President's Perspective

Moving The Needle

Denise Fairchild

2014, as every new year, is cause to pause and reflect on your blessings and achievements and to strategize the new year ahead.  For us at ECC it meant asking if we accomplished our 2013 goal: “Moving the Needle” in the Energy Efficiency market.  I remember the staff expression of shock and chagrin at the idea that we would publicly proclaim such a lofty goal.  After all,  how could we possibly expect to measure, much less actually move the energy market to scale.  The barriers were palpable – on both the demand and supply side.  We were setting ourselves up for failure.

But, we stuck to our FY2013 theme: Moving the Needle.   The fact is, this target was significant less for the expected outcomes, and more for the clarity of vision of what we are trying to do, and the kind of effort and resolve we needed to drive our work.

So, the good news is that I’m claiming success.  Thanks to an amazing board and our hard working and dedicated staff, ECC did some important systems level work in 2013 that are springboards for replication and market transformation.  Several of these programs are highlighted in this newsletter, but include:

1)     RENEW – a innovative municipal pooled lease financing program that enables eligible MUSH sector owners to access attractive, off-balance sheet bond-financing for retrofits and capital projects using high-road labor and community standards.  This platform has replication potential.

2)     The E-Contractor Academy – the design and implementation of high road minority contractor training program to address the barriers of small, women, and minority to inclusion on energy efficiency projects.

3)      The design and deployment of a high-road monitoring and compliance web-based system to ensure effective implementation of community workforce agreements; and

4)     Utility Sector workforce agreements. – work is underway with private and public utilities in California and Seattle to include labor and community standards in their energy efficiency programs. Talk about moving the needle.

Of course, ECC also developed a number of important high road energy efficiency projects throughout the MUSH market (municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals) that are in various stages of the development.  But, it is these plug and play platforms mentioned above that are important lynchpins to accelerating and scaling the market.  I am also pleased by the work staff is doing to help define the social justice approach to “Resilience”, an emerging public and private sector program.

So, to the entire ECC family, Happy New Year!!!  2013 was a good year and we thank you for your continued support for our vision and work.  We commit to you to stay the course in 2014.  Clearly, we have only just begun to move the needle, but it is nudging in the right direction and we resolve to maintain this trajectory.

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