Energy Efficiency Leaders Embrace New Era

Contact: Liz Underwood, 312-251-9913
January 14, 2010

Energy Efficiency Leaders Embrace New Era
Eighth Annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference Kicks Off
CHICAGO – U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary Dr. Kathleen Hogan, urged Midwestern states to smartly invest federal stimulus dollars on energy efficiency advances at Wednesday’s kickoff to the 2010 Midwest Energy Solutions Opportunity Now! Conference. The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (MEEA) eighth annual conference, which includes hundreds of energy leaders from throughout the Midwest, is taking place at the Chicago Hotel InterContinental through Friday.
Highlights from the first day of the Midwest Energy Solutions Opportunity Now! Conference included:
·         Keynote address from Dr. Kathleen Hogan in which she talked about the priorities for the U.S. Department of Energy, the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and how to effectively spend these dollars to position energy efficiency programs for long term success. “This is a new era for energy efficiency and we have the leadership and unprecedented levels of funding to make significant advances,” said Dr. Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy.
·         National Energy Efficiency Policy Debate: This panel discussion, which was moderated by Brian Castelli, Alliance to Save Energy and featured Steve Nadel, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; Rick Tempchin, Edison Electric Institute; and Jeff Genzer, National Association of State Energy Officers reviewed important national energy efficiency policies, including the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. They also discussed the role and impact of carbon and climate change on efficiency.
·         “Lessons Learned in Electric Utility Efficiency Programs” breakout discussion featuring panelists from Ameren Illinois Utilities, Commonwealth Edison, DTE Energy, and American Electric Power. The panelists talked about some of the successes and challenges that utilities in the Midwest’s most populous states have faced enacting energy efficiency legislation and discussed their experience in their inaugural years of offering efficiency programs
·         “Understanding the Value in Evaluation” breakout discussion featuring panelists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Summit Blue Consulting, The Cadmus Group and Itron, Inc.. The success of utility efficiency programs is currently graded by evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V). This panel composed of national leaders explored the purpose of EM&V and how it is crucial to ensuring rate payer money is properly used. 
The three-day conference is the largest conference of its kind in the Midwest and brings together a broad range of private- and public-sector thought leaders in energy strategy, policy, technology and program design and implementation. For a detailed conference agenda, visit www.meeaconference.org.
Editor’s Note: If you’d like more information about any of the panel discussions or would like to arrange interviews with conference presenters or MEEA representatives, contact Liz Underwood at lunderwood@ksapr.com or 312-251-9913.
# # #
About Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance – The Source on Energy Efficiency
The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (www.mwalliance.org) is a collaborative network advancing energy efficiency in the Midwest to support sustainable economic development and environmental preservation.  MEEA bridges the gap between policy adoption and program implementation.

MEEA promotes the market transformation of energy efficiency technologies, processes and best practices within a 13-state area, through policy advocacy, program design and facilitation and piloting of energy technologies. Energy efficiency is the critical first step in meeting our nation's myriad energy challenges due to low entry costs, proven and emerging technologies, ease of implementation, fast return on investment and measurable results.

Through our diverse network of members and regional allies, MEEA possesses the practical experience and informed vision to effect positive change today by supporting the region's stakeholders to achieve their efficiency goals for the future.