Energy Efficiency Leaders Teach Best Practices
Participants reflect on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act one year later
CHICAGO – State and federal officials talked Thursday at the 2010 Midwest Energy Solutions Opportunity Now! Conference about how the 2009 federal stimulus bill provided a boost to energy efficiency funding. It was the second day of the three-day Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (MEEA) eighth annual conference, which includes hundreds of energy leaders from throughout the Midwest, and wraps up at the Chicago Hotel InterContinental Friday.
Highlights from the second day of the Midwest Energy Solutions Opportunity Now! Conference included:
· The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – One Year Later: The panel discussion, which was moderated by Jonathan Doochin, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, featured Peter Roehrig, U.S. Department of Energy; Jeffrey Haase, Minnesota Department of Commerce; Karen Massey, Missouri Department of Natural Resources; and David Baker, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Representatives discussed how they are using ARRA funds for energy-related programs and important next steps for their states.
· “The Future of Lighting” breakout discussion featured panelists from BetaLED, a division of Ruud Lighting, D&R, Philips Color Kinetics, and Lightswitch Architectural. The panel explored how new efficient lighting technologies are changing how architects and designers approach and use this new lighting.
· “Controlling Appliance and Electronics Energy Demand” breakout discussion featured panelists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, Citizens Utility Board, and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. The growing segment of residential energy demand, which includes energy use from consumer appliances and electronics, is a challenge to control. The panelists talked about programs that have been created to decrease or control the energy used in homes and businesses.
· Efficiency as a Supply-Side Option plenary session included representatives from Synapse Energy Economics, PJM and Illinois Power Agency. They addressed their experiences and efforts to develop and implement measures to acquire all resources available from cost-effective energy efficiency.
The three-day event 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.
MEEA also honored nine Midwest leaders who delivered groundbreaking advancements for energy efficiency at the Inspiring Efficiency Awards dinner and gala Thursday night. Award recipients included:
· Chairman’s Award: Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), for its exemplary leadership in energy efficiency and support to MEEA throughout the organization’s history. DCEO was one of the founding members of MEEA. The organization has served on MEEA’s Board since its inception in 2000 and has provided oversight and strategic direction to help MEEA grow and flourish.
· Leadership Award: Janine Migden-Ostrander, Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, for her role in creating the Ohio Consumer and Environmental Advocates, demonstrating that consumer and environmental groups can work together; and Tom Casten, Recycled Energy Development in Westmont, Illinois, for his expertise in industrial energy recycling and efforts to advance industrial energy efficiency.
· Education Award: Commonwealth Edison, for its partnership with the Chicago Urban League to create a program that provides energy efficiency information and money management training to first-time homebuyers and for building local awareness for a national energy efficiency campaign; and Smart Energy Design Assistance Center in Urbana, Illinois, for its efforts to assist commercial and municipal entities in identifying energy and money saving opportunities and minimizing pollution.
· Impact Award: Interstate Power & Light Company, an Alliant Energy Company based in Iowa, for launching a post-flood rebate program that helped customers affected by the catastrophic flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to rebuild their homes with energy efficient features.
· Innovation Award: Ameren Illinois Utilities, for developing a Watt Solutions kit that allows customers to learn the cost of operating appliances. These kits were given away at several public library systems throughout Ameren’s service territory in central and southern Illinois. And for its Act on Energy Business Program, in which Ameren helped grocer retailer Kroger save more than $200,000 per year by using Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting technology. Kroger replaced the fluorescent lighting in its refrigerated cases with LEDs at all 30 of its stores in the Ameren Illinois service territory.
· Marketing Award: Interstate Power & Light Company, an Alliant Energy Company based in Iowa, for its development of the “Being Green” calendar for customers that highlighted energy efficiency programs and best practices; and R.L. Just & associates, p.c. in St. Louis for the creation of The St. Louis Green Building Guide, which increased awareness of sustainable and efficient building practices and included tips for building green.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-251-9913.
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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.