Alexandra Dunn



Dr. Alex Dunn is a cognitive psychologist and linguist who channels her quest to understand human behavior into providing insightful energy research findings. She has well over a decade of applied research experience, most of which are in the energy industry. Alex excels at leading large-scale research projects for utilities, statewide, and national stakeholders in area including rate design, midstream market transformation, and marketing assessments. She believes in using non-traditional methods and out-of-the-box thinking to help find fresh and creative ways to answer clients’ burning questions. Alex dexterously combines qualitative and quantitative elements into research designs that provide implementation-ready insight. Alex is a great cook, and when she is not puzzling over research methods, you can find her whipping up something tasty in the kitchen.

Alex is located in Portland, OR.

Related Resources

The Hidden Cost of Free

Anne Dougherty talks with ILLUME’s Dr. Alex Dunn and Erin Allingham about the intersection of cognitive psychology and behavioral economics, two fields of study that can help us better understand utility customer nonparticipation and other behaviors.
Click on the title to listen to the podcast.

Other: Navigating Work and the Workplace When Your Experience is Not the Norm. (Ep. 2)

In this episode, ILLUME’s Dr. Alex Dunn and Victor Mercado talk about the Latino/Latina/Latinx experience in the workplace and share insights on what it means to show up to the workplace when your experience is different than that of those around you.
Click on the title to listen to the podcast.

Unpacking the Meaning Behind Value, Cost, and Price in a Time of Climate Shocks

Extreme weather events nearly always result in the same outcome: power failures. When this happens, utilities can activate incident command protocols and procedures to quickly restore power. But what about those mechanisms to restore customer confidence? How do utilities stand up and restore value in a time of persistent climate shocks?
Click on the title to read the case study.

Holistic Customer Segmentation: An Innovative Approach for Utilities to Drive Customer Value and Profits

ILLUME was contracted by a regional utility to conduct a customer segmentation study that coupled demographic data with satisfaction and engagement behaviors across multiple programs and business functions.
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Evaluating Workforce Programs – Toward Designing more Effective and Creative Interventions

In this white paper presented at the ACEEE Summer Study 2022 Conference, we share research conducted for the state of Connecticut. This study reviewed programs in place around the country, as well as within the state. Written by Alex Dunn, Liz Kelley, Riana Johnson, with co-authors Lisa Skumatz (SERA), and Bob Wirtshafter (Wirtshafter Associates), this white paper will show our findings and recommendations on how to deliver effective workforce development program improvement.
Click on the title to read the white paper.

Maximizing Impact and Equity with Innovative Policy Strategies

Crack the code to transform federal, state, and local policies into tangible, equitable impact during this webinar with ILLUME Directors, Dr. Alex Dunn, Pace Goodman, and Leigh Michael. Moderated by Dr. Sydney G. Roberts (SEEA). 
Click on the title to watch the webinar.

Cold Climate Demonstration Installation & Water Heater Installer Focus Group Research

NEEA hired ILLUME Advising to pursue two concurrent studies around water heater installers. The first was intended to focus on observational research of cold climate HPWH installations in the Northwest to better understand the depth of previously established installation challenges. The second study was geared to better understand any challenges installers and plumbers in the region might face around recommending and installing HPWHs in existing single-family homes.
Click on the title to read the report.

Addressing Challenges in Heat Pump Water Heater Adoption

ILLUME conducted an ethnographic research study to explore the magnitude of installation challenges for heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) in cold-climate zones. ILLUME aimed to shed light on why adoption and installation barriers…

Natural Gas Water Heating and HVAC Installer Research Report

In their NEEA report, Alex Dunn, Liz Kelley, Shannon Kahl, Amanda Maass, and Andrew Mielcarek share their observations about the supply chain from research with Pacific Northwest HVAC and water-heating equipment contractors.
Click on the title to read the report.

ENERGY STAR® Retail Products Platform (RPP): Conditions and Considerations in Evaluating Market Transformation Programs and Evaluation Guidance for RPP

In their report for SEE Action, Sara Conzemius and Alex Dunn provide guidance that can be used for estimating energy savings impacts resulting from midstream market transformation programs with specific focus on RPP.
Click on the title to read the report.