Energy efficiency is one important component in the larger playbook to reduce carbon emissions and ward off the damaging effects of climate change. It is also an essential element of a reliable and affordable energy system.

On a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Kateri Callahan, the president of the Alliance to Save Energy, one of the leading advocates of policies that promote energy efficiency in the U.S.

The Alliance, founded by Senators Charles Percy and Hubert Humphrey in 1977 following the oil embargo of that decade, has supported various programs to save energy, including efficiency standards for appliances and motor vehicles, building codes for construction, and government funding for energy-saving technologies.

Bill met with Kateri days before she stepped down as president of the Alliance after heading the organization for 14 years. They talked about the past year in Washington – one that Kateri said was like no other in her tenure at the alliance – and how energy efficient the U.S. has become over the past 40 years.

They also discussed the political climate for energy efficiency now with the Trump administration and Congress; new campaigns by the Alliance to promote energy efficiency in transportation and electric power; and public awareness of the potential for saving energy.

view the transcript

[00:00:00]

Bill Loveless:  Hello and welcome to the Columbia Energy Exchange, a weekly podcast from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University from Washington.  I’m Bill Loveless.  When it comes to advocating energy efficiency in the United States, no voice is more prominent than that of Kateri Callahan, the President of the Alliance to save energy.  For 14 years, Kateri is head of the nonprofit organization founded by Senators Charles Percy and Hubert Humphrey in 1977 following the oil embargo of that decade.

As such, she has been at the forefront of efforts to promote policies like efficiency standards for Alliances and motor vehicles, building quotes for construction, and government funding for energy saving technologies.  Now, Kateri stepping down from the Alliance to take on a new opportunity in the private sector.  But before she left, I visited her at her Washington office to talk about the past year, one that she says was like no other in her tenure at the Alliance and just how energy efficient the U.S has become.

She also tells me about some bold new initiatives meant to take energy efficiency to an even higher level in transportation and electric power.  Here is our conversation.  Kateri Callahan, welcome to the Columbia Energy exchange.

[00:01:22]

Kateri Callahan:  Thanks Bills.  It’s great to be here.

[00:01:24]

Bill Loveless:  You are stepping down after 14 years here at the Alliance to Save Energy, but you’ve been at this sort of work for much longer than that, you’ve been involved in public advocacy and fundraising and coalition building, tell me a little bit about your career.

[00:01:38]

Kateri Callahan:  You make me sound old.

[00:01:40]

Bill Loveless:  But you are not.

[00:01:41]

Kateri Callahan:  But, I have been gush for about 30 years now and I started my career in energy actually advancing both the first big MOD-5B wind turbine, which was being built in Hawaii as an experimental wind turbine and also working on Clean Coal technologies at that point in time, back in the late 80s, we were looking at cleaning up the socks and knocks, climate wasn’t even in the vernacular if you will at that point in time.  So, over the course of many years, I've really been working at advancing technology as a solution, advancing the policies at drive technology as solution to the challenges we face in our use of energy, that took me from working on Clean Coal technologies and working with utilities and working on electric transportation, so I actually help stand up and found group that was then called the electric transpiration coalition back in the late 80s to work on getting battery, electric vehicles into the marketplace.  So déjà vu all over again.

[00:02:46]

Bill Loveless:  And it was not a big issue back in those days.

[00:02:48]

Kateri Callahan:  But, we almost got there.  So, by the time of the early 1990s, the automakers being led really by General Motors were putting experimental vehicles, were making announcements about going commercial, we were able through the organization that I was running at that time.  We got the tax incentives that are still available today for battery hybrid and fuel cell vehicles put into the – this goes back in history, The Energy Policy Act of 1992.  So, those tax incentives have been around for quite a while, and there were pockets of it looks like battery electric vehicles would takeoff, where states also put incentives on top of those, so places like Georgia, places like California where they allowed battery electrics and hybrids onto the HOV lanes even with the single occupant in Virginia.

So, we almost got there, the Achilles’ heel for the battery electric vehicle then was the battery and the cost of it in limited range and that’s something that still the industry I think is really trying to work through when we are seeing breakthrough.  So, I have great hope that this go around, we are going to actually see plug-in electric vehicles everywhere.  Yeah.

[00:04:01]

Bill Loveless:  Energy efficiency seems like the topic that is over – often overlooked in discussion, what were the boom in oil and gas production in the shale place these days and the surge really and renewable energy production from solar and wind energy, but may be not so much of an awareness of a discussion of energy efficiency, is that a fair characterization?

[00:04:26]

Kateri Callahan:  Bill, it’s too fair, yes.  We’ve always been kind of overlooked, because a lot of energy efficiency is really invisible if you will, you are getting rid of waste in the system and that’s the way to look at it.  So, we talked about for a long time, energy efficiency as the fifth fuel, try to get people to understand that it’s a resource.  Former Secretary Spencer Abraham, when he was the head of the department of energy famously declared that energy efficiency was our greatest resource of greatest most abundant resources, because we waste over half the energy we use.

So, it’s there, it’s just getting people to understand and to look at it as this really potential pool for expanding energy – our energy resources for making it cheaper, because it’s always cheaper not to use energy than it is to create it even if you are creating it cleanly through wind or solar.  And, to look at the economic development opportunities that are there and the opportunities to address climate, the International Energy Agency, the IEA for example has done studies that show that if we are going to keep the planet to warming less than 2 degrees, that every efficiency has to almost half of that solution, so we’ve got to invest in it.  But, the trick is making people understand that and to see it as the enormous resource really that it is.

[00:05:48]

Bill Loveless:  Dose energy policy keep up with that potential for energy efficiency these days and if not, where does it fall short?

[00:05:57]

Kateri Callahan:  Yeah.  So, I think that particularly at the state level, you see a lot of innovation and a lot of keeping up if you will or trying to stay ahead of the pace of technology, which is difficult, because technology is evolving so, so quickly now.  At the federal level, one of the brilliant things that they did back – this goes all the way back to Reagan, was to put in place a program at the department of energy and requirement that the department of energy put in place, appliance and equipment energy efficiency standards.

So, look at what’s the state of the technology, where is it going, what's cost effective that can be done to drive the technologies to be more efficient to use less energy and then lock in those savings through the appliance and equipment standards, and the law cause for regular updates of those standards.  So, if you look at things like a refrigerator today versus one built in the 1970, they are bigger, they are cheaper in true cost of money, they last longer and by the way they only use about a quarter of the energy of those ones, even though they are bigger and they last longer of the ones that were in the 70s, same story with the light bulb, same story with lots of other products, appliances and equipment that you see in HVAC equipment.

And so, those do get updated regularly, there is building energy codes.  Again, as technology improves, if at the national level we can put in place model codes that keep up, keep getting rid of the poorly build structures and keep driving toward the better, towards the more efficient shales, the more efficient mechanical systems.  The policy – I guess what I’m trying to say is the policy foundation is there; it’s our ability to make those updates and to keep up in a way that the law directs.  So, some states, its adoption of building energy codes is by the states, so we have a whole patch work in this country, some states vary – it varies dramatically.

And then, to complicate it even further, it’s up to the localities to actually enforce the codes, so code officials in cities across those states, across the nation.  So, that’s a difficulty, and the same with the appliance and equipment standards, those are only as good as the department of energy is good at doing its job, so we got to make sure that they have the resources, the congress needs to give them the resources, they need the impetus to stay up.  And sometimes it takes intervention by the courts to get them to stay on schedule.

[00:08:31]

Bill Loveless:  Well, speaking the depart of energy and resources makes me think that 2017 was an eventful year with a new administration, the Trump administration and it was eventful for the Alliance as it was for just about every interest in Washington.  The president sort deep cuts in finding for the energy efficiency programs at DOE, elimination of the clean power program at the environmental protection agency, there was a document of major tax legislation to name just a few of the bigger developments, he won some battles, he lost some.  Tell us how it went for energy efficiency?

[00:09:11]

Kateri Callahan:  So, first of all let me say that energy efficiency enjoys broad by partisan support in the congress.  And up until this administration, it’s really been enjoyed broad by partisan support by the presidents that have come and gone, because it just makes sense, I mean we can show the economic advantages, the federal government’s largest energy user in the country.  So, whatever it does to improve its energy management helps us as taxpayers, so every president has had, I think a good basis upon which that they will do policies through the administrative arm in the executive branch, but then also we’ve had it on the congress.

So, in terms of 2017; yes, proposed slashes in the budget, proposed elimination of the energy star program, which is one of the most penny wise and pound foolish acts of the administration I've ever seen, so we can talk a little bit more about that.  But the congress – remember, the president can suggest a budget, it’s a policy document, it’s a suggestion, it’s the business and the responsibility of the congress to appropriate dollars.  And, we got good signals, strong, strong signals from Senate that they were going to hold solid on continuing funding at essentially the same level that it was being funded under the Obama administration, both for the department of energy programs and also the energy star program which is how it’s largely at EPA.

The house made cuts to those proposed cuts to all the efficiency programs, but not nearly as _____ [00:10:50] and as the presidents.  So, I think we would have won the day and we would have stayed close to level funding if the congress went back to regular order and actually passed as appropriations bill, but we all know that story.  But, the good news for energy efficiency is there were strong and sustained funding under the Obama administration, so for 8 years, and those levels have held as we’ve done these continuing resolution.  So, we are bumping along, it’s no way to do business on this or any other front as a government, but what it has meant is that the moneys have stayed there for the programs.

[00:11:27]

Bill Loveless:  What sort of reception – I mean you mentioned this been by partisan support for energy efficiency traditionally from each party, members of congress as well as from different presidents from each party, but do you still see that sort – when you look at the Whitehouse today, if you look at the Trump administration today, do you see that same sort of interest?

[00:11:45]

Kateri Callahan:  No.  And, I think that a couple of things that are going on there, the chief problem as I see it is that they are too thinly staffed with political appointees, so there is nobody there to go in and make your case too, we are just getting some focus on.  And, when we can get in and talk to them, and now they are getting a little – a few more levels, people get it, and they understand it, but the decisions on the budget for example as far as I can see are being made at OMB and the department of energy, the EPA, really don’t have a lot to say in what's getting said there.

And again, at the Whitehouse itself, and at OMB, they are thinly, thinly staffed, so we still hold out hope that as the administration staffs up, and we get folks there that begin to look at these issues that they will see that energy efficiency really hits all the sweet-spots for the conservative ideology.  It’s a conservative ideology to conserve our resources and energy efficiency fits right into that in addition to being and huge economic drive I’d love to talk about.

So, we had a diary official at our last policy committee meeting that we had last month, and the fellow opened up the session by reading half of the Alliance’s website, our vision statement for a more energy – yeah, and saying this fits with our view of how the energy landscape and –

[00:13:23]

Bill Loveless:  Have you talked to Secretary Rick Perry at all?

[00:13:25]

Kateri Callahan:  I’ve not talked to him, but I've talked to his Undersecretary for energy Mark Menezes, who is a terrific guy.  I actually worked with him on the energy policy act of 92 when he was in the house energy and commerce committee.  And, he is somebody that I think – he is very thoughtful, and he will look at these issues, he has worked a lot with utility industry, so he has a familiarity with energy efficiency.  I think he has a natural bend towards trying to drive that into the marketplace, so we got great reception there, it’s just – again they got to get, they have to get enough people to get their game plan in order, and they did not done yet.

[00:14:05]

Bill Loveless:  Yeah.  It’s hard to operate at the levels they are staffed presently.

[00:14:07]

Kateri Callahan:  Exactly.

[00:14:09]

Bill Loveless:  On the hill, there is always a need for new changes, new policies, new changes in policies, things needed to be updated, there has been legislation pending in the congress for since, I think 2011 now, the bill Portman-Shaheen Bill, I just talked to Senator Murkowski on the podcast recently about this, hopes brings internal, she is the one to get that pass, it is bipartisan supported, got lots and lots of votes in the senate, struggled in the – but it’s –

[00:14:37]

Kateri Callahan:  85 to 12 in the senate, just – this is a reference, it’s widespread support, yeah.

[00:14:44]

Bill Loveless:  But it goes nowhere.  I mean it doesn’t get enacted, why?

[00:14:47]

Kateri Callahan:  I think there are forces, when -- the central part of that bill is – deals with strengthening our building energy code program and the process for establishing national model codes and DOE’s role in that and then adoption by the states.  There were some strong forces that are opposed to that, some on an ideological basis, some I think they see a cost to it.  So, the national association of home builders for example is leading opponent to those provisions.

But, I think the reason that it hasn’t gotten passed to date is because it’s always been married up with comprehensive energy legislation, which as you know Bill, makes the job all the harder the more pieces there are in the bill the more provisions, the more likely it is that you get proponents and opponents of those, it’s just harder to get through the process.

[00:15:40]

Bill Loveless:  Especially now a days, I mean – but bills like that past – like you mentioned 1992, 2005, 2007 –

[00:15:46]

Kateri Callahan:  2011 there are funding which is biggest investment we’ve made as a country in energy efficiency in a single pop.  Yeah.  So, it can be done, but u think the – again, the Portman-Shaheen and when the Dems were in control, it was a Shaheen-Portman bill, but that –

[00:16:04]

Bill Loveless:  Senator Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire Democrat, Rob Portman –

[00:16:07]

Kateri Callahan:  And Rob Portman from Ohio, terrific guy, they are both on the Alliances honorary board and actually Senator Shaheen is our chair, for that honorary board right now.  But, it was seen on the Senate side at least as something that did have such broad support that if we put it in a comprehensive bill, may be the republican and the dems, they didn’t like other pieces of it, would swallow it, because of Portman-Shaheen.  And, they just – it just didn’t happen.

[00:16:34]

Bill Loveless:  May be it speaks more to the just inability of congress to pass much of anything nowadays rather than any specific commentary on energy efficiency.

[00:16:41]

Kateri Callahan:  You said it, not me.  I’d say – I mean I just think it’s tough to get anything, it is tough to get anything through, the other thing that’s playing against us I believe is that the cost of energy is so relatively low now, and that – prices matter when you are looking at trying to get interest in energy efficiency, so it’s no surprise that the 07 bill went like that, because the price of gasoline was over $4 [crosstalk] [00:17:08] everybody was focused.

[00:17:10]

Bill Loveless:  Why is it so important to pursue energy efficiency legislation policies whatever these days, when the price is so low?  I have to say as a consumer of electricity in Virginia, I don’t really pay close attention to what – how much I use, how much I pay, because I don’t pay very much at my estimation each month.  And, I think that’s often the case, the price of electricity is relatively low, demand has been stagnant and face of that – does that make it difficult to promote energy efficiency?

[00:17:44]

Kateri Callahan:  I think that what it makes it difficult to do is capture the attention of policy makers, because their continuance aren’t hammering away at it, but I would take a different tact for you in your socioeconomic bracket, it means little, if you are on a fixed income or if you are a low income individual, you are starting to talk about real money, when something is 5% of your budget, that is significant, and those are dollars that could be used for food or to cloth of your kids or for schooling, they are the things – it’s the difference, and it’s also – frankly it’s a difference in where you live, how much the energy cost, so you live probably in Virginia where the price is the per kilo watt hour, price is low –

[00:18:28]

Bill Loveless:  Yeah.  New England’s High –

[00:18:28]

Kateri Callahan:  New England’s High, California’s High and interestingly enough though, in places like New York and California that have some of the highest per kilo watt hour rates, their bill is far below the national average on a monthly basis, and it’s because they’ve invested so much in energy efficiency, they are so much more energy productive.  So, Y Care is a consumer – I think, one of the reasons building energy codes are important in appliance to equipment standards, you don’t have to think about it, you are going to buy a house that’s going to perform better and waste less energy, you are going to buy – only be able to buy products that are most cost effective over the life time of that product, so they are using less energy.

If you think about it as a society as all of us, the more productive we are in our energy use, the stronger and more resilient our economy is.  So, from the 1970s through 2012, we doubled US energy productivity, meaning we are getting twice as much GDP now as we did in 1970, so can you imagine the pollution, can you imagine the impact on climate change, can you imagine the impact on our economy if we were still using the same amount of energy to produce on unit of GDP with the way that we’ve crowned since then.  It will be astronomical, we couldn’t sustain that.  So, that’s a reason – the policymakers to care, it’s a reason we have to care.

[00:19:49]

Bill Loveless:  It fits in that energy productivity theme, it is receiving more prominence these days, I just saw a report from the business counsel for sustainable energy, and again statistics consistent with what you just said, but their report says US economy advance 2.3% in 2017 at the same time US total energy consumption dipped by 0.2%.  And since 2008 energy usage shrunk 1.7% even as GDP has accelerated by 15.3%, so is that a case do you think that’s becoming more apparent to more people now?

[00:20:29]

Kateri Callahan:  I think so.  I mean the business - I’m on the board of the business council for sustainable energy and they’ve been doing that fact book for years and we said, you got to look at energy productivity, because we did studies on this back in 2012, in some economic analysis, and it is getting a lot more traction and a lot more attraction and it’s something that appeals to republicans.  So, as I said, the republican political appointee that spoke to us from the department of energy read of our website about energy productivity and loving our vision that we want to increase energy productivity.

So, it’s getting a lot of attraction as it should, because being more energy productive just isn’t better for the economy large, but also creates jobs.  So, our study show that if we could double energy productivity again, like we have once before by 2030, we create like 1.3 million jobs, we’ve save $327 billion or over a $1000 a family in the US.  So, that’s the reason it gets attraction, because it makes us strong globally, there is just every good reason to do it and there is no good whether it’s political, technological or business reason not to do it.

[00:20:29]

Bill Loveless:  And as we’ve discussed, you still need – it’s tough, and you still need to keep the momentum going with new initiatives and new policies and that sort of thing, speaking to which you have some new initiatives here at the Alliance to Save energy, one is your 50/50 Transpiration Program, tell us a little bit about that.

[00:22:00]

Kateri Callahan:  Thanks for asking about that, Bill, we are really excited about this.  The Alliance is focused a lot in the built environment and that is the largest between homes and commercial buildings, that’s the largest energy using sector in our economy.  But the sector of our economy that hasn’t kept up efficiency gains like the other is the transportation sector and the emissions from that sector, the wasted energy use are something we really want to see tackled and we think that if we are going to have a strong economy, it we are going to have a good environment, we got to reduce energy use in the sector.

So, the 50/50 Commission got its name, because the goal there is to reduce energy consumption in the transportation sector 50% by the year 2050.  Just like when we articulated the goal of doubling energy productivity, we thought the way to get attention to this, to get people to look at what policies could underpin it, would be the organize the commission of very high level stakeholders from all of the key areas, so I’m very pleased that this 50/50 commission is being chaired by the President of Audi America, and the President of National Grid, which is one of the largest investor owned utilities in the US headquartered in Boston.

And, it includes – the commission includes the folks like the head of NREL, our National Renewable Energy Lab, the head of the IBEW, the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers, General Motors on it, American Public Transit Association and all of them, the leaders of their organization or their companies, and what we have asked them to do, to come together and first articulate a goal that was bulled, audacious but doable, and that’s the 50/50, reducing energy consumption 50% by 2050.

And then, to agree in consensus set of policies that we could put forward that we could model to show that it would achieve the goal if we undertook those.

[00:24:01]

Bill Loveless:  And may be too early, but do you have any sense of what some of these polices might be and how they might differ from what's already been implemented?

[00:24:08]

Kateri Callahan:  It’s too early for that, we are meeting again this next Thursday, and the commission, the work there, we’ve taken the work and put it out into technical committee, so what we've done now is to have a baseline document and then all of these various technical committees will do a market assessment of where we are and what the potential is, they will start looking at some policies and recommendation.  So, next week, if we were doing this a week later, I might be able to tell you a little more – timing is everything, but what I can say is that what they’ve done is to set up a serious of screens through which will judge whether or not these policies are going to be ones that can consensus around them.

One of those screens is that it will be able to be embraced by both republican and democrats, conservatives and liberals, so we are looking for really actual implement.  The other is that they really need to have been at least beta tested, so we’ll look at what's going on in these communities around the US and states that are leading the offer.

[00:25:12]

Bill Loveless:  The Obama administration was pretty aggressive on fuel efficiency, it was going to raise the standards to 54.5 miles per gallon, that’s the fleet average by 2025, the Trump administration is taking a hard look to see if they want to go forward with that, but that has be sighted fuel efficiency standards CAFE, as the leading initiative in the United States to cut back on how much gasoline and fuel you use on the road these day, should that continue to be the leading piece of policy on this issue?

[00:25:44]

Kateri Callahan:  Well, I think it needs to continue to be a central piece, I mean the CAFE standards are something, it’s just like this whole discussion we’ve been having on appliance and equipment standards.  You need to set I believe national policy that gets the inefficient equipment out of our system, so I think those are key and critical.  Are they the single most important policy?  I don’t know the answer to that yet, but there are other pathways than just CAFE standards to getting there, and I think we have to look at electrification and the benefit, because those battery electric vehicles are inherently so much more efficient and –

[00:26:23]

Bill Loveless:  I know this, I mean autonomous vehicles, I mean that industry is changing so much, and so quickly it seems.

[00:26:31]

Kateri Callahan:  Yeah.  So, I should say that on this commission, we are not just looking at light duty vehicles, because autonomous, you prompted me to say that, because we just did a congressional field trip last week to California, where we went to the Port of Long Beach, which is one of the largest seaports in the country, and we watched the automation and electrification of their whole cargo terminal, wind terminal, and so their all these autonomous vehicles driving around, unloading cargo, I mean you don’t see people anywhere, and they are all electric.  So, they’ve cleaned up the emission from that terminal, they’ve made it much more efficient, they are making more money –

[00:27:09]

Bill Loveless:  I think it’s time to take a fresh look at all of this –

[00:27:11]

Kateri Callahan:  A fresh look at all of this, so there is lots of ways to go at this issue, so we are looking at everything that basically goes on wheels, so off-road vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles, buses and the light-duty sector, and we got to tackle it all or we are not going to make the progress that we need.

[00:27:28]

Bill Loveless:  Another big initiative at the Alliance is your rate designed initiative, and I say that rather cautiously, because we probably need another whole podcast to get into break that down, but basically you are talking about a fundamental change in the way electricity is priced in the United States, but the adoption of a demand charge, explain that to us.

[00:27:47]

Kateri Callahan:  So, the way that we have historic rate since the grid has been created, regulated the investor owned utilities is on a rate basis that has both fixed charge, so a charge for all of the wires and the plants, power plants and everything that it takes to get the energy to you, and then a value metric or an energy charge, how much do you use.  A demand charge is another tier that would price – so, you’d price how much you use, you’d price the fixed cost and then you would price basically when you are using and how much demand you are making on that grid, on those fixed assets.

So, we got into this because with the changes in the grid and the changes from one way flow electricity only to byway flows to trans active energy –

[00:28:43]

Bill Loveless:  Distributed energy?

[00:28:44]

Kateri Callahan:  Right.  Distributed energy, but having actually consumers of energy be producers of energy, so it creates a class that they have now dubbed prosumers, so how do you account for that and as you get more distributed energy resources on and people are putting solar on their homes, how do you make sure that enough money is coming into the system to keep the whole infrastructure there and to keep the power available to that home when it needs it, even though it may only be pulling couple of hours and day.

[00:29:17]

Bill Loveless:  Some, like a utility executive?

[00:29:19]

Kateri Callahan:  Yeah.  It’s complied issue, so I think the way to think about it is the rate design system that we have today doesn’t work, that’s something we got consensus on, it won't work for the further, it’s working now better and worse in some jurisdictions and areas, but if we are going to go to this modernized grid and two way flows of energy, transactive energy if you will, we need a new rate design.  And people have been sighting over what that design should look like, and so we entered into that fray for better or worse, and I've got a few grey hairs to show from it.

But, we entered into that fray to try to bring people closer to the middle to say, hey, you stakeholders and efficiency advocates, renewable advocates, you got to come together with utilities and we got to figure this one out in the rate makers and we got to figure it out.  So, we didn’t actually recommend that people go to demand charge right now, we recommended that they look at it and that they begin a journey to explore whether or not that’s the right approach, and you do that through testing and pilots and lots of education and outreach.

And, I think we got further along in this discussion than any other group I know in forming consensus and we got some guiding principles, but there is that the Alliance certainly didn’t make a recommendation of what that design should look like.

[00:30:34]

Bill Loveless:  Right.  The part of the consideration as I understand it is that with this change in the rate structure, it also send signals to the consumer in terms of how much the electricity cost at any given time of the day, and if they have a smart meter in their home as more and more people do these day, they will be able to see what the electric cost at that time, and then perhaps put off their consumption to another time and may be going along with that will be some sort of time of used rates from the utility, so you could have a much more sophisticated rate system.

[00:31:02]

Kateri Callahan:  Yes, exactly.  And, there is a lot of different ways that you can do that demand charge, and you mentioned one of those the time of used rate that very attractive to a lot of folks.  I think the important thing that you said there was smart meters or AMI, (Advanced Metering Infrastructure), that is a fundamental requirement if you are going to move to this three part rate design, so we made that very clear.  It’s interesting, because they are rolling out the utility’s EMI, but only about half of the utility customers in the US right now have that technology available to them.  So again, this is a journey, we are not getting there next week or next month, this is going to take some time.

 

[00:31:39]

Bill Loveless:  There is so much more, and you have a number of initiatives going, but let’s talk a bit about – you are leaving the Alliance, what was going on here, you are non-pregnant women leaving Alliance, so tell us where you are going.

[00:31:49]

Kateri Callahan:  So, yeah, it’s a really bittersweet departure.  I've been here 14, I have seen a lot, I feel like that the Alliance has had a great impact and I love the organization, the people that are here, the board, all the companies that support us in the foundations, but I've been here 14 years, and I believe that fresh blood – I always believe that fresh blood in nonprofit organizations is a good thing, particularly at the top and also I’m a firm believer that even if it scares the hell out of you taking on new challenge is a good thing, so something came up that I and a company pursued and I’m going to go off starting April 2nd and run a company that delivers energy efficiency on the ground if you will that does demand side management programs for utilities, it’s a company that’s headquartered in Pennsylvania, it’s called the CMC energy services.

And, couple of things I love about it Bill, one is it was founded by a woman 41 years ago this year, so it’s been around for a while and all that time it’s been women owned, it’s now owned by the founders to daughters and it’s been women led.  So, I will be following a tradition of female leaderships.

[00:33:01]

Bill Loveless:  So, you have a chance now to put into practice on the ground, some of the things you’ve been advocating here in Washington.

[00:33:06]

Kateri Callahan:  Yes sir.  I’m going to see whether I've caused trouble along with all our policy makers or have actually helped to condition the market to allow energy efficiency to go forward.

[00:33:15]

Bill Loveless:  Somehow I we will continue to hear from you.

[00:33:18]

Kateri Callahan:  Yes.  Thanks.

[00:33:20]

Bill Loveless:  Kateri Callahan, thank you very much for joining us on the Columbia energy exchange.

[00:33:23]

Kateri Callahan:  Thank you Bill.

[00:33:24]

Bill Loveless:  And, thanks to you our listeners for tuning in, if you have a minute, please give us a rating on iTunes, it helps us grow.  And for more information on today’s energy issues, visit our website at energypolicy.columbia.edu or check us out on Twitter and Facebook at Columbia U Energy.  For the Columbia Energy Exchange, I’m Bill Loveless, will be back next week with another conversation.