From the Blog

What Pink Floyd Taught Me About Renewables and Energy Efficiency



I was at an energy conference in 2015, and a speaker, whose name I have long forgotten, uttered a comment that has stuck with me to this day. It was one of those comments that immediately sent your brain into a frenzy making connections to other things, other comments, and even thoughts of your mom. I left the conference with the song “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd playing in my head. That comment was so powerful that I not only remember it still, but use it in speaking engagements and relevant conversations. “You must eat your Energy Efficiency vegetables before you can have your Renewable Energy dessert.”

Energy efficiency programs cost utilities on average about 3.1 cents per kilowatt-hour nationally.

That comment came to mind again recently when I read a 2018 study published by the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which highlighted that energy efficiency programs cost utilities on average about 3.1 cents per kilowatt-hour nationally. This study shows the power of energy efficiency in lowering costs for consumers.  Energy Efficiency at times may not get the attention of Renewable Energy, but it should be the mainstay of efforts to reduce consumers costs.  If you are a reader of my blog or listener of my podcasts, you understand I am a HUGE fan of renewable energy.  During many of the proceedings at the Public Service Commission, renewable energy gets a lot of attention, sometimes at the expense of energy efficiency.  But just like my mom always made me eat my vegetables at dinner, every time a proposal is brought to me from a utility, I am always looking for the energy efficiency portion on the plate. When those proposals are lacking energy efficiency, I can’t help but think of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” and fight the urge to yell out “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?!”

I have yet to scream that out during a hearing, as I know my dark sarcasm won’t go over well in the classroom. I guess we still do need an education, but without the thought control.

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