Saturday, December 15, 2012

"December Program Update' HERE'S SOME DATA! Letter to Contractors

Below is the letter I sent to contractors about results tracking, and eventually having a way of ranking them based upon their ability to make accurate energy savings projections:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ted Kidd <>
Date: Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 8:38 PM
Subject: December Contractor Update - Merry Christmas!

Dear Contractors,

Below are; Some metrics, Competing for results, and a much better way of managing data:

Some of you may be aware that last spring I requested and received a large amount of data under the Freedom of Information Act from NYSERDA regarding your HPwES projects.  

You also may know that I feel this program needs to move toward a new competitive metric - one of published ability to deliver savings projected.  This will do for our industry what MPG ratings did to the auto industry, it will create incentive to excel around a metric that benefits the consumer and adds credibility to our promises.  It will allow us to market based upon truth and accountability, not smoke, mirrors and hope.  Sell to reason, not fickle emotion.  

A program that can deliver TRUTH is unique in today's marketplace.  This could elevate our profession immeasurably! 
Tracking before and after energy would be ideal but right now there is an access problem to energy consumption data "after" improvements.  Until we can solve this, do we have anything that might indicate what results to expect by contractor?  Well, we do have access to "reported energy use before" and "modeled energy use before".  

Certainly someone who uses 1000 therms who has a model showing they use 2000 therms will save 40% is not likely to see 800 therms savings.  

So we can rank ability to accurately model energy consumption pre-improvement with the expectation it will correlate to accuracy of savings projections?  Highly likely.   And seeing these numbers helps contractors understand how accurate their modeling is.   

Do No Harm.  To roll out a ranking or registry without contractor understanding of what is coming is likely to cause harm, so providing this interim step information in a format indicating what will eventually be public information provides opportunity to adjust behavior and policies ahead of time.  Forewarned is forearmed. 

Below is a representation of the data available, and an idea of what a realization ranking might look like.  Those closest to the line have the models that most closely represent consumption of the homes they audit, and those further to the left tend to overstate consumption: (might need Chrome to view)

Inline image 3

Inline image 4

Inline image 5

There is a lot that can be done here, for example these numbers could be run quarterly to show who is improving and who is sliding.  You can't manage what you don't measure, and this should be managed. Nick Taylor is working on making these numbers so people can dig in and understand how to improve results.  You can play with the charts here:

This Christmas I will be receiving a new data set, and a lot of additional information, which I will share with anyone interested.  

I'm also happy to discuss what happens to the work once you commit to tracking results.  (HINT: When you have 2 tests coming up, one you automatically pass just for showing up and the other one is graded, which do you study hardest for?)

Next year NY HPwES will be transitioning from CSG's citrix to Energy Savvy, which looks like a step in the right direction! Maybe NYSERDA will consider tying things to Salesforce and Hubspot.  Things may look discouraging now, but they're poised to get better!  I'd love to hear from those who do not plan to renew their Accreditation, that might be a mistake.  

Ted Kidd
(585) 205-8674 Direct 
Energy Efficiency Specialists
EES Blog

Published Realization Rates - Let's take the "blind buy" out of home performance.

P.s.:  Thank you to those who've sent words of encouragement and appreciation.  And as always, to those who wish to be removed from this list please let me know.   

Good faith attempts to remove clearly bad data were made.  The analysis was performed by an independent 3rd party with absolutely no connection or bias toward any NY contractors or the program.  Anyone having issue with accuracy of the data please contact NYSERDA and CSG.