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Get to know the people behind energy efficiency, demand response and distributed energy resources. Ours is a complex ecosystem of people designing, implementing, managing, marketing, researching and evaluating programs and new technologies. The ultimate goal -- saving energy! In each episode, we get to the heart of the action, talking to the people who are making things happen at utility companies, the implementers, manufacturers, trade allies and industry influencers.


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Paul Schueller, Founder & CEO, Franklin Energy

Top takeaways:

Franklin Energy sets an example through its initiatives to increase workplace diversity, subcontractor diversity and programs that target ethnic or lower income communities. Among others, hear about the role of their Director of Diversity and Inclusion, their partnership with Green City and the utility program for dry cleaners.



Susan Gilbert, CEO; Ann Fracas, VP Business Development Apogee Interactive

Top takeaways:

Susan and Ann discuss how utilities need to stay current by building strong bonds with consumers to make it more difficult for them to be lured away by competitors, maintain current modes of digital communications with customers and model themselves after Amazon. 



James Linder, Innovation Scout, Tennessee Valley Authority

Top takeaways:

- How does innovation become more relevant than interesting?

- What are the game changers for energy efficiency in the next 3,5, 10 years?

- How can someone just starting out in this field get up to speed quickly? 



Sara Conzemius and Anne Dougherty Illume Advising

Top takeaways:

- The significance of a 100% women-owned company in the energy industry

 - Why is the customer more important than either the message or the message delivery?

 - Why is mentoring so important and what does it mean?


Mark Henderson, SVP Business Development, CLEARresult

Mark's top takeaways:

- The financial impact of the growth of EE

 - Where is EE going next and what is the impact of electrification

- The most rewarding aspects of working in EE


Justin Margolies, Senior Research Analyst, SlipStream

Justin's three takeaways:
- Beneficial electrification is here

- The status quo has to change with experienced people leading the charge, and new professionals sharing their perspective

- When you buy a device that is powered by fossil fuel, you are making a long term commitment away from electrification


Terry Fry, Senior VP Cadmus


- The clean energy industries create three times as many jobs as the other fossil fuels combined, this is a fast growing industry.

- Energy efficiency accounts for 2.2 million jobs in the US .

- The certificate of excellence in DSM program management provides excellent training and create opportunities for individuals in the market. 


Jonathan Kleinman, CEO Aiqueous


 - As toilets and shower heads become more efficient, more people are paying attention 

-  Conservation efforts are not pushed as aggressively as a regulatory agency would push efficiency

-  Utilities should pay attention to water efficiency — particularly those that have insufficient supply of water 


Will Ellis, Senior Portfolio Manager, Pepco


 - PEPCO is doing a pilot program to see if there are energy efficiencies to be found in running a smart home

 - Leveraging smart speakers to give customers ability to track account balance, weather with respect to energy. “Alexa, what’s my energy usage”

 - The smart speaker channel is the fastest growing technology in history


Rich BarnesExecutive Vice President, DNV GL 


- Europe tends to use incentives to promote renewable more than energy efficiency, but it is a more energy efficient aware part of the country

- In the US the primary driver for energy efficiency is economics; we get the environmental benefits; but in the rest of the world the driver is concern about emissions 

- Gasoline and electricity is taxed highly in Europe, but electric vehicles are cheaper in Europe 


Alex Bradley,  C + C


 - To talk about energy efficiency, you need to talk about different things; C + C supplied winter coats for children in need

 - Know your audience. Are they lower income?

-  Where are your markets/customers, and how to you reach them? 


Rob Chapman, VP Energy and the Environment, Energy Power Research Institute, EPRI

-  Making sure that utilities evolve the grid is incredibly important; they own that. They have that opportunity

- The customer now has a choice; so utilities have to focus on customer service

-  The iPhone enabled convenience, and because of that we’re willing to spend quite a bit for our smart phones 

AESP Talks With Camille Pollan About Energy Efficiency in New Orleans

As the energy efficiency program manager for the City of New Orleans’ Office of Resilience and Sustainability, Pollan works in partnership with public and private sector entities to create innovative, practical solutions that cut energy waste, support energy management, and improve energy policies.

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • New Orleans’ housing stock is mostly pre WWII, which creates an opportunity to achieve a lot through energy efficiency
  • Utility regulation is handled directly by the city council 
  • The city works with Entergy on Energy Smart, which grows every year and now includes city-owned buildings



AESP Talks With Doug Scott On The Future Of Utilities

As Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Great Plains Institute, Scott works on issues involving climate strategy and regulatory response; carbon capture, sequestration and usage; and issues involving the changing utility business model.

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • Customer choice is changing the way utilities operate. A whole generation of people can control what they buy from their phone
  • Utilities are seeing flat or negative growth, that’s forced them to figure out new revenue streams
  • It makes sense for utilities to figure out strategies to adapt; but regulatory models vary from state to state 




Art Christianson Talks About How The Home Depot Works With Utilities on EE

As the Senior Manager of Utility and Government Rebates at Home Depot, Art recognizes the value of efficient items to their consumer base. The Home Depot partners with over 100 utilities across the country to help enhance energy efficiency programs.

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • The Home Depot partners with utilities and is looking for more partnerships, as a way to drive products into the hands of consumers
  • Supporting utilities can be challenging, as each one is different. We want to be the partner that is the easiest to work with in the space
  • The Home Depot makes a commitment to its customer base to be convenient and valuable and that promise extends to the partnerships it offers




Dave Bend Talks About How Nest Labs is Making Energy Efficiency Available to Everyone

Dave Bend works for Nest and focuses on partnerships for Nest. Dave works with energy partners in the U.S. and regulated partners in eastern, mid-Atlantic and southeast U.S. Find out what Nest looks for in a energy partner.

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • The industry will exand access to advanced energy solutions
  • At Nest, a core goal is expanding access to the technology
  • Nest is reaching out to industry partners to provide smart thermostats to lower income households, goal is to place a Nest thermostat in one million low income homes over the next five years




Jeff Ihnen of Michael's Energy Goes to Iowa

Learn about Michael’s Energy and some of the things Jeff and his team are doing in Iowa.

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • In midwest, there is an over capacity because of renewables, hurting cost effectiveness
  • State legislation has implmented a ratepayer impact measure/test
  • On average these measures fail




Sarah Lattimer Talks About Marketing EE to Diverse Communities

Learn about marketing to diverse communities, how to connect with them and develop a relationship with them to best meet their needs. 

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • Utilities need to understand multicultural communities to be able to speak to the members of those communities
  • Who is the head of household, or the decision-maker?
  • How do you reach that person?



Kelly Speakes-Backman talks Energy Storage

Learn about the Energy Storage and how they're working toward a more resilient, efficient sustainable and affordable electricity grid.

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • Right now we’re at about 800 megawatts of energy storage that are online today. We expect in 2018 that total capacity could double, and we expect it to go to 3,500 megawatts by 2025.
  • Throughout the United States, because of our market construct, the path to energy storage is different in every region. Every utility will have a role.
  • This is going to be a change in our industry like we’ve never seen. And our message is don’t be afraid of that change; embrace it and find out what your specific needs are that can be resolved not just by energy storage, but by the new business models that are arriving.


Eliot Crowe of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories Talks Smart Meters

John Hardgrove speaks with Eliot Crowe about Smart Meters and how the data is collected and used.

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • Smart meters have been rolling out in the last decade in the millions. What is success?
  • Utilities need to understand how to use the data that they have access to
  • Are we moving toward using data as a predictor of what will happen if we fun something? Maybe not.



Sabrina Cowden, CEO Milepost Consulting, Charts the Future

Sabrina Cowden talks about her journey to becoming CEO of Milepost Consulting and the challenges and opportunities in the energy industry.

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • The future is now: energy industry has to shift thinking and embrace engagement strategy
  • People have buttons in their home that they can order directly from Amazon, they don’t even need computers
  • Engagement strategy defines your marketing strategy, and your outreach strategy and  your sales strategy


AESP Keynote Speaker Peyton Holland Distinguishes Between Degrees and Skills

Peyton discusses his keynote presentation at AESP's Summer Conference: the job market, young people entering the energy industry and his day-to-day job.

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • The earlier we can expose students to energy efficiency, the more likely they are to consider it as a career
  • The supply side is more visible than the demand side, young people need to understand the difference
  • Skills are as important, if not more important than degrees



Jen Loomis Discusses Bringing Energy Efficiency to Low Income Neighborhoods

Jen and John talk about a project she was involved in: a case study on transforming a disadvantaged community in Southern California into an advanced energy community.

Top 3 PROs-pectives from the Pros:

  • The challenges of bringing net zero levels to a low income community
  • Energy rates are already discounted, the bill has to be lowered overall
  • Communities as a whole must be engaged


Mike Mernick discusses the growth of EE, and AESP

John meets with Mike Mernick, Senior Vice President of Commercial Energy at ICF and discuss Mike's time with AESP and EE and their growth. 

Mike Mernick’s Top Three PROSpectives:

  • Utilities have to change the perception that they are slow moving, and this will create tremendous opportunity for innovation.
  • For those seeking a job in energy and a meaningful career as well, there are many opportunities with for-profit organizations that are committed to making a difference.
  • Compared to its early days when EE had to justify itself, today, it has become an important component in most utility planning and investment strategies.


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