Outstanding Achievements in Energy Efficiency Awarded by the Association of Energy Services Professionals

Phoenix, Arizona, UNITED STATES

PHOENIX, Jan. 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Association of Energy Services Professionals (www.aesp.org) recognized outstanding energy efficiency programs at its 24th National Conference and Expo held January 27-30, 2014 in San Diego, CA.

"The award recipients have created innovative and measurably effective programs that have led to energy savings and reduced pressure on the grid," said Meg Matt, president and CEO of AESP. "We are pleased to recognize these game-changing programs that demonstrate leadership in moving the industry forward and drive energy users toward smarter methods of consumption." AESP presented awards in seven categories along with two special award presentations:

NEW CATEGORY – Social Media
Winner: Mass Save
Program: Mass Save Lighting and Consumer Products Initiative
NSTAR, National Grid, WMECo, Unitil, and Cape Light Compact are the electric utility and energy efficiency sponsors of the Mass Save® Lighting and Consumer Products Initiative. These sponsors of the Mass Save Lighting and Consumer Products Initiative have led the way into a new area of opportunity for energy efficiency education, customer engagement and sales. Leveraging critical cultural and consumer trends, such as the growth of social media; reliance on peer reviews and endorsements in shopping patterns; and key industry insights, such as the importance of word-of-mouth in program marketing, the sponsors have achieved a triumvirate of success: an engaged and active customer group, vocal brand advocates, and new channels of sales driving to help meet aggressive program goals.
Contact: Cadmus, Laura Orfanedes, Laura.Orfanedes@cadmusgroup.com
Winner: PowerStream
Program: "Smart Kids"
PowerStream's Residential Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) team, with funding from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), launched a unique new communication campaign in April 2013. The campaign was designed to help achieve energy and demand reduction targets by promoting their peaksaver PLUS program to customers. The campaign's print and video creative features "Smart Kids" who explain how simple and easy it is for customers to benefit from, and participate in, some of the utility's conservation initiatives. The campaign has been recognized by both customers and the electrical utility industry. To date 11,444 customers have signed up for peaksaver PLUS in 2013 and the program is trending towards 13,400 customers by year-end, which significantly exceeds PowerStream's initial target of 9,500 signups for 2013.
Contact: PowerStream, Raegan Bond, raegan.bond@powerstream.ca 
Winner: Nicor Gas
Program: Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency
The Nicor Gas Business Energy Efficiency Rebate Program implemented a 6 Million Therm Savings campaign in late summer of 2013 to promote the program's steam trap measure. The campaign used unique infographics and targeted marketing across all campaign elements to maximize effectiveness of the campaign. The following features of the campaign were utilized to ensure a truly cutting edge and effective campaign:
--  Innovative and modern infographics to attract customer attention 
--  Use of marketing databases to strategically target businesses based on therm savings and number of steam traps in their system 
--  Implementation of online ads and a full page print ad that ran in Crain's Chicago Business Journal
--  Therm savings from steam trap projects doubled during the run of the campaign compared to the same time period in program year 2 
Contact: Resource Solutions Group, Mary Nokes, mnokes@rsgrp.com
Winner: Puget Sound Energy
Program: Energy Efficiency Contractor Alliance Network
In 2013, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) engaged the region with Re-Energized by Design, a promotion that put PSE's customers in the spotlight as they explored improving their home's design and energy efficiency. The videos featured energy-efficient products available at local retailers, gave how-to instructions on achieving unique home design, and conveyed PSE's message that energy efficiency can be fun and beautiful. The contest culminated with the Sayers family of Bellingham being crowned the winners after demonstrating a plethora of energy-efficient DIY gems, including an LED silverware caddy lamp. Throughout the contest, a second round of videos was released featuring home lighting makeovers, which zeroed in on the benefits of LED lighting while illustrating how easy it is to upgrade to efficient lighting by showing real PSE customers in the upgrade process. The campaign resulted in over one thousand contest entries, fourteen videos featuring energy efficiency and beautiful home design, and over 72 million educational campaign impressions demonstrating the ease of combining energy efficiency with beautiful home design.
Contact: Puget Sound Energy, Malcolm McCulloch. Malcolm.McCulloch@pse.com
Winner: Southern California Edison
Program: SCE's Upstream HVAC Program
SCE's upstream HAVC program was first implemented in 2004 as a California statewide program. By targeting 20-30 distributors that control stocking decisions, rather than 300,000 C&I customers or 500-800 contractors, SCE's program accomplished more than 700 percent greater savings in the first year. As program implementer, Energy Solutions, cost-effectively provides a very high level of support to a small client base (distributors). Moreover, by targeting distributors, the price reduction to the customer is magnified by reducing two markups: distributor to contractor, and contractor to end-use customer. This approach allows participating distributors to sell premium efficient HVAC for the same price as standard equipment. Today, the tiered rebates of SCE's current upstream HVAC program have enabled the utility to capture persistent energy and peak demand savings by promoting efficient packaged air conditioners; introducing the first prescriptive incentives in the nation for variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems; and launching a water cooled chiller measure that was so successful it led to the program accomplishing 200 percent of its 2010 – 2012 goal.
Contact: Lorraine Espinosa-Nall, Southern California Edison, espinolc@sce.com
Winner: Snohomish County Public Utility District
Program: Transformative Wave
Transformative Wave developed a breakthrough technology that addresses one of the largest uses of energy in commercial buildings. With lighting upgrades running their course, utilities and facility operators have been looking for the next source of energy efficiency. Transformative Wave's CATALYST technology is an energy efficiency upgrade for existing rooftop HVAC systems. These systems are used to condition 69% of the nation's commercial floor space which are typically oversized. The CATALYST is a retrofit upgrade that bundles numerous innovative efficiency components in an easy-to-install pre-wired kit. It is making a big difference in the Northwest and other markets across the U.S. by reducing overall HVAC energy use of these systems by 25% to 50%. Transformative Wave has devoted the last four years to validating and commercializing the CATALYST while building broad support from the utility and efficiency community. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) published the results in October 2013 of its two-year study of the CATALYST that included one year of field trials. It reported average electric savings of 57% on installations across the country.
Contact: Suzanne Frew, Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD), scfrew@snopud.com
Winner: Baltimore Gas & Electric
Program: BGE Smart Energy Rewards®
The BGE Smart Energy Rewards program is one of the first of its kind to proactively engage customers with a real-time call-to-action notification message and a post-event summary message. In anticipation of the increased customer communications required for this program, extensive planning and research was completed to predict and manage the anticipated customer response. BGE closely monitored communication metrics and call-back volume during Energy Savings Days. Two key measures of success were call volume to BGE's Call Center and open rates for event emails. These two key indicators track customers' understanding and awareness and their overall satisfaction with the program. Customer engagement and response to our communications are key to the success of BGE Smart Energy Rewards, so these initial metrics are drivers to long-term success of the program. BGE closely monitored call-back volume to project impact to normal BGE Call Center operations and plan for any increased volume. 
Contact: Keisha Clarke-English, BGE, keisha.clarke-english@bge.com
Winner: Valari Uhl, Puget Sound Energy
In four short years since joining Puget Sound Energy, Valari Uhl has transformed delivery of commercial lighting efficiency programs in the Northwest to be more customer‐focused and has contributed to the success of numerous employees and utility energy efficiency programs. When Valari joined PSE in 2009, participation in the company's Small Business Lighting rebate program was growing exponentially. Valari volunteered to lead the development of a new project tracking and reporting system, combined with a contractor training program, to improve process efficiency. Valari's efforts enabled PSE to increase the quantity of projects processed per year from 400 to nearly 2,000 while simultaneously shortening customer wait times. Addressing quality concerns of rapidly emerging LED lighting products, Valari also spearheaded an LED qualification process adopted by multiple utilities in the Northwest including PSE, Seattle City Light, Tacoma Power and Energy Trust of Oregon. Most recently, Valari became a Market Manager responsible for delivery of all Commercial/Industrial prescriptive rebate programs with budget responsibility of more than $13 million annually and a staff of ten employees. 
Contact: Valari Uhl, Puget Sound Energy, valari.uhl@pse.com
Winner: Carol S. White, National Grid
Carol S. White, Director, Program Strategy – Massachusetts, Customer and Business Strategy at National Grid received the Association of Energy Services Professionals' (AESP) highest honor, the B.H. Prasad Award, at AESP's 24th National Conference being held this week in San Diego, CA. The B. H. Prasad award is named for a former chair of AESP and recognizes a member's outstanding contribution to AESP. "Carol received the recognition for her volunteer work for AESP, including her service on many committees, as well as serving on the AESP Board in numerous officer positions from Secretary to Board Chair. Carol's contributions to AESP are immeasurable and she has been a tireless advocate for our members," said Matt.

The Association of Energy Services Professionals (www.aesp.org) provides professional development programs, a network of energy practitioners, and promotes the transfer of knowledge and experience. Our members work in the energy services industry and represent electric and natural gas utilities, public benefits associations, regulatory and non-profit entities, vendors, manufacturers and consulting firms. Founded in 1989, AESP is a member-based association dedicated to improving the delivery and implementation of energy efficiency, energy management and distributed renewable resources. AESP provides professional development programs, a network of energy practitioners, and promotes the transfer of knowledge and experience.



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