Residential efficiency program snapshots

Black Hills Energy has a three-year industrial efficiency program for large customers. They are working with the Industrial Assessment Center at Colorado State University.  Student engineers spend a whole day doing extensive testing to see what energy efficiency gains can be attained. They ask owners where they see the business going, and put that into the report. Utility representatives follow up with the business owners on prescriptive measures.

The program is now completing its first year and evaluating the results. They are starting to see some implementation, although a lot of industrial customers are just hanging on. The low-hanging fruit is being implemented. Black Hills is mandated to do proven cost-effective measures.

The engineering program at Red Rocks has found more efficiency gains from doing infiltration evaluation on the whole building. The CSU program includes whole-building analysis, but does not look at backdraft. Auditors have found high CO levels in buildings. Red Rocks has just completed work on a 40-year-old Net Zero building in Lakewood, Colo.

Envelope measures on existing buildings may not pass the cost-effectiveness screen test, especially for investor-owned utilities. Custom programs may be the best way to capture those savings.