Winter 2016 Forum    

"Leading the Market: A Look at Energy Efficiency in a Constantly Evolving Market"

December 9, 2016

Leftbank Annex, Suite 012, 101 N. Weidler
(Suite 012 Entry of Wheeler Ave)
Portland, Oregon

As always, the latest APEM Forum provided a wealth of resource material, presented by local experts, geared toward helping members reduce energy use and improve cost margins in their facilities.  Here is a snippet of what was discussed…

Charlie Grist, Manager, NW Power and Conservation Council.
Charlie explained why energy efficiency is so necessary: beyond new technology or being “green,” conservation was a necessary reaction to the supply overbuild seen in the Pacific Northwest decades ago; now efficiency is itself considered a resource.  From a resource standpoint (regionally), EE is cheaper for consumers, and acts as insurance against the wrong kinds of load growth or supply growth.  Once efficiency (again, regionally) was a proven resource, its use evolved into many of the conservation programs we see today. 

With regional load expected to grow 5,000MW over the next 20 years, the NWP&CC has introduced its 7th Power Plan—which includes conservation, efficiency, and renewables—to meet capacity. 

So, how does this affect us?  It’s no surprise that the balance of commercial and industrial power consumption is from lighting loads, HVAC loads, and computer/server loads.  The 7th Plan involves measures whose technology and controls help curtail this consumption.  As one responsible for the performance of our facilities, we can implement these suggested measures to improve our building’s performance.  Visit their Website for specific information.

What’s in the future – expanded demand response strategies, and the Internet of Things.**  (** See the APEM Spring Forum!!)

Larry Blaufus, Sr Mgr Large Customers, Clark PUD
Larry began his presentation with information specific to Clark PUD, describing what makes a Public Utility District different from other types of utilities, and what makes Clark unique.  He then touched on Clark’s adoption of the NW Power and Conservation Council’s 7th Plan, demonstrating that conservation/efficiency is the most accessible resource.  What’s missing now (which Charlie also mentioned) is the data which could inform usage trends and savings opportunities.  …enter the Internet of Things,** where smart appliances work around peak load forecasts to improve energy cost.  Because Clark has little of its own generation (hydro) it is mostly dependent on BPA and other suppliers, so any program that can help keep wholesale costs down will benefit its customers.  Many of the conservation measures are targeted towards residential users, but the same technology can be used in APEM members’ facilities: HVAC, water heating and solid state lighting.

Jeff Harris, Chief Transformation Officer, NEEA (Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance)
Jeff demonstrated how NEEA is meeting its mission statement: Mobilizing the market toward energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to meet our future energy needs, by describing how modest improvements to your whole building system can affect big changes in your energy use.  Most of the EE low-hanging-fruit has been taken, and energy managers see fewer high-return projects any more.  Jeff highlighted several “deep dive” projects where the solution was not in a single EE investments, but an analysis of how all the systems work together.  Example: you’ve already installed LEDs, got your incentive check, and are realizing energy savings.  So what now?  Marrying the LEDs’ heat load reduction with better insulated window retrofit kits, and reanalyzing the controls on your chiller units could extend the life of your systems and save you money.

The presentations are below; please feel free to peruse, but don’t download without permission.

We look forward to seeing you at Oregon APEM’s Spring Forum, where we’ll unravel the mystery behind the Internet of Things.  Look for the Save The Date coming your way!


Charlie Grist, Manager

Jeff Harris

Larry Blaufus