Northwest Celebrates the 2020 Leadership in Energy Efficiency Awards

Peer awards honor innovation, collaboration, lifetime achievement and dedication to advancing energy efficiency in the region

December 3, 2020 - Portland, Ore. – Today, the Board of Directors of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) honored the winners of the 2020 Leadership in Energy Efficiency Awards.

These awards recognize outstanding collaboration, innovative solutions and career-long contributions to advancing energy efficiency in the Northwest. New this year is the Chairperson’s Award, which honors individuals who have uniquely contributed to the success of the alliance.

A panel of energy and utility leaders selected the winners from more than 30 nominations submitted by the regional energy efficiency community:

The Hydraulic Institute was recognized with the Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for Innovation for its Energy Rating Program, which allows users to view and verify data that indicate the power savings obtained from a pump system upgrade.

HI Energy Rating Program WINNER

The program offers the largest database in North America for easy identification of pump technologies that capture energy and cost savings. The program also includes Utility Resources, a collection of tools and educational materials designed to drive the development and implementation of incentive programs that advance pump system energy savings, while helping utilities meet regulatory goals and providing direct value to customers.


NW SEM Collaborative Leadership Team PNG

The Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for Collaboration was awarded to the Northwest Strategic Energy Management (NW SEM) Collaborative, a community of Northwest practitioners dedicated to saving energy through strategic energy management. Founded in 2011, the Collaborative aims to help energy efficiency program administrators accelerate the adoption of SEM in the industrial and commercial sectors.

The current NW SEM leadership team includes Kati Harper (chair), Energy Trust of Oregon; Sara York (vice chair), Cascade Energy/BPA Energy Smart Industrial; Todd Amundson, Bonneville Power Administration; Faith DeBolt, SBW Consulting; Nick Leritz, NEEA; Lionel Metchop, Puget Sound Energy; Jim Volkman, Strategic Energy Group; and Kevin Wallace, BC Hydro.


Chuck Murray WINNER

Chuck Murray of the Washington State Department of Commerce was honored with the Tom Eckman Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award for Lifetime Achievement, in recognition of his more than 30-year career spent in designing and implementing state energy policies and in advancing building energy efficiency.

Murray is recognized throughout North America for his expertise and influence at both the technical and policy levels of energy efficiency in the built environment. From building code development to legislative drafting, regional utility plans to weatherization program manuals, his analysis and advice have helped shape the energy systems of the Northwest and significantly influenced clean energy policy nationwide.

“The collaborative spirit of the Northwest has continued unabated in this very challenging year,” stated Susan E. Stratton, NEEA’s executive director. “The alliance is pleased to honor these winners bringing forward new, innovative ideas to advance energy efficiency.”


Larry Blaufus headshot chairperson award

The alliance introduced the first annual Chairperson’s Award, an honor bestowed by NEEA’s Board chair and executive director in recognition of individual dedication and effective, long-term commitment to advancing the alliance’s work. The inaugural recipient of this award is Larry Blaufus, who retired from Clark Public Utilities in 2019 after being actively involved in the proliferation of energy efficiency in the Northwest since 1978. Over his career, Blaufus made a significant contribution to the alliance, serving multiple terms on NEEA’s Board of Directors, including a term as Treasurer, and most recently in leading NEEA’s 2020-2024 Business Planning process.

Larry exemplifies what can be achieved when dedicated and committed minds unite toward a shared purpose. NEEA’s Board thought it fitting for Larry to receive the first Chairperson’s award, and we thank him for his many years of service to NEEA and the Northwest,” stated Stratton.

The awards were presented at a virtual ceremony, in conjunction with NEEA’s Annual Board Meeting.


The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is an alliance of more than 140 utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 13 million energy consumers. NEEA is dedicated to accelerating both electric and natural gas energy efficiency, leveraging its regional partnerships to advance the adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices.

Since 1997, NEEA and its partners have saved enough energy to power more than 620,000 homes each year. As the second-largest resource in the Northwest, energy efficiency can offset most of our new demand for energy, saving money and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live.

Media Contact:
Veronica Marzilli, NEEA