City of Aspen, Holy Cross hosting regional conference on utility energy efficiency

Aspen Daily News Staff Report
The city of Aspen and Holy Cross Energy are hosting the sixth Rocky Mountain Utility Efficiency Exchange conference in Aspen on Oct. 10-12 at Aspen Meadows Resort.

The conference, started in 2007 by Jeff Rice, city of Aspen utilities efficiency manager, is meant to bring together professionals working in utility efficiency and renewable energy programs to share best practices and inspire new ideas.

“When I started the city’s efficiency programs it was such a new effort and I wanted to know what was going on in the energy efficiency realm,” Rice said in a press release. “I realized many utilities had programs Aspen could learn from. I thought it would be beneficial to get them all together and share what was out there, hence the Utility Efficiency Exchange was born.”
 
This year’s conference theme is: How well are our energy efficiency programs working? Panel presentations featuring utility program managers and sessions by industry experts will explore incorporating energy efficiency initiatives into utility and government-sponsored programs aimed at energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy, customer service, and workforce development.

“We hope to showcase programs that are excelling as well as dos and don’ts in the industry.  Having these seminars and all the professionals in the industry sharing their knowledge and ideas has helped improve Aspen’s programs,” Rice said.
 
The keynote speaker for the conference will be Executive Director Emeritus for the California Center for Sustainable Energy, Irene M. Stillings. She will speak on the power of collaboration in energy efficiency program implementation. Closing keynote speaker Josh Radoff of sustainability consulting firm YR&G will focus on the big picture, and how utilities can play a role in the transition to a more sustainable society.
 
Holy Cross Energy, co-host of the conference, has been involved in utility efficiency and renewable energy programs since 2004. Steve Casey, manager of member services at Holy Cross Energy, said there has been a realization in the industry that energy saving takes cooperation.  “Through collaboration and innovation, ideas can be expressed and vetted. Lessons learned do not always have to reflect the challenges faced by Holy Cross alone. The emergence of the Rocky Mountain Utility Exchange provides a wonderful opportunity for meaningful exchange and networking with a whole host of professionals,” he said.

For more information on the conference, visit www.egia.org/academy/rockymountainexchange2012/