On November 8th, NEEC joined with a sold-out audience of members, longtime supporters, peer organizations, and other interested stakeholders to celebrate the transforming efficiency industry, NEEC’s updated mission statement, and to unveil the organization’s new name.
Joined by a panel of NEEC board members, NEEC’s Executive Director, Kerry Meade, presented a series of slides that developed the political, environmental, and market context that gave rise to NEEC’s new mission, which was announced in late 2022: Decarbonizing building energy use through market-based thought leadership, education, and advocacy. Kerry shared about the statewide GHG reduction targets that both Washington and Oregon have in place, and how those combined with the primary sources of emissions—buildings (including electricity) and transportation—led to the formation of regional, state, and local policies that address carbon emissions and energy use through regulation of emissions and commercial building performance. And while there is no doubt additional policy will be passed in the coming months, Kerry shared about how there is a notable shift in discourse now toward implementation, pointing out how that is a charge for our industry to drive change and assure success in meeting the statewide climate targets.
Kerry spoke about the impressive history of NEEC, which was formed nearly 30 years ago by Stan Price and has over the course of its decades of work played a key role in elevating the Pacific Northwest to a national leader in energy efficiency. While the mission of the organization has evolved to meet the needs of the current time, Kerry pointed out that energy efficiency continues to play an essential role in achieving climate goals. She then went on to discuss how energy efficiency in buildings is essential to success in meeting climate targets but is also just one of the tools required to shift buildings into the future. Going deeper on that topic, Kerry referred to all that is implied by such a goal, among which includes better aligning a building’s energy use with the needs of the grid, and that this shift from energy efficiency as the central objective to instead efficiency joining with demand response, distributed storage, onsite renewables, and a whole host of other building practices and technologies places buildings in the center of it all. Kerry then went on to share the organization’s new name—Building Potential.
Over the coming weeks, NEEC will be working to transition to Building Potential with a formal transition starting in January of 2024. Stay tuned for more updates and changes to the organization’s outward appearance. Along with the overall branding of the organization, the organization will be working to recruit new businesses into the “industry tent,” which Kerry described as representative of all businesses who provide efficiency and energy decarbonization services directly to building owners or to building owners through utilities and related entities, as well as businesses who develop systems, tools and other forms of support for energy efficiency and decarbonization services. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks, and as always feel free to reach out to Kerry if you have any questions or thoughts you’d like to share.