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NEEA’s Claire Fulenwider Calls for Change in the Ethics of Energy Efficiency and Savings

Veronica Marzilli
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) - Portland

Bryan Cohen
Colehour + Cohen - Seattle


NEEA’s Claire Fulenwider Calls for Change in the Ethics of Energy Efficiency and Savings

During keynote at the Future Energy Conference executive director says working together will empower the Northwest to create energy efficiency industry in the region

Seattle, Wash. – At the Future Energy Conference held at the Washington State Convention Center, October 18 and 19, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (NEEA) Executive Director Claire Fulenwider delivered the morning keynote that called on attendees – ranging from regional utility staff, energy efficiency executives to policymakers – to “change the ethic” on how energy is used in the Northwest and work together to create an energy efficiency industry.

“We need to see energy as a valuable resource that must be managed and should not be wasted,” she said in opening remarks. “We need to adopt an ethic of managing every bit of precious energy to its fullest potential.”

NEEA, along with utility partners Puget Sound Energy, Avista, Seattle City Light, Bonneville Power Administration, Snohomish County PUD  and a host of others, sponsored the two-day Future Energy Conference that attracted more than 700 attendees. The purpose of the event was to bring together energy efficiency professionals to learn from educational sessions and keynote presentations.

“Energy efficiency has the potential to supply 85 percent of our region’s projected energy demand in the next 20 years,” said Fulenwider, referencing the region’s 6th Northwest Power Plan. “The end goal is using resources wisely, effectively and for the lowest cost to strengthen the region’s economy, protect the environment, and improve health.

Industries, including food processors, nurseries and the commercial building sector in the Northwest represent the potential to save 800 average megawatts (aMW) through energy efficiency by 2029 – the equivalent to powering three-quarters of the city of Seattle every year. Last August, NEEA announced its 25inTENsity Challenge, encouraging Northwest industries to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent within 10 years.

Added Fulenwider at the close of her keynote: “It is this type of industry-wide shift to managing energy use strategically that will make a difference. More efficiency is a means to achieving a clean economy, a better use of resources and a cleaner, healthier environment.”

NEEA was also represented at the show by BetterBricks Strategy Manager Peter Wilcox, who moderated “An Organizational Approach to Energy Management." NEEA’s Director of Emerging Technology Jeff Harris, also moderated “Buildings of the Future.”


About the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is a non-profit organization working to maximize energy efficiency to meet our future energy needs. NEEA is supported by and works in partnership with Bonneville Power Administration, Energy Trust of Oregon and more than 100 Northwest utilities for the benefit of more than 12 million energy consumers. NEEA uses the market power of the region to accelerate the innovation and adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices. Since 1997, NEEA and its partners have saved enough energy to power more than 568,400 homes each year.  Energy efficiency can satisfy more than half of our new demand for energy, saving money, and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live. For more information, visit

About Claire Fulenwider
Claire Fulenwider is the Executive Director of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) whose purpose is to maximize energy efficiency in the Northwest. Since 2008, she has overseen the non-profit organization, helping it achieve its mission and strategic vision, while ensuring the successful implementation of its five-year business plan. Claire serves as the primary liaison between NEEA, its regional funders and other supporting organizations and governments. In addition, she is actively involved in promoting energy efficiency and the Northwest’s market transformation efforts both regionally and nationally.