BECC Webinar: Leveraging Behavioral Science for Continuous Improvement within SEM

April 27, 2022 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT

Energy efficiency program administrators across the U.S. and Canada have been working together to improve the performance of their Strategic Energy Management (SEM) programs. While SEM can support decarbonization of operations at customer sites, and it often provides other non-energy benefits, these programs are challenging to administer and implement, and they rely on customer commitment. To ensure program offerings meet customers’ needs while maintaining flexibility, a committee of program administrators from the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), with input from their SEM implementation contractors, is looking at the key role of behavioral science in making SEM more effective and inspiring customer commitment. The committee is also determining how to most effectively evaluate energy-saving measures that leverage behavioral science.

To cite an example: at a recent CEE Industry Partners session, an SEM implementer illustrated the importance of employee engagement in making the cultural shift to SEM. One way he leverages behavioral science in practice is through treasure hunts, which support customer buy-in to SEM.

To further explore this topic and work toward concrete demonstration of verifiable SEM impacts, a panel of several program administrators and SEM implementers will discuss the role of behavioral science in SEM based on their observations so far. Panelist presentations will be followed by facilitated discussion.

Moderator: Reuven Sussman, Director, Behavior & Human Dimensions Program, American Council for an Efficient-Economy

Dr. Sussman conducts research on energy efficiency behavior change and co-chairs the annual conference on Behavior, Energy and Climate Change (BECC). He joined ACEEE in 2016. He has authored numerous academic papers and book chapters on the psychology of climate change, behavioral interventions to encourage energy efficiency, and the psychological determinants of pro-environmental behavior. Dr. Sussman has been an advisor for organizations, including the G20, that implement energy efficiency behavior change programs, and an expert reviewer for academic journals and large-scale grant opportunities. Reuven is an adjunct professor and member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Victoria (Canada). He is the winner of the 2019 Early Career Award from the Environmental, Population and Conservation Psychology division of the American Psychological Association, and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Environmental Psychology and Journal of Social Psychology. Dr. Sussman earned a doctor of science in social and environmental psychology from the University of Victoria.


Kjell van Zoen, Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Coach, Energy 350, Inc. 

As a Strategic Energy Management (SEM) coach, Kjell combines his 25+ years of entrepreneurial and consulting experience to help industrial and commercial facilities throughout North America reduce their energy use through continuous improvement and change management practices. This includes SEM program recruitment, managing program budget expectations, hiring and training SEM coaches, producing reports, creating content for and leading workshops, organizing and facilitating events (e.g., treasure hunts/kaizen blitzes, employee engagement events, Energy Management Assessments (EMAs)), and one-to-one coaching with key site contacts on all aspects of SEM. Kjell has also written for and presented on SEM at the NW SEM Collaborative fall workshops, ACEEE Summer Study, and the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference (BECC). In his work as an operations consultant Kjell has always applied what he likes to call a lean whole-systems thinking lens and has developed and delivered over 100 workshops. 

Todd Amundson, P.E., Industrial Engineer Technical Lead for Energy Efficiency, Bonneville Power Administration

Todd is currently the industrial engineer technical lead in energy efficiency at the Bonneville Power Administration, where, among other projects, he manages the development, training and application of BPA’s Measurement & Verification Protocols and Guidelines, including a Selection Guide.  A new BPA Commercial and Industrial SEM M&V Reference Guide will be completed in March 2022.  This body of work provides BPA’s Pacific Northwest utility customer service territory with an overview of protocols, application and reference guides, and documentation for determining verifiable, reliable energy savings.  Todd currently serves on the Efficiency Valuation Organization International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (EVO IPMVP) technical committee and several subcommittees, as well as the Pacific Northwest SEM Collaborative leadership team and M&V working group.

Faith DeBolt, Principal, SBW Consulting, Inc.

Faith is a principal at SBW Consulting and an energy data nerd who is passionate about decarbonizing our built environment. She became interested in efforts targeting holistic, performance-based approaches to reducing energy use and carbon emissions in buildings over a decade ago while evaluating Puget Sound Energy’s Resource Conservation Management (now Commercial SEM) program. She has continued to explore this area through work for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Pacific Gas & Electric, Seattle City Light, Washington State Department of Commerce, and Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment, among others, by interviewing regional stakeholders, conducting early M&V of a commercial whole building program, directing the development of pay-for-performance program M&V guidelines, and supporting development of building performance standards for the State of Washington and the City of Seattle. She recently led development of a tool to statistically detect and adjust for non-routine events to help a commercial SEM program distinguish program savings from COVID-related reductions in energy use. She currently serves on the leadership team of the Northwest Strategic Energy Management Collaborative and the Energy Trust of Oregon Evaluation Advisory Group.

Monet Springmeyer, Strategic Energy Management Coach and Program Manager, Cascade Energy

Leveraging her experience in industrial efficiency, Monet provides SEM coaching and engineering services on behalf of multiple DSM programs throughout the country, with a focus on Southern California. Monet developed a special interest in change management and behavioral science in relation to businesses after completing her MBA at Pepperdine University in 2020. Monet’s background is in process engineering, with a BS in engineering from the University of Washington. She has received her Lean/Six Sigma green belt as well as a CEM certification.

Kira Ashby, Principal Program Manager, Behavior, CEE

Kira is a Principal Program Manager at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), where she oversees the newly launched Center for Equity and Energy Behavior.  For the past 12+ years she has facilitated CEE members’ work applying behavioral science techniques to energy efficiency programs. Most recently, Kira has served as the national expert for the United States on a 3-year collaboration to better engage underserved energy users (a project of the UsersTCP by the International Energy Agency (IEA)). Kira holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master's degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Arlene Lanciani, Principal Program Manager, Evaluation, Research and Behavior Sector Lead, CEE

Arlene leads the Evaluation, Research, and Behavior work at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE). At CEE, she supports the program evaluation needs of program administrators as well as those who incorporate behavioral science insights into program design and marketing. She has managed various research projects at CEE including the Program Performance Benchmarking project; and she continues to oversee the annual national survey of household awareness of the ENERGY STAR® label as well as 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.

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