commercial building

Building ventilation and the Coronavirus

Slipstream has received several questions regarding building systems and preventing the spread of Coronavirus. Below are answers from our research team about what you can do to prepare your building ventilation system. Q: Does the coronavirus spread through the air? Continue reading
executive and wind turbine

Utility business models: The role of investor value

In the ongoing discussions of the changing utility industry landscape, the term business model is frequently heard, but unfortunately rarely defined in an explicit way. Statements such as “utilities need new business models” therefore ring hollow. The management literature suggests that a business model must: Continue reading
solar panels on roof

All-electric new homes: Advancing sustainable building in Illinois

Efficient electric homes offer a world of benefits for both builders and home buyers—and a new, exciting way for utilities to incorporate emerging technology into their energy efficiency portfolios.   In 2019, Slipstream was asked to collaborate with an Illinois utility to envision what the next generation of residential efficiency programs might look like. Earlier this year, we launched a pilot with the objective of recruiting Illinois builders to go all-electric while linking solar and EV offerings into an integrated, comprehensive package. Continue reading
electric lawn mower

Electric outdoor power equipment for a triple win

Electric outdoor power equipment offers a trio of benefits – reduced health impacts, reduced carbon emissions, and lower operating costs. With numerous options in the market and performance matching that of gas equipment, a switch to outdoor electric power equipment is easier than ever.  Continue reading
Office lighting

How can Minnesota improve their light levels and save on cost?

Lighting in commercial buildings has been the target of energy efficiency programs for years, with the primary strategy one-for-one fixture replacement. However, recent changes to federal standards for fluorescent lamps and more stringent building and product codes, have eroded these program savings. Market changes are forcing energy efficiency programs to look beyond efficacy-based, one-for-one replacement incentives. Research in other Midwestern states shows that LED-lit spaces in commercial buildings are often over-lit, which leads to excess energy usage and dissatisfied occupants. Continue reading
group of people listening to each other

The importance of examining unconscious bias

What is unconscious bias and why should we talk about it? Unconscious bias is an inherent or learned stereotype about people that everyone forms without realizing it. Our unconscious bias happens in the background of our brains. It’s important to become aware of our bias, to ensure we make the best decisions— personally and professionally. Slipstream started the conversation to educate staff on the importance of becoming aware of our unconscious bias and the impact it has on decision making. Continue reading
house with wind turbine and solar panel

For better homes, is it Net Zero or Passive House?

You may have heard of Barry Schwartz’s famous “Paradox of Choice.” The premise of Dr. Schwartz’s paradox is simple: while our instinct is to believe that more choice is better, too many choices can overwhelm us and make our lives more difficult. Continue reading
green earth

Earth Day: a history lesson

Did you know 2020 marks 50 years of Earth Day? Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Wisconsin U.S. Senator, Gaylord Nelson. He was inspired to do something drastic after witnessing a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969. At the time, a student anti-war moment was in full effect and Senator Nelson had the great idea of using that energy for public awareness around air and water pollution, which could force environmental protection onto the political agenda. Senator Nelson assembled a team and chose April 22 as the day. Continue reading
diversity

Why diversity and inclusion matters to us

April is Diversity Month and serves as a reminder to all of us to celebrate other cultures and populations. At Slipstream, we are focusing on how to make our workplace as inclusive and diverse as possible. We strive for our workplace to reflect the diversity of our customers and clients. In order to do so, our diversity and inclusion team meets regularly to plan and implement internal initiatives that will help us meet these goals. Continue reading
plastic cups

How can we fix the state of plastic recycling?

In honor of Global Recycling Day on March 18, we asked our researchers to comment on the state of recycling and why it’s so important. Slipstream’s Andy Lick, analyst, and Lee Shaver, engineer, give you an overview of the current state of recycling and what we can do today to make it better. Current state Continue reading