More fun than solar: The sun shines on ACEEE's energy efficiency conference in Arizona

Blog Post | November 17, 2017 - 10:27 am
By Martin Kushler, Senior Fellow

ACEEE’s 2017 National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource, held October 30-November 1 near Phoenix, Arizona, explored several emerging areas in the field, such as the health-related benefits of saving energy. This ninth biennial ACEEE “EER” Conference, like prior ones since 2001, featured a packed agenda. ACEEE has posted all the presentations on our web site, available for free public access.


Arizona proved to be a terrific host site. Welcome remarks were provided by a representative of the Arizona Governor’s office as well as by the chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission. Over 325 attendees heard an opening keynote speech by Pat Vincent-Collawn, president and CEO of PNM Resources and recently elected chairman of the board of Edison Electric Institute, who shared her perspective as a key industry executive and head of the primary electric industry trade association. Attendees also enjoyed the second day luncheon keynote by Chris Benjamin, chief sustainability officer of Pacific Gas & Electric. His topic, “The Utility Sector as a Climate Solutions Provider: Harnessing Energy Efficiency,” seemed particularly timely in a year that saw multiple unprecedented weather disasters in the United States.  

The agenda also featured presentations from more than 90 professionals in the utility energy efficiency field, who covered a wide array of topics during 25 breakout sessions. Examples include key state policies to encourage utility energy efficiency efforts, energy efficiency as a transmission and distribution resource, innovative and emerging energy efficiency approaches, measuring the resource value of energy efficiency, and examples of highly successful energy efficiency programs for each customer sector.

Several new areas of focus drew particular attention. With regard to the health-related benefits of energy efficiency (Session 2D), an area of growing interest in the field, presenters provided practical examples and current tools for quantifying those effects. Other sessions explored the increasingly important related issues of energy efficiency as a distributed resource (Session 2C) and the time-sensitive aspect of valuing energy efficiency as a utility resource (Session 4A). Another session focused on new developments in cost-effectiveness testing (Session 3D), including a presentation on the recently released National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM). We encourage readers to check out these and other conference presentations at

This year’s EER conference documented once again that energy efficiency continues to be the lowest-cost (and cleanest) utility system resource across the United States. ACEEE expresses a hearty “thank you” to all who supported and participated in this conference! (And stay tuned for future announcements about our 2019 EER Conference.)