2012 Alliance Wrap Up: The Alliance to Save Energy's Year in Review

The year 2012 was a milestone for us at the Alliance to Save Energy: We celebrated 35 years of advancing energy efficiency, and laid solid groundwork for another 35 years. Alliance President Kateri Callahan rang in the New Year – and new lighting efficiency standards – by appearing with New York City’s LED-lit Times Square Ball. Throughout the rest of the year, we charged forward with consumer outreach, on-the-ground projects, and political advocacy to inject “using less, doing more” into people’s daily lives.

These are our proudest moments of 2012:

POLICY 2012: Convened a Commission to Revolutionize Energy Policies

One of our major accomplishments in 2012 was the launch of a landmark task force that is poised to springboard far-reaching energy efficiency legislation. That task force – the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy – identified a set of public policies that have the power to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030. The EE Commission is now taking these policy recommendations to the Obama administration and the 113th Congress.

In another big win for the Alliance, our advocacy on Capitol Hill for the “Shaheen-Portman” national energy efficiency strategy and an appliance standards bill led to President Barack Obama signing several important provisions from these bipartisan bills into law. Meanwhile, our grassroots activism garnered 28,000 signatures for a petition urging Congress to reinstate tax incentives for energy-efficient home upgrades.

EVENTS 2012: Brought Together Energy Leaders from Around the Globe

Our fifth Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EE Global), set in sunny Orlando, Fla., convened the world’s foremost thought leaders in energy efficiency to create a path toward widespread energy efficiency implementation. In October, we unveiled the EE Commission’s landmark research and policy recommendations at the ninth Great Energy Efficiency Day on the Hill. That night, we celebrated our 20th Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency Awards Dinner by honoring the 2012 energy efficiency luminaries and 100+ past award winners.

In addition to our large conferences, we hosted exclusive meetings for Associate members with key policy makers, as well as a successful series of educational events for the public on topics like the Green Button Initiative and energy efficiency in congregations.

INTERNATIONAL 2012: Helped Cities & Rural Areas Worldwide Save Energy

We strengthened energy efficiency policies and programs outside of the United States with help from our offices in India, Armenia, Ukraine, South Africa, and Mexico.This year we were especially excited about leading eco-cities exchanges with Chinese officials. In the fall, we helped bring 23 mayors and high-ranking ministry officials from Chinese cities to California cities, where they saw energy efficiency in action.

We also launched a successful donation campaign that supported our Watergy program in South Africa and helped the 1 million residents of drought-prone Nelson Mandela Bay save water and energy.

Our other international accomplishments were driving building codes in India, advancing National Energy Efficiency Action Plans for Buildings in Southeastern Europe, and expanding energy efficiency capacity at the national level in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region.

EDUCATION 2012: Saved Millions of Kilowatt-Hours in America’s Schools

Our PowerSave Campus program – which is on 23 campuses in six states – saved an impressive 209,000,000 kWh and won three Student Energy Efficiency Best Practice awards. What’s more, 75% of “graduated” PowerSave Campus interns now work in the sustainability field.

Our PowerSave Schools program – which is on more than 300 K-12 schools in California, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Tennessee – saved 19,000,000 kWh through simple behavior change projects. Of particular note, the program reduced electricity use by 12.5% in 164 Memphis schools, and by 8.3% in seven Knox County (Tenn.) schools.


BUILDINGS 2012: Made Energy Codes More Efficient

Standing on our groundbreaking report proving that homes built to the 2012 national model energy code saves thousands of dollars in energy costs, we mounted “boots on the ground” advocacy to convince states to reject attacks against building energy codes and adopt the 2012 code – which is 30% more efficient than the 2006 code. Meanwhile, our Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) encouraged 30 states to update their residential and/or commercial building energy codes. Now, 29 states meet the 2009 national model energy codes for residential buildings, 34 states meet the 2007 standard for commercial buildings, and BCAP is helping a slew of states with gaps in code compliance make plans to achieve full compliance.

On the homes front, BCAP armed consumers with knowledge on energy codes through a campaign with Consumers Union. Meanwhile, Alliance-affiliate Small Town Energy Program for University Park (STEP-UP) signed up 22% of University Park, Md., homeowners for energy audits.

INDUSTRY 2012: Advanced Energy Efficiency in Industrial Facilities

To advance energy efficiency in the industrial sector, we helped the U.S. Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing improve its organizational growth by recruiting companies, establishing the organization’s bylaws, and developing a business plan.

We also hosted an Industrial Energy Efficiency Forum that brought together about 60 industrial energy efficiency stakeholders and showcased two manufacturers (Volvo & Nissan North America) that achieved certification under the Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program. On the regulatory side, we helped finalize a petition on expanding industrial-scale, electric motor energy efficiency standards that could save 4.4 Quads over 30 years if incorporated in the final rule.

UTILITIES & GOVERNMENT 2012: Promoted Energy-Saving Plans & Purchases

The Clean and Efficient Energy Program (CEEP) – our partnership with the American Public Power Association and the Large Public Power Council – helped public power utilities break down barriers to large-scale energy efficiency programs. In particular, CEEP helped energy efficiency program managers benchmark their utilities’ performance and generate recommendations for improving public energy efficiency data. CEEP also set in motion a multi-utility retail incentive program that will reduce utilities’ administration costs while communicating with a unified national voice to retail partners.

Partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to improve energy management in the federal government, we worked to increase vendors’ awareness of federal energy efficiency purchasing requirements. We also updated building guides with these requirements and made recommendations on improving energy efficiency labeling in government purchase catalogs.

SOUTHEAST REGION 2012: Rallied Communities Around Energy Efficiency

We promoted energy efficiency in the U.S. Southeast region by co-hosting an energy efficiency forum in Nashville for regional utilities, as well as educating Southeast manufacturers with a campaign featuring a video about SEP and ISO 50001.

Meanwhile, the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) – our partner in the region – set off over 2,200 home retrofits, becoming the third-most productive of the country’s 40 Better Buildings Neighborhood Program grant recipients. SEEA also helped Mississippi craft its first comprehensive, statewide energy plan; helped pass building code policy in Alabama and South Carolina; and led training to ensure code adoption.

PUBLIC OUTREACH 2012: Grew Fans & Followers In-Person & Online

Our thousands of posts via social media doubled our Twitter followers to 8,000 and grew our Facebook fans to a whopping 40,000. We also brought over 280,000 visitors to ASE.org, produced more than 40 videos, and live-streamed two events.

Beyond our own communications channels, we were in-print and online too with blog posts, letters to the editor, and quotes in publications like The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Journal, USA Today, CQ/Roll Call, and The Hill. And we were thrilled when Alliance President Kateri Callahan garnered meaningful media coverage at both political conventions, including a Politico panel at the Republican National Convention.