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Life After Lighting: How Utilities Should Retool Their Energy Efficiency Portfolios (white paper)

Recently, there has been federal activity at the Department of Energy (“DOE”) regarding general service lighting (“GSL”), the Energy Independence and Security Act (“EISA”) efficiency standard, and the 45 lumen per watt backstop for GSL. This activity creates for a timely opportunity for MCR to revisit standards, lighting, and “Life After Lighting” for utilities and their EE programs. In a new, short paper we share:

  • What actions DOE has taken recently
  • The situation with respect to lighting within utility EE portfolios
  • A brief review baselines and standards, using lighting as an example
  • Recommendations and MCR’s framework for acting on them
Download the paper on life after lighting

 

Environmental Advocates Have Proposed a Sweeping New Approach to Regulating Utility Capital Investments and Earnings (News Alert)

On August 19, 2020, the organization E4TheFuture, whose mission is to “promote residential clean energy and sustainable resource solutions to advance climate protection and economic fairness by influencing… policies,” released a new publication titled, “National Standard Practice Manual for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Distributed Energy Resources” (“NPSM for DER”). Under the direction of E4TheFuture, advocacy-oriented firms such as Synapse Energy Economics and Energy Futures Group, as well as the agenda-driven Smart Electric Power Alliance, authored this manual. E4TheFuture is working with regulatory commissions and other stakeholders to encourage adoption of the ideas presented in the NSPM for DER; if embraced by policy and regulatory actions, the NSPM for DER will dramatically affect how electric and gas utilities plan, make investments and create earnings.

Download the news alert to read implications of the NPSM for DER for utility regulation and corporate strategy.

Pilots for the Changing World of Energy Efficiency (thought piece)

The challenges, demands, and scope of utility energy efficiency (EE) programming are all rapidly changing, bringing a need for real innovation. All parties designing and approving EE plans have been focused on the problem of how to make up for energy and demand savings no longer available from screw-in LED and other lighting, but there are other factors making innovation an imperative. In this piece, we take a look at how MCR combines regulatory and stakeholder expertise with cross-cutting EE services to ensure innovation continues to be successfully developed and implemented at our utility clients.

Download the MCR thought piece.

Is it Time to Start Running Energy Efficiency as a Business? (thought piece)

New York’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” or “REV” seeks a great many changes to the way utilities do business and how distribution systems and the buildings connected to them work. Thus far, most of the discussion of REV in the literature has focused on utility earnings incentives and treatment of energy efficiency (EE) as any other distributed energy resource for the purpose of avoiding distribution system investments.

Recently under REV, one of the more interesting changes involving EE has emerged whereby EE will evolve from a regulatory compliance exercise with dedicated cost recovery mechanisms to a core element of the utility’s business and a part of base rates. The challenge here is: How do utilities analyze EE investment options to fit within their business planning, budgeting and ratemaking processes and simultaneously address their state EE regulatory requirements?

Download the thought piece on running energy efficiency as a business

Optimizing Program EM&V Results at Duquesne Light Company (case study)

All energy efficiency professionals know it is challenging to design a portfolio of energy efficiency programs that will withstand tough scrutiny by third-party evaluators and achieve high realization rates. But, you can achieve that goal with high cost effectiveness if you follow our guideline: Programs designed to be measured … measure well. MCR’s case study explores the methods for creating a portfolio of programs that feature evaluation at the core of the program design.

Download the Duquesne Light Company EM&V case study

Energy Efficiency Program Management and Reporting Systems (white paper)

Running a portfolio of energy efficiency programs is a data intensive business. Baseline and replacement technologies, measure lives, deemed savings, budgets, program and cost effectiveness tests results: these represent a small sample of the energy efficiency business information. The users of this information are diverse and support a wide range of processes, including program management, regulatory reporting and customer relationship management.

Having accurate, timely and accessible data is critical to running an energy efficiency portfolio. However, MCR`s research suggests there is no standard set of data management strategies or software systems to manage this important business information. Instead, a wide range of incomplete solutions are being used across the industry.

Download the EE business management systems white paper