Hundreds turn out for engrossing, inspirational Fall 2015 Clean & Affordable Energy Conference and Awards Gala

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To say the NW Energy Coalition’s Dec. 3-4 fall conference and 2015 awards gala were big successes would be a gross understatement. More than 150 people jammed the Washington State Conference Center in Seattle on Thursday to hear:

  • University of Washington Climate Impacts Group deputy director Joe Casola explain that 2015’s supposedly abnormally high temperatures, with rain replacing winter snow, are pretty much what Northwesterners should expect going forward.
  • Major utilities, power planners, regulators and advocates discuss what the change means for power planning and for choosing appropriate state, regional and national carbon-reduction policies.
  • Keynote speaker Dr. Nancy Ryan of E3 detail how electric vehicles reduce emissions, total energy consumption and retail rates and dispel the myth that they will bring high costs to utility customers.
  • How rate designs in an evolving utility marketplace can help or hinder clean energy progress and consumer/low-income well being.
  • About the growing movement toward “pay for performance” energy efficiency programs which pay for actual, verified savings in upgraded buildings rather than paying upfront incentives based on a project’s predicted reduction in energy use.


Most attendees stayed around, and were joined by others, for the rousing Awards Gala that night, featuring many inspirational remarks from winners of the Coalition’s traditional awards and our 4 Under Forty honorees. See brief descriptions of the award winners from the gala program here.

Coalition supporters were winners as well. Peter West won the raffle for an exquisite Matthew Patton pot, Robin Calhoun won a Tesla test drive party for eight people, and Stan Price won the drawing for two free round-trip flights on Alaska Airlines.

Many thanks to our conference sponsors: Seattle City Light, Vulcan Inc., nrg. EVgo, Alaska Airlines, Tesla Motors, Cadmus, AirWorks Heating and Cooling Solutions, Proterra, Citizens’ Utility Board, Northwest Energy Efficiency Council and Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union.

Thanks also to Coalition members and allies who turned out, participated in and provided energy to discussions, contributed to the Coalition’s future and made the conference, gala and membership meetings so successful.

Member meetings

On Friday, Coalition members met in their state/provincial, utility and low-income caucuses and held full membership and board meetings.

Notable items from the membership meeting included:

  • Initial discussions to inform development of a new multi-year strategic plan for the Coalition.
  • Acceptance of a new organizational member, electric vehicle innovation trade association Drive Oregon.
  • Adoption of a resolution promoting transportation electrification and associated infrastructure development to reduce harmful emissions, boost energy efficiency and help integrate renewable energy.

The Coalition’s next NW Clean & Affordable Energy Conference will be held May 19-20 in Missoula, Mont. Save the dates and stay tuned for agenda announcements.



Media: Dry Winter of 2014-15 a Dress Rehearsal for Climate 2050Seattle PI, December 9, 2015.

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