Innovative Projects Help Ohio Manufacturers, Minnesota Building Owners Slash Energy Use

2013 Inspiring Efficiency Award Winners Celebrated

Jan 17, 2013, 15:18 ET from Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

CHICAGO, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Seven first-of-their-kind programs have been recognized by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) for helping Midwestern businesses and consumers save energy and money in new and innovative ways. The winners of MEEA's 2013 Inspiring Efficiency Awards include:

  • A program that has helped Ohio manufacturers reduce energy costs by more than $13 million annually and better compete on the global market.
  • A "Kilowatt Crackdown" campaign that took more than 13 million kWh off the grid – enough electricity to power more than 1,100 homes for a year – in the Twin Cities.
  • A rebate program that drove improvements to the PC market by incentivizing major computer companies such as Dell to manufacture and sell more energy-efficient computers to Minnesota customers.

"These trend-setting programs will have a ripple effect across the nation and the world, saving businesses and consumers millions in energy costs," said Jay Wrobel, MEEA Executive Director. "We are proud to recognize the ingenuity and drive of our Inspiring Efficiency Award winners, and to showcase the innovative ideas coming out of the Midwest."

The winners were honored at the Inspiring Efficiency Awards dinner and gala on Thursday, Jan. 17, during MEEA's 11th annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference ( The three-day conference, which runs through Friday at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago, is the largest regional energy efficiency conference in the nation. The event brings together a broad range of private- and public-sector thought leaders in energy strategy, policy, technology and program design and implementation.

The Inspiring Efficiency Awards competition recognizes Midwest energy efficiency leaders in five categories: Leadership, Education, Impact, Innovation and Marketing. The Inspiring Efficiency Chairman's Award is also bestowed each year to an individual or organization that has exhibited exemplary leadership for energy efficiency in the Midwest and support of MEEA.

Award recipients for 2013 included:

  • Education Awards:
    • AEP Ohio, for its e3smart program, which has educated thousands of Ohio students about energy efficiency by helping them install and monitor energy-saving devices such as LED nightlights at home.
    • Xcel Energy and the Greater St. Paul and Greater Minneapolis Building Owners and Managers Associations (BOMA) for the Kilowatt Crackdown campaign, which took more than 13 million kWh off the grid by challenging Twin Cities business owners to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.
  • Impact Award: Xcel Energy, for its Computer Efficiency rebate program, which encourages computer companies to manufacture and sell more energy-efficient PCs to customers in Xcel's Minnesota service area. The program has achieved a total energy savings of nearly 33 million kWh to date and driven energy efficiency advancements to the overall PC market.
  • Innovation Award: The Ohio Development Services Agency's Office of Energy, for its program that helps Ohio manufacturers identify and implement energy-saving measures to cut electricity costs and be more competitive with manufacturers in other countries.
  • Marketing Award: Nicor Gas, for its successful "Summer Staycation" campaign that encouraged customers to purchase high-efficiency products for their homes by packaging rebates together in a fun and innovative way.
  • Leadership Award: Former Commissioner Cheryl Roberto of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, for her leadership to tackle complex regulatory issues and promote energy efficiency initiatives in her state and at the national level.   
  • Chairman's Award: Sam Sirkin, program development manager at JACO Environmental, Inc., for his longstanding promotion of energy efficiency programs and his many years of service and dedication to MEEA.

More information about the Inspiring Efficiency Awards and this year's recipients can be found at

About Midwest Energy Solutions Conference
The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. Each year it brings together a broad range of private- and public-sector thought leaders from around the nation who share a vested interest in energy efficiency. Now in its 11th year, the conference continues to grow as energy efficiency investment across the Midwest increased to more than $1.2B in 2012.

The conference is presented by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), the region's source on energy efficiency. Formed in 2000, MEEA is committed to advancing sound energy efficiency programs, policies and priorities in the Midwest. MEEA's membership represents a broad consortium of energy stakeholders from across a 13-state area.

SOURCE Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance