MEEA Unplugged

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Missed Opportunities: Lowering Deferral Rates on Efficiency Programs

multifamily housing complex

Midwest residential energy efficiency programs have reported shocking deferral rates ranging from 20 to 60% due to health and safety concerns in households, ultimately preventing efficiency upgrades from being completed (Capps, Curry, & Levin, 2019) (NASCSP).[1] In fact, about 6 million households nationwide have moderate to severe home health hazards while about 30 million households—roughly a quarter of all homes in the U.S.—have physical safety hazards, lead-based paint or pests (Kirby, 2017). Though utility- and state-run income qualified residential programs are designed to serve households that have the greatest need for energy savings, a significant number of these households do not receive relief due to housing…

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BOC Case Study: St. Louis Lambert Airport’s Boiler Replacement and Beyond

Rain on airport window overlooking plane

The Project St. Louis’s Lambert International Airport, servicing more than 250 flights per day, recently underwent a significant boiler replacement project for its operations building. The project was spearheaded by operations staff in efforts to not only modernize the equipment, but also save energy and lower costs. As a result of its success, along with skills and knowledge attained through BOC training, the airport’s operations staff strives to achieve energy efficiency while decreasing energy costs. According to the airport’s Supervising Stationary Engineer and BOC graduate, Joe Difani, the 40-year-old boilers needed constant maintenance and were breaking down often. As normal wear and tear took its toll on this equipment, the…

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Assessing COVID-19's Impact: How Will the EE Workforce Bounce Back?

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UPDATE: A new report published by E4TheFuture revealed the Midwest lost a total of 96,672 energy efficiency jobs and 138,422 clean energy jobs since the start of COVID-19.  The energy efficiency workforce has seen robust growth over the last decade, as MEEA has previously highlighted. However, recent expansion has been erased by the COVID-19 crisis. E2’s 2020 report estimates that upwards of 69,800 energy efficiency workers filed for unemployment in March, with additional claims certainly coming in April and beyond. To put this number in perspective, those March unemployment claims more than wipe out the 54,000 new jobs the EE industry added in 2019. According to E2 and BW Research Partnership, the broader clean energy sector could lose…

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