The Energy Out West conference is held every other year and began in 1996 when a group of people doing weatherization work in the Northwest thought they could help each other do it better. The current president of Energy Out West (EOW) is Mimi Burbage, who should be familiar to readers of Home Energy and anyone in weatherization. Mimi brings that independent, Alaska, straight talk style to whatever she does, from heading the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to her work for EOW. This year the conference is in Boise, Idaho, which some people call the Northern Austin and I can see their point. It’s not just about potatoes around here. Good food, good music, and great public art are in abundance.

The core conference began this morning, after coffee and scones, with some introductions and welcome by Carol Gates, from DOE’s Golden Field Office. Carol recounted some of the successes of the last few years and WAP’s part in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Here are some brag facts:
  • More than 700,000 homes weatherized that will save $6.6 billion over the life of the measures; or $350 million each year.
  • WAP ARRA efforts created the third highest job numbers, at 13,230 as of the 4th quarter of 2011.
  • 377 MBtu of energy saved over the life of the measures; or 19 million MBtu per year.
 
The keynote speaker was Chris Gardner, the real life version of the man the actor Will Smith played in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness.” He is funny, wise, original, and very memorable. He does a much better job of being himself than Will Smith did. He somehow integrates a very healthy positive self regard, honesty, compassion, and deep humility. Unique and inspirational.
It was a full day and I didn’t come close to taking in everything that was offered. Sue White of American Indian Professional Services, Inc., as she has done for years, talked about the financial side of running a weatherization agency. (She recieved the EOW President's award—see photo.) Thomas Brunet of California American Water put the fear-of-drought in all his listeners. He highlighted Monterey, California for using half as much water as they used only several years ago, through the outreach he did to encourage conservation, and by the city implementing a tiered payment system. The city uses about 2.5 kWh to move a unit of water from the source to the user. Compare that to LA, which uses almost 7 kWh to move the same unit of water. Then Bob Scott of the National Association of State Community Services Providers (NASCSP) depressed us, but not too much, by recounting how poorly the WAP program is being treated by the current dysfunctional Congress. He announced free beer at the reception after his talk, provided by Saturn Resources Management, and promised more hope for tomorrow.
- Jim Gunshinan
This blog originally appeared on homeenergy.org.
Photo caption: (from left to right) DOE's Carol Gates; Sue White, EOW President's Award winner; and EOW President Mimi Burbage. Photo by Dene Breakfield.

Views: 144

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Todd Hoener on May 3, 2012 at 8:46am

EOW is a working and training conference combined with opportunities to meet and connect to some of the earliest weatherization gurus and advocates as well as discover the next generation of building scientists. It's also a lot of fun. Glad to see Jim there again.

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Ethan Bukowiec replied to Ethan Bukowiec's discussion Thoughts on energy startup's new propane smart meter
"Wanted to give everyone an update on how things are doing with our Kickstarter campaign. We have…"
11 hours ago
Tom White's video was featured

Unlocking the Power of Grey Water in a Living Building Challenge Home

Rob Nicely, President of Carmel Building & Design talks with Tom Wood, Nexus eWater System's Chief Technology Officer, about Unlocking the Power of Grey Water.
11 hours ago
Griffin Hagle's discussion was featured

You're designing a Home Performance dashboard. Which 6 metrics do you include?

Credit Karma got me thinking about this. For those who are unfamiliar, it's a free* online credit…See More
11 hours ago
Bud Poll's discussion was featured

Inconsistant Local Authority

It becomes frustrating to give people modern advice and then have to backtrack and tell them to do…See More
11 hours ago
w d's discussion was featured

Managing Solar Energy

What's the state of the art on managing solar energy (esp. at the home)?There's surely no…See More
11 hours ago
Ethan Bukowiec's discussion was featured

Thoughts on energy startup's new propane smart meter

Hello,I wanted to introduce you all to a new energy startup I am working with called …See More
11 hours ago
George Kopf's discussion was featured
11 hours ago
John Porterfield replied to Dave Robinson's discussion Can We PLEASE Stop Calling Them “Ductless” in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"Any update on this work?  Seems manufacturers would provide an indoor coil that would…"
13 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service