Fostering Successful Energy Programs through Direct Utility Client Engagement


As an Energy Consultant for a utility program working with national accounts and regional chains, I help facility directors identify and implement energy savings projects and capture associated utility incentives. I’m constantly exposed to the challenges and frustrations that accompany the part of a facility director’s job that involves managing energy use, which is tied up in many other components of managing a facility. Facility directors, and others with similar responsibilities, must incorporate multiple disciplines to ensure buildings function optimally. They must integrate people, place, process, and technology in their decision making. For national chains facilities this process can be complex and time-consuming, since many different stakeholders and competing priorities are...

Will Tax Credit Extensions Spur Your Business to Adopt Renewable Energy?


A year ago, it would have been unimaginable to consider the gains the renewable energy industry has experienced in the past 45 days. From COP21 (aka the Paris Agreement) affirming the world’s position on the action and innovation needed to ensure climate stability, to the subsequent federal budget deal extending renewable tax credits, it’s clear December 2015 will go down in history as one of the major turning points in our reliance on fossil fuels. Both of these milestones will have far-reaching impacts and play significant roles as we move away from fossil fuels, but it’s the tax credit extension for solar and wind projects that will have the most immediate and significant impact to U.S. businesses and the energy industry. Understanding the Tax Credit Extensions The Omnibus...

Know Your Customer and Turn to Analytics: Big Themes from Recent Industry Conferences


As we emerge from the holiday season, the Retroficiency team has been reflecting on learnings from recent industry events. In December, we participated in three conferences: ACEEE Intelligent Efficiency, AESP Big Data Analytics Online Conference, and the Institute for Electric Innovation book launch of Key Trends Driving Change in the Electric Power Industry. Undoubtedly, a major area of discussion in all of these events was the profound ongoing evolution of the energy industry and the role that data analytics will take in enabling that transition. Market thought leaders repeatedly aligned on two important themes in order for the industry to successfully navigate this new landscape: 1) know your customer and 2) implement the right regulatory frameworks. 1. Know your customer The pace...

The IoT Effect On Energy

The fast pace of change in the energy industry is poised to get even faster as the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon takes hold. Utilities are serving up a veritable case study on IoT execution, leveraging sensors and data to fuel the expansion of smarter grids that will drive efficient energy use, enable real-time billing information, and create efficiencies around meter reading and data exchange. Energy consumers are leveraging big data and the IoT to refine their understanding and control of energy consumption and spending. As the interconnectivity of building devices takes hold, energy meters are playing a starring role in the IoT use case. The proliferation of the IoT, however, is far from industry-specific. In retail, merchants are leveraging the concept to connect data points...

Practical Idealism: The Circular Economy in Action


I knew the opening remarks from the Circular Economy Tour had come to an end when Keynote speaker George Bandy declared that no longer may we “privatize the wealth while socializing the risk”. With an ounce of skepticism, I listened to the Vice President of Sustainability at Interface, hoping that he had adequate proofs to support his emotionally charged claim. He did.  Mr. Bandy described a project in which Interface sourced raw material for its product from an unexpected place. Floating in the shallow waters off the coast of the Philippine isles lie thousands of tons of discarded fishing net. Waste left behind from commercial fishing, the nets contain the exact fiber needed to create Interface’s new carpet tiles. Over the past 5 years, more than 56,000 KG of this net have been...