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How Do We Increase Multifamily Energy Efficiency? With Good Data

apartment building

If you are like me (or 14.8% of Midwesterners), you live in multifamily housing. And if you’ve ever been a multifamily tenant, then you know it can be harder to get improvements and renovations done than if you live in a single-family home. Dealing with landlords, management companies and condo associations can slow down decision-making, and it’s often unclear what you, as a resident, can or can't do to modify your home. Now imagine what it’s like to be a utility that is trying to increase the energy efficiency of the multifamily housing across its service territory, dealing with those same sorts of barriers on a larger scale. We wrote about those challenges earlier this year and how Midwestern utilities are shifting their approaches to…

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The Utility of the Future Pt 2: Innovation in Missouri

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The Midwest has a strong track record of creativity and innovation: sliced bread, improv comedy, the Model T and, best of all, Post-It notes! And now we see that same spirit of innovation being pursued within the utility sector. In my July 18 blog post, I alluded to the Missouri Public Service Commission’s (PSC) inquiry into emerging issues in utility regulation. Missouri is one of four Midwest states that have, or are undertaking, “utility 2.0” or “utility of the future” exploratory initiatives. In April, the PSC issued an order (EW-2017-0245) opening a working case to explore five emerging issues: The commission’s role in the installation of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and topics such as privacy concerns, AMI opt-out…

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It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times (for Data Wonks)

frustrated man

As we hit mid-summer, I begin to look forward to the things I love about the fall: jackets and sweaters, my kids going back to school and four months of being up to my ears in utility data. This is the time of year that I plan for one of my most challenging annual tasks - updating MEEA’s tracking data to include the latest round of utility annual reporting on energy efficiency spending and savings. It's a labor of love that occupies much of my time September through January so we can release new estimates at our annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference in February. Why, you ask, is this process so challenging and time consuming? It used to be due to difficulty finding dockets, but these days, the biggest headaches have to do with…

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