L3_What have we Learned_Branddun Casara

One of the best policies the government could promote in order to increase efficiency would be to aim at reducing electrical loss and waste. The current electrical transmission systems use lines that have been in use for decades and are a very inefficient way to move electricity. Many of the current lines lose an average of about 7% of the transmitted kW in the form of heat and corona discharge. If the government were to subsidize the cost of a smart grid system especially in areas of higher electricity use the overall system would be immensely more efficient. Additionally for high usage areas subsidies could be promoted for local electricity generators which cuts loss down to negligible levels

Energy efficiency can be promoted by restricting heavy electrical usage to off peak hours. By using appliances like washing machine, dryers, charging of electric vehicles and other high energy use products between the hours of 8:00p.m. and 7:00a.m. it reduces the need of peak hour generators which tend to be coal or natural gas fired. During the peak hours of the day air conditioning and lighting keeps the mainline generators busy but at night many generators are offline. By creating a company that produces affordable timing devices so that a family can program their high electric appliances to start in the off peak hours this is especially true with the highest electrical need devices like electric vehicle charging. Widespread usage of timing devices in combination with smart grid technologies would drive efficiency towards realistically sustainable levels.

Lesson 3 What Have We Learned?

  • What types of policies on the part of government could promote energy efficiency?
  • How would you develop a business that has the potential to move this idea forward?

Government policy is one of the best ways to make noteworthy changes in the energy world.  In an effort to promote energy efficiency, policies surrounding vehicle fuel economy could make an impact and drive companies to become more competitive in these fields.  Fuel economy has a tremendous impact on energy and fuel use in our country and the technology exists to make it more efficient.  Policies that increased the minimum mile-per-gallon for all new cars and light duty trucks would have a great effect.  Also, these policies would cause car manufacturers to work harder to achieve maximum fuel efficiency and compete with their counterparts.  This action drives research and technology forward in vehicle fuel economy.

A plausible business idea that would have the potential to move this idea forward is a company that could provide technical assistance and research for car companies to assist them in making informed decisions to enhance their fuel efficiency.  This business could be developed using researchers and scientists and even partnering with universities and local bodies of government to pull together all of the best information that is currently available, create a database or system to make that data usable, and further research and test new ideas.  This business would be vital to the car companies development of new technology and useful to them in meeting the standards set by the new policies.

Lesson 3_Promoting Conservation

The government is often looked at to provide stimulus to emerging technologies and concepts that otherwise run counter to business as usual. When it comes to promoting sustainability and efficiency, the government could easily set forth a good example of “putting your money when your mouth is.” By retrofitting government-subsidized housing with modern energy efficient features, we can provide the private sector with a functional proving ground to promote the adoption of said features. According the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there are approximately 1.2 million units of publicly funded housing in the United States. On top of that, millions of additional Americans receive heating assistance funding. The government could create more efficient use and increased impact of this funding by promoting energy efficiency upgrades for the publicly and privately held properties. As stated by McKinsey Global energy, a 28% reduction in energy consumption can be achieved using only NPV positive improvements. With an upfront investment, state and federal governments could reap significant savings over time. This means either more people could be served with the existing funding level or the same number of current recipients could be served for fewer dollars per capita.

I believe a public-private partnership could be forged between the local governing bodies responsible for administering public housing and heating benefits and private sector contractors which would focus on bolstering the weatherization and insulation of all public housing units while also offering subsidized work on private properties whose owners receive heating assistance. The business model would be based off of a series of systematic grants given out in the form of labor contracts. The contractor would be responsible for sourcing any and all necessary parts and equipment as long as it meets specific criteria set forth by the governing body. In the end, public housing and private homeowners would be less burdened by utility costs, occupants would experience better seasonal comfort, and private industry would receive the economic boost.

Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the US Economy, McKinsey Global Energy, page 29, July 2009

David Westsmith – What we have learned

New Developments in Policy Encourage Green Investments


The government most recently have been promoting more efficient use of energy and our limited resources.  However, dollar for dollar, it is still much easier to obtain subsidies for nuclear power.  Nevertheless, green energy investments are on the rise.  In my home state of California, the profitability of green investments such as those in the dry, hot and arid California deserts, have generated large investment and intense focus.

In  Mojave, California exists the Ivanpah solar power facility.  A 377 megawatt net thermal concentrating solar plant, (CSP), focusing the power of the sun on solar receivers atop power towers.  The facility consists of three separate plants and the combined output provides clean electricity to serving more than 140,000 homes in California and will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 400,000 tons per year.  The construction of Ivanpah supplied 2,600 jobs and in full operation only needs 65 fulltime and part-time staff.

What we have learned from Ivanpah is that virtually un-farmable, and arguably useless land can be developed by installing CSP power facilities that provide sustainable, profitable and environmentally clean energy.   It helps to answer the question of how can this type of land be used most efficiently.  Using this land for CSP plants provide far more profit than would be attainable if farming, for example, was used in its place.   Furthermore, none of the environmentally hazardous waste associated with running other forms of power, such as nuclear exists.

Ivanpah and plants like it are economically feasible as well.   After the cost of construction, support staff is minimal and maintenance costs are a fraction of nuclear power plants because less highly skilled, highly paid technicians are needed.  Expensive governmental regulatory safety checks necessary for nuclear are un-necessary.   Governmental policies are encouraging this form of investment and have made projects like Ivanpah that much more fundable.

Business Developments

In California we are in the process of designing and adopting greener building codes.  These building codes are suggested as incentives.  However, they have been becoming mandatory.  Greener building is better for the environment and a good sell but it is the adaption and transition to greener mandatory building codes that will bring new interest and therefore retrofits, the adaption in new construction and business opportunities.

As information of the cost savings of installing a 4 to 5 kilowatt roof top or ground mount solar panel array for example becomes available, homeowners, whether involved in new construction or retrofit, will want to participate.  This combined with the lower costs of panels will make the decisions to greener technologies even easier.  There are large opportunities in consulting in commercial as well as residential.  Many large commercial real-estate holders are loading roof tops with  solar arrays.  Ohlone College at Newark, California has one of the largest roof top solar arrays in Silicon Valley.  At 600kW the system covers 38,000 feet of roof space.   Examples such as this, lead the way to further investment by commercial real estate owners who have the resources to spend for the long term.

Works Cited

Doris, Elizibeth, Jaquelin Cochran, and Martin Vorum. “Energy Efficiency Policy in the United States: Overview of Trends at Different Levels of Government.” Http://www.nrel.gov/. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1 Dec. 2009. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.


What Have We Learned

As of right now we are trying to increase the economic sustainability with in our country. We have made some steps towards being more resourceful, but these steps are baby steps in light of the situation. The US cannot continue “business as usual” prolonging the process of taking action towards becoming efficient. We need to instill stronger standardized regulations and guidelines requiring companies to create more efficient ways of conducting business. More education on tax credits, grants and reimbursements through federal, state, and local governments could increase the likely hood of companies establishing sustainability departments. This would help fast track the concept of becoming more efficient and sustainable in all three of the energy consuming sectors, residential, commercial, and industrial.

Energy auditing companies are becoming more abundant and are easily available to the public. However many companies only preform the audit and give the results. I believe it is imparative to bridge the gap between what the public knows about becoming more efficient and what the experts know. Not only is there a need to educate homeowners on energy efficiency, but there is a need for a standardized way of conducting business that helps build a plan that best fits customers needs and capabilities, then implement that plan. This type of full circle structure would help comfort people and allows for a more efficient progress of the project.

Lesson 3 What have we learned

Policy on energy efficiency is lacking, largely due to lack of expectations and guidelines on the current technologies today. Energy efficiency and sustainability is something that most see as a necessity in the far distant future, not in our lifetime. In reality, the sooner the world comes to recognize that importance of becoming energy efficient, the sooner we have a chance of correcting some of the impact of emissions into the atmosphere.

I believe that a policy that the government could use to promote energy efficiency would be one that regulates output of harmful emissions. If companies were charged for their output of emissions, they would be more inclined to develop more energy efficient processes. Energy companies produce what is necessary to keep themselves in business, and often are not overly concerned with the negative impacts their production processes may have. Another policy that should be implemented by government is one that offers guidelines, although they are not established yet, on what businesses and energy companies are expected to do in regards to incorporating energy efficient practices. Policies that explain the amount of energy a company could be able to produce with their own form of sustainable energy, as compared to the larger amount of energy from non-renewable sources.

If I were to develop a business that has the potential to move the idea of energy efficiency forward, I believe that I would need to find an aspect of the energy efficiency ‘business’ that isn’t as well developed. I believe that a good place to start a company would be in consulting or in regulation of energy efficient practices. At this time there really is no ‘guidelines’ to follow or expectations on what are good practices. I believe that, with regulation and consulting, these guidelines could be established firmly and allow for future developments. The move toward energy efficiency and a more sustainable future is only in the fledgling stages. There are so many opportunities that can be seized in working towards this goal.

Lesson 3: “What Have We Learned” – Dominique Wells

What types of policies on the part of government could promote energy efficiency?

The Executive Office and the US federal government could promote energy efficiency by amending the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) to remove the incentives and loopholes provided to the oil and gas producers specifically favoring hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The fracking process, although lucrative to the production companies, has cause extensive damage to the environment and human health. The amendment would redirect funds to provide less support to fossil fuels and more support toward renewable projects in all areas providing tax credits, grants, and other incentives. A change like this will show the Nation where Congress and the administration’s priorities lie, promote new investment in green research, technology development, and efficient production of renewable resources. This “amendment” could also provide similar incentives to all business who confirm implementation of sustainable values that successfully contribute to the Nations goal. Change on the federal level would force change of energy laws on state levels

How would you develop a business that has the potential to move this idea forward?

Addressing the area regarding incentives to businesses with sustainable values, a new division of consulting firms could aid the process of moving this idea forward. Green consultants could offer a full analysis service regarding the energy efficiency (or lack of) to new and existing companies of all scales in order for them to transition their company toward sustainable habits spanning from records management, office structure, supplies/materials, building structure, etc. With a major change in policy, consulting firms regarding energy efficiency have an opportunity to have extensive expansion given companies need to capitalize on government incentives.

Pushing Energy Efficiency

Governmental policies have proven to be effective in steering behavior either through incentives like grants and rebates, or penalties including taxes and fines. The Smart Grid Investment Grant as authorized by the Recovery Act is an example of how the government provided $4.5 billion toward merit based applications of smart grid technologies to promote technological improvement and investment. TVA has partnered with the Department of Energy through the Smart Wire Focused Initiative and has installed an array of retrofit devices across a span of transmission lines in Knoxville, Tennessee.  The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) provides an abundance of information and resources to fit residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, at both state and federal levels. On the restrictive side, cap and trade programs are in place and increasing worldwide, as well as green taxes. The spin-off is that the natural economic response to this demand would be increased production and technological advancement. This generates growth that spreads from STEM professions to construction and manufacturing, and across to supportive businesses and retailers. Although some restrictions penalize producers and consumers, the typical reaction is to improve technology to avoid costs since energy is an inelastic good.


Home energy audits is one niche that seems to have risen from energy efficiency trends, and it provides a win-win for all players. The home/business owner generally has short payback period on initial investment before reaping long term benefits of reduced utility costs from improved energy efficiency. The higher efficiency translates to a reduced load on utility providers as well as less stress on the environment. A certified technician armed with a toolbox and knowledge of government programs inspects the building envelope and it energy consumption to identify points of improvement and applicable resources for assistance. The auditor may advise the addition of insulation and/or updates to inefficient appliances, especially energy hogs like air-conditioning and water heating, and follow with calculations of both initial costs and payback periods, or course including available government incentives. Home energy auditing is a valuable service in any geographic region that requires relatively low training and overhead.

Race to Efficiency

Both the federal and local governments can give incentives to reduce electricity and overall energy use.  When companies become dedicated to saving energy, society will follow as will other nations. Policies that will require resident and business to not just use clean energy but to use less energy. Tax incentive for decreased monthly energy use would be a start in affecting electricity use. Competition always helps drive and improve business.  Local and even federal governments could set up a “race” to energy efficiency.  Companies who successfully use less energy percentage wise compared to others will receive notoriety and positive publicity.  Energy use could be measured consistently and made public influencing firms to take saving energy seriously.

My new business would need to have sustainability and energy efficiency at the forefront of the model.  Everything we did from shipping, electricity use, and waste management would have the goal of saving energy and using clean energy. We would strive to be the leader in the energy saving “race”.  We would even make an effort to get other companies more involved in the competition. Our company would support green organizations and projects improving sustainability in the community.  Expansion would be focused on moving into areas where sustainability may not be as important and working to demonstrate the benefits.

What I have learned- Bethany Steiner

What types of policies on the part of government could promote energy efficiency?
There are already many states that have policies in place to promote energy efficiency. Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards, utility policies, appliance efficiency standards, and building codes to help enforce energy efficiency are a few ways in which states are already promoting efficiency. ENERGY STAR offers many programs and resources to allow buildings and homes to become more energy efficient. While some states are taking advantage of programs and policies to make their communities more efficient, other states are not doing as much. There are some policies at the federal level, but some of the state policies are stricter than national policies. With that being said, there should be a national Renewable Portfolio Standard. Since becoming an ESP major and learning about RPS, I always believed that we should have a RPS at the federal level. This would definitely promote energy efficiency and allow all states to do their part in regards to energy efficiency. Another policy that could help promote energy efficiency would be a federal cap and trade or emissions trading. This would have to be implemented in particularly with large companies or corporations. If companies did not have their allowance, they would have to cut back on their emissions or find a more efficient way to produce their product.

How would you develop a business that has the potential to move this idea forward?

Businesses that could benefit from a national Renewable Portfolio Standard and a federal cap and trade program would be actual energy conscious businesses. For this reason, I would develop a business to help make existing business more energy efficient. We could present alternative, more efficient products for companies to use. This business may even be able to help corporations invent new machines that give off little to no carbon dioxide.

“State and Local Climate and Energy Program.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. United States Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/state/topics/energy-efficiency.html>.

Energy Efficiency – Policy and Implementation

There are several government programs already in place that have the effect of promoting energy efficiency. One such program would be the plethora of state-based Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which typically include a carve-out for a certain percentage of the goal to be met through energy efficiency measures. This means that rather than investing in renewable energy technologies to meet 100% of the RPS goal, utilities may also reduce the total amount of energy consumed in their service area as part of the effort to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions. Many utility companies promote that option by offering rebates or incentives to businesses and homeowners for upgrading their appliances or lighting to more efficient models. The US government also mandated that manufacturers and importers may no longer produce or supply 40 or 60 watt incandescent lightbulbs as of January 1, 2014, however there are numerous loopholes to that law such as slightly modifying the wattage of the bulb (http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/1/5263826/the-incandescent-light-bulb-isnt-dead). The idea here was to force individuals and businesses to switch from highly inefficient incandescent bulbs to more efficient halogen, CFL, or LED lightbulbs.

I think that if the Federal Government was really serious about promoting energy efficiency, they would institute a nation-wide “buy back program” where the government would provide a rebate incentive to individuals and businesses to trade in their older and more inefficient technologies for more efficient, but also more expensive ones. There could also be tax credit incentives offered to homeowners who upgrade their insulation and windows, improving the envelope of their homes and substantially reducing the energy required for heating and cooling. Tax credits such as these have been offered in the past but expired for any improvements not implemented before January 1, 2012 (http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Credits-Available-for-Certain-Energy-Efficient-Home-Improvements).

As a business opportunity, a company could assist individuals and businesses in claiming these buy-back incentives while also providing the equipment and installation of the new upgrades. A large company can leverage their purchasing power to obtain better prices on this equipment than a typical homeowner could find on their own. The company could also manage the paperwork and rebate process for the customer to make it an easy “one stop shop”. Then the company would take possession of the old equipment and could recover scrap value or revenue from parts, enhancing their bottom line. A truly comprehensive business offering would also include the installation of insulation and window upgrades and the related tax credit forms. A homeowner could receive one quote for all of their energy efficiency needs and receive professional assistance with obtaining the appropriate tax credits and rebates.

Learning Activity: “What have we learned?”

  • What types of policies on the part of government could promote energy efficiency?

There are many policies and provisions that help generate more energy efficiency. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 also known as the EPA act. Included in this act are provisions and policies that set standards for both the public and private sector in the energy industry. There are different ways the government can promote energy efficiency which include tax credits, energy standards, new markets, as well as regional programs that are set and monitored by the government. Having the government monitor such programs will insure accurate and enforceable methods that when put in place are effective and earth changing.


  • How would you develop a business that has the potential to move this idea forward?

I would develop a business that would benefit from the repercussions of the standards and policies that are put in place. For example there is a massive shift in solar industry specifically in the residential photo voltaic solar systems. Due to some much needed policies changed and amendments with current energy policies currently in place, there is now an opportunity for people to get solar on their house without having to spend a single dime. I too would look at all the policies to see where my business plan would be most effective. An example would be any sort of credits that could come to.

Efficiency for Days

  • What types of policies on the part of government could promote energy efficiency?

I think the policy, or policy type, that would have the greatest impact is a carbon tax.  So far we have seen numerous companies commit to sustainability, and numerous states have implemented their own cap and trade or RPS, and while there has been some improvement in terms of efficiency I think we would experience a bit more should policy be implemented at a federal level.  By instituting a cap and trade or enforcing an RPS, it forces the industry to innovate at a much quicker pace, this innovation breeds competition which ends up reducing costs across the board as implementation and adoption are fast-tracked.

  • How would you develop a business that has the potential to move this idea forward?

I don’t know that any one business would have the potential to push an RPS or cap and trade policy.  Rather, this is something a coalition would do and various businesses or industries would lobby the government and market to the people why it is so necessary.  For example, the energy production industry could become much more efficient by eliminating antiquated technologies and investing in new.  However, they won’t have much incentive to do so unless it is profitable or the government sector requires it of them.  A coalition could help educate people on why it is important to utilize new technologies, for both short term and long term benefits.  In a sense this would be a nonprofit business whose goal is to convince the public these policies are important.

Lesson 3: Energy Efficiency – Cole

If the goal is to use efficiency improvements to put the United States on a track to potentially use less power than today, there needs to be a cooperation between businesses, the government, and individuals. Governments can promote energy efficiency through a variety of programs and policies. Raising minimum efficiency standards for appliances, offering tax incentives on energy efficiency renovations, and raising energy taxes are some polices that the government can impose. The United States government already requires some appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers to meet certain efficiency standards. However fails to address other major household appliances in terms of energy efficiency. The government should raise the efficiency standards higher for the appliances already included in this policy and expand standards to other major household appliances to put the United States on a better track. Offering more tax incentives for replacing old windows, furnaces, insulation, door, etcetera, and other energy efficiency renovations, would be a another policy. This gives individuals and businesses “incentives” to increase the efficiency of their houses, buildings, or factories while using electricity. Another way of doing this and generating revenue would be to increase energy taxes. That will sure get individuals and business to cooperate and increase their energy efficiency.

I believe that energy consultation and servicing firms already have the potential to move with these types policies. To meet efficiency standards and save money by investing in renovations, individuals and businesses will have to consult with firms that are very knowledgeable in doing research and providing plans to meet with their energy efficiency needs.

Energy Efficient Buildings

There are so many policies the government could promote energy efficiency, where to start…I think that one policy that would have a large impact would be policies that have to do with construction of new buildings. For example, in certain (colder) states, there should be a policy that all new buildings have to be constructed with fiberglass window frames for better insulation. I even believe that in states that receive 200+ sun days a year should have a policy that all new buildings automatically have solar panels installed. By installing the solar panels at the time of construction, it makes it cheaper than adding them on later and will produce energy for that building. Other things to consider for building construction is also the direction the building is facing and the amount of foliage around the building. I think that having policies regarding building construction would be great to promote energy efficiency.

The business I would develop would be an environmental consulting firm. My consulting firm would be help to help in the planning and implementation of all environmental aspects of the building. Help pick out and order the correct window frames, work with PV companies (and hopefully get a little discount by using them) for solar panels. Help in the design of the building so that it is energy efficient as possible. This consulting firm would be really involved in the construction of new buildings to make sure that all governmental policies relating to new buildings are met.

3.5 “What have we learned”- Barnes

The best policies are the policies that everyone loves. For energy policies to really take hold and be effective, everyone needs to embrace them. Everyone needs to be on board, wanting to because it makes sense, believing not doing it would be totally un-cool and very irresponsible. For example, we all agree that if an ambulance is in an emergency and needs to get through we all pull over, there is no right or wrong way to do it, we all just use common sense and pull over (unless we are listening to music). We do it because it makes sense and we would like people to do the same. My point is that government needs to develop energy policy with this type of thinking in mind. The U.S. government historically uses PSA’s (public service announcements) for pressing issues relating to public health, the environment, and the earliest form of PSA, that of war time government bonds which, through some web work for this post, I learned is credited with giving birth to advertising. Companies made note of how effective war time bond ads were and soon placed the very first product advertisements ever, that for baking powder, soap, and railroad travel in newspapers. Some people are familiar with Keep America Beautiful’s PSA featuring the crying Native American as he witnesses someone throwing fast food trash out their car window. Also, who could forget the “This is your brain on drugs” PSA in the 1980’s. If done tastefully, with honesty and truth, PSA’s and even public school age sustainability awareness courses have the potential to change the way young people use and think about energy. Hopefully it can serve as a catalyst for a generational shift in our approach to energy efficiency and sustainability. Most energy policies make sense, but most people don’t understand them. Even further they avoid changing until change is blatantly and overwhelmingly accepted.

My business idea is to develop a graphics and production company specializing in extremely effective, visually captivating service ads and commercials. We would contract famous and respected people from all genres and age groups explaining the need to take steps as a species to live smarter more sustainable lives. To piggyback an earlier discussion post of my own, where I mention using a “total transparency” method of publishing a product or service’s real cost after adjusting for negative and positive externalities could be used in PSA’s as well. These “energy facts” will expose energy wasteful products and hopefully reward companies that are considering their carbon footprint and striving towards sustainability.


Goodwin, Bill. “PUBLIC SERVICE ADVERTISING.” PSA Bibliography. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <http://www.psaresearch.com/bib9830.html>.

“Greening Schools – Resources – Sustainability – Integration into Teaching.” Greening Schools News. Illinois EPA and WMRC. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. http://www.greeningschools.org/resources/view_cat_teacher.cfm?id=113

“Keep America Beautiful.” Keep America Beautiful. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=index>.

“The Crying Indian – Full Commercial – Keep America Beautiful.” YouTube.com. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7OHG7tHrNM>.

Lesson 3 – Mulhollem – Energy Efficiency Policy

National Energy Efficiency Policy

When it comes to energy efficiency in the United States there are many policies that could be discussed but there is one major government policy that could promote energy efficiency more than the others. That would be to have a national energy efficiency policy put in place. There needs to be a standard that applies to all the states. Each state needs to do its part in the battle against climate change. Many states are well on their way in doing this but why should other states just sit back and do little or nothing? Twenty-five states have established an energy savings target or an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS). These states make up almost 60 percent of the electricity sales in the United States. (ACEEE 2014) That leaves 40 percent of the states to do nothing or have their own policy. There needs to be a minimum efficiency percentage that each state must make every year. If each state met a 2.5 % energy efficiency every year there would be a very large decrease in energy consumption. If a state went over 2.5% it could carry the excess over to the next year or get federal monies in return as an incentive. A national energy efficiency policy would put the states in competition for funding to comply. This could promote their states economy by funding different state programs to reach their goal.


One big issue for the federal government to implement a policy of this size is to verify how much each state actually did? How can they prove that the state has increased its efficiency and at what percent? I would develop a business that would go to different states and audit their energy efficiency policy. My company would also train state employees the correct process to work with private sector companies in getting the approval for energy efficient projects. Along with auditing and training, my company would help in the scheduling and planning of their future projects and goals. Future goals are the key to staying on track. If the state knows what it has to do in order to meet or exceed the minimum percentage it makes it easier to reach the goal. The business would not be involved in the states projects just the process of making sure they are in compliance. We would also send out monthly reports to show where they were in relationship to the set schedule. Someone has to monitor and verify that the states are doing what they say they are. I think a non-governmental private energy auditing company is a good business and a necessary business. The business name would be Energy Auditors of North America. (EANA)

ACEEE. ACEEE Policy Brief. April 9th, 2014. http://www.aceee.org/files/pdf/policy-brief/eers-04-2014.pdf (accessed 9 14, 2014).

Lesson 3 – Energy Efficiency: Developing Reliable CCS Rob Fulton

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan of 2013 has set a goal to reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030. This is to be done through efficiency standards. The EPA has been tasked with establishing carbon pollution standards for power plants – new and existing. (White House, 2013) Tougher policies requiring emission reductions (for example RPS standards) will force the power industry to take mitigation measures. Cutting emissions of fossil fuel power plants and investing in renewable energy power/infrastructure are two important aspects of the plan. In order to cut emissions of producing power in America, advances in abatement technologies will be needed. A few possible abatement actions include: expansion of nuclear energy, retro-fitting existing fossil fuel plants (increasing efficiencies), and developing reliable carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology. Utilizing future climate change impact information for design and construction of nuclear plants and implementing safe operating protocols (perhaps modeled by the U.S. Navy Nuclear Program), can aid in convincing society that nuclear energy is a prudent choice for producing cleaner energy. Converting coal plants to natural gas will also make the power industry more efficient. However, coming up with a proven system for CCS has the potential for revolutionizing the power industry.

There is a great need for a company to produce a reliable means of post-combustion capture of carbon dioxide from power plants. This form of CCS can be easily retro-fitted onto existing power plants, making it possible for operational coal-fired plants to continue producing power without the incredibly costly alternative of altering fuel supply, or worse – deactivating the plant. Great investments in R&D are necessary to improve post-combustion CCS which can lead to perfecting the scrubbing process enough for commercial use. Once the capturing process is upgraded, implementing a suitable sequestration process for the plant(s) can then be designed to fully execute the project.


Congressional Research Service. The President’s Climate Action Plan. Jane A. Leggett. R43120. Washington D.C.:U.S. Government Printing Office, 2014.

Lesson 3 – Pittman

The difficulty that most energy efficiency projects encounter is the typical large upfront cost. A full home energy efficiency retrofit project would include lighting, HVAC, insulation, windows, appliances and replacement of other energy consuming devices. For a small home you would very quickly get your costs into the five figure range and large homes could potentially get into the six figures. Energy efficient retrofits of commercial locations could far exceed the numbers of residential projects. For the average consumer these costs are prohibitive and are what is holding this country back from efficiency. The easiest way that the government could help facilitate these improvements would be to incentive consumers to make these choices. It could either be through tax incentives or through the funding of rebate programs. The government could really help the efficiency movement by reducing the upfront cost for consumers. These incentives could also apply to new construction, not just retrofit of existing buildings. An additional way that government involvement could facilitate efficiency would have to take place on a local government level. Local government could implement building code that required energy efficiency in construction.

I would like to discuss my current business (without giving away any secrets) when I comes to developing a business that moves this idea forward. We are a registered participant in a utility’s lighting efficiency program. The way this program works is that the utility gives a flat rate rebate for each LED light that a customer purchases. To ramp up our sales and to make the efficiency upgrade process easier for customers we have rolled out a program that takes the paperwork out of customers hands and removes any hassle. It also significantly reduces their upfront cost for lighting upgrades. The way our program works is that we file the rebate paperwork for the customer, we have the rebate check sent directly to us and we discount the customer invoice by the amount of the rebate they were set to receive. This give the customer the benefits of not dealing with the filing of the rebate paperwork, significant cost reduction and a much shorted payback period for their upgrade. It give us the benefits of easier sales and happier customers. If there were government programs functioning the same way as these utility programs, a company that positioned itself as a subject matter expert concerning the program could really carve out a niche for itself and build a strong loyal customer following.

Building Energy Efficiency for the Consumer: Hammonds

Government could have a huge impact on energy efficiency if they make building codes for residential and commercial buildings more stringent.  The most common places a home loses energy is through lost heated/cooled air.  These loses happen through poorly insulated walls, attics, and roofs, low r-value windows, and cracks/insulation gaps.  These energy loses are relatively easy to prevent in new construction houses.  Government should implement better building codes to insure new construction houses or businesses are well insulated and well made structures.

To thoroughly implement energy efficiency someone knowledgeable in making energy efficient structures will need to be available to guide contractors through the process.  My business would provide consultation services on building to or beyond government energy efficiency standards and building codes.  This would include an initial consultation on a per site basis and carry on through a final energy audit of the building to ensure maximum efficiency.  The consultation service will increase the value of the home by increasing energy efficiency which is high in demand.  The efficient nature of the home will make a smaller foot print on the environment.  The consumer, the builder, and the environment all benefit equally.


Department of Energy. “Air Sealing for New Construction”. May 2, 2010. Retrieved 9/14/2014. http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/air-sealing-new-home-construction

Reichart Lesson 3 – Energy Efficiency

1. What types of policies on the part of government could promote energy efficiency?

The government has a prime role to promote a policy which would drive the economy towards energy efficiency and sustainability. Businesses which are functioning within their proper niche would have no reason to promote or create energy efficient products unless a large changed needed to be made. It is only through a combination of major policy changes, and consumer demand that businesses will make a transition towards more efficient products.

For example:

  • Residential buildings REQUIRE certain amounts of insulation throughout the home (policy change) AND homeowners like to be warm and save money on heating during the winter (demand). Therefore businesses such as CertainTeed are doing well selling insulation.
  • To the contrary, limited to my locality, there has not been a demand of strictly electric cars. Although there are tax breaks (policy change), finding a charging station would be a major inconvenience as the closest one is about 40 miles away (lack of demand).

Finally one of the coolest things that the government is doing is promoting low energy and sustainable building policies. Look at the Department of Energy’s Race to Zero. The program itself was designed to:

2. How would you develop a business that has the potential to move this idea forward?

I feel that consulting firms will have a giant market in the future. Energy prices will continue to rise and homeowners/ businesses will continue to use more energy in spite of having energy efficient items (see chart below). We are reaching a point that there will be a major demand seeking the knowledge of energy efficiency on both a small and large scale. Through a combination of energy auditing, life-cycle cost analyses, and up to date knowledge of sustainable tax incentives a consulting firm could do quite well.USA compared to China historical energy use


Rosling, Hans. Gapminder World. Vers. 0.0.7. Stockholm: Http://www.gapminder.org/, n.d. Computer software.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory & Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “BUILDERS CHALLENGE GUIDE TO 40% Whole-House Energy Savings in the Cold and Very Cold Climates.” BUILDING TECHNOLOGIES PROGRAM (n.d.): n. pag. Feb. 2011. Web.

“Residential Buildings Integration.” Residential Buildings Integration. Energy.gov, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.

Mark Moore Efficiency Consulting L3

The government has a responsibility to promote policy which drives the economy towards energy efficiency. Corporations have no intention of investing in research and development to create more efficient products unless forced to do so. Business as usual will occur until policy changes this business mindset or enough people demand more energy efficient products. I believe the government needs to strongly promote two basic policy types. First, a policy which can provide a benchmark for energy efficiency measures for energy generation, transmission, and end-use. Second, a financial policy which includes tax incentives, rebates, grants, and subsidies to attract investment by corporations. These policies together would create an even playing field and incentivize corporations to invest in energy efficient technology.

The three different levels of government, federal, state, and local all need to be considered when developing policy. Is a comprehensive one size fits all policy wise? I believe that the state and local levels should be allowed to tweak policy to conform with their distinct areas. As stated in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory report, ‘There is a consonance among policy goals at all three levels, with each jurisdiction focusing its operations on its own unique geographical scope. Understanding how the policies interact and can contribute to a comprehensive efficiency policy is critical to developing a plan to reduce energy consumption (Cochran, Doris, & Vorum, 2009, p. 10). Policy at the federal level should be broad with ordered guidelines providing authority over policy matters. The state and local levels need to be customized to fit into state and local laws and regulations. Each level of government can mold the most effective policy within its jurisdiction. I believe policy along these lines would be most effective in promoting energy efficiency.


The market for consulting firms, I believe, will grow in the near future as the need for knowledge on energy efficiency rises. The McKinsey report describes the value of such consulting to achieve maximum savings through energy efficiency, ‘energy managers can directly play a decisive role in capturing 1730 trillion BTUs of end-use energy consumption, but only 2% of facilities used on-site energy managers’ (McKinsey & Co., 2009, p. 83). Clearly there is a market for consulting services to large and small businesses alike. Some advantages of energy efficiency measures include, energy auditing and lifecycle cost analysis, which  could save companies vast amounts of money, while reducing carbon emissions in the process. I would like to start a consulting firm and be part of the solution to promote energy efficiency.

Cochran, J., Doris, E., & Vorum, M. (December 2009). Energy Efficiency Policy in the United  

    States: Overview of Trends at Different Levels of Government. Retrieved Sept. 11, 2014,

from http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy10osti/46532.pdf.


McKinsey & Co. (2009). Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the US Economy. Retrieved Sept. 11,

2014, from ww.mckinsey.com/client_service/electric_power_and_natural_gas/latest_thinking/unlocking_energy_efficiency_in_the_us_economy.

Moving Beyond Lean Six Sigma

There are many policies that the government can adopt to promote energy efficiency, and, to be sure, some will be more effective than others.  One of the most effective policies is rewarding those who install renewable energy generators with rebates or tax incentives, whether it be consumers or businesses.  We saw this in action when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act gave a much needed boost to renewable energy back in 2009.  The incentives for wind projects alone led to a 31% increase in installed capacity of wind energy since 2009, with an average annual investment of $15 billion.(1)

But we all know making renewable energy cheaper for industry is an easy answer.  What are some of the other policies the government can implement to spur the growth of renewable energy?

I think one of the most important is the implementation of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which require electricity providers to generate a certain percentage of their energy from renewable technologies.(2)  Right now RPS are adopted from state to state, with 30 states and Washington D.C. enforcing them as mandatory measures, while 7 other states have voluntary goals (it’s up to the utilities if they want to participate or not.)  There are no national RPS as of yet.  To use California as an example of RPS in action, by 2020 they are requiring that 33% of the electricity generated in the state comes from renewable resources.(3)

Another policy that can be implemented is something a little more controversial:  taxing carbon emissions.  This works a little differently than incentivising renewable energy adoption as it entails promoting process efficiency.(4)  Just as we learned in Lesson 3, “the kilowatt not used is the best of all.”  By creating more efficient processes within industry we can simply avoid extra energy being used, reducing the need for both renewable and nonrenewable energy.  The other benefit of a carbon tax is that it allows state governments to collect extra money from dirtier industries–money that can be reinvested into mitigating the effects of climate change, developing new renewable energy projects, or funding education programs that will lead to a more aware and involved populace.  The Congressional Budget Office has a plan that could raise as much as $1.2 trillion during its first decade.(5)  You could imagine what an effect those fees would have on the efficiency of industry in the U.S. (assuming businesses stay in the country.)

A business that will benefit from these new efficiency mandates is a business that helps established businesses and industries meet these new standards.  Just as businesses tried to eek out every drop of productivity from employees and processes with managerial practices like Six Sigma–and then Lean Six Sigma–there are other strategies out there.  I think that, after looking at the information we’ve discussed, that there is a tremendous potential for a business that can successfully help businesses implement efficiency assessments that lead to a reduction in waste and energy usage.  There is one management strategy that seems especially promising called Multivariable Testing (MVT), and it involves testing a bunch of different variables aimed at improving the efficiency of a given process.  By experimenting on different methods of implementing the process, you can tell if a certain method is better, the same, or worse.  Along the way lessons are learned that can benefit other processes.(6)  Companies as large as Lowes have used MVT with success.  Certainly, however, there will be benefits to each of these managerial practices out there.  A successful business might aim to master all of them, and then help tailor an efficiency program for each client depending on the managerial practice that best fits them.

1.  http://www.awea.org/Resources/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=5059

2.  http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/state/topics/renewable.html#a03

3.  http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=4850

4.  http://www.aceee.org/sector/state-policy/toolkit/chp/emissions

5.  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44223

6.  http://www.bscdesigner.com/six-sigma-reviewing-of-alternatives.htm

Lesson 3 – Energy Efficiency Model based on PNW

One way the government could promote energy efficiency would be to establish broad policy initiatives that recognize energy efficiency as an energy resource. A model for this exists in the Pacific Northwest. In December 1980, Congress authorized the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act, Public Law 96-501, which established the Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning Council, more commonly known as the Northwest Power and Conservation Council or the Council. (Ossmann, 2013) The following year, four states — Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington — agreed to make the Council an interstate agency for planning purposes and to provide policy leadership on energy and fish and wildlife issues. The Council develops plans in partnership with the states and general public which, when implemented, assure sustainability defined as including a safe, reliable and economical power supply with “due regard for the environment.” (Ossmann, 2013) The Council, through its regional planning process, often called the “regional dialog,” solicits broad public input and then works to develop a long-range plan that meets the region’s energy and environmental needs while balancing competing interests. In the planning process, energy efficiency has long been considered the least-cost energy resource and a more sustainable way to address increased need for generation brought on by a growing population and economy. In the 34 years since the Act was established, the region has saved more than 5,300 average megawatts, which would be the electricity needed to power five cities the size of Seattle. (Council, 2014) The federal government has also recognized the value of energy efficiency in the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. (EPA, 2014) The proposed rule sets emissions standards at the state level, encourages collaboration among states and recognizes the value in zero-emissions actions like energy efficiency and renewable energy in meeting those reduction standards. Clearly, the government is capable of establishing policy and then stepping aside to let regions, states or communities go to work on local solutions.

The Pacific Northwest has an effective planning process in place that helps guide energy and natural resource policies and practices. Energy efficiency is an integral part of that plan. For decades, utilities in the region have developed, implemented and promoted energy efficiency programs to help the region meet its sustainability goals. I think that model could be used to assist other regions in meeting the emissions reduction standards in the proposed rule. To move this idea forward, I would propose a business with the expertise available to establish regional versions of the Council. The entity would have representatives from each state and would be tasked with developing a regional plan for not only meeting the emissions standards from power plants, but to also give due consideration to the environment. Energy efficiency would be recognized as key in not only meeting the standards but in creating a more sustainable environment for the future.

Environmental Protection Agency. “Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule.” Retrieved 9/12/14 from http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule

Northwest Power & Conservation Council. August 7, 2014. “Energy Efficiency Will Help Meet EPA’s Carbon Rules.” Retrieved 9/12/14 from https://www.nwcouncil.org/news/blog/energy-efficiency-will-help-meet-epa-carbon-rules/

Ossman, Sharon. January 16, 2013. Northwest Power & Conservation Council Bylaws. Retrieved 9/12/14 from https://www.nwcouncil.org/about/policies/bylaws/

03 Raxter – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

A little known fact is that the catchphrase Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is actually listed in order of the most importance. The most important thing that we can do to reduce the amount of pollution that we produce is to reduce the quantity of resources that we are consuming. The easiest way to accomplish this is to utilize energy efficient means.

Given the current technology dependent generation – visual aids tend to capture people’s attention more than spreadsheets. That being said, I would like to create a program that would allow you to build a 3D model of your house with standard appliances. When you run the program it would take you through a typical day and visually show you how much each appliance utilizes during the day while adding up the daily total. After the daily consumption report was complete, it would give you the opportunity to swap out appliances for newer energy efficient appliances so you could run a comparison. In the comparison summary, the program would calculate how long it would take you to recap your investment given the amount of money that you’d save through reducing your consumption. This would help average homeowners be able to easily tell where they could have the biggest bang for the smallest investment.

My target audience would be manufacturers of energy efficient appliances. However, the program could also be modified to show the difference that new windows or additional installation could make, which would increase the variety of customers that I could sell the program to.