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A challenge of Implementing SEM

Created 9/9/2011 by John Sandin
Updated 1/11/2012 by Ben Fowler
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On March 29, 2011, utility professionals and regional energy efficiency stakeholders gathered at the Industrial Strategic Energy Management Workshop in Seattle to explore concepts around Strategic Energy Management (SEM) practices in the Northwest. Presentations by those currently implementing some form of SEM enabled the audience to better understand the impact a management system approach can have on accelerating the uptake of energy efficiency practices by industrial firms. Additionally, members of the Evaluation community discussed some of the challenges associated with quantifying the impact of SEM.

With Superior Energy Performance (SEP) appearing on the national scene and ISO50001 present on the international scene, there is no denying SEM is here to stay.  The question is how we will as an energy efficiency community support or even accelerate the deployment of SEM?

In a recent national call, there was discussion about the challenges faced by utility staff when implementing CEI like programs.  High on the list is concern was rate recovery for behavior based programs. There seems to be a chicken-and-egg scenario with regulators; where we can’t justify the expense until there is significant data, but we can’t get significant data without significant field trials.

What are your thoughts on this? Over the next few weeks, I will contact folks outside of the conduit zone and I will try to synthesize their comments with yours.  Stay tuned…
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Sector: Industrial
Function: Implementation