On Earth Day, Let’s Focus on Energy

Posted April 22, 2014

On Earth Day it seemed apropos to share the most recent Letter from the Chair I provided to AESP which focused on the state of the demand side management industry. It is exciting to see continued growth and new opportunities in the field of energy efficiency. A good thing for ILLUME, our colleagues and friends in industry and of course the planet!

This month AESP released its annual 2014 State of the Industry report. This is the fifth year that AESP has released this report and the findings leave me encouraged and hopeful about the future of our industry. For me, and I am sure for most of you, one of the most important findings is that the energy efficiency and demand response industry continues to be a growing field offering new opportunities and strategies. In fact 66.2% of our members increased staffing in 2013 and nearly the same number expect to add staff into 2014. I look forward to meeting some of these new hires and industry entrants at a future AESP conference.

C&I programs continue to be identified as the area with greatest potential with small C&I edging out large C&I this year. Newer opportunities like the impacts of behavioral change programs on the commercial sector are causing excitement, as is the potential for accessing the treasure trove of data available to better target, work with and engage customers.

What might be the most intriguing finding for me though, is the idea that for energy efficiency as an industry to continue to grow and thrive, we need to rely on creative ideas that both capitalize on emerging trends and help us adapt to the constantly changing market. This notion of creativity strikes a deep chord for me; I find a creative environment as one of the most satisfying places to occupy. That said, we as an industry can often be quite risk averse. Navigating away from our natural state, to one where we are willing to pilot, test and take a risk on new models and approaches will test us in new ways but will also make us better.

I look forward to your feedback on the report and to seeing the materialization of these new creative ideas as we move forward in 2014.

The AESP 2014 State of the Industry Report can be downloaded by visiting the AESP website.