Energy Engineering – The California Technical Forum (Cal TF)
Creating and Gaining Regulatory Approval of the full Suite of Deemed Measures for California’s Energy Efficiency Portfolio
Client: Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison Company (SCE), Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E), Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
Situation: California’s investor-owned utilities and two largest municipally-owned utilities were spending, collectively, over $5 million dollars per annum developing, updating and maintaining measure “work papers.” In addition, the workpapers were inconsistent, maintained in different formats and repositories, and often were rejected by regulators.
Approach: FutEE gathered all work-papers, analyzed regulatory requirements, developed common measure templates and consolidated over 400 measure work papers into 120 distinct, well-documented, clear measure work-papers based on “best available data” then developed tools, templates and training to streamline future measure development and updating.
Impact: All 120 new consolidated measures received speedy regulatory approval, and staffing/costs for developing new measures and updating/maintaining existing measures have been reduced by 75% compared to pre-project expenditures.
Software Development – Cal TF
Creating a model “Best-in-Class” electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM) for developing, maintaining and analyzing energy efficiency measures for California’s Demand Side Management Portfolio
Client: Cal TF, then ultimately California Public Utilities Commission
Situation: California’s suite of energy efficiency measures were developed, maintained, updated and managed through a suite of legacy systems known as “DEER” (the Database for Energy Efficiency Resources). Over time, DEER became increasingly difficult and expensive to use, maintain and update.
Approach: FutEE developed an alternative to DEER, the electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM) based on “best-in-class” research and extensive up-front user input from all key stakeholders. FutEE gathered, then analyzed, over 20 public and private Technical Reference Manuals to identify “best-in-class” structure and approaches. Concurrently, we gathered extensive user input on user wants/needs, then organized into a set of business requirements. In collaboration with the business users and software developers, we translated business requirements into technical specifications, which were then scoped and sequenced into a software development roadmap. The software development process adhered to the “Agile-Scrum” approach, and included frequent releases and ongoing user testing and feedback. The system security, stability and performance is regularly monitored through unit testing and external auditing.
Impact: The eTRM was adopted by the California Public Utilities as the “Datasource of Record” to replace DEER. The eTRM now has over 2,000 users in California, throughout the US, and in Europe and Asia.
Designing, Launching and Leading a Statewide Collaborative to Advise on IL’s Energy Efficiency Portfolios, Policies and Technical Matters
Client: ComEd and Ameren IL
Situation: After the passage of a statewide law mandating utility expenditures on energy efficiency portfolios, IL’s electric utilities were required to fund a new statewide collaborative to help resolve extremely contentious policy, programmatic and technical issues associated with the energy efficiency portfolios.
Approach: FutEE was hired to design, launch and lead the very successful energy efficiency Stakeholder Advisory Group (EE SAG) for over ten years. FutEE reached out to all stakeholders to understand their perspectives and interests, then developed governance and process documents to ensure a fair, open and transparent stakeholder process.
Impact: Through its ten years of leadership, the EE SAG, under FutEE’s leadership, produced a statewide policy manual that was approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission and resulted in two rounds (every four years) of negotiated portfolios that were filed and approved as consensus portfolios, thus avoiding expensive and time-consuming litigation.
Program/Portfolio Design & Implementation – Mobile Home Initiative (Ameren IL, Leidos)
Designing a Implementing a Comprehensive, Best-in-Class Program to Weatherize and Update Mobile Homes
Client: Ameren IL, Leidos
Situation: Ameren IL approached FutEE to design a cost-efficient, best-in-class program to weatherize and improve mobile homes, which are traditionally underserved in IL and nationally. Mobile Homes are an important residential building type with residents who have the lowest average income of any residential building type (including multi-family) and also the highest per square foot energy usage.
Approach: FutEE developed a comprehensive list of energy savings and home improvement measures (including health and safety), then performed detailed energy analysis to identify which measures would be most impactful and cost-efficient measures for mobile home residents. FutEE then design a program delivery approach that would reduce costs (by bulk purchasing key equipment such as HVAC) and maximize local economic development by prioritizing engagement by small, local and, if possible, diverse trade allies and also by partnering with local community-based organizations for customer outreach and engagement.
Impact: FutEE has met and exceeded program targets in all three years while remaining under budget. In 2023, the Mobile Home Initiative served more mobile homes than had been served in Ameren IL’s territory over the past five years, combined by over two-fold. Customer and Program Satisfaction are high (over 90%) based on survey results.
Solicitation and Contract Management – Focus on Energy (WI)
Leading Re-Bid and Contract Negotiations for Wisconsin’s 'Focus on Energy' Energy Efficiency, Demand Response and Renewable Program Portfolio
Client: Wisconsin Public Services Commission
Situation: The highly-regarded WI Focus on Energy Portfolio was managed by a non-profit for over ten years without a rebid. The WI PSC determined that the entire portfolio of programs needed to be rebid to lower costs and increase portfolio performance.
Approach: FutEE led the rebid of the entire portfolio of programs (approx. $400 million total). FutEE designed a complete set of bid documents, form contracts, evaluation criteria and forms, and Processes and Procedures documents that were approved by the WI PSC Staff to ensure a fair, transparent process that maintained a level playing field. FutEE led the bidding in multiple tranches based on market sector. FutEE included key stakeholders (the PSC and utilities) in the bid selection and contracting process to ensure the resulting programs met the requirements of the key stakeholders. The resulting contracts were all performance-based. FutEE then developed and oversaw a collaborative performance-based contract management process to ensure contract performance and portfolio optimization.
Impact: In the year after the rebid, the resulting contracts produced the Highest kWh savings; second highest term savings, highest TRC in the history of the program. The second year of the portfolio achieved a 23% increase in verified gross lifecycle savings through performance-based contract administration.
Peoples Gas/North Shore Gas (Chicago, IL): Future Energy Enterprises administered the gas energy efficiency program portfolio with an annual budget of $7.5 million. Core responsibilities included management of the Governance Board; design, solicitation and administration of all programs; and providing technical advice and counsel on portfolio and program design, administration, implementation, and contract management.
Southern California Edison Company (Irwindale, CA): Negotiated over $200 million in energy efficiency program contracts for all market segments and all customer classes to improve program cost-effectiveness and increase program performance. The negotiations resulted in pay-for-performance contracts ($/kWh) and achieved cost savings of over $4 million dollars.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (San Francisco, CA): Prepared regulatory testimony on policies and strategies for integrating energy efficiency and demand-response programs. Developed Policies and Procedures Manuals for PG&E’s nine demand response programs. Each manual provided program managers with an easy-to-use desk reference for effective program management and included best practices for program operations, quality assurance/quality control, risk management, and continuous improvement.
The Climate Group and WWF (Hong Kong, China): Prepared position paper and provided advice and counsel on legal, regulatory and programmatic strategies needed to implement energy efficiency in Hong Kong.