Wizard of Oz - Summer 2017
LA ConfidentialJuly 18, 2017

What’s Going on Behind the Curtain?

The Wizard told Dorothy and her friends many tales of his amazing powers, but a strong breeze blew away his credibility when it pushed aside the curtain, revealing those tricks as little more than noise and smoke. Such may be the case with energy account auditors, they may claim savings based more on a customer’s misplaced trust of the auditor than on any real financial wizardry.

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Wizard of Oz - Summer 2017
LA ConfidentialJuly 18, 2017

Is Courage Needed to Pursue DER?

Energy efficiency and renewable projects are no longer skipping down the same yellow brick road as they were this time last year. Similar to the Cowardly Lion, some are inching courageously forward despite doubts from customers and the industry, while others have stepped off the road until the way forward becomes clearer.

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Wizard of Oz - Summer 2017
LA ConfidentialJuly 18, 2017

The Brains Behind the Savings

The Scarecrow had enough sense to know that he needed a brain, but what about your building? The impending rollout of distributed energy resource (DER) tariffs and power pricing suggests that many facilities may soon need their own “transplants.”

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Weather Extremes January 2017
LA ConfidentialJanuary 18, 2017

Factoid: Supercritical Solutions

As we look at opportunities to impact climate change, out-of-the box thinking may help us bridge the gap until fossil fuel plants are out of the picture. Those of you who enjoy the beach may have noticed   the “Fudgie – Wudgie” guy (that is what we called him in the 20th century) selling ice cream on the beach out of shopping bags or pushing a cart. Rather than using ice which will not last the full day, he uses a solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2) known as dried ice. Did you know that CO2 also occurs in liquid form? Well, somewhat.

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Weather Extremes January 2017
LA ConfidentialJanuary 18, 2017

Potential Impacts of Near-Term State and Federal Energy Policies Related to Climate

With the election of Donald Trump, federal and state energy policies may sharply diverge in the near future. Some states, such as New York and California, are trying to reduce carbon emissions, while President-elect Trump appears to have other priorities.  Trump’s campaign proposals are preliminary, but a few general directions are clear. Here is how those divergent strategies and transition plans may impact energy policy.

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Weather Extremes January 2017
LA ConfidentialJanuary 18, 2017

Riding the Weather Roller Coaster

Climate change may gradually alter the landscape of energy production like tectonic shifts, but seasonal weather variations yield much shorter and obvious changes, a bit like riding a roller coaster. During the winter of 2015-16, much of the U.S. rode it to the warmest winter on record. In the Northeast, December 2015 had 27% fewer heating degree-days (HDD) than the 30-year average, while January-February saw HDDs 12-17% below normal. Two years before, we had the Polar Vortex winter, one of the coldest on record. Such short term variations cause ripple effects on energy pricing that may be felt for a year or more thereafter.

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Weather Extremes January 2017
LA ConfidentialJanuary 18, 2017

Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Energy Costs

Weather conditions, such as occasional daily and annual variations in temperature and moisture, have obvious temporary effects on energy bills. Heating costs rise when it is cold and dry, while cooling costs rise when it is hot and humid. Weather changes associated with climate change are expected to have long-term permanent impacts on those costs by causing weather extremes and changes to how power is produced.

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Magic Tricks- Summer 2016
LA ConfidentialJuly 18, 2016

The Magic of Microgrids

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) defines a microgrid as “a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources within clearly defined electrical boundaries that acts as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid. A microgrid can connect and disconnect from the grid to enable it to operate in both grid-connected or island-mode.”

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Magic Tricks- Summer 2016
LA ConfidentialJuly 18, 2016

Factoid: Carbon Leakage

The lexicon surrounding energy and climate change issues never stops growing. A recent addition is “carbon leakage”, which may occur due to the difference in the strictness of climate policies between two nations.

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Magic Tricks- Summer 2016
LA ConfidentialJuly 18, 2016

Power Storage Contracts: Clearing Away the Smoke

On-site power storage is becoming a realistic possibility. However, as with most opportunities to cut energy costs, the devil may be in the contractual details. If contract terms are not specified clearly, it could be a bunch of hocus pocus.

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