Beyond Refrigerators and Light Bulbs

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
Ken Tohinaka
Ken Tohinaka
Address of Training: 
The Conservation Center
54 Portsmouth Street
Concord, NH 03301
United States

Session DescriptionThe typical strategy for reducing residential electrical energy baseload consumption has been to replace inefficient refrigerators and incandescent lamps with more efficient counterparts.  But is that all there is that can be done cost-effectively?  And how can baseload efficiency opportunities be identified at an acceptable cost?This presentation will be a basic primer on:

  • Isolating baseload from seasonal consumption using a simple spreadsheet tool
  • Identifying likely culprits based on baseload consumption patterns/magnitude
  • Gauging magnitude of possible savings and costs for making improvements

Included will be unusual real-life stories of higher than expected electrical energy consumption, even from new Energy Star refrigerators.It also will use an actual case study of high use to illustrate various investigative techniques.  The case has, to date, left experts stumped including:

  • The consumer’s utility
  • The local efficiency program
  • A licensed electrician
  • Various volunteer consultants

The audience will be expected to participate in the presentation, particularly in regards to the sample case. BioKen Tohinaka spent 10 years in charge of a 3-office Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) sub-grantee in VT, then 23 years with the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC).  During that time he was a member of various working groups for both of the national WAP evaluations.  While with VEIC he served as a technical adviser for a number of efficiency programs in the Northeast as well as in Canada.  One of his early roles at VEIC was investigating high-use complaints from customers of the Stowe electric utility who were penalized for either high usage or high demand.  He also assisted the Building Performance Institute (BPI) in a variety of capacities from its outset.  Since retiring, he still draws the occasional paycheck as a private consultant, assisting with both utility and WAP programs.  Recently, he completed a process and impact evaluation for the VT WAP, as well provided training for them on heat pump water heaters - how they work and when installing them makes sense.