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Fred Dreher

Vice President of Small and Mid-Sized Business Strategy
Fred Dreher knows how to make a big impact in small businesses. He draws upon his vast industry experience to identify ways to improve Franklin Energy’s approach to the small and mid-sized business sector. This includes developing new products that achieve more effective approaches to program implementation. In addition to his role at Franklin Energy, Fred is a former chair and a founding member of the advisory board for the development of UW-Platteville’s Sustainability and Renewable Energy Systems (SRES) degree, a founder of Wisconsin’s SE2 Award (now USGBC Wisconsin’s Building Performance Award), and a former chair of the Association of Energy Services Professionals’ (AESP) Innovations in Tools and Technology Topic Committee. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from UW-Platteville.
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Recent Posts

A New Type of Demand Response Program for Your Commercial Customers

Imagine if simple programming changes to your commercial and industrial (C&I) customers’ HVAC systems could reduce their summertime on-peak energy demand by an average of 21 percent.

Sizing Up Small Business

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.

7 Tips for Overcoming Participation Barriers in Small Business Energy Efficiency Programs

For most gas and utility companies, small businesses make up the vast majority of accounts within the commercial and industrial customer base. It makes sense, then, to target energy efficiency programs to your retail, grocery, restaurant, office and other smaller, nonresidential customers.

But as the new ACEEE report “Big Opportunities for Small Business: Successful Practices of Utility Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Programs” points out, that can be easier said than done.

Hardest of the Hard-To-Reach Markets

The hard-to-crack markets: small businesses and small multifamily. You see them unassumingly saddled on the street corner, the mom-and-pop store next to the chain giant, the suburban four-to-eight unit apartment building, or the row of boutiques lining your main downtown block.


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