Molly Podolefsky is an Associate Director in Navigant’s Energy practice in Boulder, Colorado. She brings considerable experience as an applied econometrician to energy efficiency and demand side management engagements. Prior to joining Navigant, Dr. Podolefsky earned her doctorate in Economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with an emphasis in energy and environmental economics, focusing her research on the effectiveness of solar incentives in California. Her dissertation utilizes a cutting-edge geographic discontinuity method to quantify the effectiveness of the California Solar Initiative at incentivizing residential solar adoption. This research was published in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (JAERE) in 2015.
During her tenure at Navigant, Dr. Podolefsky has served as project manager for engagements both with large investor-owned utilities and smaller municipal and cooperatively owned utilities. She currently manages a multi-year contract overseeing portfolio evaluation activities for Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and other Unisource gas and electric service providers. While many of her engagements involve overseeing utility-level portfolio evaluations or impact analysis for specific residential programs, other projects involve more specialized roles. In 2015, she served as project manager for an engagement with Iowa utilities and other stakeholders in the state. Her team conducted research on NTG current and best practices, and the relative merits and applicability of different NTG methods to Iowa utilities. Dr. Podolefsky and her team facilitated dialogue and agreement between the state’s utilities, environmental groups and the Office of Consumer Advocate in planning a path forward for a new state-wide approach to NTG.
Most of Dr. Podolefsky’s work involves regression analysis and econometric modelling to measure the effects of residential behavioral programs, thermostats and connected technologies on energy and demand savings. While some of these analyses utilize randomized controlled trials (RCTs), others require the use of matching methodologies to create matched comparison groups. Dr. Podolefsky is currently leading research to calibrate statewide Tier 3 thermostat savings in Michigan, and to study the effects of weather on air conditioner use and demand response program opt-out behavior in Massachusetts. She also has considerable experience in the design and implementation of survey instruments and other process evaluation activities to understand participant behavior and inform effective program design. She is currently leading market assessment work for the New Hampshire utilities around NH Saves program awareness and marketing, and managing research for the California investor-owned utilities on health and safety related non-energy benefits of Low Income programs.
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