I attended the morning session focused on resources for rural and small utilities. While most of the discussion was regionally based, one particular resource stood out that could help any utility evaluate potential energy efficiency measures. The spreadsheet tool, while developed by BPA is apparently robust enough for any utility manager to use regardless of their location. It is yet to be released, but it will be me made public on BPA's website once it does.
My first afternoon session after lunch was packed, and it covered the fascinating topic of behavior-based efficiency measures. Topics ranged from reaching out to rate payers and building occupants at commercial/industrial buildings. There were a handful of examples presented, and discussion on the importance of having a large, statistically-relevant control sample as part of the evaluation process for these programs to ensure accurate savings.
The third and final session block was dedicated to topic requests from the attendees - several poster boards were provided in the morning and attendants posted and voted on their favorite topics. Moderators were selected for these topics and they ranged from how to use customers as part of program marketing to making behavior-based efficiency measures stick.
I attended the session on "making behavior change programs stick." Most of the discussion came from several representatives at OPower, a company that provides utilities with a behavior-based incentives program to encourage energy savings. They work with utilities of all sizes, from small co-operatives to Puget Sound Energy with it's hundreds of thousands of customers. They have found the key to ensuring behavioral programs stay successful is consistency and program longevity.