Let’s go way back: ENERGY STAR’s Datatrends

So–let’s be honest here. A lot of this website is going to be a compendium of the projects I’ve worked on over the years. There’s a lot of work that I’m proud of, and I wanted to create a place where I could reflect on that work, post my own thoughts & research, and react to the world! But first–uploading the stuff I’ve worked on that I’m proud of over the years.

The first leadership opportunity I got at ICF International was on ENERGY STAR’s DataTrends series. It looks like this actually hasn’t been updated since 2014–when I was working at ICFI–but it’s a blast from the past to look back at these. Working as a consultant had serious benefits, including the ability to take on public-facing projects and learn things (regressions! Econometrics! SAS! Access!) on the fly, but it also moved at a blistering pace. The DataTrends documents are still online, although who knows how much longer they’ll be up. Some of the claims–especially those made in the Snapshot–which I didn’t work on–are a little dubious:

  • The document implies that using ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager alone might save energy on buildings, but we’re not able to make a causal link. It’s more likely that energy savers are more likely to use Portfolio Manager!
  • The second page extrapolates that Portfolio Manager users might continue to save linearly, but that’s what we might call out of sample–there’s just no way we could know what’ll happen in the future!

Still–energy efficiency holds an incredible opportunity for saving money and emissions, and the urban poor stand to benefit the most. Portfolio Manager is a way to make those savings visible, and I’m proud to have started my career supporting it.


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