Molly Podolefsky is a 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.
Speaking Engagements and Publications:
Podolefsky, M. & Hannigan, E., “Do You Ever Wonder What People Actually DO with Their Thermostats? --This Talk is For You,” invited talk and published paper, conference proceedings, 2019 National Conference of the Association of Energy Service Professionals, San Antonio, TX.
Podolefsky, M. & Joyce, M., “Who Will Partner with Utilities on Demand Reduction, Energy Storage and Renewable Generation? New Life for the Old “Gen Pop” Survey, invited talk, 2018 Behavior Energy and Climate Change Conference, Washington D.C.
Podolefsky, M. & Layton, D., “Improving Customer Satisfaction in Home Energy Report Programs without Sacrificing Savings,” invited talk and published paper, conference proceedings, 2018 National Conference of the Association of Energy Professionals, New Orleans, LA.
Podolefsky, M, “Staying Cool—Understanding Residential Air Conditioning Use Behavior,” invited talk, 2017 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change (BECC) Conference, Sacramento, CA.
Podolefsky, M., “Softening the Tone--Improving HER Program Satisfaction among Inefficient Energy Users,” invited talk at the 2016 Behavior Energy and Climate Change (BECC) Conference, Baltimore, MD.
Podolefsky, M., “Contingent Valuation: History, Methodology and Applicability to Non-Energy Benefits,” invited panelist on NEIs panel at the 2016 Efficiency Exchange, Coeur D’Alene, ID.
Hughes, J. and Podolefsky, M. (2015) “Getting Green with Solar Subsidies: Evidence from the California Solar Initiative,” Journal of Environmental and Resource Economists (JAERE), Vol. 2, No. 2, http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/680320
M. Podolefsky, “Residential Photovoltaic Uptake Response to Rebates: Analysis of California Markets,” invited talk presented at the 2012 8th Annual Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Vancouver, B.C
Ph.D., Economics, University of Colorado, Boulder B.A., Economics, University of Colorado, Boulder
Secretary of the Board, Rocky Mountain Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP)