CHICAGO, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Can policies that promote energy efficiency spur economic growth in a sluggish economy? How will Midwestern states invest the $2.86 billion in federal stimulus funds directed toward energy efficiency projects? Hundreds of energy leaders from throughout the Midwest will gather next week in Chicago to discuss these and many other pertinent issues at the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's (MEEA) eighth annual 2010 Midwest Energy Solutions Opportunity Now! Conference and Inspiring Efficiency Awards dinner and gala.
The three-day conference kicks off Wednesday, January 13 at 1 p.m. at the Chicago Hotel InterContinental with a keynote address from Dr. Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Highlights of the 2010 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference include:
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
- Keynote address from Dr. Kathleen Hogan about priorities for the U.S. Department of Energy, the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and support for energy efficiency at the federal level.
- National Energy Efficiency Policy Debate: Representatives from various energy sectors review important national energy efficiency policies, such as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 and what the bill's proposed cap and trade system means to the energy industry. They'll also discuss the status of energy efficiency legislation and building codes and appliance standards across the country.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
- Keynote addresses from Kris Bowring, Sr. of Best Buy about the company's new green initiatives and Kurt Yeager of Galvin Electricity Initiative about priorities for the future on smart grid and integration of efficiency.
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - One Year Later: The federal government's stimulus bill tripled funding for energy efficiency initiatives in the Midwest to $2.86 billion, and you can find out where the money might go. State leaders from Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri will discuss their current and future projects and programs.
- 2010 Inspiring Efficiency Awards dinner and gala.
Friday, January 15, 2010
- Financing Energy Efficiency: Learn about efforts to develop financing mechanisms for energy efficiency projects. Legislative, administrative and other challenges will be discussed as well as strategies for surmounting them.
- Community Development and Energy Efficiency: Business and state government leaders review plans to leverage energy efficiency policies to propel economic growth and development through job creation, tax incentives and industry expansion for efficient technologies.
MEEA also will honor eight Midwest leaders who deliver groundbreaking advancements for energy efficiency at the Inspiring Efficiency Awards dinner and gala the evening of Thursday, January 14. The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the gala dinner and awards presentation from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This year's award recipients include:
- Leadership Award: Janine Migden-Ostrander, Ohio Consumers' Counsel for her role in creating the Ohio Consumer and Environmental Advocates, demonstrating that consumer and environmental groups can work together; and Tom Casten, Recycled Energy Development in Illinois for his expertise in industrial energy recycling and efforts to advance industrial energy efficiency.
- Education Award: Commonwealth Edison for its partnership with the Chicago Urban League to create a program that provides energy efficiency information and money management training to first-time homebuyers and for building local awareness for a national energy efficiency campaign; and Smart Energy Design Assistance Center in Illinois for its efforts to assist commercial and municipal entities in identifying energy and money saving opportunities and minimizing pollution.
- Impact Award: Interstate Power & Light Company, an Alliant Energy Company based in Iowa for launching a post-flood rebate program that helped customers affected by the catastrophic flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to rebuild their homes with energy efficient features.
- Innovation Award: Ameren Illinois Utilities for developing a Watt Solutions kit that allows customers to learn the cost of operating appliances. These kits were given away at several public library systems throughout Ameren's service territory.
- Marketing Award: Interstate Power & Light Company, an Alliant Energy Company based in Iowa, for its development of the "Being Green" calendar for customers that highlighted energy efficiency programs and best practices; and R.L. Just & associates, p.c. in St. Louis for the creation of The St. Louis Green Building Guide, which increased awareness of sustainable and efficient building practices and included tips for building green.
More information about the Inspiring Efficiency Awards and this year's recipients can be found at www.meeaconference.org/awards_winners.php
About Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance - The Source on Energy Efficiency
The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (www.mwalliance.org) is a collaborative network advancing energy efficiency in the Midwest to support sustainable economic development and environmental preservation. MEEA bridges the gap between policy adoption and program implementation.
MEEA promotes the market transformation of energy efficiency technologies, processes and best practices within a 13-state area, through policy advocacy, program design and facilitation and piloting of energy technologies. Energy efficiency is the critical first step in meeting our nation's myriad energy challenges due to low entry costs, proven and emerging technologies, ease of implementation, fast return on investment and measurable results.
Through our diverse network of members and regional allies, MEEA possesses the practical experience and informed vision to effect positive change today by supporting the region's stakeholders to achieve their efficiency goals for the future.
SOURCE The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance