For nearly a decade at the Regulatory Assistance Project, Ken has advocated for new approaches to energy efficiency and flexibility, even when making those changes is difficult.
Congratulations to Ken Colburn as he prepares for a well-deserved retirement and continued vision for our industry.
In his recent OpEd in Utility Dive, he once again articulated the challenges he sees in the industry, along with his vision for its future, calling out the need for efficiency to be restructured to behave more like an investment in grid management than a public welfare program.
Imagine if, instead of paying for energy efficiency improvements through arcane ratepayer programs, we paid for them with project financing like we do power plants or transmission lines … The power sector is rapidly transforming, and our thinking about energy efficiency needs to evolve with it.
Fortunately, as Ken argues, coupled with smart-meter technology, the rapid growth of solar and wind power offers an opportunity for efficiency and flexibility to become truly complementary load-shifting resources that reward savings based on when they are most valuable in order to speed the rapid decarbonization of our economy. It's an optimistic vision that we at Recurve share.
Ken has challenged us to do better, to be better. We thank him for his support and advice over the past several years. He has taken the time to introduce us to new people in crowded NARUC halls and receptions, challenged us to write down our full vision for the future in the Electricity Journal, given shout outs from the podium of ACEEE Energy Efficiency as a Resource.
We wish Ken all the best in retirement, and we will do our best to continue to demonstrate the power and value of demand flexibility as a meaningful grid resource.