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.

Open Sourcing Risky Business

A lot of the policy discussion, and many of our blog posts, focus on the difficult task of trying to slow climate change. It’s useful to remind ourselves of the difficulties associated with NOT slowing climate change. Last week, Michael … Continue reading

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An Energy Efficiency Parable

Here’s a story that captures a lot of the challenges we face as we try to improve energy efficiency. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t have a happy ending, but I’m holding out hope for the sequel. Many of us leave our … Continue reading

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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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