CEE Strategic Energy Management: Evaluating the Savings from Behavior, Operations, Maintenance, and Capital Improvements


With policy driving the need to achieve deeper savings, utilities are turning towards customer engagement through Strategic Energy Management (SEM) to fill the gap. SEM changes business practices, starting with senior management and emanating throughout organizational culture to reduce energy waste and energy intensity. SEM emphasizes enabling and equipping plant management and staff to impact energy consumption through behavioral and operational change, in addition to capital project implementation. Various SEM offers have introduced a variety of different methods for capturing savings from non-capital measures, each with their own advantages and challenges. In 2019, a group of evaluators representing program administrators in the U.S. and Canada regularly discussed what their SEM programs look like in practice and why evaluating them can be so challenging. Every Program Administrator’s program is run differently and subject to different regulatory evaluation requirements. We recently incorporated questions around the variety of M&V models and methods in a survey to over a dozen SEM program implementers. These data will provide insight into how programs are measuring and verifying results and may allow us to group M&V methods into categories and indicate which method a particular program is using. We propose a paper and presentation that elaborates on the programmatic considerations of evaluating SEM and highlights the initial findings of the survey to support effectively evaluating SEM programs to ensure all of the energy savings from SEM are realized.


Arlene Lanciani

Principal Program Manager

Consortium for Energy Efficiency

Arlene Lanciani leads the evaluation, research, and behavior work at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE). At CEE, she supports the needs of program administrators related to program evaluation as well as those who incorporate behavioral science insights into program design and marketing. She manages various research projects at CEE including the Program Performance Benchmarking project, the annual national survey of household awareness of the ENERGY STAR® label, and the annual “State of the Energy Efficiency Program Industry” survey and report. She is a building technology engineer by training who has dedicated her career to the advancement of energy conservation and energy-efficient technologies. She has worked closely with New England utilities, regulators, and other regional organizations to provide technical energy efficiency consulting services including program evaluation and assessment of energy-efficient technologies and their market potential. Arlene holds a B.S. and M.S. in Building Technology from MIT.