Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Announces Inaugural Energy Insecurity Project Implementation Awards

ATLANTA, GA – The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) today announced the winners of the inaugural Southeast Energy Insecurity Project Implementation Awards. The award winners were selected by the Southeast Energy Insecurity Project (SEIP) Leadership Forum. The project was formerly housed at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Sabrina Cowden, principal at Sabrina Cowden Consulting and a member of the Leadership Forum, said, “The award winners are doing the hard work of developing and implementing programs that facilitate better access to energy assistance. We are excited to support projects that provide meaningful pathways to address energy insecurity and can be held up as program models throughout the Southeast.” The awards are as follows:

The City of Savannah (GA) Office of Sustainability & the Athens-Clarke County (GA) Unified Government Sustainability Office

These governments were selected for a shared $10,000 award to support a project that will expand access to Georgia Power’s Home Energy Efficiency Assistance Program (HEEAP), an energy efficiency assistance program for income-qualified customers. This project will promote and explain the HEEAP to the community. The project team will also collect data on observed barriers to participation. This data will be brought to the Georgia Public Service Commission’s Demand Side Management Working Group, which advises both the commission and Georgia Power on existing and future energy efficiency programs, with the goal of lowering participation barriers for Georgia Power customers.

Alicia Brown, the clean energy program manager for the City of Savannah said, “I’m very excited for the opportunity partner with my friends in Athens-Clarke County. There are energy efficiency programs available today, that customers pay for on every power bill, that are not used as much as they should be simply because people don’t know they exist. Our goal is to spend the next four months changing that narrative in our respective communities and collecting insights to take back to the Public Service Commission to make these programs even more effective for those who need the assistance most.”

The Sustainability Institute (Charleston, SC)

This organization was selected to receive a $12,500 award to support a project that will identify and address health and safety challenges that prevent access to energy assistance and launch an awareness campaign to educate energy insecure communities and decision-makers. This project is focused on four underserved communities in North Charleston, SC that have a high number of aging homes and high energy burdens. This project will help develop a program that identifies homes that need repairs before they can receive weatherization upgrades. Project partners and AmeriCorps staff will support raising community awareness and outreach. 

The Sustainability Institute’s project partners include the Lowcountry Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC), Liberty Hill Improvement Council, Charleston Area Affordable Housing Coalition, Charleston County Government, Charleston Climate Coalition, and the South Carolina Energy Justice Roundtable.

Bryan Cordell, executive director of the Sustainability Institute, said, “So many families in our region are not only spending more than they can afford to heat and cool their homes, they are also facing home health and safety challenges that prevent efficiency repairs from ever being implemented. We are excited for the opportunity to work with underserved communities to better understand the challenges families are facing so that we can build a programmatic model that holistically addresses those needs. We believe that weatherizing homes is critically important work. The optimal outcome pairs energy upgrades with a healthy and safe living environment and also engages and empowers families.”

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Questions? Contact Sarah Burgher, senior marketing and communications manager.

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Announces New Board Officers and Advisory Committee Members

ATLANTA, GA – The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) today announced new officers for the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors and three new members for its Advisory Committee.

“We are thrilled to welcome our 2023 Executive Committee and Advisory Committee members,” said Aimee Skrzekut, SEEA president. “Their expertise and leadership in the energy efficiency sector and in the Southeast will help us continue to work towards a region that is a healthier, more resilient and a more affordable place to live.”

New Executive Committee members begin their two-year teams on January 1, 2023. The new committee members are:

  • Chair: Joe Gehrdes, Director, Community Relations, Huntsville Utilities
  • Vice Chair: Sybil Montegut, Vice President of Enterprise Analytics and Innovation, Cleco
  • Secretary: Lauren Casentini, CEO, Resource Innovations

New Advisory Committee members begin their 1-year terms on January 1, 2023. The new committee members are:

  • Mandy Faulk, Director, CLEAResult
  • Lisa Manuel, Project Manager, Advanced Energy
  • Mitchell Simpson, Director, Arkansas Energy Office

About SEEA

Questions? Contact Sarah Burgher, senior marketing and communications manager.

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Announces Inaugural Summit Awards Winners

ATLANTA, GA – The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) today announced the winners of the inaugural Summit Awards – The Peak Award for Excellence in Leadership, the Luminary Award for Pursuing Energy Equity and the Vanguard Award for Innovation in Efficient Energy. The Summit Awards recognize individuals and organizations forging a more equitable, efficient energy future in the Southeast.

Summit Awards Committee Chair and SEEA Board Secretary, Angela Strickland, said, “there has never been a more important time to recognize advances in efficient energy in the Southeast. We are excited to spotlight the leaders, advocates and innovators in the region who are moving us forward.”

The award winners are as follows:

The Vanguard Award for Innovation in Efficient Energy – Cobb EMC

At its best, efficient energy is a holistic approach to the generation, distribution and utilization of energy that maximizes social benefit and promotes prosperity. Efficient energy includes programs to optimize energy use in residential and commercial buildings, zero- and low-emission transportation and advanced technology. Innovation in efficient energy is characterized by a new method, technology or idea that has resulted in a net-new advancement in efficient energy. This award recognizes an outstanding organization or program that has championed an innovative approach to efficient energy in the Southeast.

Cobb EMC is a not-for-profit cooperative electric utility located in Marietta, GA. They serve 190,000 members in their service territory. Their Energy Network Program incentivizes their members to make energy efficiency and smart technology improvements in their homes. You can learn more about cobbemc.com/save.

The Luminary Award for Pursuing Energy Equity – EZ Green Home

Energy equity is measured by the presence of an inclusive decision-making process, the equitable distribution of both the costs and advantages of energy use to the entire community, accounting for historic prejudice and inequality and a view of how future generations will be impacted by choices made today. This award celebrates the accomplishments of an outstanding organization or program that has made significant strides in pursuing energy equity by sharing in the benefits and burdens of the energy transition regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender or geographic location. Benefits of an equitable energy transition include greater access to efficient energy technologies, a more diverse workforce, healthier buildings and people, more resilient buildings and a more vibrant economy for all.

EZ Green Home partners with energy providers in Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois and Mississippi to help customers become more energy conscious and save money on their monthly utility bills. Since 2013, EZ Green Home has helped more than 100,000 homeowners see significant reductions in their monthly energy consumption. Learn more at ezgreenhome.com.

The Peak Award for Excellence in Leadership – Chelsea Harnish, VAEEC

Leadership is a multifaceted quality that creates a clarity of mission, an environment which encourages innovation at all levels of an organization, empowers others within the organization and in the community. This award is given to an exceptional individual who demonstrates leadership in the efficient energy sector, considering greater energy efficiency, low- and zero-emission transportation, equitable energy benefits and burdens, and the advancement of the community at large.

Since 2015, Chelsea Harnish has overseen all VAEEC operations and strategic initiatives including program, policy, communications, membership and events. Chelsea regularly engages with decision makers, partners and members that help advance energy efficiency policy and programs that will help grow the industry throughout the commonwealth. Learn more at vaeec.org.

Winners were announced today as a part of the 2022 Southeast Energy Summit. SEEA president, Aimee Skrzekut, said, “These opportunities to advance new technologies, create better low-income programming, establish a diverse energy workforce, and prepare a more resilient Southeast have never been greater than they are right now.”

Questions? Contact Sarah Burgher, senior marketing and communications manager.

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance to Launch Smart Manufacturing and Energy Management Systems Pilot Program

ATLANTA, GA – The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) is pleased to announce its award of $500,000 through the Technical Partnerships Opportunity from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office. This award establishes a regional two-year pilot initiative that will test technical assistance and workforce development practices to catalyze greater uptake and integration of smart manufacturing technologies and enhanced energy management practices. The Southeast Smart and Efficient Manufacturing Collaborative comprised of SEEA, Georgia Institute of Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Advanced Energy, Association of Energy Engineers, 50001 Strategies LLC, Clemson University Center for Advanced Manufacturing and CESMII, The Smart Manufacturing Institute. The collaborative will provide awareness, education, training, instructor training and consultation services to the regional manufacturing energy management workforce and educate stakeholders on the benefits of smart manufacturing technologies and best practices on how to integrate systems into the sector.

Founded in 2007, SEEA is a nonprofit, regional energy efficiency organization based in Atlanta, GA. We believe that all people in the Southeast should be able to live and work in healthy and resilient buildings, utilize clean and affordable transportation, and thrive in a robust and equitable economy. We provide research, consultation and education, program management, and financial services to a diverse set of allies in the energy sector. SEEA represents more than 80 member organizations across the Southeast from utilities to state energy offices, service providers, manufacturers and advocates invested in building a more efficient, equitable and sustainable Southeast. With our members and partners, SEEA has delivered energy efficiency-related trainings to thousands of service providers in the region.

“This pilot program supports the advancement of the next generation of advanced manufacturing in the Southeast. It will help the sector evaluate and integrate the latest smart manufacturing technologies, systematic energy management practices and emerging sustainable manufacturing practices​,” said SEEA director of technology and market solutions, Sydney G. Roberts.

Questions? Contact Sarah Burgher, senior marketing and communications manager.

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Announces Southeast Energy Insecurity Project

ATLANTA, GA – Today, the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) announces the Southeast Energy Insecurity Project. In April 2022, SEEA assumed leadership of the Southeast Energy Insecurity Project, formerly known as the Southeast Energy Insecurity Stakeholder Initiative led by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. The initiative produced a report, Stakeholder Recommendations for Reducing Energy Insecurity in the Southeast United States, which includes 24 recommendations to address energy insecurity in the region.

In the next phase of this work, we are seeking candidates for a Southeast Energy Insecurity Project Leadership Forum and offering Southeast Energy Insecurity Project Implementation Awards to organizations that seek to advance one or more of the report’s recommendations through tangible action.

Southeast Energy Insecurity Project Leadership Forum

SEEA is seeking candidates for a Southeast Energy Insecurity Leadership Forum to review applications for the Southeast Energy Insecurity Project Implementation Awards and to contribute to a webinar series for interested stakeholders to discuss other recommendations and topics related to energy insecurity in the region. Candidates are asked to complete an online application at bit.ly/SELeadershipForum.

Southeast Energy Insecurity Project Implementation Awards

SEEA anticipates funding up to 1-2 proposals ranging from $10,000 – $15,000 through this RFP. Projects must be located within SEEA’s 11-state region including: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Submissions are due no later than Friday, September 2, 2022. Winners will be announced at the Southeast Energy Summit, October 2-5, 2022 in Atlanta, GA. Learn more about the awards at www.seealliance.org/rfp.

An informational webinar for more information on the leadership forum and awards is scheduled on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 10 a.m. ET. Registration is available at www.seealliance.org/events.

Questions? Contact Sarah Burgher, senior marketing and communications manager.

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Announces Inaugural Summit Awards

ATLANTA, GA – The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) today announced the inaugural Summit Awards – The Peak Award for Excellence in Leadership, the Luminary Award for Pursuing Energy Equity and the Vanguard Award for Innovation in Efficient Energy. The Summit Awards recognize individuals and organizations forging a more equitable, efficient energy future in the Southeast. Visit southeastenergysummit.com/awards to learn more and to nominate a colleague or company that meet the award criteria. Nominations are due no later than Friday, July 15, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET.

Summit Awards Committee Chair and SEEA Board Secretary, Angela Strickland, said, “there has never been a more important time to recognize advances in efficient energy in the Southeast. We are excited to spotlight the leaders, advocates and innovators in the region who are moving us forward.”

The awards are as follows:

The Peak Award for Excellence in Leadership (Individual)

Leadership is a multifaceted quality that creates a clarity of mission, an environment which encourages innovation at all levels of an organization, empowers others within the organization and in the community. This award is given to an exceptional individual who demonstrates leadership in the efficient energy sector, considering greater energy efficiency, low- and zero-emission transportation, equitable energy benefits and burdens, and the advancement of the community at large.

The Luminary Award for Pursuing Energy Equity (Organization or Program)

Energy equity is measured by the presence of an inclusive decision-making process, the equitable distribution of both the costs and advantages of energy use to the entire community, accounting for historic prejudice and inequality and a view of how future generations will be impacted by choices made today. This award celebrates the accomplishments of an outstanding organization or program that has made significant strides in pursuing energy equity by sharing in the benefits and burdens of the energy transition regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender or geographic location. Benefits of an equitable energy transition include greater access to efficient energy technologies, a more diverse workforce, healthier buildings and people, more resilient buildings and a more vibrant economy for all.

The Vanguard Award for Innovation in Efficient Energy (Organization or Program)

At its best, efficient energy is a holistic approach to the generation, distribution and utilization of energy that maximizes social benefit and promotes prosperity. Efficient energy includes programs to optimize energy use in residential and commercial buildings, zero- and low-emission transportation and advanced technology. Innovation in efficient energy is characterized by a new method, technology or idea that has resulted in a net-new advancement in efficient energy. This award recognizes an outstanding organization or program that has championed an innovative approach to efficient energy in the Southeast.

Questions? Contact Sarah Burgher, senior marketing and communications manager.

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Announces New Board Members and Staff Updates

ATLANTA, GA – The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) today announced five new members of its Board of Directors, four new members of its Advisory Committee, and several staff updates.

“We are excited to welcome new members to our Board of Directors, Advisory Committee, and staff to further support our mission to improve the quality of life in the Southeast through the use of energy,” said Aimee Skrzekut, SEEA president.

Board chair, Huiet Joseph, said, “I am excited to welcome this strong group of individuals to SEEA’s Board of Directors and Advisory Committee. During a critical time of expansion and growth, they bring new expertise and perspective to the energy efficiency industry in the Southeast.”

The new board members will begin their 3-year terms on January 1, 2022 and can serve a maximum of 2 terms. The new board members are:

  • M. Duanne Andrade – Chief Strategic and Financial Officer, Solar and Energy Loan Fund
  • Stephanie Armistead – Sustainability, Natural Resources Manager, Chick-fil-A
  • Lauren Casentini – Chief Executive Officer, Resource Innovations
  • Malcolm Miller – Director of Business Development, Walker-Miller Energy Services
  • Jaclyn Mothupi – Associate Director, Social Innovation, The Wond’ry, Vanderbilt University

Current board member, Jeff Smith with Georgia Power, will now serve as the board’s treasurer.

New Advisory Committee members begin their 1-year terms on January 1, 2022. The new committee members are:

  • Tom Ashley – Vice President, Policy & Market Development, Greenlots
  • Steve Leeds – Principal, Sustainability Consultants, LLC
  • Steve O’Day – Partner, Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
  • Mindy Schweitzer-Rawls – Principal and Lead Consultant, Lea Frederick Consulting

SEEA is also thrilled to announce the following staff updates:

  • Welcoming Sarina Sawyer in the new role of Workforce and Training Partnerships Manager
  • William D. Bryan has been promoted to Director of Research
  • Maggie Kelley Riggins has been promoted to Senior Program Manager
  • Joy Ward has been selected as SEEA’s Energy Research Fellow

Learn more about SEEA staff and board members.

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Receives Department of Energy Award to Ready the Advanced Energy Workforce in the Southeast

ATLANTA, GA – The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) announced a three-year $500,000 cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to fund the development and delivery of workforce training to better support the increase of advanced energy technology adoption such as electric air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, electric vehicle charging systems, and battery storage systems.

Founded in 2007, SEEA is a nonprofit, regional energy efficiency organization based in Atlanta, GA. SEEA works to optimize the use and impact of energy to enhance the quality of life in the Southeast. We believe that all people in the Southeast should be able to live and work in healthy and resilient buildings, utilize clean and affordable transportation, and thrive in a robust and equitable economy. 

SEEA will partner with AZS Consulting in FL and Viridiant in VA to deliver custom, locally specific, and customer-focused curriculum on advanced energy technologies to the building and energy workforce. The Advanced Energy Ready Workforce Southeast project will improve the technical expertise of service providers, customer comfort and energy costs, electrical grid operations and resiliency, as well as economic growth in the region. 

In the DOE announcement, U.S. Representative Nikema Williams (GA-05) said, “Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District is home to innovators working toward environmental justice for everyone. The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance is one of those innovators and today’s award will allow them to help consumers make the informed decisions they need to create a greener planet.”

SEEA represents a diverse array of more than 80 member organizations across the Southeast from utilities to state energy offices, service providers, manufacturers, and advocates invested in building a more efficient, equitable, and sustainable Southeast. With our members and partners, SEEA has delivered energy efficiency-related trainings to thousands of service providers in the region.

“This project is an incredible opportunity to really optimize the benefits of energy efficiency and advanced energy technology. The outcome is a more knowledgeable workforce, more affordable clean energy, and prosperity in the Southeast,” said SEEA president, Aimee Skrzekut.


Contact:
Sarah Burgher
Communications Manager
404-668-4033
[email protected]

American Jobs Plan Offers a Bright Future for All

ATLANTA, GA – On Wednesday, March 31, President Biden announced the American Jobs Plan which proposes large-scale projects that promise to increase electric vehicle fleets, expand vehicle charging infrastructure, improve public transit, modernize the electrical grid, build energy efficient and affordable homes, make public buildings healthier, and provide good jobs in clean energy.

“It is exciting to see this much-needed investment in a more resilient, efficient, and equitable energy future. We look forward to supporting energy efficiency initiatives across the Southeast that spur economic growth, improve public health, and recognize and address racial disparities in the energy system,” said SEEA president, Mandy Mahoney.

“For our region and for the nation to prosper, its people must prosper,” added Mandy. “The American Jobs Plan provides the necessary infrastructure to refill energy sector job losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, ensure people live in healthy, affordable housing, and have access to clean transportation.”

SEEA supports the implementation of policy that increases efficiency across the energy sector:

Expand Electric Transportation: invest $174 billion to bolster the American electric vehicle market including domestic supply chains, manufacturing, and consumer incentives; build a national network of 500,000 EV chargers alongside electrifying federal fleet vehicles, school buses, and diesel transit vehicles.

Redress Historic Inequities: create a new program that provides $20 billion that reconnects neighborhoods historically cutoff from investments and are most in need of affordable transportation options.

Build More Efficient Homes: offer $20 billion in tax credits to produce, preserve, and retrofit a million affordable, energy-efficient homes; designate $40 billion to address critical safety, health, and energy efficiency measures to improve public housing.

Improve Resilience: increase resilience with a $100 billion investment in the electrical grid to make electricity cheaper, cleaner, and more accessible; additional investment and incentives to build back homes and businesses above existing codes and standards to better weather climate-driven disasters.  

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Names New President

Atlanta, GA, March 29, 2021 – Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Aimee Skrzekut as its new president. Aimee was chosen after an extensive search and selection process and will start in her new role on April 26, 2021. Aimee currently serves as the president of ATS Consulting, specializing in strategic planning, fundraising, program, and policy development.

“Along with our board of directors, I am excited to welcome Aimee to the SEEA family,” said Huiet Joseph, SEEA’s board chair. “She has a deep knowledge of energy efficiency work in both the utility and nonprofit sectors as well as the experience to further build on SEEA’s goals to bring equity into the energy efficiency industry.”

Aimee has more than 20 years of leadership experience collaborating with utilities, corporate leaders, regional and national partners. She has a successful record of developing innovative energy efficiency programs, fundraising, and a long history of supporting both internal and external diversity initiatives.

“I am honored and thrilled to join the team at SEEA. I have long admired the organization’s focus on equitable solutions in energy and look forward to being a part of that work,” Aimee commented.

Aimee will succeed Mandy Mahoney, who has served as SEEA’s president since 2013. While at SEEA, Mandy led the region in promoting clean transportation, affordable housing, and energy efficiency policy. In January, Mandy announced her candidacy for Atlanta City Council.

“Mandy’s leadership continues to shape the conversation on energy efficiency in the Southeast. We are incredibly grateful for her service. We are looking forward to what the next chapter brings for SEEA.” said Steve Leeds former SEEA board chair and executive search committee chair.

The executive search for the new president was led by BoardWalk Consulting.