Summer Edition

Smooth Sailing Ahead!

This summer has been a happy and hectic time for Johnson Consulting Group. We continue to enjoy our  assisting both utilities and public service commissions on a variety of interesting projects including determining the best ways to quantify NEBs (non-energy benefits) for water, fuel, and deferred and maintenance costs in Arkansas and ensuring that third-party EM&V reports meet the highest standards and provide actionable results on behalf of public service commission staff in Arkansas, California and Missouri. We look forward to new opportunities as we begin a project in British Columbia and wrap up our evaluation review activities in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas.   

Despite our busy review schedule, Katherine was able to take a two-week vacation to the wild frontier of Alaska (check out her pictures in fun stuff). Her adventures included cruising by glaciers, ziplining through an arctic forest and piloting an ATV (until a moose cut short our adventure). She even managed to complete a bike and brew tour and picked up her new favorite hoodie -- Freeride IPA.


Dr. Katherine Johnson, President

EM&V Filing Updates    


The Johnson Consulting staff and our team members have been spending the summer reading, reviewing, and analyzing more than a dozen EM&V reports as part of our job as the Independent Evaluation Monitor (IEM) in Arkansas and the EM&V Auditor in Missouri. Our reviews have identified some interesting and promising findings, which are summarized next.

Update from Arkansas
The 2015 Annual Summary Report summarizes the key findings and recommendations from the nine separate EM&V Reports prepared for seven investor-owned utilities and the Arkansas Weatherization Program. They key findings include the following:
  • Most of the IOU programs exceeded their energy savings goals.
    The evaluators determined that together the four investor-owned electric utilities (IOUS) achieved 108 percent of their savings goals while the three natural gas IOUs achieved 102 percent of their savings goals. Individually, two gas utilities, AOG and BHEA exceeded their savings goals (i.e., 103% and 114%, respectively) (p. v).
  • Several utility programs exceeded their performance goals across the Arkansas energy efficiency program portfolio. Most of the Arkansas IOUs exceeded their planned savings goals, despite increased goals in PY2015 ( AOG 2015 EM&V Report, p. 1-4; BHEA 2015 EM&V Report, p. 1-4; EAI 2015 EM&V Report, pp. 30, 109; OG&E 2015 EM&V Report, p. 43; SWEPCO 2015 EM&V Report, pp. 65-66, 83-84, 120) (p. 27).
  • The utilities are also preparing for the launch of the Consistent Weatherization Approach in PY2016. Starting in 2016, the Arkansas IOUs will be implementing individual and joint weatherization programs that comply with the Consistent Weatherization Approach developed by the Arkansas Parties Working Collaboratively (PWC). The Consistent Weatherization Approach will replace the AWP as the statewide weatherization offering implemented by the Arkansas IOUs (AWP 2015 EM&V Report, pp. 1-4, 3-20-3-21; BHEA 2015 EM&V Report, pp. 3-9; SWEPCO 2015 EM&V Report, pp. 68-69, 119-120).
Special thanks to our team members from Apex Analytics, Eisenberg Energy, The Forward Curve, Mesa Point Energy and Michaels Energy for assisting in this comprehensive review. As the IEM, we continue to be pleased with the quality, thoroughness, and comprehensiveness of the PY2015 EM&V Reports.
The PWC members remain active and engaged participants and are clearly committed to achieving the energy savings goals established by the Commission. This has been demonstrated by their willingness to work together to deliver joint programs, and to implement the recommendations from the previous program evaluations. Ultimately, these findings benefit the Arkansas ratepayers by ensuring that the energy efficiency programs are well designed, implemented, and effective. from Missouri:

Members of the Johnson Consulting Group team have also reviewed the final EM&V reports for the three investor-owned utilities in Missouri: Ameren Missouri, KCP&L and GMO. Our reports reviewed both the process and impact evaluation findings as well as the cost-effectiveness results from these programs as they have just completed the first three year MEEIA cycle. The final reports and our EM&V Auditor's Reports for these activities will be completed in September- so stay tuned!
Update on the California Regional Energy Network:  

As the EM&V Advisor for the California Public Utility Commission (CPUU), Katherine prepared a memorandum summarizing the results from three EM&V studies focusing on California Regional Energy Networks (RENs). Specifically, The ALJ Ruling seeking comment on the future of RENs asked two interrelated questions: 
  1. Does the REN program performance warrant continuing REN programs, regardless of whether RENs remain program administrators? Which programs should continue to receive expanded or reduced funding or be terminated?
  2. Should RENs remain program administrators s in connection with whatever portfolio of programs they oversee?
The proposed decision of Administrative Law Judge Julie A. Fitch, filed July 19, 2016 (Rulemaking 13-11-005), determined the following:     
"There seems to be fairly broad consensus among parties that program- level results are so far inconclusive due to the evaluations being conducted when the programs had not had enough time in the field. Given this situation, it is premature to draw broad conclusions about the future of either specific REN programs or the overall status of RENs as program administrators (p. 10)."

"In addition, we intend to continue evaluation of REN programs to ensure they are performing as intended. We will also continue to evaluate the appropriate role of RENs in light of other portfolio direction we include in this decision, such as more emphasis on statewide approaches for certain types of programs, as well as Legislative direction for overall energy efficiency policy {p.11)."

Katherine will continue to work with the CPUC regarding ongoing and upcoming studies designed to provide additional data to help answer these important questions.

AEP SWEPCO Honored as 2016 ENERGY STARŪ Partner of the Year for Arkansas Energy Efficiency Program by the EPA.

Johnson Consulting Group too applauds the
excellent job done by SWEPCO on behalf of the Arkansas customers they serve. Congratulations! 

Source: AEP website 


Certifications for Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) and The Supplier Clearinghouse renewed.  

The Johnson Consulting Group has received recognition from the Woman-Owned Business Enterprise National Council and The Supplier Clearinghouse as a woman-owned business. 

In This Issue

EM&V Filing Updates
AESP 26th National Conference
Where in the World is Dr. KJ?
Fun Stuff
Where in the World is Dr. KJ?

* August 9-11: PWC Technical Forum, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
* August 16-18: AESP Summer Conference: Katherine will be presenting "Utilities Strategies to Put a Geothermal Heat Pump in Everyone's Backyard", August 17, 2016.  
* August 21-26: ACEEE Summer Study, Asilomar, CA.  Katherine will be presenting a summary of her paper at the poster session on August 25, " Digging Deeper for Energy Savings: A Look at Successful On-Bill Financing Program Designs," co-authored with Michael Volker, Corn Belt Energy, Cyrus Bhedwar, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, and Gary Ambach, Wisconsin Energy Efficiency Corporation.

* October 11: emPOWERing Arkansas : AAEA's 5th Annual Meeting & Policy Conference, Little Rock, AR. Katherine will be the featured luncheon speaker
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Fun Stuff
Puppy Update: Bonnie continues to blossom as she turns nine months in August. She continues to enjoy exploring her world- and even a book or two as well.
KJ's Excellent Alaskan Adventure : Check out the pictures from some of Katherine's adventures including a float plane ride in the glaciers, ziplining, and cruising.