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James Mandel

Managing Director
  • Buildings

Jamie Mandel is the Managing Director of the Buildings Program at Rocky Mountain Institute. The Buildings program focuses on supporting the cost-effective decarbonization of the world’s buildings, which currently are responsible for 40% of global GHG emissions. Jamie leads work on net-zero energy district energy planning, deep energy retrofits, new technology, and policy, including the support of New York’s Carbon Neutral Buildings Roadmap, in the US as well as China and India. Prior to joining the Buildings program, Jamie was the Principal overseeing RMI’s distributed energy resources work, including solar, storage, and demand flexibility.


Prior to joining RMI, Jamie worked for McKinsey and Company on energy and sustainability topics.


Jamie holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. He is on the board of WattTime.org, an RMI market-affiliate focused on helping customers choose the cleaner power.


Basalt, CO

Twitter Handle


Authored Works
Outlet Blog Post

Fixed Charges Don’t ‘Fix’ the Problem

Pricing structures matter—not just for the timing of cost-effective solar-plus-battery economics but also how investment in solar-plus-battery systems might evolve and what the future electricity grid could look like.


The Economics of Battery Energy Storage: How Multi-use, Customer-sited Batteries Deliver the Most Services and Value to Customers and the Grid (Technical Appendix)

Utilities, regulators, and private industry have begun exploring how battery-based energy storage can provide value to the U.S. electricity grid at scale. However, exactly where energy storage is deployed on the electricity system can have an immense impact on the value created by the technology. With this report, we explore…

Outlet Blog Post

Report Release: The Economics of Load Defection

The Economics of Load Defection is a new report that analyzes how grid-connected solar-plus-battery systems will become cost competitive with traditional retail electric service and why it matters to financiers, regulators, utilities, and other electricity system stakeholders.

Outlet Blog Post

Fort Collins Steps Up, Approves Accelerated Climate Target

Sometimes leadership arises from impatience. In Fort Collins, Colorado—a city known for its pragmatic, can-do attitude—getting on with the business of reducing greenhouse gas emissions doesn’t have to wait for international treaties, federal mandates, or carbon taxes. This week, the Fort Collins City Council voluntarily adopted revised climate action goals…

Outlet Blog Post

Keep Solar Finance Weird? …Hopefully Not

If distributed solar is to attain anywhere close to the penetration levels RMI outlined in Reinventing Fire, its financing must become much more boring and less weird. It should start to look like everyday financing.

Outlet Blog Post

Solar Securitization

At the end of November, SolarCity issued the first publicly known solar asset-backed securitization (ABS), selling $54 million of bundled cash payments. It was a major milestone that many in the distributed solar industry have eagerly awaited.