Amazing how much energy you save when you work with people you trust.

For two decades, our clients have relied on us when they need strategic, bulletproof research with an actionable takeaway—all grounded in a big-picture, up-to-the-minute understanding of the energy landscape. We work with utilities, governments, and energy-efficiency organizations across North America. We also partner with other consultants who appreciate our unique perspective and capabilities. Our work is informed by our long history, our broad, multidisciplinary knowledge, and our constant pursuit of one critical question: How can research illuminate the way forward?

 200+ client engagements
    33     utility or municipal clients (and growing)
    13      strategic partners (and growing)
    25     states (and growing)
    35     conference presentations and papers


Selected summaries with one thing in common: clear results.


Benchmarking and Data Visualization

           Showing a city a picture of itself.

As a FOUNDATION FOR ITS ENERGY AND CLIMATE GOALS, the CITY OF SEATTLE adopted an AMBITIOUS BENCHMARKING POLICY, affecting all large buildings citywide. With two years of data in hand, the Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment needed help showing building owners that the hours they spent benchmarking was time well-spent. We helped the city extract the most COMPELLING FINDINGS from the data sets, WORKING COLLABORATIVELY to run dozens of ANALYSES IN REAL-TIME. We ENHANCED OUR DATA MINING with our DATA VISUALIZATION process, producing easy-to-grasp final report graphics brimming with new, NEVER-BEFORE-STUDIED INSIGHTSABOUT THE CITY’S ENERGY USE. Result? ACTIONABLE DATA that was MORE MEANINGFUL FOR THE CITY AND BUILDING OWNERS alike.


Program Evaluation, Process Evaluation and Market Research

           Illustrating the impact of heat pumps.

What happens to ENERGY COSTS, PEAK DEMAND and CO2 EMISSIONS when residential customers switch from oil to heat pumps? We’re helping EMERA MAINE find out. Since 2012, we’ve helped the company (formerly Bangor Hydro) MEASURE AND UNDERSTAND THE IMPACT AND EFFECTIVENESS of its INNOVATIVE HEAT-PUMP PILOT PROGRAM. Among our services: minute-to-minute FUEL-CONSUMPTION ANALYSIS, four CUSTOMER SURVEYS, USER RESEARCH TO UNDERSTAND HOW CUSTOMERS ARE USING THEIR HEAT PUMP and DETAILED PROFILING of program participants. With serious potential energy cost-savings for residential customers at stake, the project is being closely scrutinized; the HIGHLY VISUAL REPORTS we’re delivering along the way make COMPLEX INFORMATION from hundreds of thousands lines of data EASY TO UNDERSTAND—for Emera Maine, their customers and regulators.


Program Design, Evaluation and Implementation

           Plugging into the details of a plug-load program.

When an INNOVATIVE NEW PROGRAM DESIGN needs a CRITICAL REVIEW OF EVALUATION APPROACHES, we take the case. That’s the role we’re playing for LONGTIME CLIENT PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC and its EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES PROGRAM as we help design, evaluate and report on a PROGRAM TRIAL AIMED AT REDUCING PLUG LOADS—a notoriously elusive goal. We love this project because it factors in EVALUATION UPFRONT AS PART OF PROGRAM DESIGN—something we consider a CRITICAL BEST PRACTICE that’s performed all too infrequently.


Impact Evaluation, Process Evaluation, Market Research

           A steady stream of insight for a longtime partner.

We've worked with Michigan’s CONSUMERS ENERGY longer than any other client and we’re proud to be its STRATEGIC PARTNER on numerous multi-year projects. We provide ANNUAL IMPACT AND PROCESS EVALUATIONS of Consumers’ commercial and industrial energy-efficiency programs. We also deliver a range of MARKET ASSESSMENTS and MARKET RESEARCH to INFORM PROGRAM IMPROVEMENTS. As Consumers’ prime contractor, we OVERSEE A TEAM OF EVALUATION PROFESSIONALS and provide staff with monthly, in-person briefings containing interim findings—REAL-TIME FEEDBACK that enables Consumers Energy to OPTIMIZE PROGRAMS WHILE THEY’RE IN PROGRESS. While we can’t take full credit for every outcome, we think it’s worth noting that Consumers Energy has MET ITS EFFICIENCY GOALS EVERY YEAR WE’VE WORKED WITH THEM.


Pilot Program Evaluation

           Five-star service for a hospitality program.

We led the PROCESS EVALUATION of Consumer Energy’s hospitality sector initiative, which sought to decrease consumption of electricity and natural gas by Michigan’s food service and lodging businesses. To ensure that our results were useful and ACTIONABLE, we INVOLVED KEY PROGRAM AND EVALUATION STAFF early, so we could COLLABORATE with them from the start. We walked the team through a process-mapping workshop, resulting in small-but-significant IMPROVEMENTSTOENERGY SAVINGS OVER TIME. And we delivered reports that were EXCEPTIONALLY VISUAL and EASY TO UNDERSTAND, providing RESULTS IN “REAL TIME” at informal evaluation briefings. Outcome? An ONGOING CONVERSATION THAT SHAPED ANDIMPROVED THE EVALUATION, resulting in a richer final product that EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS.


Commercial Lighting Measurement & Verification

           Confirming the savings-power of light sensors.

Because savings estimates for COMMERCIAL LIGHTING OCCUPANCY SENSORS listed in the Michigan Energy Measures Database were based on studies in other states, we provided ON-SITE VERIFICATION of the sensors’ energy-saving power for Michigan’s utilities. We oversaw installation of MORE THAN 2,000 METERS that enabled us to COLLECT AND ANALYZE HIGH VOLUMES OF DATA from commercial lighting equipment. We then DELIVERED A CLEAR PICTURE OF HOURS OF USE and the ENERGY AND DEMAND IMPACTS of occupancy sensors in buildings across the state. Our findings showed that the savings estimates in Michigan’s database were essentially ACCURATE. In the process, Michigan’s UTILITIES AND REGULATORS gained something just as valuable as energy savings: CERTAINTY.


HVAC Market Research, Process and Program Evaluation, Needs Assessments and More

           HVAC market analysis delivers results.

We have extensive experience in improving residential, commercial and industrial HVAC PROGRAMS FOR CLIENTS IN CALIFORNIA AND THROUGHOUT THE U.S. For much of the country, HVAC MAKES UP A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF PEAK ENERGY USE. Yet, given the complexity of the market, developing comprehensive and effective energy efficiency programs based on Quality Installation and Quality Maintenance industry standards has been challenging. Employing a FULL RANGE OF RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS METHODS coupled with a true understanding of the HVAC market, we’ve helped clients BETTER UNDERSTAND CUSTOMERS’ PURCHASING BEHAVIOR and energy efficiency practices as well as the attitudes, aptitudes and practices among HVAC contractors, technicians and salespeople. COLLABORATIVE wherever possible, with ACTIONABLE RESULTS often conveyed through easy-to-grasp DATA VISUALIZATION, our work has helped clients CONNECT WITH CUSTOMERS, MEET REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS, and SHAPE POLICIES AND PROGRAMS for the future.


 Process and Impact Evaluations

           Applying oversight and expertise to confirm commercial-industrial programs             savings estimates.

As part of a our MULTI-YEAR EVALUATION of the large-commercial and industrial programs administered by the multi-utility CONNECTICUT ENERGY EFFICIENCY BOARD, we evaluated the impacts of the Energy Opportunities Program. We oversaw a team of engineers that METERED BUILDINGS, COLLECTED DATA and PERFORMED DETAILED PROJECT-BY-PROJECT ANALYSIS, ensuring that their work conformed to international protocols and best evaluation practices. We reviewed, confirmed and streamlined the team’s initial findings, then AGGREGATED THE DATA AND ESTIMATED SAVINGS OF THE PROGRAM, providing RESULTS THAT CONNECTICUT CAN USE IN THE FUTURE. Our work confirmed the utilities’ savings claims and, at the same time, OFFERED VALUABLE INSIGHT into changes that could have REAL-WORLD IMPACTS on the effectiveness of the program.


Emerging Technology Research, Engineering and Economic Modeling

           Moving solar beyond the obvious in the Northeast.

After two SUCCESSFUL YEARS, MassCEC sought to EXPAND THEIR SOLAR HOT WATER PROGRAM. With such a rapidly changing solar technology market, MassCEC needed help to ensure they FOCUSED ON THE RIGHT SOLAR THERMAL TECHNOLOGIES. We surveyed the field of solar thermal technologies,and then we worked with MassCEC in identifying five of the most promising candidates. Our engineers modeled the performance on residential and commercial buildings in the MASSACHUSETTS CLIMATE. We reached out to key players in the market, CONDUCTING CLARIFYING INTERVIEWS to identify the challenges and opportunities. Then, we SUMMED IT ALL UP in a short, actionable report that our client could use to make program decisions.