I have been involved in hundreds of projects; I'm totally impressed with MCR's ability to understand scope and bring things together; they really make life easy for me.
—Healthcare System Energy Manager

Energy Efficiency

Our clients are electric and gas utilities who plan and implement energy efficiency programs. MCR specializes in helping our clients go beyond meeting their energy efficiency regulatory obligations, leveraging the requirements into opportunities to promote better relationships with their customers.

Through our consulting assignments, we help our clients navigate the complex energy efficiency business and avoid the common pitfalls and expensive mistakes experienced by many of their peers. We make our clients successful in their efforts to save energy for their customers, improve their customer relationships, optimize the value of their investments and defend their projects and programs against challenging regulatory scrutiny.

Key Staff

Tom Crooks, Vice President

Tom Crooks has more than 30 years of energy industry experience and is the Vice President of MCR’s Energy Efficiency practice. Tom possesses a comprehensive understanding of the technical, financial and programmatic approaches to energy-efficiency and direct load control. Tom planned, implemented and evaluated energy efficiency programs for utilities located throughout the U.S. He has been retained by utilities,  generation cooperatives, state agencies, industry associations and large end-use energy consumers located throughout North America.


Melanie Gillette, Director

Melanie Gillette is a Director in MCR’s Energy Efficiency practice. She has over 25 years of experience in utility industry, demand response, energy efficiency and distributed energy resources policy as well as a strong background in project management. Melanie has led policy teams; formed strong industry coalitions; written legal briefs and expert testimony; advocated at numerous state commissions; managed large, multi-year efficiency and transmission projects; and represented a variety of interests within the energy industry.


Ed Schmidt, Director

Ed is a Director in MCR’s Energy Efficiency practice. He has 25 years of experience in energy efficiency and resource planning, forecasting, rates and regulation in both gas and electric utilities. His expertise includes all aspects of energy efficiency program policy, planning, program design and implementation, as well as utility regulatory policy analysis and testimony. He has presented to a variety of audiences, including The Executive Office of the President, US Department of Energy, US Environmental Protection Agency, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and The Energy Foundation.


Jacob Hannan, Manager

Jacob is a Manager in the Energy Efficiency practice at MCR. He has over 10 years of experience in energy efficiency, data analysis, and research. His expertise includes demand side management (policy, planning, and management) and data science (wrangling, modeling, and visualization). He has served on the Planning Committee of DOE’s Technical Information Network for Solid-State Lighting, committees for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, and several other national and regional organizations focused on energy efficiency.


Richard Milward, Lead Consultant

Richard Milward is a Lead Consultant in MCR’s Energy Efficiency practice. He has over 20 years of electric utility industry experience in evaluating energy efficiency program impact in all sectors employing a variety of evaluation techniques; implementing and administering Strategic Energy Management (SEM) in industrial facilities; evaluating industrial and commercial SEM programs; empirical energy modeling using regression techniques for utility reporting; and teaching all varieties of technical, mathematical, and statistical concepts to trainees possessing a wide range of subject knowledge.


Client Stories

Helping a vertically integrated utility develop a strategy and roadmap to engaging stakeholders in a new regulatory framework that closely aligned integrated resource planning and energy efficiency

A large, vertically integrated utility found itself challenged by the need to comply with new integrated resource planning (IRP) and energy efficiency (EE) legislation and regulatory commission implementation guidance after contention in the prior IRP filing and process, and amidst criticism of EE efforts by energy and environmental advocates. With multiple parties involved and several issues being conflated, the client turned to MCR for help.

Using benchmarking to help a small gas utility identify a reasonable amount of energy efficiency savings as a percent of sales and corresponding annual budgets

A small gas utility had never run formal energy efficiency (EE) programs when legislation passed in one of its states that required it to engage a statewide, quasi-regulatory stakeholder process and to develop, file with the regulator, fund, and implement a gas EE plan. The stakeholder process advanced an ambitious EE agenda that included lofty EE savings as a percent of utility sales. With no EE program experience, the utility decided that it would benefit from assistance in determining what programs would be cost-effective and market appropriate as well as what size (i.e., budget and savings) would be reasonable. The client called on MCR to apply our familiarity with gas utilities, gas energy efficiency and the setting of savings as a percent of sales goals to develop goals that made sense for it, and to engage the regulatory and stakeholder processes with them.

Helping a mid-size utility client deeply understand its low-income and government, non-profit and institutional markets

As part of its triennial energy efficiency (EE) planning process, a mid-size utility client wondered how much savings it could capture, and at what cost, by focusing on its low-income and government, non-profit and institutional (GNI) markets. In effect, they wanted a deep dive into market characterization and a forecast of economic potential in seven specific segments that together comprise their low-income (residential) and GNI (commercial) markets. The utility engaged MCR to help them clarify objectives and specific questions, and to develop the characterization and forecast.

Forecasting electric vehicles and photovoltaic systems for Indianapolis Power & Light’s Integrated Resource Plan

While developing its 20-year integrated resource plan, Indianapolis Power & Light Company (“IPL”) needed to incorporate electric vehicles (“EV”) and behind the meter distributed solar photovoltaic technology (“PV”) into its load and sales forecasts. The regulator and stakeholders were interested in seeing the effect of these two electro-technologies on the IPL forecast that would drive development of its preferred resource portfolio. With the goal of developing a reasonable and defensible forecast that could be easily explained, IPL approached MCR for help.

Helping Duquesne Light Company serve the low income market by facilitating multifamily passive house projects

It is well known in the world of energy efficiency that it is particularly challenging to achieve energy and demand savings in the low income residential sector. Like many utilities, Duquesne Light Company offered a program focused on serving low income multifamily properties. After the winning bidder of the implementation contract abruptly withdrew from the contract, Duquesne Light turned to MCR to help implement a Passive House program internally.

Helping a large Midwest utility identify value by untangling a web of energy efficiency data

With the expansion of EE programs, the utility found itself struggling with the volume of EE-related data. The number of sources and uses of data had gotten so complex that key EE staff no longer understood what data they had, where it was coming from, or how external contractors were getting data from the utility. With the goal of developing a baseline “Data Map” to understand the supporting data systems and data flows, our client approached MCR for help.

Helping Duquesne Light Company train middle and high school students to become energy auditors who develop energy conservation measures in their own schools

Pennsylvania Act 129 requires electric distribution companies in the state, including Duquesne Light Company (DLC), to develop cost effective Energy Efficiency (EE) plans that would reduce electricity consumption across their service territory. In developing an EE plan, DLC wanted to design and offer a unique program that would get students and teachers involved in learning about energy use and how they could reduce energy consumption in their own schools.

Helping Indianapolis Power and Light to develop a new energy efficiency tracking system to address an evolving regulatory framework

The Indiana Senate Enrolled Act 340 of 2014 rolled back mandated annual energy efficiency savings and eliminated joint, statewide delivery of several programs in favor of utility-specific program portfolios and goals based on utility integrated resource plans. Indianapolis Power & Light asked MCR to help build a robust tracking system capable of meeting reporting requirements and capturing information required for calculating lost sales.

Helping Duquesne Light Company design and implement energy efficiency programs to meet its Pennsylvania Act 129 obligations

Pennsylvania’s Act 129 required Duquesne Light Company to develop cost effective plans that will reduce electricity consumption across their service territory by 1 percent by 2011 and 3% by 2013. In order to meet these requirements Duquesne Light selected MCR to design and implement an energy efficiency plan.

Enabling Pennsylvania American Water to achieve greater energy efficiencies with water infrastructure improvements

Pennsylvania American Water was planning to invest over $100 million in infrastructure updates to improve its Pittsburgh area water system.

Helping Duquesne Light partner with key customers to achieve significant energy savings through retro-commissioning programs

Duquesne Light Company faced different options for implementing its portfolio of energy efficiency programs recently approved by the Pennsylvania PUC, but was apprehensive about turning over all of its customer relationships to third party contractors. MCR was asked to assist in identifying and managing key commercial and industrial customer projects.

Key Staff

Tom Crooks, Vice President

Tom Crooks has more than 30 years of energy industry experience and is the Vice President of MCR’s Energy Efficiency practice. Tom possesses a comprehensive understanding of the technical, financial and programmatic approaches to energy-efficiency and direct load control. Tom planned, implemented and evaluated energy efficiency programs for utilities located throughout the U.S. He has been retained by utilities,  generation cooperatives, state agencies, industry associations and large end-use energy consumers located throughout North America.


Melanie Gillette, Director

Melanie Gillette is a Director in MCR’s Energy Efficiency practice. She has over 25 years of experience in utility industry, demand response, energy efficiency and distributed energy resources policy as well as a strong background in project management. Melanie has led policy teams; formed strong industry coalitions; written legal briefs and expert testimony; advocated at numerous state commissions; managed large, multi-year efficiency and transmission projects; and represented a variety of interests within the energy industry.


Ed Schmidt, Director

Ed is a Director in MCR’s Energy Efficiency practice. He has 25 years of experience in energy efficiency and resource planning, forecasting, rates and regulation in both gas and electric utilities. His expertise includes all aspects of energy efficiency program policy, planning, program design and implementation, as well as utility regulatory policy analysis and testimony. He has presented to a variety of audiences, including The Executive Office of the President, US Department of Energy, US Environmental Protection Agency, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and The Energy Foundation.


Jacob Hannan, Manager

Jacob is a Manager in the Energy Efficiency practice at MCR. He has over 10 years of experience in energy efficiency, data analysis, and research. His expertise includes demand side management (policy, planning, and management) and data science (wrangling, modeling, and visualization). He has served on the Planning Committee of DOE’s Technical Information Network for Solid-State Lighting, committees for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, and several other national and regional organizations focused on energy efficiency.


Richard Milward, Lead Consultant

Richard Milward is a Lead Consultant in MCR’s Energy Efficiency practice. He has over 20 years of electric utility industry experience in evaluating energy efficiency program impact in all sectors employing a variety of evaluation techniques; implementing and administering Strategic Energy Management (SEM) in industrial facilities; evaluating industrial and commercial SEM programs; empirical energy modeling using regression techniques for utility reporting; and teaching all varieties of technical, mathematical, and statistical concepts to trainees possessing a wide range of subject knowledge.