Bill Holmes on Energy

Incentives from Top Management, Information & Accountability are the Keys to Plant Energy Efficiency

Watson: Unless the people at the top put reducing energy costs high on the priority list and provide the employees with the incentive and information they need to understand and manage when, where and how the utility dollars are being spent, it isn’t going to get done.

What is Low-Hanging Fruit Anyway?

Watson: Using the analogy of picking fruit, I can’t see how lighting projects could possibly be considered “Low Hanging Fruit”. They are expensive, require a significant investment and have long paybacks.  Walking through a field picking low hanging fruit only requires a sack over one or two of your four shoulders.

Does ROI Mean "Reward of Ignorance" When Used to Deny the Purchase of Energy Information Systems?

Watson: If a company thinks they can manage their energy costs without actual data, I wonder if their corporate slogan is, “Better Management through Ignorance” or “Our Management Decisions are the Same With or Without Facts”?

Requiring Certifications to do Energy Audits & Benchmarking May Keep the Bureaucrats Happy but they Don’t Provide the Skills Required to Actually Save Energy

Watson: I don’t want to waste any more time and money getting Certifications that only qualify me do Energy Auditing and Benchmarking, exercises that don’t save any energy and are of little value to anyone other than the agencies promoting them. 

Watson's Words of Wisdom on Benchmarking

Doesn’t anyone out there but me see how ridiculous the whole concept is of reviewing data once a year to verify that a building is being run efficiently? Come on, I’m a dog and I can see it. I’m betting even a really smart cat could see it too!

Why Don’t Utility Companies Give their Customers the Information they Need to Reduce their Costs?

Watson: Providing usage profiles is the single most valuable thing that utilities could do to help their customers reduce the amount of energy they use. Since they don’t do it, it makes you question whether utility companies really want to help their customers reduce their bills doesn't it?

Why Can’t Buildings Fly Like Airplanes?

Watson: Buildings can and should ‘Fly Like Airplanes’. It’s really not that complicated is it? All the Energy Profession needs to do is Pretend Every Building is an Airplane and apply the same standards for Information, Training, Reliability and Accountability. Holmes: Watson, you’re a genius!

“Whether it’s a Skyscraper in Manhattan or a School in the Mountains of Colorado, they aren’t Fundamentally Different” – EPA Spokeswoman

Watson: You are kidding me aren’t you Holmes? A representative of an agency that’s supposed to be leading the way in energy efficiency doesn’t understand the difference between a Skyscraper and a School? Holmes: I couldn’t believe it either when I read it in the paper.

Every Facility is Unique; Benchmarking One Against Another Has Little Value

Watson: The Energy Star Website says, “You know what’s motivating? Finding out you’re behind the curve and you didn’t even know it." Is that what really motivates people Holmes, to find out that their building has a low Energy Star Rating? Holmes: That’s a new one on me. 

You can’t afford not to have a permanent energy monitoring system

Watson: What makes you so certain that every building needs permanent instrumentation to operate efficiently? Holmes: You mean other than the fact that every plane, car, ship, train and sophisticated device except buildings is operated that way? Watson: Yes, other than that.