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Congratulations to the 2019 Leadership in Energy Efficiency Awards Winners & Nominees!

Created 10/29/2019 by Stephanie Lane
Updated 12/6/2019 by Stephanie Lane
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The Results are in!

Our judges have selected winners from all of the submissions for the Leadership in Energy Efficiency awards the region sent in on neea.org. Without further ado, let's announce our 2019 Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award recipients! 

The Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for Innovation: 
Tune-up Accelerator Program:

Nicole Ballinger (Seattle Office of Sustainability), Ted Brown (Seattle City Light), Joe Fernandi (Seattle City Light), Srinivas Katipamula (Pacific Northwest National Lab), Sandra Mallory (Seattle Office of Sustainability),  Chris Meek (University of Washington Integrated Design Lab), Rose Palomo (Seattle City Light), Brittany Price Quigley (Northwest Energy Efficiency Council's Smart Buildings Center), and Nora Wang (Pacific Northwest National Lab)

"The Tune-up Accelerator program addressed the specific needs of the small to medium commercial building market and supported Seattle’s ongoing efforts as a Climate Action Champion Community and Better Buildings Challenge Partner.

The program enrolled 100 commercial buildings in Seattle to participate. Each building underwent a Building Assessment with a service provider who was trained and pre-qualified for the Accelerator. Based on the Assessment, buildings implemented corrective actions or “tuned-up” to achieve energy savings. With the support of the WA IDL, buildings that opted to go deeper than the requirement with “building renewal” were provided technical support and further analysis to achieve even deeper savings. And thanks to a unique per square foot incentive and streamlined process provided by Seattle City Light, Accelerator participants will have an even faster simple payback from electric energy savings. This program is truly a collaborative effort!

The City of Seattle Office of Sustainability team led by Nicole Ballinger and Sandra Mallory, the Seattle City Light team led by Joe Fernandi, Ted Brown and Rose Palomo, along with technical support from the University of Washington Integrated Design Lab team led by Chris Meek, envisioned and implemented the Tune-up Accelerator program. Additional local partners included the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Smart Buildings Center.”

The Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for Collaboration:
Consumer Products Regional Steering Committee

Cathy Anderson (Snohomish PUD), Matt Babbitts (Clark PUD), Victor Couto (Seattle City Light), Todd Greenwell (Idaho Power), Tina Jayaweera (Northwest Power and Conservation Council), Jeff Mitchell (NEEA staff), Josh Mitchell (Chelan PUD), Dave Murphy (Bonneville Power Administration), Hillary Olson (Snohomish PUD), Thad Roth (Energy Trust of Oregon), Lis Saunders (Tacoma Power), Jeff Tripp (Puget Sound Energy), and Patrick Weaver (Puget Sound Energy).

"The Consumer Products Steering Committee (CPSC) is a coordinated effort among Northwest utilities, NEEA and other regional energy efficiency organizations to establish shared regional strategies in selected strategic markets. With a shared vision and strategy, the CPSC strives to maximize cost-effective, long-term energy efficiency opportunities, prevent conflicting overlap of roles, and improve coordination in the region.

A recent area of focus for the CPSC has been Smart Thermostats. Smart Thermostats have been an important measure for the region, however the RTF Smart Thermostat measure is set to sun-set in November 2019. Members of the CPSC wanted to keep the measure alive so they worked directly with the RTF to see what could be done. The proposed solution was to create a research plan based on an existing RTF outline and implement the research. This plan was developed and approved by the RTF. Implementing this research would keep the Smart Thermostat measure alive. Given budget constraints no individual organization or utility had the ability to field the research plan. Given this reality, the CPSC undertook an innovative solution and proposed a ‘co-sponsorship’ approach to funding. The CPSC developed funding guidelines based on an organization’s size and ability to pay. The result of this effort produced over $400K in funding commitments for the research.”

And this year, the Tom Eckman Leadership in Energy Efficiency Lifetime Achievement award will be presented to not one, but two individuals who have exhibited exemplary dedication to energy efficiency throughout the duration of their careers.

Tom Eckman Leadership in Energy Efficiency Lifetime Achievement Award:

Charlie Grist, Northwest Power and Conservation Council
" Charlie Grist is currently the Manager of Conservation Resources at the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Council). In his position he leads the development of the regions’ conservation potential assessment for the regional power planning process. He provides leadership through numerous regional collaborative efforts including the Regional Technical Forum (RTF), NEEA’s Regional Portfolio Advisory Committee (RPAC), the Energy Trust of Oregon Conservation Advisory Committee (CAC), and several utility-specific integrated resource plan (IRP) and conservation advisory committees.

Charlie has a passion for energy efficiency and strong dedication to moving the energy efficiency industry forward. Charlie is very detail-oriented and has an inherent commitment to getting the right answers, without hubris. If he has a question, he will pick up the phone and ask the expert, and Charlie’s persistence ensures that he gets to the bottom of the issue at hand.

Across his career, Charlie has brought leadership and a sense of purpose to everything he has been a part of as well as an artistic flair that has helped elevate many meetings that he has been a part of. It is not uncommon for Charlie to open a very technical meeting with a reading of poetry or a slide with a picture of a famous work of art. Throughout his career, Charlie has helped the region see the full potential of energy efficiency and made us think more artfully about how to achieve it."


Dick Stroh, Bonneville Power Administration
"Dick Stroh has worked for Bonneville Power Administration for over forty (40) years. He was Mr. Energy Efficiency before BPA had an Energy Efficiency department having started his career at BPA as an Irrigation Efficiency Engineer before the adoption of the NW Power Act! His dedication to exceptional customer services and energy efficiency is legendary. He is driven by an unmatched dedication to exceptional customer service and the delivery of leading-edge solutions to energy efficiency. This commitment and dedication have not diminished with time. He still brings his “A” game every day.

In addition to sharing his extensive technical expertise with both BPA staff members and customer utilities, he has demonstrated how to build strong working relationships based on mutual respect and dedication to a job well done. His easy-going style creates a safe learning environment where customers and engineers enjoy spending time with him to complete energy efficiency projects. He focuses on building an “army of technical experts” who will design the future solutions to save water and energy critical to success in Agriculture. He is using an unmatched legacy of exceptional customer services to build a better Pacific Northwest for future generations.”

And, here's a big shout out to all of this year's nominees. It is an honor to be chosen by your colleagues for this recognition. On behalf of NEEA and the region, we thank you for your leadership in energy efficiency!

Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for Innovation

  1. Pamela Bosch, Highland Hemp House
  2. Dan Rubado, Energy Trust of Oregon
  3. Mike Hatten, Solarc Energy Group
  4. Yakima Nation Housing Authority
  5. Chris Smith, Energy 350
  6. Alan Garcia, Northwest Natural

Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for Collaboration

  1. Ken Baker, K Energy
  2. Community Energy Project Direct Install Heat Pump Water Heater Program: Charity Fain, Community Energy Project; Jenny Sorich, CLEAResult; Peter Kernan, Community Energy Project; Ryan Crews, Energy Trust of Oregon; Steve Brotton, Great Northwest Installations; Whitney Miller, CLEAResult
  3. Northwest Strategic Energy Management Collaborative Measurement and Verification Working Group: Chad Gilless, Stillwater Energy; Sara York, Cascade Energy); Steve Martin, Cascade Energy; Tina Schnell, Alternative Energy Systems Consulting
  4. Wendy Gibson, CLEAResult
  5. Christopher Dymond, NEEA staff; David Lis, Northwest Energy Efficiency Partnerships; Gary Hamer, BC Hydro; Robert Weber, Bonneville Power Administration; Todd Greenwell, Idaho Power
  6. Energy Trust of Oregon Manufactured Homes Replacement Pilot Program: Jackie Goss and Mark Wyman, Energy Trust of Oregon
  7. RPAC Streamlining Steering Committee: BJ Moghadam, NEEA staff; Brent Barclay, Bonneville Power Administration; Deb Young, NorthWestern Energy; Emily Moore, NEEA staff; Jeff Mitchell, NEEA staff; Jeff Tripp, Puget Sound Energy

Tom Eckman Leadership in Energy Efficiency Lifetime Achievement Award

  1. Frank Brown, Bonneville Power Administration
  2. Jeff Harris, NEEA staff
  3. Chuck Murray, Washington State Department of Commerce – 4 Nominations
  4. Lisa Schwartz, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs
  5. Roger Spring, Evergreen Consulting Group
  6. Ingo Stroup, Building Energy, Inc.
  7. Todd Amundson, Bonneville Power Administration

Award recipients will be recognized after the first day of the NEEA Board Annual Meeting on December 4th in Portland, OR.

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