing Arkansas Weatherization Program (AWP) funding. In this way, the Core Program's key elements are the same across all the IOUs substantially reducing confusion by customers and contractors.  


This approach was submitted to the Arkansas Public Service Commission for approval on September 29, 2014. We will keep you posted on its outcome and next steps.

Other Innovative Program Approaches

Katherine also co-authored a paper, which was presented at the ACEEE's Summer Study: A Modern Twist on an Old Classic: New Program Designs for Low and Middle Income Residential Weatherization Programs. This paper describes three innovative utility approaches to reaching low and moderate income residential customers

  • PSNC Energy's In-Home Audit Program
  • Idaho Power's Weatherization Solutions Program
  • Consumers Energy's Building Blocks Program

It also highlighted some of the best practices and lessons learned from these unique program designs and further reinforced the importance of thinking outside the box to incorporate customer education and outreach with these program delivery strategies. To read the paper or review the presentation, please follow the links.


As a follow-up to the ACEEE study, Katherine refined and expanded her presentation to include an update on new approaches to weatherization program designs in the multifamily market. This presentation, (click here), also includes some of the highlights from the newest programs offered by Entergy Arkansas.    


But none of these activities would be possible without help from a number of talented colleagues including Gary Ambach from Michaels Energy who assisted the PWC in developing Arkansas' approach and my co-authors: Gary Grayson, Idaho Power, Jonathan Kleinman, CLEAResult, and Jodie Roberts-Smith, PSNC-Energy. Thanks to everyone, and especially the PWC weatherization working group for tackling these big challenges and being willing to "think outside the box."


Arkansas Continues to Blaze New Trails in Energy Efficiency


In addition to developing new approaches for weatherization programs, the Arkansas PWC has also been busy with several other critical EM&V activities.


Throughout the past six months, the PWC worked collaboratively and cooperatively to develop and refine the Arkansas Technical Reference Manual (TRM) including the EM&V Protocols and the deemed savings values. TRM Version 4.0 incorporates the findings and recommendations from the PWC based on both the expert judgment of the evaluators and the experience from the PWC and the program implementers. This update process is working effectively and all parties have a chance to actively participate in the review. With each update, the TRM becomes a more valuable resource both to the Arkansas energy efficiency community as well as a model for other states. TRM Version 4.0. reflects the best information available to provide guidance and direction to the EM&V activities currently underway in Arkansas. One of the real trail- blazers responsible for these advances in the Arkansas energy efficiency community is Ms. Colette Honorable, Commissioner and Chair of the Arkansas Public Service Commission. Commissioner Honorable was nominated in August to serve as Commissioner for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Ms. Honorable also currently serves as Chairman of the Board and President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. 


We wish her all the best, and know that she will continue to make lasting contributions to the energy community wherever she serves.


Where in the World is Dr. KJ?

Nov. 11 & Dec. 9 Utility Advisory Board
    Meeting, City of Winter Park Utilities, FL
Thanksgiving, New York City 
Feb. 2015 AESP National Conference       
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EM&V Collaboration Across the Pond


Arkansas' remarkable achievements were highlighted at the International Energy Policy and Programme Evaluation Conference in Berlin last month. Katherine presented a paper she co-authored with Matt Klucher from the Arkansas Public Service Commission staff describing the innovative approaches used to address critical policy and EM&V issues. The paper, All Together Now! How Collaboration Works in Arkansas, was well-received by session attendees from Europe, Australia, Japan and the United States.


The session also featured a number of interesting papers on several emerging topics, including quantifying non energy benefits.   It was a wonderful opportunity to discuss different approaches to energy efficiency issues and Berlin offered a unique glimpse into both the past and future of Europe. The conference was "Sehr Gut!"


Click here for photos from Berlin

In This Issue
Reimagining Weatherization Programs
Other Innovative Program Approaches
Arkansas Continues to Blaze New Trails in Energy Efficiency
Where in the World is Dr. KJ?
EM&V Collaboration Across the Pond
Breaking News
Breaking News ...

Katherine just authored an article on

defining best practices for the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) Strategies newsletter. Click on the following link to read more about it.