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A warm welcome and auspicious start to EFX19

Created 5/14/2019 by Nic Lane
Updated 5/14/2019 by Veronica Marzilli
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Efficiency Exchange 2019 officially launched from beautiful lakeside Coeur d’Alene with a host of dynamic speakers.

Tom Lienhard, Avista’s chief energy efficiency engineer welcomed the crowd by warming up the room with his own twist on Frankie Avalon’s “Venus,” remade into an ode to the great folks at NEEA. Perhaps more importantly (though the NEEA team was pretty charmed by the serenade), Lienhard challenged everyone to make the most of the conference by actively participating.

EFX19’s first keynote speaker, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer, shared his vision of EE and DR in the years to come, highlighting:

  • The numerous factors at play affecting power markets, including legislative changes, coal generation and broader decarbonization.
  • The prominence of resource adequacy and the increasing roles EE and DR will play as resources in the years to come.
  • Energy constraints of the federal hydro system and price excursions both serving to underscore the opportunities for EE and DR to help manage peaks.

The second keynote, Heather Rosentrater, Avista’s vice president of Energy Delivery offered a summary Avista’s recently refreshed strategy with a renewed focus on the customer and affordability. Those aspects of the strategy both bolster her vision for keeping up with growing peak loads by engaging customers in shared energy management, Avista’s recast vision of demand response. A key element of her speech was work Avista is doing to foster communities of the future through Spokane’s South Landing Catalyst building and the Eco-District. This smart building platform offers:

  • New operational and business model evaluation.
  • An integrated test platform for new technologies and methods.
  • Regulatory model pilots.
  • And customer choice.

And who better to close out the first session and welcome send everyone off to make the most of the day’s sessions than NEEA Executive Director Susan Stratton? Stratton didn't offer a song, but touched on important themes for the conference and EE writ large, collaboration and innovation, then sent the crowd off with warm thanks and enthusiasm for what is sure to be the best Efficiency Exchange yet!

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