Thursday, August 6, 2009

EVO Insights Episode 2 with Steve Kromer

For episode 2 of EVO Insights I had a chance to catch up with Steve Kromer and learn a bit more about the Alliance to Save Energy and the recent EE Global conference in Paris, France.

Click here to  listen to the show right in your browser or click here to download the episode.

Episode 2 Transcription

Nathan: Welcome to EVO Insights Episode 2. I'm Nathan Shetterley, and today we'll listen in on an update from Steve Kromer on how the Alliance to Save Energy and EVO are spreading the word about M&V and IPMVP earlier this summer.

Nathan: Today we have with us Steve Kromer, who was recently at the EE Global Conference in Paris. Steve, how about you give a little introduction about yourself, and who you are, and why you were in Paris, and then we'll go from there.

Steve: Yeah hi Nathan, I'm Steve, Steve Kromer, and I'm in Berkeley, California now. Last week I was in Paris at EE Global. Alliance to Save Energy has recently - they hosted the show there in Paris, and they've begun to emphasize more the evaluation measurement and verification aspect of energy efficiency and along with tracking national efforts in the US to standardize EM&V, they're looking at standardizing international EM&V. And so they hosted a workshop on Monday, and I got to present a couple different times, some on the history of IPMVP, and recent conditions in California.

Nathan: Great. And who was at this EE Global conference besides yourself kind of representing IPMVP? What kind of people were there?

Steve: So John Cowan also presented at the workshop on Monday. We had a board meeting on Thursday, so along the way just about every board member was somewhere around there, I think. In particular, Alain Streicher and Satish Kumar came in later in the day to the workshop.

Nathan: And without giving your whole conference, when you touched on the history of IPMVP, can you give us a little synopsis of what we all missed, staying over here in the States or wherever our listeners may be, but not in Paris?

Steve: Well, I guess to a lot of people in this workshop, I guess totally there was probably 50 people towards the end. It seemed like over the course of the day, most of the day long, it filled up. And I guess maybe half the people had heard about IPMVP before, or I don't know, I'm guessing. And there's been a lot of effort in the EU in the last ten years to do similar work on M&V protocols and evaluation protocols under a whole different political structure. But our old friend Paolo Bertoldi was there, and others who have been familiar with IPMVP all along. And I think - I was particularly encouraged by the fact that there seemed to be a consensus that EVO in particular could be an organization to help move things ahead generally, and that IPMVP was still a good starting framework from which to build around to do a more evaluation-type work and standardized evaluation work.

Nathan: And how was the reception on that? I know that from my personal experience in Canada, working in Quebec, starting with IPMVP and translating it was kind of the first step. And then - I don't know if the Parisians are going to be able to read the Quebecois French, they kind of make fun of us for that - but besides that, that was a really good first step to moving towards getting kind of a regional protocol out there. How did you feel the response in Paris?

Steve: Well, in particular - not so much at the workshop, though I'm not remembering exactly how much of this was discussed there - we met with our new board member from Schneider Electric, Patrick Jullian, and we got a full dose of the recent events in the last year or two of how they've been working to introduce IPMVP in French in France. And particularly for the back story and politics around forming a club, and getting general agreement to support one protocol, and then picking IPMVP, and then doing a translation. Now having a plan to using… …to help circulate it and promote it across the country with the same purpose we've done it all along - just finding one standard way of doing this kind of business. So I think that was really encouraging, that in France they've written their own version, or, translated a version that they can use.

Nathan: Great. Were there any other conferences that stuck out in your mind? Did you get a chance to participate at all, or were you just kind of giving the conferences?

Steve: Well, the workshop on Monday, and then Tuesday, Wednesday were the- I guess I would say somewhat the normal set of conference topics and discussions. And this, to my mind, or to my knowledge, was the first major United States-based conference in France. Certainly it's the first EE Global - Alliance to Save Energy/EE Global. So um there were quite a few Americans, quite a few old faces from around… …and other places. There was a lot of good discussion, generally of course around the stimulus bill and US based policy as well as a lot of discussion of European issues so I think to that degree it was successful and people are still, to some degree, trying to crack the same problems they have all along about finance and programmatic structure. But now with a lot more emphasis from stimulus funds across the US and stimulus funds in Europe.

Nathan: From just the information you gathered there is Europe and I guess the rest of world following the US’s lead in trying to rejuvenate the economy via energy efficiency and clean energy or is it kind of, did you get that impression at all?

Steve: Well, I think the, I’m not any expect I don’t think so but for many years they’ve had EE goals and they’ve had national goals and they’ve been to some degree ahead of us on a policy basis and they’re much more amenable to regulation generally, the population. There’s been a more tight regulatory environment and they’ve been trying to work out the details of each member state would actually account for its savings and what the overall framework and structure of EU directives was going to be. The US of course has not taken a big policy lead on it with the exception of states like California and now more recently large emphasis from the federal government so I think the federal government stimulus bill particularly directed towards efficiency dwarfs anything in Europe right now. Again the federal government here is so much stronger, there’s not really an EU, strong EU federal government so to speak.

Nathan: That’s interesting. I was just glancing at our stats and for a number of visits France has 
actually up there as one of the…

Steve: I think it’s third.

Nathan: Yeah, it looks like Thailand passed it so it’s fourth in number of visits over the last year so we’ve had you know a thousand individual people visiting the site from time to time over the last year. That’s a tenth of the States, we have over ten thousand here but still pretty high up there, so I think it’s a good place for…

Steve: Yeah, we’re definitely trying to work out with France and more details on training and corporative training and I think they’ve, and for a lot of political reasons they definitely want to be aligned with us and yet still go their own way, which is fine. For what it’s worth I think, I’ll call it officially third because Thailand, probably a lot of those hits are coming from our own website. [laughs]

Nathan: Fair enough. [laughs]

Steve: I actually recorded that, made that famous statement to them, and I think in the room, they are number three. I also mentioned that we do have 144 countries over the last year and now we`re up to about a hundred every month, even in the last few months the variety has gone up, or the range has gone up. The message is getting out there, I think that`s become more compelling to everybody that we are now just truly international and there’s no, we don’t have to really say that anymore because it speaks for itself. You can see our statistics.

Nathan: Especially with all the translation that happens because it’s important to remember you know when Quebec and France view versions of that, you know, that also opens it up to Morocco, and the rest of the world that speaks French so, you know, with French and English. Do you know, what other language do we have?

Steve: The next big one was just Porchagese, we got up a couple of weeks ago, and there was a big bump one day from Brazil and Portugal and I was wondering why that was and it turned out we just posted a Porchagese translation. The other one’s Poland and I think, probably through John Cowan and his World Bank connections, they’re working on other languages, I’m not sure, but I think those are the big four; English, French, Porchagese and Polish. Chinese of course we’re working on too, Mandarin.

Nathan: Mandarin, right. For anyone that wants to get more information, the EE Global website is Do you know if there are any recordings of what was going on or it is one of those “have to be there in person to experience it” type deals?

Steve: I believe you had to be there in person to experience it. I actually did take a few voice notes on my phone and a couple of times I was thinking about this blog, how if I was just a little more prepared I have been almost live blogging some stuff. It wasn’t without some, you know, I think controversy or at least some emotional moments in the workshops where people were voicing opinions about where the future is for EM&V. I think as much as it came out positive that EVO has more than likely to continue to play and a further leadership role than now. There are still some questions as to how to manage the upcoming huge demand, whether it’s US stimulus bill, the energy legislate in the US, the global energy efficiency push or the state utility programs that are just blossoming all over. So big demand for me M&V. Some concerns over the costs, the start up costs to get some of these efforts going.

Nathan: And for anyone that would like to find out more information about EVO, our website is If you want to follow more timely updates, a few time a week we’re updating information on your blog at or Besides that where are you going to be next Steve?

Steve: Looks like we’re working with the NRDC in China and Beijing office. They have an energy center, they’re calling it, with experts in economics and technical experts doing M&V. We’re really looking forward to continue to push for standardized M&V across China both for M&V with our partner SGS, our affiliate there, and also with the state, federal and provincial governments there, NRDC and the provincial governments. We’re hoping to work with NRDC more directly there. I’m looking forward to going back to Beijing and pushing for China to adapt some standard protocol.

Nathan: Great we’ll have to check in with you after that.

Steve: That’ll be great.

Nathan: Alright, thank you. Steve: I’ll give a call from there.

Nathan: That’d be wondering if we could sync up our times well enough.

Steve: Right.

Nathan: Thank you very much Steve. Thanks for joining us. You can find this posted on our blog . Thanks a lot for listening everybody.

Nathan Shetterley ( New Media Director