What We Heard You Say…Best and Worst Quotes about Energy Efficiency

Oct. 4, 2013
Energy efficiency from Seinfield to lumberjacks. Here are some of the funny, provocative, brilliant – and sometimes outrageous – quotes we picked up in our recent reporting.

Thought we’d share some interesting things we heard and read in our recent reporting on energy efficiency.


Material for Jerry. “Energy efficiency is kind of like the Seinfeld show: It’s about nothing! It’s about the refrigerator that cools beer the same, but uses one-quarter the energy. Who knew? There’s a bias in the energy world to think of supply as Big Stuff, like powerplants, and efficiency as Small Stuff, like CFLs. But think about this: in 2010, U.S. markets spent $574 billion on efficiency technologies, and $170 billion on supply technologies. That’s a Big Difference.” — William Prindle, vice president, ICF International

Most worrisome

  • Sexism in Energy Efficiency? From an Arizona State University report that found businesses owned by women were 5.1 times less likely to pursue energy efficiency.  “Are women owners actually harder to sell on an upgrade than men, or could it be something about the marketing messages used, the nature of interaction between contractors and women owners, the nature of the economic sectors in which women tend to own businesses, the buildings they choose, the form of corporate organization, or some other factor?”

Biggest dilemma

  • Who really pays for distributed generation?On the utility side we have revenue decoupling. We are essentially made whole on delivery. So this is really just an enormous wealth transfer from people that install DG and are heavily subsidized to the poor and unsophisticated that are going to foot the bill for it. ” Robert Hoglund, senior vice president and CFO for Con Edison, answering a question at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2013 Power and Gas Leaders Conference about how New York regulators allow utilities to recover costs related to customer installation of distributed generation.


  • Lumberjack-meets-tattoo parlor fashion on Portland’s public transportion “Try leaving your car behind when visiting Portland; its efficient and low-cost public transportation system, TriMet, is a daily parade of independent fashion (tattoos! piercings! lumberjack boots!),” wrote cntraveler.com about Portland.Read the full story here: Portland’s Energy Efficiency: The Guilt Factor

Check in for more best and worst energy efficiency quotes here next week!

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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