Community News 2 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Here are our carefully culled top picks from dozens of Pasadena events – the very best things to taste, watch, listen to, and experience, all presented weekly in our e!Pasadena email newsletter: Subscribe Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website More Cool Stuff Herbeauty10 Celebrity Body Parts Insured For Ridiculous AmountsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThe Real Truth About The Pain Caused By MicrobladingHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHe Is Totally In Love With You If He Does These 7 ThingsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyNutritional Strategies To Ease AnxietyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Metabolism-Boosting Foods For Weight LossHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeauty Business News Make a comment Uncategorized What To Do This Weekend in Pasadena Published on Thursday, November 10, 2016 | 2:11 pm First Heatwave Expected Next Week Top of the News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Community News Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy
On July 4th in 2010, Phish stopped in Alpharetta, GA, at the beloved Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre for a standout show with a standout setlist on America’s birthday, highlighted by the Phish debut of Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of”.The show opened with “The Star-Spangled Banner”, followed by a monstrous “Punch You In The Eye” > “Colonel Forbin’s Ascent” > “Fly Famous Mockingbird”, which got the blistering hot Atlanta venue locked in and ready for a long night of jams. “Camel Walk”, “Ocelot”, and “Heavy Things” followed, with an excellent segue out of “My Friend My Friend” into “Lawnboy”. A scorching “Gotta Jibboo” brought set one to a close, with a promising holiday show in the works.Set two opened up with an unfinished “Down With Diesease”, which led into a marathon of “Piper” > “Ghost” > “Waste”, and “Julius” > “Mike’s Song” > “Tela”. The highlight of the show came next when Phish sandwiched a debut cover of Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of” in an epic “Harpua”. “Weekapaug Groove” closed out set two, with a fitting “First Tube” encore on such a joyous occasion.Check out a video of this classic 4th of July cover below!Phish – “Killing In The Name Of” – 07/04/2010[Video: dougcurling]Setlist: Phish | Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre | Alpharetta, GA | 07/04/2010Set 1: The Star Spangled Banner, Punch You In The Eye> Colonel Forbin’s Ascent> Fly Famous Mockingbird, Camel Walk, Ocelot, Heavy Things> My Friend My Friend> Lawn Boy, David Bowie, Gotta JibbooSet 2: Down With Disease> Piper> Ghost>Waste, Julius> Mike’s Song> Tela> Harpua>Killing In The Name Of> Harpua> Weekapaug GrooveEncore: First TubeDisease was unfinished. Harpua contained a tease of London Bridge Is Falling Down. This show marked the Phish debut of Killing in the Name (Rage Against the Machine).
Published on April 8, 2015 at 9:37 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Maddi Doane almost had no choice. Sandwiched between two brothers, there was always a sense of competition. She remembers competing against them in wrestling matches, and it only made sense she would have a future in sports. “Having those two brothers has kind of made me a tomboy,” Doane said. “I think that had a lot to do with me playing (softball).”The freshman said it was here that her toughness really began to build, something she needed as she pushed through recent struggles at the plate. As she worked to rebuild her confidence, Doane focused less on trying to do too much and more on just staying relaxed, which she is able to do by logging her feelings in a hitting journal.Doane started the season batting .359 through her team’s first 11 games, but her average has since dropped to .284. Her first career home run came April 1 against Fordham, and she had four hits against North Carolina last weekend. Doane looks to build off her recent success when Syracuse (14-19, 1-7 Atlantic Coast) travels to Buffalo, New York to face Canisius (14-10, 4-0 Metro Atlantic) on Thursday afternoon.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I’m able to know what that feels like,” Doane said.”… know what that home run feels like and almost recreate it so that I’m feeling confident in the box.”Doane said she was feeling anxious. She was pressing too hard at the plate, thinking too much and not relying on the techniques that led her to a successful start at the beginning of the season.To combat this, Doane began to log her feelings — whether her thought process, timing or adjustments she wants to make — in a journal, an idea suggested by assistant coach Matt Nandin. Here, she can write and forget. “You want to get to a point where you’re feeling good at the plate,” Nandin said. “It’s important to write it down, what you did, what you were feeling, what your approach was, so when you do start struggling again you can look back.”Nandin acknowledged that hitters need to think. It’s when they start to grapple with a hundred thoughts before the pitch comes that it starts to become dangerous. Head coach Leigh Ross said Doane tries too hard to be perfect and needs to “just go back to having fun.” As soon as the freshman starts to think about the hits she isn’t recording, things start to fall apart. A quick look in the journal, however, can provide the confidence needed to pick things back up.“She likes to think she has a short-term (memory) but sometimes she’ll get really down on herself and that doesn’t help her,” AnnaMarie Gatti, a former high school travel teammate of Doane’s, said. “She just needs to be able to see it because she gets lost sometimes.”Gatti remembers the beginning of the school year when Doane would come into her dorm room. They would talk about missing home and support each other. If their close friendship offered a reprieve from the stresses of moving away, Doane’s hitting journal offers a similar reprieve from the doubts she is facing more of now than at the beginning of the season.After she hit her home run, Doane wrote it down. She said she made note of who it was against and that it felt good coming off the end of the bat. Now when she looks back on her home run, Doane will be able to relive what it felt like and what she did to make it happen. It’s a technique she’s used to get back on the right track at the plate, and one she’ll continue to rely on no matter her results at the plate. “It makes me a lot more relaxed also after the game,” said Doane. “If I have a bad game I’m able to get it out if I have a good game I’m also able to get it out. Just writing down… however I’m feeling in the box.” Comments
REVEALED The Swiss dominated proceedings in the first 45 at the King Power Stadium, hitting the post and forcing a nervy Jack Butland into several smart saves.And Tottenham Hotspur star Rose was far from impressed with his teammates.He said: “We were outplayed. It was a bit embarrassing. We could have been two or three down. It’s great we can all shout at each other and tell each other it’s not good enough.“The second half wasn’t amazing but it was better than the first and we’re over the moon we got the win.” 3 Rose slammed his Three Lions teammates Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Danny Rose slammed ’embarrassing’ England and revealed there was a heated bust-up at half-time of their game against Switzerland.Although Marcus Rashford’s goal after the break gave the Three Lions a much-needed 1-0 win, it was a poor first half showing from the home side. Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more “I wasn’t in there at that moment,” he admitted. “We always give them the first three or four minutes to themselves. They were frustrated the first half. I always knew that was a risk.“We always encourage them to have a voice. It’s important they feel close enough that they can get on to each other. Then we have to make sure that doesn’t boil over. But it was quite calm by the time we got in there. revealed possible standings Southgate also had stern words with his charges gameday cracker Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack highlights Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos predicted “That’s a good sign there’s some leadership in the group. They recognise when they want to be better.“Today they were harsh on themselves. To expect each other to be as sharp as they might be on their first starts is a bit unrealistic.” RANKED Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Most read football news silverware impact Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions MONEY 3 scrap silverware Latest Football News England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won latest How Everton could look in January under Ancelotti with new signings BEST OF Defender Harry Maguire also revealed: “There were a few words spoken between the boys at half time. The gaffer has had a stern word with us.“We struggled early on in the game but we want to be confident in playing from the back and we did it better in the second half. We do not want to give chances and goals away.”After claiming England have not produced a world-class midfielder like Paul Gascoigne for half a century, Gareth Southgate cut a frustrated figure watching his side fail to break down the Swiss.Although the win ended a run of three consecutive defeats, the Three Lions boss admitted himself he also had stern words at half-time. smart causal Maguire revealed there were ‘stern words’ between the England players Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won 3 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019
A man has been arrested after he was caught with ten stolen mobile phones in Letterkenny.Gardai stopped the man as part of a routine patrol and found the stolen phones in his car on Saturday week last.When quizzed the man admitted stealing the phones from patrons in a pub earlier in the night. Some of the phones had been reported stolen but some had not.A Garda spokesman said “The man was stopped as part of a routine patrol and found with ten phones.“All the phones had been taken from the same premises on the same night.”The man is expected to appear at a future sitting of the courts. Man arrested after 10 phones stolen from Letterkenny pub was last modified: March 6th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalGardailetterkennyphonesstolen
Red Bluff >> The Lady Spartans traded sets with the Chico Panthers Tuesday night on their home court and midway through the deciding set it looked as though they were finished, but a final surge gave Red Bluff the win 3 sets to 2.Logan Wheeler was named player of the match for the Spartans, with 14 kills, 3 aces, 4 blocks and 25 digs.Kylee Kitchell had 4 kills, 4 aces, 3 blocks and 24 digs; freshman Sarah Reineman had 3 kills, 4 aces, 5 blocks, 10 digs and 12 assists; Aurora Carnes had 2 …
SANTA CLARA >> Colin Kaepernick will start at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers this week against the Buffalo Bills.Coach Chip Kelly announced the decision Tuesday to bench Blaine Gabbert and give back the job Kaepernick lost midway through last season. Kaepernick has only played briefly in the opener but has generated attention with his refusal to stand for the national anthem.Gabbert has struggled this season for San Francisco (1-4). He is last in the NFL in yards per attempt (5.9) …
I get a lot of questions about energy—from relatives, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. I think the most common question is about thermostats and whether it makes sense to lower the temperature of your house at night or when you aren’t home.“Doesn’t it take more energy to warm the house back up,” some ask?“Do setback or programmable thermostats really save energy?”Yes, these thermostats can—and usually do—save energy, lots of it. But simply having such a thermostat isn’t enough; you have to know how to use it. Here, I’ll be referring to the heating season, though these ideas also apply to the cooling season for those who have central air conditioning.A thermostat controls your heating system, telling it when to turn on and off to maintain the “set-point” temperature in the house or apartment. In homes with multiple heating zones, there is a separate thermostat for each zone. The lower the setting, the less heat is called for in that zone and the less energy you will use for heating. A common rule-of-thumb is that for every degree Fahrenheit you turn down the thermostat, you save about 2% on your energy consumption for heating. So, if you used to keep your house at 70 degrees and you lower the thermostat to 65 degrees, you’ll reduce your energy use by about 10% (5 x 2).If you lower the thermostat for a portion of each 24-hour day, say at night, there will be proportional savings. For example, if your thermostat is set to reduce your house temperature by 10 degrees for eight hours each night (one-third of the 24-hour day), your annual savings would be about 7% (10 x 2 ÷ 3).There are a number of different types of thermostats. The simplest is the round dial-type (most commonly made by Honeywell) with a single setting for the desired temperature. These must be controlled manually each time you want a change. “Setback thermostats” have two different set-points: one for the daytime and another for night. You can adjust the set-point temperatures separately for day and night and also adjust the timing of the nighttime setback.I’m a big fan of programmable, digital thermostats, which provide even more flexibility—but are also more complicated. With most programmable thermostats you can designate multiple setback periods each day and differentiate weekdays from weekends. I have a one of these in our kitchen, the primary heating zone we use, and this is programmed with four different periods each day. From 5:30 until 9 AM I usually have it set at about 68 degrees. From 9 am until 5:30 PM, when my wife and I are at work, it’s set at 52 degrees, then at 5:30 PM the temperature is bumped up to 65 degrees. Finally, from 11 PM until 5:30 AM, it’s dropped back down to 52 degrees. (In reality, because we heat with wood and our wood stove is in the kitchen, the oil heat often doesn’t kick on at all.) On weekends the thermostat is programmed with different times and temperatures, because we’re usually home during the day.Most programmable thermostats provide handy override features. The simplest on mine are up and down arrows. You can manually increase or lower the temperature setting by pressing one of the arrows until the desired temperature shows on the digital readout. The thermostat will maintain that temperature through the end of the current time period. For example, it we get home from work at 6:30 feeling chilly and don’t want to start a fire, one of us might bump the temperature up to 70. (Because we usually keep the temperature quite low, we don’t have to feel too guilty about using a higher setting for a few hours.) If we don’t change the setting again in the evening, it will remain at 70 until 11 PM, when the nighttime temperature setting kicks in.With most programmable thermostats you can also “hold” the temperature—so that it doesn’t revert to the programmed settings at the end of the current time period. I use this when we’re heading out of town—keeping the temperature at 50 degrees, for example.Note that if you want to set your house temperature back a significant amount at night or when the house isn’t being used, the house temperature should be able to “recover” (warm up again) fairly quickly. With a baseboard hot water (hydronic) heating system, this means that the boiler temperature needs to be kept fairly high—even during the “swing” seasons (spring and fall) when it’s not as cold out. Some boiler controls reduce the boiler temperature when it’s not as cold out, but with lower-temperature water circulating through your baseboard radiators, it will take a lot longer for the house to warm up.On the subject of thermostats, it’s important to mention that most older mechanical thermostats have switches that use mercury, a highly toxic metal. A capsule with liquid mercury completes an electrical circuit when it tips (based on metal that expands or contracts as it warms and cools). Mercury thermostats are now off the market, but there are millions still in use. Because of the significant quantity of mercury in these thermostats, they should never be thrown in the trash, and they should be handled carefully to keep the glass capsule from breaking. If you or a heating contractor is upgrading your thermostats, make sure that the old ones are properly disposed of. They should be taken to a facility that collects mercury thermostats for recycling or safe disposal, such as the Windham Solid Waste Management District.
Does weatherization pass the cost-benefit test?The three economists who authored “Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver?” came to a different conclusion from previous researchers. In their abstract, the authors wrote, “Conventional wisdom suggests that energy efficiency (EE) policies are beneficial because they induce investments that pay for themselves and lead to emissions reductions. … The findings suggest that the upfront investment costs are about twice the actual energy savings.”In the section of the paper headed “Conclusion,” the authors wrote, “From a policy perspective, WAP does not appear to pass a conventional cost-benefit test, although its full set of goals may not be reflected in such tests.” Furnace replacements aren’t cost-effectiveAfter the paper by Fowlie, Greenstone, and Wolfram was published, I called up a prominent weatherization expert known for his data-analysis skills and extensive experience evaluating energy-efficiency programs. Because of his current employment status, he asked that I withhold his name — a request to which I reluctantly acceded. I’ll have to call him “John Doe.”“These researchers looked at the weatherization work of just five agencies in Michigan,” John Doe began. (There are a total of 28 community action agencies that provide weatherization services in Michigan.) “WAP is a national program in 50 states,” Doe continued. “Different agencies have different program designs and different levels of training. There are variations in energy savings between agencies that can vary from 2 or 3 to 1, and there are variations in energy savings between states that can vary from 2 or 3 to 1. So this is not a representative sample. You can’t draw any conclusions about the WAP program based on this sample.”John Doe noted that replacing an old furnace with a new furnace usually has a long payback period. When weatherization jobs include furnace replacement — as opposed to just air sealing and insulation improvements — the furnace replacement jobs tend to drag down the cost-effectiveness numbers. Of the weatherization jobs studied by these researchers, 34% included furnace replacement.“In some cases, weatherization agencies estimate the efficiency of the existing furnace at a really low number, low enough that the program rules will permit the furnace to be replaced, because they know that the furnace is on its last legs and isn’t particularly safe,” Doe told me. “It’s a stopgap approach, but these decisions are made for the best of reasons. Some of these programs have strict criteria for when certain measures can be performed, so they end up doing furnace replacements which are really health and safety measures, even though they are categorized as an energy-efficiency measure. These programs want to fix up a house as much as they can as well as reduce energy bills. We know that furnace replacement is almost never cost-effective, especially now that natural gas is cheap, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever replace a furnace. … Remember, these agencies are doing an amazing job, juggling multiple funding streams, trying to help poor people have better energy-efficient homes.”Doe continued, “How do you account for the costs and benefits? Maybe we shouldn’t be replacing these furnaces. Maybe $2,000 of the $5,000 that was spent on a weatherization job was invested in things that we never really thought would pay for themselves. But a cost-effectiveness analysis doesn’t account for the value of the improved quality of life and improved safety for the people who live there. There are a wide array of benefits when we weatherize people’s homes. When there is a leaky roof, maybe they patched the roof and fixed the attic. The work sometimes includes asbestos abatement or repairs for faulty wiring. It’s not fair to say this work isn’t cost-effective.” GBA Prime subscribers have access to many articles that aren’t accessible to non-subscribers, including Martin Holladay’s weekly blog series, “Musings of an Energy Nerd.” To whet the appetite of non-subscribers, we offer a “GBA Prime Sneak Peek.” This GBA Prime blog was originally published on July 3, 2015. Fuzzy numbersOnly by careful digging does one discover, in a confusingly labeled table, the type of weatherization measures that were implemented at the studied houses. The information can be found in the Appendix, Table 1. It appears that 85% of the houses received new attic insulation; 76% received a measure called “infiltration reduction” (more accurately called “air sealing”); 44% received new wall insulation; and 34% received new furnaces.The authors wrote, “Recipient households in our study received approximately $5,150 worth of home improvements on average, at zero out-of-pocket costs. The most common measures included furnace replacement, attic and wall insulation, and infiltration reduction.” (Note that the authors didn’t list these measures in order of frequency.)They also wrote, “We estimate that the WAP energy efficiency investments reduce monthly energy consumption by 10-20% on average.” It’s unclear why, if the researchers are reporting an “average,” they were unable to pin down energy savings with any better precision than the wide range cited here.The authors continued, “Although this surely provides a substantial assist to participating low-income households in the form of reduced energy bills, the upfront investment costs are about twice the realized energy savings. Further, the model-projected savings are roughly 2.5 times the actual savings.”Needless to say, most journalists reported that the cost of the weatherization measures was greater than the anticipated energy savings.Almost all weatherization researchers report average energy savings in weatherized houses. The method of reporting chosen by the three economists, however, is surprisingly vague. “Our estimates imply energy savings of 17.2 MMBtu [of natural gas] per year,” the authors wrote. (That estimate of per-family annual savings would be worth about $155 in Michigan.)It’s unclear why the authors report that their “estimates imply” this level of savings; why not just tell us the actual weather-normalized savings? RELATED ARTICLES Weatherization Funding Has Been SlashedWeatherization’s Home-Stretch RecoveryLawmaker Targets DOE’s Weatherization ProgramWeatherization’s Political Fallout DOE Announces Home Efficiency Scoring System and Weatherization GuidelinesDOE Targets Innovation in Its Weatherization Program Stimulus-Funded Weatherization Begins to Find Its FootingIn Some Areas, Weatherization Struggles Out of the GateMinnesota Gears Up for Weatherization Onslaught U.S. House Proposes Huge Increase In Weatherization Spending Basic facts about the study are hiddenThe paper by Fowlie, Greenstone, and Wolfram is poorly written and opaque. It neglects to report information of obvious interest to those concerned with weatherization issues: for example, how many weatherized houses were included in the study, the average pre-weatherization utility bills for the studied houses, and the average post-weatherization bills of weatherized houses.I contacted one of the researchers, Meredith Fowlie, to ask how many weatherized houses were studied. “If you want to know the number of households in our experimental sample that appear in all data sources needed for the estimation of causal impacts, the total number is 616,” she answered. “The 616 number conditions on a perfect match across all of our data sources. A small share of households in our initial experimental sample could not be perfectly matched with our billing data and thus were dropped from the sample.”Although she also wrote, “You can find these numbers in Table 3 of the Appendix,” the numbers in the table don’t match her tally. The table lists a total of 436 “experimental encouraged” households, 1,473 “other weatherized” households, and 180 “experimental control” households.Although the number of studied weatherized houses is not clearly reported in the researcher’s paper, I have no reason to doubt Fowlie’s statement that the researchers evaluated the cost-effectiveness of weatherization measures performed at 616 houses. Because it took me so much digging to determine how many houses were studied, it’s hard to fault the journalists who latched on to the prominently featured statement at the beginning of the researchers’ report: namely, the claim that the paper “reports on the results of an experimental evaluation of the nation’s largest residential EE [energy efficiency] program conducted on a sample of more than 30,000 households.”To repeat: the number of weatherized houses that were evaluated by the researchers was 616, not 30,000. Thinking like economists, not energy expertsThe fact that authors of the paper are all economists affected their method of analysis.“The authors did a terrible job of analyzing the data, so we don’t really know what the savings are,” Doe told me. “They didn’t use the standard analytical methods used in the energy-savings field. They ignored the fact that this is physics, not economics. They actually don’t model energy use, but instead model the logarithm of monthly energy use — which makes an additive process (heating use adds onto baseload use in the winter — it doesn’t multiply it by some percent) into something that makes no sense and can lead to unpredictable answers.” Setting up a straw manKushler worries that this paper might affect funding for programs aimed to help low-income families.Kushler wrote, “The authors conducted a study of one particular low-income program (the federal Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP), as implemented in portions of one state (Michigan), and somehow ended up with the sweeping headline ‘Study Finds Costs of Residential Energy Efficiency Investments are Double the Benefits.’ Some of the popular press is already picking up on this theme, and the concern is that a misunderstanding (or misuse) of this study will lead to low-income families having less access to important programs that drive down their utility bills. Or worse yet, as a broad-brush attack on all types of energy efficiency programs.”He continued, “In short, this study cherry-picked the worst possible program for comparing total costs to just direct energy savings, then set up a straw man to knock down, then tried to suggest, from an extremely limited sample of one program type, that all ‘residential energy efficiency investments’ are suspect.” Putting the data into perspectiveThe three researchers made broad generalizations about residential energy efficiency improvements based on limited data from one state. It is worth noting:The researchers only looked at the work of 18% of the low-income weatherization agencies working in Michigan. The researchers didn’t evaluate weatherization programs in any other state.The researchers only analyzed heating fuel savings in homes that were heated with natural gas, excluding homes heated by propane, fuel oil, and electricity. Of course, weatherization work is much more likely to be cost-effective in homes heated by propane, fuel oil, or electricity, because these fuels are generally more expensive than natural gas.While natural gas is currently inexpensive, it may not be inexpensive forever. Rising energy prices would improve the cost-effectiveness of the weatherization work that was studied.The researchers only looked at WAP. They did not evaluate any energy-efficiency work performed at the homes of middle-class or upper-class Americans. Because low-income families often live in substandard housing, weatherization work in low-income homes is often less cost-effective than similar work in homes owned by middle-class Americans. Moreover, WAP has to serve every low-income family that qualifies for the program, even when the family’s home may not be an ideal candidate for cost-effective weatherization measures — a fact that tends to lower cost-effectiveness numbers.The researchers’ conclusions show that they didn’t appreciate the fact that low-income weatherization programs often perform work for reasons other than energy savings; and that while the non-energy measures reduce the cost-effectiveness of the work, the measures provide important benefits to the families who are served.The researchers sought and obtained funding that they used to encourage low-income families to enroll in the weatherization program. This “encouragement design” may have lowered the savings compared to regular WAP work. Low-income households apply for WAP voluntarily, presumably because they think they can benefit — for example, because their homes are drafty and poorly insulated. By pushing the program on people and increasing application rates by six times, the researchers’ marketing efforts may have resulted in a group of participants who were less likely to benefit from the program than the normal flow of applications. The “encouragement design” changed the treatment group to include more households that didn’t feel as though they needed the program. Moreover, the “encouragement group” was found to have smaller homes and more elderly occupants than other weatherized homes and apparently had much lower gas use (about 25% lower than the average home in Michigan).As Martin Kushler, a senior fellow at ACEEE, has pointed out, “This study looked at the WAP during the ‘stimulus package’ years. … WAP was extremely stressed at the time, with tremendous pressure to push money out to the field. Job creation was at least as big a goal as energy savings, and they were functioning with a lot of new and inexperienced employees in order to handle the huge increase in funding and the deadlines to get it spent. … The stimulus package demands on the system drove up the average cost per home in the program, in an effort to ‘get the money spent.’ This would naturally tend to diminish the apparent cost-effectiveness in terms of energy savings per dollar spent.”The researchers apparently made their cost-effectiveness calculations without performing any weather normalization. Weather normalization is the adjustment of fuel cost numbers to account for differences between colder-than-average winters, average winters, and warmer-than-average winters; without weather normalization, it’s impossible to compare one winter’s fuel bill with the next winter’s fuel bill. Instead of weather normalization, the researchers included month-specific effects which indirectly account for weather through how the control group’s usage shifted month by month. But these month-specific effects doesn’t actually capture the weather that each customer experienced and do not adjust the usage for a typical weather year.When trumpeting their findings in a press release, at least one of the three authors didn’t just report the data; he used the Michigan data to make sweeping generalizations about residential energy efficiency improvements. “Energy efficiency investments hold great potential as a means to fight climate change,” Michael Greenstone declared. “However, we found that, at least in the case of residential energy efficiency investments, the projected savings overestimate the reality on the ground.”One of Greenstone’s co-authors appears to disagree with Greenstone’s generalizations. Asked about the study, Meredith Fowlie was quoted in the Washington Post as saying, “This is one study in one state looking at one subpopulation and one type of measure. I would not feel comfortable generalizing from our study in Michigan.” An expensive way to reduce carbon emissionsThe three economists — Fowlie, Greenstone, and Wolfram — noted that spending on WAP is not the best way to reduce carbon emissions. That’s true, but WAP was not established to lower carbon emissions. The program was established to help low-income families who are struggling with high energy bills.One of the papers I cited at the beginning of this article — “Cost-Effectiveness of Weatherization in Low-Income Urban Housing Stock” by Jonathan L. Bradshaw — addresses the question of carbon emissions. “Weatherization strategies aimed at energy savings, carbon savings, and cost-effectiveness may not lead to the same conclusion,” Bradshaw wrote. “Because average energy consumption, carbon intensity of energy consumed, and energy prices all vary geographically and largely independently, energy savings, carbon savings, and cost-effectiveness are not necessarily aligned. Weatherization strategies that seek to minimize residential energy use may not be the same strategies that seek to minimize residential carbon emissions. Additionally, there are different ways to consider cost-effectiveness, including net present value or by abatement cost for energy or carbon. In evaluating existing and designing new weatherization programs, it will be important for policy-makers to recognize these differences and decide the priorities of weatherization programs.” This decades-old program helps low-income AmericansThe federal low-income weatherization program — officially known as the Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP — is now 39 years old. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the program pays for weatherization workers to perform air sealing work, to add insulation, to seal leaky duct seams, and to replace inefficient appliances in the homes of low-income Americans. The services are provided at no charge to recipients.The weatherization program is administered by state employees; in most states, however, the actual weatherization work is performed by employees of local nonprofit groups known as community action agencies.One of the guidelines promoted by WAP is that weatherization measures should be selected based on cost-effectiveness. Over the past decades, many researchers have looked at whether the program is successful at achieving this cost-effectiveness goal.For example, in a 2010 paper, “Cost-Effectiveness of Weatherization in Low-Income Urban Housing Stock,” author Jonathan L. Bradshaw reported, “Most weatherization treatments examined are profitable. Although cost-effectiveness varies significantly between cities and treatment scenarios, almost all treatments in the cities examined were NPV-positive [net-present-value-positive] over either a 7 or 15 year period. These results indicate that we would expect the present value of energy savings earned through weatherization to exceed weatherization installation costs for programmable thermostats, attic insulation, and air sealing.”Summing up several decades of program evaluations, Fred Sissine’s 2012 paper, “DOE Weatherization Program: A Review of Funding, Performance, and Cost-Effectiveness Studies,” reported, “Over the program’s history, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Office of Management and Budget have used process and impact evaluation research methods to assess WAP operations and estimate cost-effectiveness. Virtually all the studies conducted through 2005 showed that the program was moderately cost effective.” Taking a broader viewIs the low-income weatherization program cost-effective? It’s hard to say. The weatherization work performed by some community action agencies is almost certainly cost-effective, while the work of other agencies may not be. These differences depend on climate, fuel costs, housing stock types, worker skills, and a variety of assumptions, including assumptions about future energy cost increases.“The WAP program is running out of high users,” John Doe told me. “Average natural gas usage has dropped. A few decades ago, the average house used 1300 therms of gas a year; now it is 900 therms. There used to be a lot of houses with inefficient refrigerators and naturally aspirated furnaces. The programs are running out of that type of house. Over time, the worst of the housing stock gets knocked down, or it has been insulated by some program or another. The housing stock is getting more efficient. Furnace efficiency standards, water heater efficiency standards, improved insulation — it has all added up to significant reductions in energy use.”While it may be harder in 2015 to show that the work performed by WAP is cost-effective than it was in 1985 or 1995, that doesn’t mean that the money invested in the program is wasted. After a house is weatherized, the house becomes more comfortable to live in, and the low-income family living in the house sees lower fuel bills. All kinds of social benefits flow from this type of work.“These programs are typically judged by including the associated ‘non-energy benefits’ in addition to the direct energy savings,” wrote Martin Kushler. “These multiple benefits include things like the effects on comfort, health, safety (e.g., WAP typically installs smoke detectors, CO detectors, fixes wiring problems, fixes gas leaks, etc.), increased value of the improved housing stock, reduced utility-bill payment arrearages and non-payment collection costs (which saves money for all ratepayers), improved ability to remain in the dwelling and not have to be relocated, etc. Studies exist in the industry that quantify these types of variables, and when taken in aggregate, the non-energy benefits’ value can nearly equal, or even exceed, the direct energy savings value… The study [by Fowlie, Greenstone, and Wolfram] … simply ignores those other multiple benefits, and does not quantify them in the analysis. This methodological flaw pre-ordains the conclusion.” A recent paper on the cost-effectiveness of weatherization work has received much more attention in the popular press than have similar studies in the past. The researchers concluded that weatherization measures performed at five nonprofit community action agencies in Michigan weren’t cost-effective. Newspaper headline writers have had a field day, trumpeting generalizations that aren’t supported by the limited data collected by researchers. (A typical headline: “Study: Home efficiency upgrades fall short, don’t pay.”)Energy experts familiar with weatherization programs have suggested that the headline writers should have dug a little deeper into this story than they apparently did, but these measured voices have gained less attention than the “Weatherization Doesn’t Pay” headlines.The controversial paper, “Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver?,” was written by three economists: one from the University of Chicago, Michael Greenstone, and two from the University of California at Berkeley, Meredith Fowlie and Catherine Wolfram. (Some of the paper’s findings were summarized by Scott Gibson in a recent GBA news story, “Blows Against Two Carbon Reduction Strategies.”) Energy savings don’t amount to much when energy is cheapIn my opinion, WAP is an excellent program. I’m proud that some of my federal tax dollars are used to perform energy-efficiency improvements in the homes of low-income families. (Unfortunately, I can’t really say the same thing about some of the other ways that the federal government spends our tax money — but that’s another story.)According to Merrian Borgeson, a senior scientist for energy for the Natural Resources Defense Council, the study by Fowlie, Greenstone, and Wolfram has not been peer-reviewed. The three researchers might have been able to repair some of the paper’s flaws if it had undergone the usual peer-review process. Moreover, Greenstone’s attempt to generalize from the study’s limited data is indefensible.That said, the researchers make some valid points — some of which are frequently mentioned on GBA. Here are two:When weatherization workers enter data into existing energy modeling programs, the software usually overpredicts future energy savings, for two reasons: the inputs are often wrong, and the software programs have flaws.Energy retrofit work on existing houses is not the fastest or most cost-effective way to address our looming climate change crisis.Weatherizing old houses isn’t easy work. The most cost-effective examples of this work occur when all of the stars are aligned: when the house being worked on is poorly insulated and leaky; when there is good access to the basement and attic; when fuel costs are high; when the work is not impeded by hazards like asbestos, faulty electrical wiring, or a wet basement; when the crew is well trained and well motivated; and when the implemented measures are limited to measures with a proven track-record for cost-effectiveness.When it comes to weatherization work, things have gotten a little tougher recently. The average house is using less energy than it used to, so there are fewer opportunities for dramatic savings. At the same time, energy — especially natural gas — is cheap. Meanwhile, labor isn’t getting any cheaper. And many older homes still have the same grab-bag of problems that have always plagued weatherization workers: water entry into basements, small access hatches, asbestos duct insulation, lead paint, knob-and-tube wiring, and cramped attics filled with long-forgotten possessions.Fourteen years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency launched Home Performance with Energy Star, a program that hoped to lure contractors into a lucrative new field: providing energy retrofits for middle-class and upper-class Americans. As Nate Adams (among many others) discovered, it’s hard to make money doing this sort of work. (Nate Adams wrote a series of blogs on this topic for GBA; the first blog in his series was titled How an Efficiency Program Killed My Business.) Customers for this type of work are hard to find, so client-acquisition costs are high. Homeowners require lots of hand-holding. And most old houses have a lot of problems that need to be fixed before energy retrofits can start.While these facts about weatherization work need to be acknowledged, it’s important not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. In many areas of the country, there are lots of opportunities to perform cost-effective work: for example, by replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LEDs, or by swapping old single-speed swimming pool pumps for new variable-speed pumps. It still pays to seal up the large holes in our nation’s attics, and the attic insulation in many homes is still appallingly thin. We need to continue to work at addressing these problems, while simultaneously investing in a variety of other measures designed to reduce our nation’s carbon emissions. GBA Prime subscribers can read a great many posted comments at the page where this article was originally published: Is Weatherization Cost-Effective? If you are a GBA Prime subscriber, that page remains the best place to post comments. Non-subscribers are invited to post comments below.
New Delhi, Dec 1 (PTI) Five-time world champion M C Mary Kom has resigned as the national observer for Indian boxing after Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore made it clear that active sportspersons will not be considered for the position.”I resigned as national observer 10 days ago after having a word with Mr Rathore. I had been requested to take up the position, it was not something I had asked for,” Mary Kom, who claimed her fifth Asian Championships gold medal last month, told PTI today.”I had inquired about the rule on not having active athletes as observers with the then Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas when it was offered to me,” she explained, reacting to insinuation that her appointment smacked of conflict of interest given that she is still an active national camper.”But at that time, I was told that I should nonetheless accept the position. I did so on insistence of the Ministry and I dont want unnecessary controversies about something that I had not asked for.”The 35-year-old Olympic bronze-medallist was among 12 national observers appointed by the then Sports Minister Vijay Goel in March.The list also includes the likes of Olympic-gold- medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra, double Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar and former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Akhil Kumar among others.Of these, Sushil and Mary Kom are still active in their respective sports. Akhil, on the other hand, is no longer a part of the national camp after giving up amateur boxing.He has already rejected the conflict of interest charge, saying that he is neither a beneficiary of government schemes nor a part of the national camp.advertisement”I was never interested in this but accepted the position because I had been requested. I have my hands full with a lot of things. I am happy to let it go and have no complaints,” said Mary Kom.The decorated boxer is also a Rajya Sabha MP and is in contention for the Commonwealth and Asian Games next year. PTI PM ATK PM