MEEA Unplugged

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What Energy Codes can Teach Us about Marriage

just married sign

This toast was delivered by MEEA Building Policy Manager Alison Lindburg before the wedding of a fellow codes team member. We liked it so much, we wanted to share that lovin' feeling with you.  Marriage is like a home built to code: First you build the foundation, which means you need a good solid material – ie, the marry the right person! Insulation is very important – be sure to make your partner feel protected and warm, and most importantly, always be installed on the right side (which is theirs)! To be strong, two boards must lean on one another. If one board leans too hard, the other will fall over. Sometimes, with a strong wind, one board may take more of the load, but try to be sure that both sides carry the weight. When…

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New Research: Industrial Opt-Outs Undermine Energy Savings

industrial workers

With increased constraints on our nation’s electric grid—a combination of growing energy demand and aging generation/infrastructure— energy experts turn to large energy users to reduce energy waste and ensure long-term electric reliability. According to the Energy Information Administration, the industrial-sector uses 34% of all electricity in the Midwest region. The Midwestern states consume 38% of the United States’ industrial sector electricity, with eight states ranked in the top 15 for industrial energy consumption.  In short, the industry-heavy Midwest could benefit significantly from industrial energy efficiency. What’s Wrong with Opt-Outs MEEA Policy Associate Leah Scull recently completed an in-depth analysis of industrial…

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Excuse Me, Where are the Smart Devices Located?


One August afternoon, a few MEEAites embarked on a recon mission to gather data on smart devices in two major retailers of home appliances. Sadly, the budget didn’t approve our request for black turtlenecks and spy gear, so we had to make do with business casual. Our goal was to get a general idea of what type of technology comes with today’s appliances that are commonly available to the public. As MEEA sets out to not only understand, but also influence on the world of intelligent efficiency, we have recently found ourselves arriving at the same question that starts at the consumer: What do customers experience today when buying new home appliances? Not content to be armchair EE professionals, we walked into the first store, and my…

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