MEEA Unplugged

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The Birth and Evolution of a Successful EE Program


In September, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy completed a case study profiling MEEA’s HVAC Savings Adjustment and Verified Efficiency (HVAC SAVE) program, which tells the story of how MEEA partnered with utilities in Iowa to launch a HVAC quality installation and quality maintenance program that has resulted in over 100,000 jobs and substantial energy savings. The study describes how increasing federal efficiency standards for HVAC equipment in 2010 encouraged Iowa utilities and program administrators to invest in quality installation programs, since this meant the associated baseline assumptions for deemed savings estimates were set to increase, ultimately lowering the incremental savings…

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Industrial EE Problems? Go Straight to the Source

industrial facility

Industrial energy efficiency is losing ground in the Midwest. Though it’s one of the most cost-effective energy efficiency measures, states are increasingly allowing industrial customers to opt-out of paying into energy efficiency programs or exempting them from doing so altogether. As a result, overall energy savings and the cost-effectiveness of EE programs are on the edge of decline. Consider the sheer volume and impact of industrial processes in the Midwest and it becomes clear that opt-outs present a massive missed opportunity for industrial energy efficiency. More importantly, significant potential energy and financial savings for industrial utility customers will be lost. Thirty-eight percent of industrial sector electricity is…

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Chicago Proposes 4-Star Rating System for Benchmarking

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Improving energy performance in buildings is a key strategy for the City of Chicago, which has committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. This includes a 26-28% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025; the city is currently 40% of the way to meeting that goal. Because the energy used in buildings accounts for over 70% of the city’s current greenhouse gas emissions, reducing building energy use is essential to meeting this goal. To that end, the City of Chicago is proposing new updates to its energy benchmarking ordinance. The current ordinance was established in 2013, and requires commercial and multifamily buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to measure and report on their energy usage. The ordinance covers…

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