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Iowa Consumer Advocate Attorney Wins MEEA Leadership Award for Leading Industry Forum to Advance Energy Efficiency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tim Frisbie, 312-251-9913
Jan. 13, 2012 tfrisbie@ksapr.com

Iowa Consumer Advocate Attorney Wins MEEA Leadership Award for Leading Industry Forum to Advance Energy Efficiency

CHICAGO – Jennifer Easler, an attorney with the Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate, has received the 2012 Inspiring Efficiency Leadership Award from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) for leading a collaborative effort with Iowa utilities to advance energy efficiency initiatives. Easler received the award for her leadership in guiding industry dialogue and providing sound direction on current and emerging energy efficiency issues.

When three Iowa investor-owned utilities reached an agreement to create a collaborative forum to find areas of coordination in advancing energy efficiency, the Office of Consumer Advocate, a division of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, agreed to lead the effort and Easler took on the responsibility.

“Jennifer recognized the need for utilities, regulatory agencies, environmental groups and other energy-related organizations to openly discuss opportunities, barriers and best practices in energy efficiency,” said MEEA Executive Director Jay Wrobel. “She has demonstrated tremendous leadership, diplomacy and patience in taking on tough energy efficiency issues. We are honored to recognize Jennifer’s efforts with this year’s Inspiring Efficiency Leadership Award.”

“I am greatly honored to receive this award and be part of this collaborative effort,” Easler said. “From 2004-2008, Iowa’s investor-owned utilities invested some $450 million in energy efficiency programs for customers. The new five year plans for 2009-2013 are budgeted to invest over $800 million in programming and training. These investments advance energy efficiency as the most cost-effective and sustainable resource that will produce significant and enduring savings to Iowa consumers, diminish the need for new energy resources, and promote the energy efficiency economy.  Iowa consistently appears as a national leader in energy efficiency investment and savings in both electricity and natural gas. It is the continued alignment of utilities, regulators and the Consumer Advocate Office that has made this consistent approach and commitment possible.”

Bestowed annually at the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference (www.meeaconference.org), MEEA’s Leadership 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.

“Today, Iowa has 20 years of efficiency experience, with mature programs and trade ally networks,” said Diane Munns, vice president of regulatory relations and energy efficiency for MidAmerican Energy Company. “Iowa’s programs have served as the base for MidAmerican’s entry into South Dakota, Nebraska and Illinois. The Iowa Consumer Advocate’s Office in general, and Jennifer Easler specifically, have been instrumental in achieving this leadership position, influencing the region through continued support for energy efficiency.”

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About Midwest Energy Solutions Conference

The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. Each year it brings together a broad range of private- and public-sector thought leaders from around the nation who share a vested interest in energy efficiency.

The conference is presented by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), the region’s source on energy efficiency. Formed in 2000, MEEA is committed to advancing sound energy efficiency programs, policies and priorities in the Midwest. MEEA’s membership represents a broad consortium of energy stakeholders from across a 13-state area.

Now in its 10th year, the conference continues to grow as energy efficiency investment increases in states across the Midwest. Responding to attendees, the conference has expanded to include a formal expo to provide more opportunities to highlight and promote energy efficiency programs, products and companies.