Holmes: If we could single out the most important thing that we have learned during the past year while researching and writing our Blogs, it has to be the total failure of the Energy “Profession” to keep pace with the times. By placing self-serving interests above those of Facility Owners and Managers, our “Profession” is continuing to enrich themselves by teaching and performing Energy Audits while claiming that they are the most essential step in every energy project.
Watson: I was taught in engineering school that all valid science must be based on accurate data. But somehow the so-called “Energy Profession” has survived for 40 years based on almost no actual data at all. Doesn’t sound like a true science-based “Profession” to me!
Holmes: The assumption that the best tool our “Profession” can offer is the Energy Audit, is ridiculous. The Energy Audit was developed on the heels of the Energy Crisis of the mid-70s just as personal computers and the Information Age were in their infancy. As far as we have been able to determine, there has never been a single scientific study that verifies the accuracy of Energy Audits. In fact, the ones we have seen have shown the opposite, the variability and inaccuracy of their findings. Read our Blog “Energy Audits are a Flawed Concept”.
Yet years into the Information Age, instead of embracing and requiring the use of all of the new tools being developed on a daily basis, this “Profession” is continuing to use the same methods that I was taught in the mid-1970’s; methods that should have been abandoned years ago for their total failure to meet even the most basic requirements of valid science and engineering.
Watson: How many other scientific or engineering “Professions” can you think of that are still providing the same training that they were 40 years ago and have failed to embrace the use of Information Technology?
Holmes: While continuing to insist that Energy Audits and Benchmarking are the most effective tools available, our “Profession” has convinced Utility Companies, DOE, EPA, and a growing number of States and Cities to mandate these obsolete and ineffective methods, wasting billions of dollars. Required Certification programs are expensive and continue to teach outdated methods instead of requiring valid, monitored data from permanent information systems.
And don’t forget that the final objective of Energy Audits and Benchmarking is to identify “Capital Projects” which result in the purchase of new equipment much of which, in our experience isn’t needed and couldn’t be justified using actual monitored data and valid analytical methods.
Watson: I thought that starting into our second year would be a good time to reflect on how well we accomplished our original objectives in 2014 and set new ones for 2015.
Holmes: I agree. When we started we said that the main objectives of the Blog were to:
- Emphasize the use of fundamental scientific methods based on the use of actual monitored data.
- Educate and teach others in the profession the basic principles and methods of good energy management, resource conservation and efficiency.
- Pass along some of my 40+ years of experience in practical ways.
Watson: I think we have done a good job and apparently so do others as our readership has been steadily increasing. I think the best way to look at the past year is by re-visiting some of the most popular blogs that focused on several key topics including:
The Energy “Profession”
Comparing Other Professions with the Energy “Profession”
Watson: Thus far there has been little recognition of the tremendous opportunity for using the information from Permanent Instrumentation to create huge savings with better management alone; one that allows owners to begin saving energy and money from the first day.
Holmes: Our objectives below for 2015 have changed very little from those of a year ago. We plan to continue to do everything we can to help the Energy “Profession” move from the Estimation Age into the 21st Century, the Information Age by promoting the need for:
- Applying fundamental scientific methods based on the use of actual monitored data and sophisticated Analytical Techniques required to make “Big Data” relevant.
- Modernization; to stop teaching and using Energy Auditing, Benchmarking and other obsolete, ineffective and self-serving techniques that haven’t changed in 40 years.
- Increased, practical and effective Energy Education that combines both Theory with Actual Real World Experience.
Contact Bill: firstname.lastname@example.org