13th Annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference Takes Midwest by Storm

Aimee Skrzekut

Ecova was a proud sponsor of the 2015 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference (“MES Conference”), hosted by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (“MEEA”) from January 28-30 in Chicago. The MES Conference is the leading energy efficiency event in the Midwest, boasting attendance of more than 600 professionals across both public and private sectors, including utilities, state energy offices, academics, manufacturers and implementation companies. The no-holds-barred event took the Midwest by storm, but thankfully allowed most attendees to escape an actual Chicago blizzard just in the nick of time.

As a Chicagoan, I know firsthand just how long it can take to dig out, so let me provide a brief overview of the MES Conference while the snow melts. This year’s MES Conference tackled emerging industry issues with a robust speaker lineup. Issues addressed included energy efficiency and the Clean Power Plan, ways to achieve sustained energy savings through successful behavior change programs, and energy efficiency finance options. Speakers also addressed trends across integrated, industrial and agricultural efficiency. Attendees were taken on a guided exploration of the future of program evaluation, the countless non-energy benefits of efficiency, the region’s regulatory climate and innovation in advanced lighting technologies.

During the MES Conference, Ecova also had an opportunity to demonstrate its continued support for MEEA’s Midwest LUMEN by attending their reception. MEEA’s Midwest LUMEN is the Midwest’s only collaborative utility network, which brings together lighting program managers to share best practices and leverage collective resources. Ecova’s very own Marni Drew, director of marketing services, presented on lighting marketing strategies in the retail, commercial and industrial sectors at the Midwest LUMEN meeting on Wednesday, January 28. During the presentation, Marni also addressed data acquisition strategies, the importance of customer engagement mapping, and retail segmentation and targeting.

Last but not least, Ecova joined industry partners in celebrating recipients of the 11th Annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards on Thursday evening of the conference. The event recognized key energy efficiency contributors within each of the following areas: Leadership, Education, Impact, Marketing and Innovation. Congratulations to the City of Chicago (Impact); Illinois Energy Now: Efficient Living Public Housing Authority Program (Impact); AEP Ohio, CEI Program (Innovation); DTE Energy, DTE Insight Tool (Innovation); Nicor Gas energySMART (Marketing); Jim Jerozal, Nicor (Leadership); Carol Stemrich, PSC WI, FOE (Leadership); and Tim Melloch (Chairman’s Award). Their extensive achievements in energy efficiency are incredible and a true inspiration to us all!

For a complete download on MES, including conference presentations, the attendee list and event highlights, please visit: http://mwalliance.org/conference.

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