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small businesses
September 15, 2018 by Jeannette LeZaks
Are lighting savings the best we can do for small business customers? Seventhwave research says no. Our research team dug into the Minnesota small business market and found diverse savings opportunities. These savings will help Minnesota programs pilot holistic savings in small buildings. Seventhwave can build these measures into the design of our own small business offerings. More
Building systems integration
September 11, 2018 by Scott Hackel
A couple of years ago, my team conducted a research project investigating how to reduce the energy use of office plug loads. Among the solutions we tested, one option was a power strip with an occupancy sensor. It shut off your monitors and other gadgets when you were away from your desk. Many buildings we investigated also had occupancy sensors controlling the lighting in the same office space. One of the offices we tested had yet a third occupancy sensor network – and CO2 sensors to control the HVAC system in some spaces. More
Electric Car
September 7, 2018 by Elizabeth Schroeder
September 8-16 is National Drive Electric Week! National Drive Electric Week is an annual celebration and outreach campaign, with the goal of increasing awareness of the benefits and widespread availability of electric vehicles (EVs). More
Increasing risk
August 23, 2018 by Steve Kihm
On the path to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future, we will have to make decisions that have uncertain outcomes. In other words, they involve risk. Newer technologies might not work well—or they might work better than expected. Customers might not embrace home automation—or they might use it in ways we haven’t even imagined. More
Beneficial Electrification
August 21, 2018 by Elizabeth Schroeder and Justin Margolies
In our 2018 Energy Outlook, we pointed to several emerging trends that are likely to shape our work in the future—including a cleaner grid, local focus, a growing energy storage market, and heat pump technology for space and water heating and cooling. While these developments are exciting on their own, the combination is indicative of a fundamental transformation of the power sector. More
Investor value creation
August 9, 2018 by Steve Kihm
If regulators want to steer utility investment toward renewable, sustainable resources, and away from carbon-emitting types, they can apply basic investor value creation concepts when implementing policy. The key consideration is the size of the gap between two rates of return: (1) the profit rate utilities earn, and (2) the minimum threshold return that investors require. More
August 1, 2018 by Alyssa Spiel and Elizabeth Schroeder
Humans have been building homes for thousands of years. However, until fairly recently, we didn’t have the knowledge or technology to understand their inner workings. A home is much more than a simple structure; when it doesn’t work properly, materials and energy are wasted, occupants can feel uncomfortable, and conditions can even be unsafe or unhealthy. More
Beneficial Electrification
May 8, 2018 by Alyssa Spiel and Elizabeth Schroeder
You likely glance at your energy bill each month, but do you really understand what you’re reading?  Utility bills can be confusing, as they tend to contain many abbreviations, numbers, and miscellaneous charges that most customers are unfamiliar with. While all utilities display information a bit differently, we decoded the sample energy bill below as an example. See the image and corresponding explanations for more details! More
January 19, 2018 by Elizabeth Schroeder
WECC is proud to champion and deliver innovative energy initiatives. Along this journey, we are often inspired by other industry leaders who develop technologies, policies, and business models that foster a prosperous and sustainable energy future. As we look ahead to 2018 and beyond, several emerging industry trends are likely to shape the nature of our work here at WECC. Read on to discover how the way we use and create energy will continue to change this year. More
Lifecycle Energy
November 27, 2017 by Elizabeth Schroeder
Attention shoppers: Do you ever think about the amount of energy that is required to produce, transport, and dispose of the items you buy? How does the amount of energy used before you purchase the product—and after you get rid of the item—compare to the amount expended during the time you own it? Energy is needed to create, transport, use, and dispose of most products. Lifecycle energy is the amount of energy consumed throughout the full lifecycle of a product—which is important to keep in mind as we aim to make sustainable purchasing decisions.  More