2011 Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency: Awarding Our Energy Champions

For a photo slideshow and videos from the Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency, as well as bios of each award winner, visit our comprehensive event page

Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2011 — The 19th annual Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency highlighted great progress made this year in energy efficiency and honored the people behind it.

At what has been described as the Academy Awards for the energy community, nearly 500 corporate, academic and government leaders clad in tuxedos and gowns filled the historic Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. Distinguished speakers honored the “stars” of the night:  those who made outstanding contributions to the cause of saving energy in 2011. In turn, award winners pledged to redouble their efforts in 2012 and called on fellow attendees to join them.

Photo (from left to right): Alliance Honorary Vice Chair Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.); Alliance Honorary Chair Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.); U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck; Alliance President Kateri Callahan, Alliance Honorary Vice Chair Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.); U.S. Department of the Navy Assistant Secretary of Energy, Installations and Environment Jackalyne Pfannenstiel.

Celebrating the Life of Alliance Co-Founder Charles H. Percy

Throughout the night, speakers paid homage to former Sen. Charles H. Percy, who co-founded the Alliance in 1977 and died on Sept. 17, 2011. When presenting the Charles H. Percy Award for Public Service, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) set aside his pre-written speech to talk from the heart about the man who the award was named for, as well as the organization he co-founded.

“The Alliance to Save Energy is a place that brings people from various perspectives together to try to take on this very important issue of energy efficiency,” Warner said, noting that Percy worked directly with the night’s Public Service Award winner, Daniel Yergin.

Daniel Yergin chairs the IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, won the Pulitzer Prize for his book The Prize, and recently published The Quest. He worked alongside Percy and reminisced about Percy’s vision for the burgeoning Alliance to Save Energy.

“I vividly remember sitting in Chuck Percy’s office listening to what he wanted to do with it,” Yergin said, adding that Percy would be proud of the Alliance’s role in helping the United States become “twice as energy efficient today as it was when I met him.”

Photo: Sen. Mark Warner presents the Charles H. Percy Award for Public Service to Daniel Yergin.

Honoring Advancements in the U.S. Navy

Among the many other highlights of the night, Alliance Honorary Chair Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) presented the Chairman’s Award to U.S. Department of the Navy’s Assistant Secretary for Energy, Installations and Environment  Jackalyne Pfannenstiel.

“Defense and our military are the biggest users of energy in our government, and our government is the biggest energy user in the country. Efforts like the ones Jackie is leading in the Navy are truly groundbreaking.”

Under Pfannenstiel’s watch, the Navy is working to reduce petroleum use in its commercial vehicle fleet by 50% by 2015 and make half of all installations net-zero-energy by 2020, among many other ambitious goals.

Pfannenstiel addressed her “fellow energy wonks” by explaining how the Navy is setting the pace for the rest of the nation. “For us, energy efficiency is the first course of action to ensure our energy security… I’m proud that the Navy is helping to lead the way,” Pfannenstiel said.

Photo: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen presents the Chairman's Award to Jackalyne Pfannenstiel.

More on the Energy Efficiency Awards Dinner

Pfannenstiel and Yergin were not the only big winners of the night. The Alliance presented five more Stars of Energy Efficiency Awards to the following companies that made significant energy efficiency achievements: Briggs & Stratton; Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute; Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics; Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland; and Think Eco.

For more information on all the winners, visit the Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency event page. For background, check out our previous news coverage of this event.

Photo: U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Alliance President Kateri Callahan.

Interviews with EE Luminaries

The Alliance caught up with several notable guests at the Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency. Here's what they had to say.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu:

“We want to save energy to save money. We want to save energy to make our economy more efficient, more prosperous. And of course, we want to save energy because it helps in our climate goals.”