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What’s something that you thought you knew, but later found you were wrong about?

Created 5/15/2019 by Veronica Marzilli
Updated 5/21/2019 by Veronica Marzilli
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Kim Thompson, VP of Energy Efficiency for BPA started the day off talking about some of the changes that BPA has seen over its decades of serving the Northwest. Watch the video of Kim's talk, and the full Day 2 General Session here: https://vimeo.com/337400678

Kim cited one example – the electricity rate was priced at $17.50 per kilowatt year…and that that stayed the same for 27 years. This now they are revisited every year – just shows the rapid rate of change the industry sees.

What’s something that you thought you knew, but later found you were wrong about?

Using this “make me smart question, Kim said that when she joined the industry, she thought that there was EE that could benefit every home… but has come to realize that EE can be beyond the reach of the home or homeowners. She cited Emerald PUD’s attempt to address that through their program to work with St Vincent DePaul to help bring efficient manufactured homes to their customers in that situation.

She then talked about the diffusion of innovation curve, a framework that talks about how consumers and the market adoption of new technologies. Kim said that she’d though that it would be obvious to see when the technology was “ready” to take off… bit often that spark of readiness can be seen only in hindsight. As an example – fluorescents were a major part of regional lighting programs, and tubular LEDs were seen as an obscure product… fast forwarding just a few years, now they are available in Home Depot and most retailers for less than the cost of a tube of toothpaste.


Kim also shared some things that weren’t so successful along the way. This included an exploratory look at a product to save plug load and energy… an ultra-low flow dishawsher. One feature was that homeowners could enjoy their meals… for several days in a row!

And, figuring that hair dryers used a lot of energy, BPA promoted “efficient hair days”…  but, the participants turned that into a different slogan: “Make every day a bad hair day”

With all of these learnings, the key factor is to engage, engage, engage. So it’s important to learn from what we’ve tried… both what has worked, and what hasn’t, and Efficiency Exchange is a great venue for that type of sharing.

Find her presentation here: https://conduitnw.org/Pages/File.aspx?rid=4842

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