Johnson Consulting Group

Fall Edition
Autumn Adventures
Welcome to Fall, my favorite time of the year! We welcomed the arrival of Fall with several new projects followed by a trip to enjoy scenic cities in New England and the Maritime provinces in Canada.  We're already off to a busy start, completing several projects and starting several new ones.
As we travel across the country during this Fall season, we wish you all a wonderful Fall season. May you find time to jump in some leaves, sip some hot cider and perhaps sneak a baked a pumpkin treat (Emily's are very good).
                                  Dr. Katherine Johnson, President
Tier 2 Advanced Power Strips: Examining Energy Savings Potential in a New and Changing Market

Mesa Point Energy and Johnson Consulting Group announce the release of a new white paper addressing the current approaches used to quantify energy savings possibilities from Tier 2 Advanced Power Strips and identify areas for research in this fast-changing and evolving market.

Reliable savings quantification is possible, but to ensure the use of best practices, DSM program design and Technical Reference (TRM) development must avoid using incomplete and limited research that does not have wide support in the industry to differentiate between different APS Tier 2 products and their various implementation and control strategies.  Some TRMs have diverted from best practices by using preliminary and questionable information to differentiate different Tier 2 APS products. Such use of potential unreliable information creates an unfair and incorrect view of the available technology and thus negatively affects the development and implementation of this valuable measure in the market place.  It may also adversely affect the ability of sponsoring organization, such as investor-owned utilities, to achieve their long-term energy savings goals by relying on deemed values that may significantly over-state actual energy savings.   
To download the new white paper that provides an objective review of Tier 2 APS savings claims, please click here.
The Nebulous World of Non-Energy Benefits: One State's Approach to Quantifying NEBs
Properly accounting for NEBs is one of the most vexing and perplexing issues facing energy efficiency program administrators and regulators. It requires a careful balancing act. For example, if any screening test includes some of the costs (or benefits) from one perspective (utility, participant, or society), but excludes other costs (or benefits) from that same perspective, then the test results will be skewed, (i.e., they will not provide an accurate indication of program cost-effectiveness from that perspective).  
Many states have determined that quantifying NEBs is such a difficult task that they simply assign a default adder or percentage as a way to account for these benefits. However, the Arkansas Public Service Commission took a different approach; they wanted to try to arrive at actual numbers to use in these calculations rather than a specific percentage.  
In Order No. 7, the Arkansas Public Service Commission requested that the Parties Working Collaboratively (PWC) review Non-Energy Benefits (NEBs) and provide recommendations on which NEBs should be considered for inclusion in future energy efficiency cost-effectiveness screening.  
Drawing on best practices, statewide reviews of water and fuel costs, the PWC developed several equations designed to accurately capture the non-energy benefits that are not currently reflected in these measure installations. The methodologies, algorithms and assumptions used to calculate these NEBs are described fully in Protocol L of the Arkansas Technical Reference Manual, Version 6.0. This is a rare example of when quantifying NEBs is contained as part of jurisdictions TRM calculations.
The newly prepared TRM Version 7.0 also contains additional guidance including templates specifically designed to facilitate the calculation for the three approved NEBS in Arkansas:
*  Savings from reduced water and wastewater
*  Savings from other fuels
*  Savings from avoided and deferred equipment replacement costs for both baseline
    and early replacement installations
To learn more, check out Katherine's recent presentation on this topic given for the Municipal Sustainability Forum, attracting more than 100 dial-in participants, click here; sign in as Guest. 
Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Waite from Audubon Arkansas and Scott Dimetrosky from Apex Analytics for doing the "heavy lifting" in preparing the example equations. 

  Community Solar Explorations
We have teamed with Innovative Energy Services (IES) on a new project on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Our focus is to determine if there is a nexus between low-income, weatherization, energy efficiency, and solar programs. This research will provide technical guidance regarding the best ways to position solar PV options to low-income residents throughout Minnesota. In addition, to completing a literature review, we will also be conducting in-depth interviews with local, regional and national experts on low-income strategies and approaches to incorporate weatherization into existing solar programs. Stay tuned for the final project findings and results.
This update was especially timely as we will be filing an updated TRM Version 6.1 in early May. This version is designed to assist the program sponsors and implementers to transition from a retrospective to a prospective TRM for the next program cycle. 
DESEU's Advances in Home Performance Programs

We recently completed a process evaluation of Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU) of its Home Performance with Energy Star Program (HPwES). A critical factor in this evaluation was to document the evolution in whole-house program designs. The findings from this in-depth review of HPwES Programs will be featured in a presentation at the Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP)'s Annual Meeting in February. Specifically, we will share the ways in
the current HPwES Program model is being modified to expand the program reach to a wider group of customers such as:  
*  Rebate strategies are moving from a prescriptive to a performance-based approach. 
*  Consolidation of the HPwES program offerings under one umbrella.
*  Encouraging more HVAC contractor participation.
*  Offering concierge-type models to assist customers, especially low income customers.
*  Creating specific measure  
Katherine will co-present these findings with Tony DePrima, the Executive Director of DESEU, who will share how this research has influenced DESEU's future program offerings.

In This Issue Fun Stuff
Tier 2 Advanced Power Strips
The Nebulous World of Non-Energy Benefits
Community Solar Explorations
DESEU's Advances in Home Performance Programs
Fun Stuff
Check out the IEPEC poster (Paint by Numbers) in Baltimore.   
Where in the World is Dr. KJ?

* October 16-28: SEEA Conference, Atlanta, GA
* December 7: CLICERS (Connecting Low-Income Communities through Efficiency & Renewables) Meeting, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 

* December 25, 2017-January 4, 2018: Christmas in Colorado
* February 19-22: AESP Conference, New Orleans, LA: Conference and White Paper 

Quick Link
Click on the link above to view a list of our other publications, services, and clients.
Artist at Work 

Emily's art work has been accepted in two separate exhibitions. She will be showing, and hopefully, selling her work at an art show in Waynesboro, Virginia. One of her pieces will also be on display in a Northern Michigan gallery through the end of the year. Click here for more of her work.