California is adopting new rules around Normalized Metered Energy Consumption (NMEC) that might fundamentally reshape the way downstream energy efficiency is delivered and the way the state’s Investor Owned Utilities claim savings from these programs. NMEC promises to allow new technologies and business models to compete with traditional “deemed” savings programs. Lower cost of M&V promises to increase program cost effectiveness and increase the scale and penetration of energy efficiency. More aligned incentives could possibly result in a better customer experience and more uptake of energy efficiency investments.
NMEC, of course, is no panacea. NMEC will not provide better ex ante savings predictions. It will not fix non-routine events. It probably won’t be able to solve for EUL. There’s a good chance that NMEC will face a reckoning when time-of-use rates roll out later this year. There will be more fires. And electric vehicles. And solar panels. And beneficial electrification. And this summer there will be rolling blackouts. And more.
Given these challenges, where can NMEC succeed? How should we move forward with NMEC programs that work and where should we draw the lines? Can we overcome some of the perceived obstacles to successful NMEC? What does the path look like?
McGee Young is the CTO of Recurve (formerly Open Energy Efficiency). He earned his Doctorate in Political Science at Syracuse University and taught for ten years at Marquette University, where he founded two companies, served as the Faculty Entrepreneur Fellow, and published a book entitled “Developing Interests: Organizational Change and the Politics of Advocacy.” He joined Recurve in 2016 and served as the chair of both the CalTRACK 1.0 and CalTRACK 2.0 working groups. The Recurve platform is the first fully integrated solution for managing demand side resources. Powered by open source tools, it serves programs (NMEC and otherwise) in California, Oregon, New York, and elsewhere.