Author Archives: Catherine Wolfram

About Catherine Wolfram

Catherine Wolfram is the Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration at the Haas School of Business, Co-Director of the Energy Institute at Haas, and a Faculty Director of The E2e Project. Her research analyzes the impact of environmental regulation on energy markets and the effects of electricity industry privatization and restructuring around the world. She is currently implementing several randomized control trials to evaluate energy efficiency programs.

Will Smog in China Spur Climate Solutions?

I have read a number of news stories about air pollution in the major Chinese cities recently. A soupy smog of particulates, ozone, sulfur and nitrogen oxides hangs over Beijing, Tianjin and other northern cities. The concentration of particulate matter … Continue reading

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Why Aren’t We Talking About Net Energy Metering for LEDs?

The fights over net energy metering have gotten loud and heated. For those of you who have missed the drama, here, in a nutshell, is what “net metering” means. Say I install enough solar panels on my roof to provide … Continue reading

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How Much Energy are We Flushing Down the Drain?

California is in the middle of a drought. In the Bay Area, that has meant day after day of glorious, uncharacteristically sunny winter weather. But, I am haunted by media images of dry creek beds and by my own mental … Continue reading

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Would a Nest Help My Family Save Energy?

Since my husband and I both work in the energy industry, we often exchange energy-themed gifts. He has given me energy books (my favorite was American Power by Mitch Epstein filled with beautiful art-shots of power plants), power plant trading … Continue reading

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Smart Meters but Dumb Pricing? Not in Sacramento

Smart meters are supposed to give you more control over your electricity bills. As a PG&E customer, I can log onto a website and look at our household smart meter data, which shows our consumption hour-by-hour. That’s how we learned … Continue reading

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How California’s K-12 Schools Can Teach Us About Energy Efficiency

California has long been a leading indicator of national energy-efficiency trends. The state passed minimum efficiency standards for refrigerators in 1976, 11 years before the federal government adopted similar standards. And, the recent Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards are based … Continue reading

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Sunk Costs and Driving Decisions?

Do people who buy more expensive vehicles drive more? At first, the answer to that question seems obvious. Within a certain income group, people who are going to spend a lot of time in their cars are willing to invest … Continue reading

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What’s the Point of an Electricity Storage Mandate?

An aptly named picture – the “duck graph” – is captivating the California energy policy world. It depicts electricity demand net of projected renewable generation (“net load”) on a representative day in the not too distant future. One point of … Continue reading

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Power Africa: Observations from Kenya

During his trip to Africa at the end of June, President Obama announced the Power Africa initiative. The press release highlighted several goals, including adding generation capacity in the six target countries, which include Kenya, and increasing the number of … Continue reading

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The MPG Illusion

It’s the beginning of summer, which means the beginning of driving season. Perhaps anticipating summer driving, many people bought new vehicles last month, putting automakers on track to have the best year since 2007. So, here’s a question, particularly for … Continue reading

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