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SPEER Releases Report on Smart Energy in Texas

Study Discusses Achievements, Shortcomings and Next steps for Effort to Increase Smarter Energy Use

The South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER), today released “An Update on Smart Energy in Texas.”  The report examines the promise and potential of smart energy in Texas. It highlights how the state is leading on smart energy with seven million smart meters in use, a common portal (Smart Meter Texas) for four of the largest utilities in the state, and 15 minute data available to customers. However, it also underscores the need for Texas to take further steps to maintain this position of leadership.

Texas is only beginning to use the intelligence smart meters can provide to enable more efficient energy usage such as time of use pricing and demand response. The state is also not yet allowing third parties to access and use their data in ways that would reduce their spending on electricity and contribute to a more economically efficient electric system.  Such access is scheduled to be launched later this year, in hopes to attract private sector innovators.

Further, education efforts to help customers capture greater benefits from their smart meters are essentially nonexistent, and there are still limited incentives to encourage smarter energy usage.  Only 60,000 customers (0.8 percent) have ever logged into the state’s innovative Smart Meter Texas portal, only 30,000 log in per month (less than ½ of one percent) and less than 0.2 percent of the smart meters in the state have been connected to a device designed to manage energy usage.  Perhaps of greater concern, the report reveals, that these miniscule numbers are reportedly declining in recent years.

An Update on Smart Energy in Texas” also details a number of ways to truly realize the potential value of smart energy.  For more information and to view the report, please click here.


Who benefits from the Building Operator Certification?

Join us for a FREE informational webcast on the Building Operator Certification (BOC).

BOC graduates can save their organizations over $20,000 in annual utility expenses through energy conservation.

This webcast will give you an overview of the BOC program:

  • Who benefits by attending BOC training.
  • Level I and Level II course topics, schedules, and certification requirements.
  • How BOC graduates are improving their facilities.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 – 10:30 am – 11:30 am (CST)

Register for the Event

Please visit our Building Operator Certification Course page for more information.

See Best Practices in Action

Today, SPEER in partnership with the Houston Advanced Research Center and the State Energy Conservation Office, is publishing the third of five case studies highlighting city initiatives to accelerate energy efficiency. This case study is focused on third-party energy code inspections and the changes in energy building codes in the last several years that have resulted in significant opportunities to reduce energy consumption of new and renovated buildings. read more

We’re Hiring!

SPEER is growing! We are currently looking for 3 qualified individuals for available positions.

Energy Code Technical Expert
Commercial Building Efficiency Expert
CHP Technical Assistance Program Analyst


We are also seeking qualified professionals to provide classroom instruction in the Building Operator Certification (BOC) program. Applicants must have classroom instruction and field experience in one or more of the subject areas of focus. Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be placed on an “Approved Instructor” list to be accessed by SPEER to provide instruction. By becoming a BOC-approved instructor, an individual can gain increased visibility among practicing facilities professionals, access to a network of fellow instructors and teaching resources.

Application is open on a year round basis.

Please visit our Building Operator Certification Instructors page to determine if you are eligible to apply or contact us if you have any questions.

See Best Practices in Action

Today, SPEER in partnership with the Houston Advanced Research Center and the State Energy Conservation Office, is publishing the second of five case studies highlighting city initiatives to accelerate energy efficiency. This case study is focused on the City of Houston’s use of benchmarking to reduce consumption and energy costs for the city. Portfolio Manager is a free tool and is appropriate for cities of any size read more.

See Best Practices in Action

Today, SPEER in partnership with the Houston Advanced Research Center and the State Energy Conservation Office, is publishing the first of five case studies highlighting city initiatives to accelerate energy efficiency. The first one focuses on the City of San Antonio, which has developed a system to re-invest energy savings from efficiency retrofits into additional projects. Using this revolving fund, City of San Antonio has saved its taxpayers over $4 million per year.  To see this case study and additional info on the City Efficiency Leaders project, please click here.

SPEER Joins Effort to Increase Energy Productivity

SPEER is proud to serve as a partner of the Energy 2030 On the Road Campaign, working to bring state and local officials, businesses, universities, and other stakeholders together to endorse a goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030. The Alliance to Save Energy’s Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy established the goal last year which could save over $300 billion annually and boost GDP. Wasted energy is a drag on the economy and American businesses benefit when energy is used efficiently. We encourage you to join us, and the nearly 100 other organizations who’ve endorsed the Energy 2030 goal, in evidencing to our policymakers a national, non-partisan call for policies and programs that support doubling U.S. energy productivity by 2030.  Endorse Energy 2030 today!

Find out what we can do for you!

SPEER provides support and assistance on a wide variety of energy efficiency topics and initiatives. We are working to accelerate energy code compliance and adoption, PACE districts, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects, multifamily retrofits, energy data access, public building efficiency, and more. To learn more about how to become involved with our work, please visit our website or send us an email at

Thank you to our Members

SPEER is appreciative of all our members who make our work possible and guide our activities. For a full list, see here. To join them, please click here.

Free Technical Assistance for CHP

Combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is an efficient and clean approach to generating electric power and useful thermal energy (heating and/or cooling) from a single fuel source. CHP is a simple approach to reducing energy costs, boosting the global competitiveness of our manufacturers, boosting economic development in our local communities, reducing harmful emissions, and improving the resiliency and security of our energy infrastructure.

Are you considering a CHP project? We offer complimentary screenings,technical assistance, and expert advice to help determine if CHP is a good fit for your site, technically and financially. Contact us to set up a screening or ask us a question. Click here for a copy of our Technical Assistance for Potential CHP Projects flyer.

Big News from SPEER

SPEER’s Second Annual Summit schedule has been released. Please visit our Summit page for more details on keynote speakers, working session topics and how to register. Early bird registration is still open.

Texas now has 13 certified Energy Code Ambassadors who can provide peer – to – peer assistance and advice to code enforcement professionals. These Ambassadors are distributed across different geographical areas of the state; please visit our Energy Code Ambassador page for more on this project or to obtain contact information for an Ambassador in your area.

SPEER, along with four other regional energy efficiency organizations working in 42 states recently recommended the U.S. EPA count increased efficiency of energy use toward carbon emissions standards for existing power plants. EPA is under Presidential directive to issue proposed emission standards by June 1, 2014.  In the policy report developed by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), the organizations asked the EPA to craft standards that enable states to make full use of energy efficiency, which is a cost-effective way to reduce power plant carbon emissions.

On Wednesday at the Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) Conference SPEER’s Executive Director, Doug Lewin and Deputy Director, Chris Herbert are scheduled to participate in breakout sessions as speakers. Doug will engage in the Existing Buildings session and Chris Herbert will participate in the Advancing Energy Codes session. For a full schedule schedule visit the CATEE Conference program page.

Rashkin to Keynote SPEER’s Second Annual Summit

Last year, SPEER’s First Annual Summit brought together 200 energy efficiency industry leaders for an interactive and informative program focused on increasing demand side resources in Texas and Oklahoma. This year promises to be even better. We’ll have many announcements in the coming weeks and months about the program, but we are thrilled to announce today our first keynote speaker: Sam Rashkin

Sam RashkinAs Chief Architect for the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office, Rashkin’s primary role is leading deployment of successful research for new and existing high-performance homes. In his prior position, he managed the growth of Energy Star for Homes from its inception in 1996 to more than 8,500 builder partners, over one million labeled homes, and over 25 percent market penetration nationwide.  Mr. Rashkin has recently been recognized for his contributions to sustainable housing with the 2012 Hanley Award and authored a new book titled “Retooling the U.S. Housing Industry: How It Got Here, Why It’s Broken, and How to Fix It”.

Sam will help kick off SPEER’s Second Annual Summit which runs from February 11-12, 2014.

It’s not too early to register and save: Early Bird Registration is now open.  To book a room at the special block rate of $134/nt. click here to book online or call 800-THE-OMNI.

Thank you to our Summit Sponsors. Additional sponsorships are available. Click here for more information.


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Efficiency Measures Can Help Meet Texas Peak Demand

SPEER submitted comments on Monday to the Texas PUC, saying the efficiency industry should be allowed to compete head-to-head with new generation.  Comments were submitted by Doug Lewin of Good Company Associates, who serves as the organization’s Executive Director.  It is time that efficiency measures like insulation, lighting and efficient motors and appliances, as well as demand response, should be able to participate directly in the market and get compensated.  If the ERCOT energy market were opened to efficiency, incremental savings could compete against incremental generation.  Where efficiency proves more cost effective, Texans win not only lower prices but also the side benefits of reduced transmission and distribution costs, reduced demand for water, and less air and water pollution.  Today the  state supports limited efficiency incentive programs through investor owned utilities, which are aimed at generating incremental savings, but they are disconnected from the electric market.  Direct participation would allow the market to choose the appropriate mix of efficiency and new generation.



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