Ecova Offers Research and Planning Insight at Aceee Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Spokane, WA— August 8, 2012—Experts at Ecova, a total energy and sustainability management company, will present six research papers at an upcoming August conference organized by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

Speakers will provide leading-edge research on utility program planning, set-top boxes, household dryers, plug load standards, on-bill energy efficiency financing, and savings opportunities for TVs, desktop PCs, game consoles and streaming media.

“Ecova is constantly working to identify the next set of energy saving opportunities and forward-looking public policy,” said, Gregg Hardy, vice president of research and policy, Ecova. “We’re excited to share insights to help utilities, manufacturers, consumers, and policy makers work toward a stronger, more energy-efficient economy.”

Ecova experts featured at the conference will include Gregg Hardy, Suzanne Foster Porter, Chris Calwell, Dave Denkenberger, Pat Keegan and Nate Bellino. Experts will share findings and lessons from six recent Ecova authored or co-authored studies:

PAPER 1: “PAY-TELEVISION IN-HOME EQUIPMENT: NATIONAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION, SAVINGS POTENTIAL, POLICY BARRIERS AND OPPORTUNITIES”

Authors: Gregg Hardy, Aaron Phillips, Debbie Driscoll, Philip Walters, and Jeffrey Swofford, Ecova

Abstract: This paper explores the energy use, energy savings opportunities and policy challenges associated with the hundred million homes subscribing to pay-television in the U.S., requiring approximately 240 million pay-television set-top boxes. Ecova developed a set-top box energy model using recent market and energy use data to estimate historical and future energy use. Ecova estimates that certain improvements with mode power levels, sleep mode power levels, duty cycle, and network architecture can achieve between 30 and 50 percent savings.

PAPER 2: “CAPTURING PLUG LOAD ENERGY SAVINGS WITH A WIDE NET: HORIZONTAL POLICY LESSONS LEARNED AND FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES”

Authors: Suzanne Foster Porter, Chris Calwell, Jeffrey Swofford, Philip Walters, David Denkenberger, PhD, and Erica Lighthiser, Ecova

Abstract: Energy Information Administration’s 2011 Annual Energy Outlook  projects plug loads to grow 60 percent from 2010 to 2030, eclipsing categories like lighting and HVAC. Although TVs, set-top boxes and office equipment represent a large portion of the energy use, a smaller miscellaneous group of plug load products make up the majority of energy consumed.

Forthcoming California and U.S. battery charger standards will likely save an even larger percentage of total plug load energy use, but fail to comprehensively address all possible horizontal plug load energy savings. This paper examines lessons from prior horizontal plug load efforts, including external power supplies and battery charger systems.

PAPER 3: “WHAT LURKS BENEATH: ENERGY SAVINGS OPPORTUNITIES FROM BETTER TESTING AND TECHNOLOGIES IN RESIDENTIAL CLOTHES DRYERS”

Authors: Chris Calwell, Dave Denkenberger and Brendan Trimboli, Ecova

Abstract: In the U.S., clothes dryers account for approximately 6 percent of residential electricity consumption and $9 billion in annual energy costs. The paper explores opportunities for savings and identifies flaws in current testing procedures. Current research methods downplay the benefits of efficient dryers in three significant ways:

  • Testing employs easy-to-dry, uniform synthetic test cloths instead of more representative and diverse articles of real clothing.
  • Testing does not compare dryer technologies on source energy use, carbon usage, or consumer cost basis, thus overlooking the key advantages of natural gas dryers.
  • Testing does not allow dryers to shut themselves off automatically, missing information about how quickly and appropriately dryers terminate the drying process.

PAPER 4: “CAN ON-BILL FINANCING BECOME A REPLICABLE SOLUTION FOR RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES?”

Authors: Patrick Keegan, Ecova; Ron Calcaterra, Central Electric Power Cooperative; Mike Couick, Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina; Michael Volker, Midwest Energy; and Carol Werner, Environment and Energy Study Institute

Abstract: Rural Electric Cooperatives (co-ops) – serving 12 percent of the U.S. market – are showing a growing interest in energy efficiency financing. Many on-bill financing (OBF) programs have emerged in the last few years, but only a few have achieved significant volume. What would it take to scale OBF programs, particularly for co-ops that are typically less regulated and more flexible than investor-owned utilities? This paper summarizes two programs, Midwest Energy’s How$mart® program and a replica of the program conducted by co-ops in South Carolina, that provide low-interest loans tied to the premises, not the occupant, eliminating the need for a credit check.

PAPER 5: “TAMING THE BEAST: 13 SAVINGS OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEXT GENERATION CONSUMER ELECTRONICS PROGRAMS”

Authors: Marti Frank and Jane Peters, Research Into Action; Stephanie Fleming, NEEA; and Gregg Hardy and Matt Krick, Ecova

Abstract: This paperidentifies and quantifies 13 “high confidence” opportunities for energy savings in TVs, desktop PCs, game consoles and streaming media. The analysis provides a foundation for new program designs that will be useful to funders, implementers and researchers. The opportunities address new and existing products and are implementable through upstream, midstream and downstream program designs.

PAPER 6: “TINKERING WITH PROGRAM DESIGN: USING DATA TO CREATE THE NEXT GENERATION OF PROGRAMS”

Authors: Nate Bellino and Oksana Harris, Ecova

Abstract: Today, cost effectiveness modeling often happens after products and a program design are selected. Incorporating best planning practices from top utilities and borrowing market frameworks from the high-tech industry, we attempt to redefine current program development methodology by quantitatively assessing different products, program designs, and markets by modeling different scenarios continuously throughout the process.

Using the methodology we developed through this process, we will walk through the cost effectiveness, savings and market analysis we conducted. Using data we determine which products provide fertile ground for programs, which qualified product lists are the best option and which program design cost effectively addresses the key market barrier for the particular product.

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ABOUT ECOVA

Ecova is the total energy and sustainability management company whose sole purpose is to see more, save more, and sustain more for its clients. Using insights based on consumption, cost and carbon footprint data spanning thousands of utilities, hundreds of thousands of business sites and millions of households, Ecova provides fully managed, technology-optimized solutions for saving resources, which in turn increase returns, lower risks, and enhance reputations. Ecova is the largest non-regulated subsidiary of Avista Corp (NYSE: AVA and avistacorp.com). For more information, visit the company’s website at ecova.com, on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ecova, or follow Ecova on Twitter at @ecovainc.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT ECONOMY

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors.