PECI Blog

Where we ask our experts to share their insights into the energy industry, sustainability and life at PECI. Let us know what you think – we love a good conversation.

Summer camp for energy wonks delivered in 2014, with informative presentations, rich informal sessions, sunshine, kayaking, and these top five findings provided by the PECI’ers who attended this year’s conference. Want to get your message in front of consumers? One utility shared the effectiveness of various tactics to get residential customers to read marketing or behavior-influencing messages. Most of them (phone, email, direct mailers) were dismal— with the exception of text messages. 90+ percent of text messages are read within 60 seconds of...
We continue our series on Small Business Energy Efficiency with this latest installment, discussing Applicable, Actionable and Sustainable measures and interventions (see related posts on Outreach and Market Engagement). One of the main goals of small business programs is to raise awareness about energy efficiency,...
I am always on the lookout for successful marketing tools and techniques that can be used in marketing energy efficiency. One that I am really excited about is Content Marketing (see “The Content Marketing Revolution” from Harvard Business Review). I believe that if applied to energy efficiency, content marketing concepts could have a great impact on moving people to action....
Massachusetts has a long history in energy efficiency, going back to 19971. Now in its 18th year of delivering programs in the Commonwealth, many mass market opportunities have become saturated or transformed. Coupled with aggressive energy efficiency savings targets that are increasing by 3% year over year, Massachusetts Program Administrators (PAs) face some significant challenges when it comes to achieving their goals. Nevertheless, Massachusetts is ranked #1 for energy efficiency nationwide by ACEEE and the state is no stranger to innovation in meeting these challenges. Case in point:...
“Plug load” refers to the energy used by a device that plugs into a typical AC electrical outlet.  When we think about plug loads, we often think of task lights, computers, cell phone chargers.  But bigger items, including copy machines and kitchen equipment are also a part of an office building’s plug load. And of course, other building types might have specialty equipment that also makes up part of its plug load.  For example a medical facility might have items such as x-ray machines and centrifuges as part of its plug load profile. PECI has been focused on strategies to reduce plug loads...
PECI learned that it takes two wildly enthusiastic bicyclists and a generous grant from our company’s Sustainability Kickstart program to get a company bike share up and running.  Here’s the story of our success. (Read more about our Kickstart program at GreenBiz.com) In 2013, our green team had the great idea to encourage employees to come forward with new ideas to make PECI more sustainable. Coworker Rick Wilson and I had the idea to purchase two bikes for employees to use...
Remember when you were a kid in science class and you learned about how all snowflakes are different? I don’t know about you, but I had a hard time believing it. Billions and billions of snowflakes fall every year and I was supposed to believe that each snowflake formed a unique crystalline structure that was singular and could not be...
I’ve been in the energy industry for nearly four decades, but I came to it, and to PECI, largely by chance. I graduated from Boise State University with a degree in economics. One of my professors happened to work part-time with the Idaho Office of Energy, calculating energy savings and evaluating the state’s early energy efficiency programs. When he left that position to pursue other research, he recommended me to take his place. It was compelling, politically charged work. The Idaho Office of Energy was part of the governor’s office and we serviced federal grants to increase energy...
In part 1 of "The Goldilocks Principle or How I Learned to Stop Over-Analyzing and Love Data," Erin plead her case for small-, medium-, nano- and big-sized data, and introduced a love story around decision-based data analysis.  Since we’re deep in the midst of World Cup mania, I thought I’d discuss a soccer-related example. Last week, I had a heated argument with some girlfriends about the...
I’m a little bored of the hullabaloo surrounding big data. What about little data? Or medium data? Super- or nano- or INFINITY-sized data? As an analyst who has wrangled with all sizes, shapes and flavors of data, I don’t like to discriminate. All data are beautiful, messy, imperfect and raw. And the more the merrier, because information overload is an amazing privilege. You might ask, “Erin, what Kool-Aid are you drinking and how did you learn to love information overload? And what does Goldilocks have to do with it?” To answer your first question, I learned to love information overload by...

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