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Funding for High Efficiency Street Lighting in Illinois

MEEA Unplugged Blog - February 25, 2015 - 3:01pm

The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation has released a grant opportunity for Illinois public entities who are interested in upgrading their municipal owned and operated streetlights. As part of their Street and Roadway Lighting Pilot Program, this grant opportunity is an excellent method to start a retrofit pilot project converting existing streetlights to LEDs, possibly even including adaptive controls for dimming. Requirement is for the public entity to own their own streetlights or the portion of streetlights included in the grant must be owned by the public entity.

The grant provides up to $25,000 for development of a new Pilot Program for energy efficient street and roadway lighting improvement. These funds can be combined with DCEO Illinois Energy Now Incentives to cover up to 100% of total project cost.

The intent of the Pilot Program is to evaluate fixture performance and better understand project costs and energy savings. Grants may pay for upgrades to the fixture (lamps, ballasts and/or controls) in street and/or roadway outdoor lighting systems that reduce electricity consumption. Grants are only made available to projects that are no further along than the lighting evaluation and design stage. Replacement of poles, arms, foundations and other required infrastructure equipment to accommodate the new lamp fixture is not eligible. Project applications are due by March 13, 2015.

For more information, see http://www.illinoiscleanenergy.org/street-roadway-lighting-program/
For additional resources and assistance in municipal lighting projects, speak with Steve Kismohr, Sr. Technical Manager, skismohr@mwalliance.org or Rose Jordan, Programs Manager – Lighting and Education, rjordan@mwalliance.org.

Midwest LUMEN: Connecting Peers Across Midwest Utility Lighting Programs

MEEA Unplugged Blog - February 17, 2015 - 9:55am

Midwest LUMEN January Meeting

On January 27 and 28, 2015, representatives from eight Midwest utilities (including MEEA Members Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Dayton Power & Light, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, EKPC,  and MidAmerican Energy, as well as Kansas City Power and Light) met in Chicago to discuss advanced lighting and advanced lighting controls programs. Topics varied from NEEP’s Commercial Advanced Lighting Controls (CALC) initiative, to midstream market efforts, to marketing advanced lighting programs and more. Once again, this proved an excellent forum for information sharing across utility boundaries.

Advanced Lighting Reception and 2015 Midwest Advanced Lighting Solutions Guide

Midwest LUMEN Members were joined by more than 30 additional lighting stakeholders and MEEA staff for the January 27 Advanced Lighting Reception where MEEA officially released the 2015 edition of the Midwest Advanced Lighting Solutions Guide, featuring solutions from MEEA members Ecova and TCP Lighting. Members had a great time meeting old and new friends and energy efficiency colleagues from around the Midwest (and the country) before the launch of the 2014 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference. MEEA’s Interim Deputy Director, Bill Angelos and Midwest LUMEN Chair and MEEA Board Member Vicki Campbell offered warm welcoming remarks, speaking to the important role that groups like Midwest LUMEN have on fostering greater collaboration across the region.

About Midwest LUMEN

Midwest LUMEN connects utility employees to share information, leverage resources, engage in strategic planning and coordinate program efforts; helps utilities hit aggressive efficiency targets; and delivers targeted information from leaders throughout the advanced lighting industry to the network.

The group meets tri-annually and is currently open to utility employees from throughout MEEA’s Midwest footprint. Contact Rose Jordan at rjordan@mwalliance.org for more information.

Innovative Projects Engage Consumers, Businesses in Energy Savings via Technology Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Inspiring Efficiency Award Winners Celebrated

MEEA Unplugged Blog - February 12, 2015 - 2:47pm

The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) celebrates nine winners that helped Midwestern businesses and consumers save energy and money in new and innovative ways. The recipients of MEEA’s 2015 Inspiring Efficiency Awards include:

  • The development of an interactive smart phone app, which allows residential electric customers to see their energy usage in real-time.
  • An initiative that has helped to make Chicago a more affordable, competitive and sustainable city.
  • An industry leader who developed and managed an energy efficiency program portfolio that achieved the highest natural gas savings in the U.S.
  • Innovative new program to advance energy efficiency in low income housing, saving residents energy and money.

“These organizations, programs and individuals showcase the many benefits of energy efficiency, from saving money for consumers and businesses, to saving energy and creating new technologies and innovative programs,” said MEEA Interim Executive Director Stacey Paradis. “MEEA is pleased to recognize this group of winners as part of the 11th Annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards’”

The winners were honored at the Inspiring Efficiency Awards dinner and gala on Thursday, Jan. 29, during MEEA’s 13th annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference (www.mwalliance.org/conference/). The three-day conference, which ended Jan. 30 and was hosted at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, is the largest regional energy efficiency conference in the Midwest. The event brings together a broad range of private and public sector thought leaders in energy strategy, policy, technology and program design and implementation.

The Inspiring Efficiency Awards competition recognizes Midwest energy efficiency leaders in five categories: Leadership, Education, Impact, Innovation and Marketing. MEEA also honors one winner with the Inspiring Efficiency Chairman’s Award. Award recipients for 2015 included:

  • Education Award:
    • Nicor Gas won for its “What’s in the Box?” campaign that creatively simplified energy efficiency for homeowners and encouraged participation in Nicor Gas’ cost and energy saving programs.
  • Impact Awards:
    • The Illinois Public Housing Authority Efficient Living Program by the Illinois Public Housing Authority through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Architecture is one of the few public sector programs in the nation to influence energy and cost saving measures at local public housing authorities. The program helped install 97,510 energy saving measures at 52 of 99 public housing authorities in Illinois.
    • Retrofit Chicago by the City of Chicago won for its role in helping to drive energy efficiency improvements, and associated cost savings, job creation and greenhouse gas reductions, in Chicago’s residential, commercial and municipal sectors.
  • Innovation Award:
    • AEP Ohio was honored for its Continuous Energy Improvement Program, one of the first Strategic Energy Management Programs in the U.S. to apply a full treatment of energy use in large industrial facilities.
    • DTE Energy was celebrated for its DTE insight app, which allows customers to see their energy usage in real-time allowing them to change their habits, saving more money and energy.
  • Marketing Award:
    • Nicor Gas also won for its Customer Journey Strategy. The strategy involved examining program interactions, removing barriers to participation, and redesigning marketing, outreach and communications strategies, to be customer-centered.
  • Leadership Award:
    • Carol Stemrich, demand side manager for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, won the leadership award for playing a key role in launching Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency program. Carol’s vision and passion helped establish Wisconsin as a national leader in energy efficiency.
    • Jim Jerozal, managing director of energy efficiency at Nicor Gas, was honored for developing a program portfolio that resulted in more natural gas savings last year than any other energy efficiency program in the U.S.
  • Chairman’s Award:
    • Tim Melloch, retired director of energy efficiency services at ComEd, became known as the ComEd Energy Doctor. He is honored for his role in managing one of the nation’s largest and most cost-effective energy efficiency portfolios, and for his role in helping ComEd customers reduce energy consumption by approximately 8.5 million MWh and save more than $800 million on their electric bills. The former chairman of the board of MEEA retired from ComEd in August 2014.

View the Storify recap from that evening.

More information about the Inspiring Efficiency Awards and this year’s recipients can be found at www.meeaconference.org.

2015 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference Recap

MEEA Unplugged Blog - February 3, 2015 - 4:52pm

Thanks to all who attended the 13th Annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference last week in Chicago. More than 600 energy leaders from throughout the nation at the Chicago Hilton and Towers to explore energy issues.

Last week’s conference addressed emerging energy industry trends, taking on critical questions such as:
• How can utilities turn consumer interest in energy efficiency into long-term action?
• Why is it important for businesses and governments to make energy efficiency investments part of long-term strategies?
• What are the challenges and solutions to saving energy in Midwestern agricultural operations?
• What is Utility 2.0 and is it the utility business model of the future?

Other conference highlights included:

Wednesday, Jan. 28
• Keynote remarks by Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Director for the Office of Air and Radiation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
• Energy Efficiency and the Clean Power Plan: A Choose Your Own Adventure for States: With the release of the U.S. EPA’s draft Clean Power Plan, states will need to weigh supply- and demand-side options in relation to one another. Panelists including Doug Scott, former chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, and Philip Mihlmester, ICF International executive vice president, explored the factors that influence these decisions including resource potential, costs and reliability impacts.
• Under the Influence: How are Behavior Change Programs Going beyond Initial Influence to Achieve Sustained Energy Savings?: Social marketing and customized data have the power to catch community interest, but how can utilities turn that interest into long-term action? This panel looked at several emerging behavior-changing programs and the tactics used to leverage momentum into persistent savings.

Thursday, Jan. 29
• The Brave New World of Integrated Efficiency: Panelists discussed the potential for Integrated Efficiency in the Midwest and activities that could result in a large expansion of energy efficiency technologies in the near future. They also discussed business model innovations that will enable market transformations.
• Agricultural Energy Efficiency: A Midwestern Imperative: Opportunities to save energy in Midwestern agricultural operations and rural small businesses abound, yet significant barriers still remain. Panelists identified challenges, solutions and next steps to take in the Midwest.
• Friends with Non-energy Benefits: Beyond the Monetary Savings of Energy Efficiency: The benefits of energy efficiency for the customer are extensive: monetary savings, improved comfort and safety, increased employee productivity and better brand positioning. This panel explored the latest trends in measuring and marketing these non-energy benefits and presented a case study.
• 11th Annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards Dinner and Gala. MEEA presented awards in Education, Innovation, Impact, Marketing and Leadership and announced the 2015 Chairman’s Award winner.

Friday, Jan. 30
• Keynote remarks by Terry Proffer from Major Geothermal on behalf of IKEA.
• Surfing Advanced Lighting’s Cutting Edge…Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond: The digitization of lighting technology continues to drive transformative change. Efficiency, integrated control systems and consumer expectations are evolving in the new LED landscape. Panelists discussed what’s currently possible in efficient lighting systems, and gave a glimpse into the next wave for residential, commercial and industrial markets.
• The Most Known Unknowns: The Future of Energy Efficiency in an Uncertain Environment: Recognized as valuable contributions to our resource mix, energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) face an uncertain future in organized energy markets. Panelists presented the effects of recent regulatory proceedings on the future role of EE and DR in capacity markets and opportunities and challenges for businesses bidding into these markets.

For a detailed conference agenda, visit www.meeaconference.org.


photo credit: Rebecca Sack

Upcoming Webinar: ESPC 2.0: How a New Generation of Energy Savings Performance Contracting is Improving Energy Efficiency in U.S. Buildings

MEEA Unplugged Blog - January 22, 2015 - 11:18am

On Tuesday, Feb 3, 2015, at 2-3pm CST, join Better Buildings Challenge Partners and Allies to learn how Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) is expanding to new sectors, including and beyond municipal and state governments, to impact building energy efficiency. In this webinar, learn how your organization can take advantage of ESPCs to see long-term energy savings in your buildings with limited upfront investment.  A representative from the U.S. Department of Energy will also introduce DOE’s ESPC Accelerator – a high impact program designed to support expansion of ESPCs among state and local governments.


The Better Buildings Challenge supports commercial and industrial building owners by providing technical assistance and examples of proven, energy efficiency solutions. It also celebrates the accomplishments of those signed onto the challenge of committing to reduce the energy across their building portfolios by 20 percent or more over ten years. These include U.S. companies, universities, school districts, multi-family organizations, and state and local governments. The monthly webinar series showcase with the solutions they have implemented, along with the replicable results they have achieved. The program also provides a forum for matching Partners and Allies together to enhance collaboration and problem solving in energy efficiency.


To attend the webinar on ESPCs, sign up here:  https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/309587319

For more information on the Better Buildings Challenge contact Steve Kismohr, Senior Technical Manager at skismohr@mwalliance.org or 312.784.7257.

11th Annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards – Leadership

MEEA Unplugged Blog - January 21, 2015 - 9:44am

This week MEEA is announcing the final list of nominees for the 2015 Inspiring Efficiency Awards in the Leadership category. We are looking forward to honoring these candidates and their ongoing contributions to energy efficiency at this year’s Inspiring Efficiency Awards Dinner and Gala.

The Inspiring Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award is presented to the organization or individual who has served as a strong leader in support of energy efficiency in their city, state, region, company, or community. Candidates may include state and local political leaders, regulatory officials, legislators, state agency directors, corporations, or other policymakers who have been exceptional in their support of energy efficiency.

  • Carol Stemrich, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, Focus on Energy Program
  • ComEd Energy Efficiency, George Malek
  • Deb Sundin Director of DSM and Renewable Strategy, Xcel Energy
  • The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC)
  • Illinois Green Economy Network
  • James (Jim) Jerozal, Managing Director, Energy Efficiency, Nicor Gas
  • Tom Kurucz, Deputy Superintendent, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District
  • Mark Barich, Facilities Engineering – Energy Manager, Summa Health System

To find out who will take home this award, join us for the Inspiring Efficiency Awards Dinner and Gala during the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, January 29th. For more information, visit the conference website: www.mwalliance.org/conference/.

DOE Seeks Input on Definition of Zero Energy Buildings

MEEA Unplugged Blog - January 13, 2015 - 5:01pm

Designing and managing the use of a low energy using building or one that intends to use less than half (50%) of the typical building of its size and occupancy is a difficult process. However, design teams and building owners are beginning to create buildings which use as little energy as possible, while producing only the amount they need – on or near the building site. These types of buildings are called Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) or Net Zero Energy (NZE) Buildings.

Although these ultra-low energy buildings have been built and are in use, there are not commonplace in our current, Midwest building stock. A retail building was recently completed by Walgreens in Evanston, IL. On the residential side, Habitat for Humanity in Northwestern Wisconsin completed a set of homes this autumn which follow a similar definition. Earlier in 2009, the Washington University in St. Louis completed the Tyson Learning Center in rural Missouri. The U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) is interested in developing a commonly-accepted definitions and nomenclature of Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) or Net Zero Energy (NZE) Buildings (the specific term might be something to comment on itself!) in a newly released, Federal Register document.

Specifically, DOE would like public input on define “zero-energy buildings,” and how to designate buildings that meet various standards toward net-zero. A common definition could assist to set guidelines that could help governments, private companies, and others in construction industry have a goal to reach for and achieve, while simultaneously using the same standard to recognize those buildings who do meet the agreed upon requirements. Some may see this as a means to continually move the market towards low energy buildings and further reductions of greenhouse gas/CO2 emissions – goals many Federal, State, and local governments have already established. To others, it could suggest influencing future generations of the building energy code or green building certification programs. The Living Future Institute is one such organization who already has set up the Living Building Challenge program using a set of criteria to certify buildings who achieve a number of ultra, low-impact features, including those termed as a “Net Zero Energy Building.”

For more information on the U.S. DOE Request for Information (RFI) recently released in the Federal Register, follow this link. There is plenty of opportunity to voice your opinion on the matter through the public comment period. U.S. DOE has not suggested this information will immediately influence their goals, but will help clarify the working definition we all use. Comments are not due until 2/20/15, while a report on the findings and comments is slated for late 2015.

For more information on benchmarking, building data collection, and the next generation of places we inhabit, contact Steve Kismohr, MEEA’s Senior Technical Manager, at skismohr@mwalliance.org or 312.784.7257.

Upcoming Event: Getting to Zero National Forum, Washington, DC, February 1 -3, 2015

MEEA Unplugged Blog - January 13, 2015 - 4:55pm

Please see below for information on the Getting to Zero National Forum, courtesy of New Buildings Institute, Rocky Mountain Institute, and NASEO:


Join Leading Practitioners and Policymakers to Discuss the Future of Commercial Buildings

New Buildings Institute, Rocky Mountain Institute, and NASEO will host a second Getting to Zero National Forum, February 1-3, 2015 in Washington D.C. The Forum will gather policymakers, design professionals, building owners, and real estate representatives to share perspectives on the growth of zero energy commercial building policies and projects.  The event takes place prior to NASEO’s 2015 Energy Policy Outlook Conference.

Over 40 leading experts, three plenary sessions, and four breakout tracks will cover a broad range of issues, including the technical and operational considerations for creating and maintaining zero energy performance, business perspectives on cost and value, and taking zero energy buildings from policy to practice.  The sessions are especially suited for State Energy Office staff, NASEO Affiliates, and other organizations interested in high performance commercial buildings.  The full program is available on the Forum website.

Location, Registration, and Sponsorship

The Getting to Zero National Forum will be held at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC.  The room block is limited and expires on January 9, so reserve today by calling 800-441-1414. Mention “NBI” to receive the reduced Forum rate. You can also reserve online at https://resweb.passkey.com/go/nbi.

For a list of registration options, visit the Forum website.

If you are interested in attending NASEO’s 2015 Energy Policy Outlook Conference, separate registration and accommodations are available through NASEO’s conference page.  Both events take place at the Fairmont Hotel.

For information about sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities for the Getting to Zero Forum and Energy Policy Outlook Conference, please contact Chris Wagner at cwagner@naseo.org.


BOC Veterans Program Veteran Highlight: Florance Clanton

MEEA Unplugged Blog - January 13, 2015 - 4:35pm

Florance Clanton of Glenwood, IL is one of several scholarship recipients for the Building Operator Certification Veterans Program. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Recycling and Energy Office provides tuition scholarships for this eight day training program for unemployed or underemployed veterans in the state of Illinois as part of the Illinois Energy Now Program. MEEA spoke with Florance to discuss her experience with the BOC program.

1.      What interested you about the Building Operator Certification Program?

I have a Stationary Engineer license. This program allows me to gain more knowledge in the world of energy efficiency. I Know no matter where I am working, I will bring the knowledge to be more energy efficient to the job to help save cost to my employer.

2.      Tell us about yourself – what experience do you have with building systems?

I worked for the Chicago Board of Education for twenty four years. I started in the construction trade as a Glazier. I was promoted to assistant Glazing Forman. I was attending college at night until I graduated from undergraduate school with a BS, in Environmental Science and then on to graduate school for a degree in Business Management in Environmental Science/Building management.

After school I was promoted to the Bur, of Arch. While working there I applied to the Stationary Engineer program it was a four year study program. In this program you learn about all building systems and recording keeping and preventive maintenance for buildings. I trained at twenty different school buildings to learn the operations and the environmental concerns of each school: Asbestos, Lead, Radon, Mold, Hazmat waste in the schools.

3.      What was your favorite part of the BOC program?


There were many things that I liked about my classes. The class had team sprit we all talked to each other about work and the classes. We had class projects to in class and at work/home to do. I think the first class was very good; my next best was the Environmental class.

4.      What type of position are you hoping to get in the operations and maintenance field?

I worked as a Project Manager for five years in the environmental field. I am open to any suggestions about career choices this is a new start for me. I do enjoy teaching others and so I’d like to perhaps pursue a position where I would be instructing others on energy efficiency strategies.

There are some big thank you’s I must include in this This my support team I want to say thank you to everyone I could not do it alone thank you for the help and support  from ComEd I appreciate it more than I can tell you.

Jennifer Allen, Program Manager, MEEA, Paul Pipik ,Veterans Coordinator, Prairie State College Vicki J. Evers, Regional Facility Manager, Jones Lang LaSalle Richard Reyes, FMP, Manager of facility Operations William Burns PE, Senior Engineer Com Ed Dale Williams CEM, Senior Engineer, Com Ed Charles Daniels, Building Engineer, Com Ed

11th Annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards – Marketing

MEEA Unplugged Blog - January 12, 2015 - 11:05am

As we continue our countdown to the 2015 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference we are happy to share the list of nominees for this year’s Inspiring Efficiency Award in the Marketing category.


The Inspiring Efficiency through Marketing Award will be presented to the nominee that has engaged in or supported a marketing campaign, program, strategy, or idea to increase the adoption of energy efficient products and/or best practices in the Midwest region. National programs may be nominated as long as there is a clear Midwest benefit.


  • AEP Ohio (sponsoring utility) and CB&I (program designer and implementer)
  • Alliant Energy
  • Ameren Illinois ActOnEnergy® Business Program
  • Columbia Gas of Ohio
  • ComEd’s Fridge and Freezer Recycling (FFR) program
  • ComEd’s Smart Ideas for Your Home (SIFYH)
  • Consumers Energy Smart Energy™ Challenge
  • Dayton Power and Light Company
  • Focus on Energy Lighting Incentive Catalog
  • Michigan Commercial & Industrial Energy Conference, MCIEC
  • Nicor Gas, energySMART, Customer Journey Marketing Strategy
  • Urbana-Champaign ENERGY STAR Challenge
  • Xcel Energy – Energy Efficient Showerhead Program


To find out who will take home this award, join us for the Inspiring Efficiency Awards Dinner and Gala during the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, January 29th. For more information, visit the conference website: www.mwalliance.org/conference/.

The Results are in – the City of Chicago Releases their first year of Benchmarking Data

MEEA Unplugged Blog - December 18, 2014 - 3:19pm

Congratulations to the City of Chicago in the release of it’s first-ever energy benchmarking report from data collected under their Energy Benchmarking Ordinance! The 2014 City of Chicago Building Energy Benchmarking Report found millions of dollars in potential savings in the city’s largest, non-residential buildings. The findings are based on the first set of benchmarking data from 2013, provided by building owners and managers (or their representatives) who have measured, verified, and reported their energy usage with the free, web-based EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.

The citywide effort included 348 of Chicago’s largest buildings, representing 260 million square feet of space and approximately 11% of citywide building energy consumption. Following the ordinance language, owners of municipal and commercial buildings greater than 250,000 square feet submitted their previous year’s energy use. Unsurprisingly, Chicago reported a 90+% compliance rate among buildings covered by the ordinance.

Why isn’t it a surprise you ask? The City of Chicago’s benchmarking ordinance incorporated the perspectives from a large variety of stakeholders throughout the process. They merged viewpoints from these stakeholders into a cohesive law. Additional feedback was further embedded into the implementation process as a means to explain to the building community how they can most easily meet the ordinance requirements. This package of support included FAQ documents, a website, and a Help Center – was developed in tandem with a series of free, public training sessions (live and webcast). With MEEA’s assistance during this development, these devices helped support building owners through the quick process of collecting, processing, and reporting their data. It didn’t hurt that many of the initial stakeholders also became ambassadors of these supporting mechanisms.

Chicago’s report is also unique to other cities’ versions by the inclusion of perspectives of five different building owners. Viewpoints from owners or managers of a commercial office building, a City of Chicago K-12 school, a hospital, a university auditorium building, and the Museum of Science and Industry were noted throughout the report. Each highlighted building included a quote from the building manager, as well as a tip – describing an action that was already incorporated to assist in the reduction of energy consumption of the building. These viewpoints will aid current and future building owners understand the myriad of different options they can implement to achieve energy savings.

MEEA has been honored to work extensively with the City of Chicago and their partners throughout their process towards this first year of benchmarking data reporting or transparency. The second and thi
rd phases of the benchmarking ordinance implementation will run through 2016 to include commercial, municipal, and residential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet. MEEA will continue to play a role in supporting Chicago and other Midwest Cities develop t

heir benchmarking initiatives. For more information on how benchmarking can assist your city meet its sustainability goals and reduce overall energy use, contact Steve Kismohr, Senior Technical Manager at skismohr@mwalliance.org or 312.784.7257.

11th Annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards – Innovation

MEEA Unplugged Blog - December 18, 2014 - 2:25pm

We would like to congratulate all the nominees who have made the shortlist for this year’s Inspiring Efficiency Award in the Innovation category. The variety and number of nominations we received this year was very impressive.

The Inspiring Efficiency through Innovation Award will be presented to the nominee that has developed and implemented a new and innovative program, idea or policy in the Midwest. While the concept of the program, idea or policy may have been implemented elsewhere, the applicant will need to clearly detail why the program, idea or policy and its impact is unique to the region and new to the marketplace.

  • AEP Ohio’s Continuous Energy Improvement Program (CEI)
  • AEP Ohio Energy Efficiency/Peak Demand Reduction (EE/PDR)
  • AEP Ohio, Lime Energy – Express Program
  • Bruner Corporation / Licking Heights School District
  • DesignLights Consortium Qualified Products List
  • DTE Energy / Energy Efficiency / DTE Insight
  • Focus On Energy – Multifamily Energy Savings Program
  • Focus On Energy – Large Energy Users (LEU)
  • Illinois Energy Now: Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Public Sector Energy Efficiency Program
  • Nicor Gas – Energy-Saving Kit Reachback Campaign
  • SEMCO ENERGY Gas Company
  • The Urbana-Champaign ENERGY STAR Challenge
  • Veritatis Advisors
  • Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy Enhanced Rewards Program

To find out who will take home this award, join us for the Inspiring Efficiency Awards Dinner and Gala during the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, January 29th. For more information, visit the conference website: www.meeaconference.org.

Upcoming Webinar on Public Sector Energy Data Collection and Tracking

MEEA Unplugged Blog - December 18, 2014 - 10:20am

Implementing a robust and comprehensive energy tracking and measurement process can be a challenge. A webinar on December 18th at 1pm CST will cover DOE’s Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program Office’s step-by-step guide with best practices for state and local governments and school districts. The presentation will also demonstrate the value of an energy data tracking effort.

Specifically, the guide addresses the following topics:

  1. Creating a comprehensive energy asset inventory
  2. Streamlining access to utility data
  3. Leveraging data management tools
  4. Optimizing the organizational structure for portfolio-wide energy data tracking
  5. Driving engagement and communicating results

This presentation will include an overview of the upcoming document, “Best Practices in Energy Data Collection and Tracking in the Public Sector.” The webinar will feature the US Department of Energy’s Mona Khalil (who was featured during the MEEA Benchmarking and Codes Conference) and the guide that she developed on this topic, as well as Jeff Hamman, the Energy Specialist with Portland Public Schools in Oregon. Jeff will showcase the school district’s efforts of energy data management (collection and use). The webinar is being presented through DOE’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP), and is available to anyone interested in learning about data collection, use of the information, and how to manage it in ongoing operations.

Find out more about the event here. For more information on collecting building energy data contact Steve Kismohr, MEEA’s Senior Technical Manager, at skismohr@mwalliance.org or 312.784.7257.


11th Annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards – Impact

MEEA Unplugged Blog - December 8, 2014 - 10:56am

As MEEA continues its preparations for the 2015 MES Conference we are proud to present the nominees for the Inspiring Efficiency Award in the Impact category.

The Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award will be presented to the organization that has made a significant contribution to market transformation either through the implementation of a specific program or through a policy change. The applicant will need to clearly demonstrate the measurable & significant impact that the program or policy has had on reducing energy consumption, altering public behaviors/practices, and/or increasing the market penetration of energy-efficient products and technologies in the Midwest. This award covers the residential, commercial, institutional, agricultural and industrial sectors.

  • AEP Ohio’s Data Center Program
  • Ameren Illinois ActOnEnergy® All Electric Homes (AEH) Program
  • Ameren Illinois ActOnEnergy®  Small Business Direct Install (SBDI) Program
  • City of Chicago, Retrofit Chicago Program
  • City of Minneapolis
  • ComEd Smart Ideas® Small Business Energy Savings (SBES) Geo-targeted Campaigns
  • Dayton Power and Light (DP&L)
  • Focus on Energy: Chain Stores and Franchises Program
  • Focus on Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Resource Program
  • Focus on Energy: Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program
  • Illinois Energy Now: Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Public Sector Energy Efficiency Program
  • Illinois Public Housing Authority Efficient Living Energy Program (ILPHA)
  • Michigan Electric Cooperative Association
  • Nicor Gas – energySMART
  • NTC’s Trickle Up! Program
  • Urban Innovations, Ltd.

To find out who will take home this award, join us for the Inspiring Efficiency Awards Dinner and Gala during the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, January 29th. For more information, visit the conference website: www.mwalliance.org/conference/.

MEEA Policy Webinar: The New Political Landscape for Energy Efficiency in the Midwest

MEEA Unplugged Blog - December 2, 2014 - 2:21pm

Wednesday, December 10

10:00 – 11:30 am CST

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/200000000028861204


Join MEEA as we take a deeper look at the post-election political landscape throughout the Midwest region. This webinar will outline the results of the November 2014 elections, including gubernatorial and state legislative elections, along with public utility commission appointments. We will discuss existing legislation and how the elections could potentially impact energy efficiency policy decisions in the Midwest.

MEEA’s staff will also unveil our new Advocacy Toolkit, a suite of resources housed on MEEA’s website that can be used by members and affiliates to make the case for energy efficiency as the least cost resource for the Midwest. The toolkit will include fact sheets, case studies, and contact information for key policymakers by state. The web-based resource will also feature a messaging document to refute common attacks on energy efficiency and sample letters to the editor and elected officials that can be used to advocate for energy efficiency throughout the Midwest.

MEEA Policy Webinar: ACEEE 2014 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard – A Midwest Review

MEEA Unplugged Blog - December 1, 2014 - 1:40pm

Wednesday, December 3

1:00 – 2:00 pm CST

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8298071791992522498

Join MEEA for a review of the Midwest states’ progress in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) 2014 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The annual scorecard provides a benchmark for states’ progress with energy efficiency policies and programs, and offers a toolkit for policymakers to increase savings from energy efficiency investments in their state. States are scored across six policy areas, including: utility policies and programs, transportation initiatives, building energy codes, development of combined heat and power, state government-led initiatives, and state-level appliance standards.

Annie Gilleo, State Policy Research Analyst with ACEEE and lead author of the 2014 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, will provide an overview of the Scorecard and methodology used, along with a review of the Midwest states’ rankings. Lee Colten, Assistant Director with Kentucky’s Department for Energy Development and Independence, will present on the state’s recent progress with building energy code adoption and compliance efforts. Jessica Burdette, CIP Supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, will highlight the state’s leadership in the areas of utility energy efficiency programs and state government initiatives.




11th Annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards – Education

MEEA Unplugged Blog - November 19, 2014 - 9:58am

In conjunction with the 2015 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, MEEA is proud to host the 11th annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards. With a remarkable 61 nominations this year, we will be recognizing standouts in five categories:

  • Leadership
  • Education
  • Impact
  • Marketing
  • Innovation

Leading up to the conference, we will be highlighting the nominees in each category.

The Inspiring Efficiency Education Award will be presented to the organization that has developed and implemented a local campaign, program, strategy, or idea to increase knowledge and action on energy efficiency. Applicants should describe how their campaign, program, strategy, or idea—though local in scope—is an example for the region.

We are honored to present the following as the 2015 nominees for this award:

  • Efficiency Smart Super Energy Heroes Summer Camps
  • EnergySmarts Publications, a DTE Energy energy efficiency publication series
  • KSBA’s School Energy Managers Project (SEMP)
  • Lansing Board of Water & Light – Recycle Rama event
  • The Michigan Commercial & Industrial Energy Conference, MCIEC
  • Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program
  • QA Graphics
  • Resource Action Programs (RAP)
  • Think! Energy Michigan Collaboration (National Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, DTE Energy)

To find out who will take home this award, join us for the Inspiring Efficiency Awards Dinner and Gala during the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, January 29th. For more information, visit the conference website: www.mwalliance.org/conference/.

Cook County, IL passes Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

MEEA Unplugged Blog - November 17, 2014 - 10:55am

The Illinois Association of County Board Members publication, “Illinois County Magazine” Fall 2014 issue features an article on the Cook County, IL enacting an Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance. This initiative requires the county to track the annual energy and water use of its buildings that are larger than 35,000 sqft.

The ordinance also requires an annual report of the data to be reported to the public. MEEA presented Cook County’s President Toni Preckwinkle with a 2014 Inspiring Efficiency Leadership Award for her commitment to improving energy efficiency in county government buildings. This ordinance shows continuous improvement of the county towards holistic energy reduction in their buildings.

Read more on the ordinance here: http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/CBMB/CBMB0214/index.php?startid=25

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