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: 197

Comment

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

Join Home Energy Pros Forum

Comment by Todd Hoener on May 3, 2012 at 11:46am

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.

Forum Discussions

What made this chimney fall down?

Started by Eric Kjelshus in General Forum. Last reply by Eric Kjelshus on Tuesday. 7 Replies

How would you insulate this roof?

Started by David Butler in General Forum. Last reply by Dave Taylor Nov 11. 61 Replies

Manual J (SD) for custom, luxury homes

Started by Dav Camras in HVAC. Last reply by Dav Camras Nov 10. 3 Replies

Quantitative methods for residential zoning

Started by Brett in HVAC. Last reply by David Butler Nov 9. 1 Reply

Home Energy Pros and #MeToo

Started by Mike Rogers in General Forum. Last reply by Mike Rogers Nov 9. 3 Replies

Latest Activity

Don Fugler added a discussion to the group HVAC
Thumbnail

joining ducts

A question came up on exhaust duct connections. I have always considered screws necessary for…See More
22 minutes ago
Don Fugler joined Allison A. Bailes III's group
Thumbnail

HVAC

HVAC design, Manuals J, S, T, & D, Duct leakage, Air flow, ENERGY STAR new home requirements,…See More
30 minutes ago
Profile IconSonny Roncancio and Chester Energy & Policy joined Home Energy Pros Forum
20 hours ago
Ryan Moore updated an event
Thumbnail

LEED for Homes Green Rater Training at Fort Collins, CO

December 7, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Green Insight will host this 2-day training in Fort Collins, CO December 7-8,…See More
yesterday
Rodney Bailey liked Rodney Bailey's discussion Energy audit equipment for sale.
yesterday
tedkidd liked Mike Rogers's blog post Focusing on payback to motivate customers?
Thursday
Home Energy Magazine's blog post was featured
Wednesday
Home Energy Magazine posted a blog post
Wednesday

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2017   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service