PRESS RELEASE: NWEC Conference and Gala next Thursday in Seattle

TO ALL MEDIA: For immediate release, Nov. 25, 2015

Contact: Marc Krasnowsky, ma**@nw******.org, (206) 621-0094; cell (425) 281-0668

NW Clean & Affordable Energy Conference and Awards Gala:

Energy experts to address region’s changing hydrology
and how electric vehicles can advance clean energy

Dec. 3 conference in Seattle to weigh best utility rate designs
and explore new frontiers in energy efficiency

SEATTLE – Climate change is affecting the hydrology of the Columbia Basin. The Dec. 3 NW Clean and Affordable Energy Conference in Seattle will consider the nature and extent of the changes, what they mean for power production and salmon survival, and the best policies for reducing the carbon emissions that cause them.

The NW Energy Coalition conference, one of two held each year across the four-state region, also will focus on:
• The promise and challenge of electrifying our transportation system
• How utility rate designs can foster equity and clean energy development in a rapidly changing power marketplace
• New energy savings frontiers in buildings

All sessions will be held in the Washington State Convention Center’s Conference Center at 801 Pike St. in downtown Seattle.

Joe Casola, deputy director of the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, will kick off Thursday morning’s program by outlining the latest climate science findings and what they mean for Northwest hydrology.

His presentation will frame the subsequent panels on the implications of climate change for power planning and for national and state carbon-reduction policies. Advocates, policy makers, utility regulators and officials of major Northwest utilities will populate those panels.

After lunch, Dr. Nancy Ryan, electric transportation expert for E3 (Energy+Environmental Economics), will deliver the conference keynote speech. She’ll address the role of transportation electrification in reducing carbon emissions as well as associated utility and bill-payer issues.

The day’s third panel will investigate the best rate designs for enhancing clean and affordable energy in a changing utility marketplace. Panelists representing the perspectives of utilities, consumers and clean energy/sustainability advocates will gauge the effects of minimum bills, time-of-use rates and other potential policies.

A special interview of noted energy efficiency innovator Chris Smith will cap Thursday’s program. Smith, president of Portland, Ore.-based Energy 350, will answer Northwest Energy Efficiency Council executive director Stan Price’s questions about “pay-for-performance,” a whole-building approach to energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

Go here for a complete agenda and speakers list.

The Coalition also will hold its 2015 Awards Gala, a separate fundraising event, at 6:30 p.m. that evening (Thursday, Dec. 3), also at the Conference Center. The Coalition will hand out its annual Headwaters, Conservation Eagle and Doug Still Memorial Organizing awards, and honor its 4 Under Forty leaders for a clean and affordable energy future.

The Coalition’s membership and board will meet on Friday.

The conference is made possible by generous sponsorships from 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.

Individual registration starts at $130 for Thursday’s sessions, including breakfast and lunch. Register here.

NOTES TO MEDIA:

• Members of the working press are welcome and encouraged to attend any of Thursday’s sessions, including breakfast and lunch, at no charge. Please announce yourself at the registration desk when you arrive.
• Advance interviews may be arranged by contacting NW Energy Coalition communications director Marc Krasnowsky at ma**@nw******.org or (425) 281-0668.

The 34-year-old NW Energy Coalition is the region’s premiere clean energy policy alliance, comprising more than 100 environmental, labor, civic, faith and human service organizations, progressive utilities and businesses in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.