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energy efficiency

The 2019 issue of the Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP) Magazine featured an article by Synapse authors on Assessing Resource Cost-Effectiveness. What are the limitations of current cost-effectiveness practices? How can the National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM) aid jurisdictions in screening energy efficiency and other distributed energy resources for cost-effectiveness? Read on as we make sense of the acronym alphabet soup that is cost-effectiveness testing. 

Earlier this year, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) released a nonbinding resolution for a Green New Deal. The 14-page document outlines a sweeping set of goals related to greenhouse gas emissions, infrastructure investments, and labor markets--largely through a lens of justice and equity.

Synapse was awarded a Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) grant by the Minnesota Department of Commerce to produce a white paper with recommendations on updates to Minnesota's energy efficiency cost-effectiveness framework. The objective of this project was to describe how the key elements of the National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM) could be applied to energy efficiency cost-effectiveness analyses in Minnesota.

Here in Cambridge, MA we’re all too familiar with frigid winters. We may consider ourselves all-star thermostat programmers, but how many of us know in detail where the heat comes from? Most of us, knowingly or not, count on electric resistance baseboards, oil furnaces, or gas boilers to warm our homes and occupy our heating bills. But there’s another option that may be worth a look: heat pumps.

Join Synapse this Thursday for the October edition of our Third Thursday webinar series!

Raise Your (Cost-Effectiveness Screening) Standards: A Discussion of the National Standard Practice Manual for Assessing Cost-Effectiveness of Energy Efficiency Resources 

October 19, 2017 | 2:00-3:00pm ET

On May 1, 2017, ISO-NE released CELT 2017, its latest forecast for electricity demand in New England. As the independent system operator, ISO-NE is responsible for coordinating electric generation and sales in New England and for ensuring the reliable operation of the region’s electric grid.

Energy efficiency is a bargain, costing utilities less than $0.04 per kWh of saved energy. Larger programs are even cheaper, with average utility costs of $0.023 per saved kWh. That’s the message that emerges from a huge database of reports on efficiency programs, updated annually by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Utilities and other energy efficiency providers submit annual reports on efficiency programs on EIA’s Form 861. We examined the total of more than 2,600 complete reports from 2010 to 2015. Key findings include:

Synapse recently created a dataset mapping the costs and savings from ratepayer-funded low-income electric efficiency programs against state poverty rates. We found that, despite the savings opportunities from low-income electric efficiency, states with a higher proportion of low-income residents than the United States average tend to spend less on these programs than states with a lower than average proportion of low-income residents. We also found that low-income energy efficiency does not cost more per kilowatt-hour saved in the states that spend more.

The inaugural Energy Efficiency Day has arrived! During this collaborative celebration, we’re highlighting the energy efficiency work happening at Synapse. Below are a few samples of our recent and ongoing efficiency projects. Follow #EEDay2016 on Twitter to learn more about the energy efficiency efforts of a wide range of organizations, companies, and individuals across the country.  

Advising Development of the National Energy Efficiency Registry

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