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Leave No City Behind

December 04, 2017 Joe Plummer

Through an acquisition, Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, a rural electric cooperative headquartered in Albert Lea, Minn., tripled in size overnight. Jumping from 6,000 members to 20,000, this growth was a blessing in terms of economic growth. On the flip side, the utility’s mandated spending and energy saving requirements from the state of Minnesota suddenly tripled, putting pressure on the utility to up its energy efficiency game in a big way.

The co-op wisely considered that the end game wasn’t just energy efficiency – it was also customer relations. A lot of the new members probably weren’t even aware that their electricity provider had changed – and they certainly weren’t aware of Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services’ energy efficiency offerings.

But what was the best way to reach all these new customers?  Both mass and direct marketing have their limitations when it comes to reaching such a large market with so many individual businesses. Instead, a small business blitz approach was used. 

What exactly is this tactic, and why was it so effective?

Energy efficiency experts of tomorrow scholarship

November 17, 2017 Kevin McDonough

The goal of Franklin Energy is to help utility customers manage their energy usage and meet energy goals. We make strides to reach this goal every day through implementing new programs and promoting energy-efficient behavior. But why stop there? For the fourth year in a row, we are going a step further in supporting future generations by offering our annual Energy Efficiency Experts of Tomorrow Scholarship.

Sizing Up Small Business

November 03, 2017 Fred Dreher

How big is a small business? The short answer: it varies. The change can be quite dramatic from program to program; in fact, we saw the size limit vary from 60 kW to 400 kW in a recent review of ten electric programs.

Determining small business size can be difficult, and that doesn’t even take the issue of gas programs into account. They can have sizes anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 therms per month. What does all this uncertainty mean? Can you tell a 100kW commercial business by looking at it? Probably not.

Why Attend Conferences?

October 26, 2017 Brody Vance

The key to being innovative is keeping up with the latest news and trends. In today’s world, this is often accomplished by reading news sources and skimming websites; however, this type of information tends to be limited. The real value comes from speaking with others in the industry and hearing their personal anecdotes and advice. Yes, I’m talking about attending conferences. Whether attending as a listener or a presenter, there are a multitude of benefits, including learning about new areas of expertise, hearing issues firsthand from clients, and networking with other industry professionals.

Top 5 Reasons Your Program Design Needs to Include Networked Lighting Controls

October 16, 2017 Kyle Kichura

Networked Lighting Controls (NLC) are being called the second lighting revolution, transforming the luminary industry with internet-connected smart devices that have features and benefits we haven’t yet seen. They can be compared to smart thermostats, offering users more hands-on control and allowing them to leverage new savings. Incorporating NLC into your utility-program offerings is definitely a bright idea, and here are the top five reasons why:

What You Missed At Our C&I Summit

October 02, 2017 Fred Dreher & Ed McGlynn

Our C&I Summit has drawn to a close, but it certainly left a lasting impression on those who attended. From the contacts made to national-level networking and expert tips shared from all corners of the industry, the C&I Summit was an excellent experience for all who joined. Weren’t able to make it? Here are some of the highlights.

We gathered speakers from across the industry to share their insights and pass along knowledge and viewpoints of the C&I market for today and the future. With speakers from organizations like ACEEE, ESource, GTI, and DoE, along with utilities like ComEd, Xcel Energy, DTE Energy and more, no stone was left unturned when it came to exploring all corners of the C&I market.

Lights Out on the T12: How to Make the Switch

September 06, 2017 Joe Plummer

If we were a diner, T12s would be 86’d off the menu. But in our industry, it’s not as quick as a chalkboard erase or menu reprint. Our program teams need to get out there – they need to provide education and outreach to serve up savings and bring better efficiency to the table, business by business. The U.S. federal government has regulations putting an end to T12 fluorescent lighting – but they only apply to the import or manufacture of it.  

Regulation isn’t a stop button. There are many businesses across counties and cities operating without that knowledge or understanding of how much lighting efficiency can help them. It’s not something top of mind when you’re managing staff, budgets, local regulation, tax compliance, and services or products. Even more, T12s have been around since the 1930s; so, while they are outdated, they’re what many individuals are accustomed to using.  

But it’s a cost for companies not to make the switch. A typical 4-foot T12 lightbulb is 40W and will cost an average of $15 per year to operate. This could be replaced with a 15W LED tube, which would cost only $5.60 per year to operate and last 2.5 times longer. The actual cost to a business depends on the number of T12s they have and how many hours they use them, of course – but the bottom line is more Watts equals more dollars.

Capture Energy Savings with the Updated Department of Energy Commercial Refrigeration Standards

August 16, 2017 Sarah Speck

Have you heard the saying “change is the only constant?” That rings true on many fronts – even in the energy efficiency industry. With continuous improvements being made and new inventions coming along, it can be challenging to keep up. One of the latest changes seen is to the new energy efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment, issued by the Department of Energy earlier this year.  What are these new standards, and how do they affect utility programs?

Online and On Your Customer's Terms

July 24, 2017 Greg Nettleton, BPI

The course of most customer journeys starts online, whether it’s researching spring plaid fashions on your laptop or hopping on your phone to order a latte at your neighborhood coffee shop. The point is, it’s about time optimization and ease of use. Everyone has places to go, people to see and things to do and somehow, we need to fit energy efficiency effortlessly into busy lives.

Safety First: Five Tips to Maintain a Culture of Safe Driving

June 28, 2017 Kevin McDonough

Now more than ever, we are being asked to implement energy efficiency and demand response programs more efficiently and effectively.  With all this need for speed, it’s important to maintain a culture of safety.