Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dear Mr. Ahearn/NYSERDA 3/28 reply

This is the response I sent to Mr. Ahearn's response to the concerns I brought to the fore

It feels like they still don't quite understand what driving for more accurate models means when you have SIR cliff.  We've been doing our's this way for a year, and it results in very few 1.01 or better projects:  

Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 9:34 AM, Ted Kidd <> wrote:

Wow, before my reply I would again like to thank everyone for all the private notes of support!  

SIDE NOTE:  I do not work for Damian, complaining to him or asking him to attempt to shut me up is not fair to him.  Also, I intend to advocate for the interests of all homeowners and all contractors, not a select few.  For inclusiveness, not exclusivity.  Reducing barriers to entry, not increasing them.  

I apologize to anyone who is receiving these messages who would rather not get them.  Please, anyone who wants off let me know and I will pull your name out. 

Dear Mr. Ahearn,

Thank you for your input. 

NYSERDA now intends to require truing of models.  It has been my experience building energy models, before truing to consumption they overstate costs.  This is true of every modelling software I've used.  With some homes it may be by a factor of as much as 100%.  Please think a moment about what this means:  

Your house annual energy spend is $2000.  The untrued model says $4000.  Improvements reduce consumption by 25% with 1.15 SIR.

Untrued, $1000 annual savings means your job get's SIR.  Trued the savings is $500 and it does not get SIR.  

Part of Energy Efficiency Specialists mission is accurate energy modelling.  We have taken the further truing step of comparing projections to results, so we have very high certainty that there is little room for change in our approach if we hope to maintain a grip on reality.  We have been seeing very few projects with SIR 1.01 or better, and I can document months worth of conversations with CSG about this.  We have been seeing a lot of projects with .7 and lower.  

Pulling 10% incentive off the top will not fix SIR shortfall on trued models.  Would you instruct us to do whatever it takes to get jobs approved?  Truing models and fuel cost is going to mean even fewer viable opportunities.  Over the last year have you not been seeing (at least suspecting) insulation and blower door games?   Don't you understand why that was happening?  

Please do not force contractors to true models unless you take away 1.01 SIR.  Many have had one foot out the door since last March.  Yes I'm an advocate for truth in energy savings, but the path requires more participation, not less.  It requires a program with competitive advantage, not a net add to overhead.  Benefits of the program from homeowner perspective still requires competitive price.  If you continue to make significant adds to contractor overhead, you need to pay for them so price remains competitive.  

Is it true that historically this program has a realization rate of 20%?  If that's the case, when contractors start doing accurate modelling what do you think will happen to their SIR's?  Do you not see the direct correlation between savings realization and SIR?  

These contortions and convolutions simply add more layers of computer confusion, administration, and are an unfortunate denial of the truth.  These guys are playing by ground-rules you created.  When you make a mistake, clubbing them with it is terribly unfair.  Don't you see these people are bleeding to death?  That it's the program's fault?  We understand you have issues with the PSC, but you are our conduit.  You are our partner.  To correct a mistake you must first be willing to admit a mistake has been made.  

I'm sorry nobody has had the gumption to tell you this sir.  Clearly you have not been getting the true picture.  Your son works at CSG, correct?  Bypass the chain of command filters, they are not working.  Talk to him!  

Speaking of CSG, apparently the contract for implementer is renewing?  Who is involved in that decision?  Since they work with us, and are supposedly our partner, shouldn't we be?  Has NYSERDA  taken a poll of all contractors to see if we would like a change of implementer?  Is NYSERDA interested in our opinion?    

Truing models and fuel cost is going to mean even fewer viable opportunities.  SIR based on net consumer investment instead of total investment doesn't game the numbers enough the other way.  We need a program that redirects focus on savings delivered.  On Bill will fail without it.  Why hasn't your implementer made this clear to you? 

This path is failing.  This next tweak doesn't staunch the bleeding, it makes things worse.  True models, true energy cost, and SIR requirements are completely incompatible.  

Let's think about this program.  Don't we all want opportunity at EVERY AUDIT.  Want comprehensive projects to go through the program and get all the wonderful benefits and protections the program used to provide.  I want that for every project.  

This is a sales process!   "Give us an opportunity at every home, or please just go away."  "I wish this program would hurry up and fail."  "homeowners complain about crappy walk through audits".   Sales guys are fed up, and the program is really quickly losing goodwill now.

SIR based on total project cost, or on consumer investment for a program that supposedly needs to justify public investment is absurd.  What conceit causes anyone who hasn't seen the home and talked to the homeowner to deign to know better how the homeowner should invest their own money in their own homes?  See the flaw in this thinking?  Doesn't this seem to treat the homeowner with abject paternalistic condescension?  Besides, isn't the investment made by NYSERDA the investment NYSERDA should be worried about?  Shouldn't it just be the public side of the equation that should be concerned with being a "good" investment energy wise?  

Shouldn't SIR be applied to the incentive portion rather then the homeowner portion?   If you show up with 10%, worry about your 10%!  Let me worry about what my house needs!! 

Following this evolutionary path wouldn't we eventually arrive at the logical conclusion of creating incentive based upon energy savings?  Imagine how little administration that would entail, not just on the contractor side but the program administration side as well.  Incentive based not upon total investment, but upon energy saved. Let the homeowner decide what capital, comfort, health, safety, durability, and investment return they want from improvements they make to THEIR homes.   Give them incentive for the energy savings, not the investment return.    

Every project AUTOMATICALLY approved - reinvigorate the interest of the sales force! 

Thank you for coming to the conversation.  Please fix this sir, it's time to fix this.  Everyone is fed up.  The answer is not in holding another webinar.  There is a huge opportunity here, the time to act is now.  

Ted Kidd
Energy Efficiency Specialists
(585) 205-8674 Office

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

SUMMARY:   While accurate modelling is an important goal, if the result is no work what is the point?  Yes I'm an advocate for accurate modelling, but I also want the program participants to thrive.  This means having work that the program recognizes as being worthwhile.  This requires changing from a job cost cliff system to a system that pays based upon energy savings. 


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