It is with great personal pleasure, as Executive Director of EnerChange, to welcome you to the first posting of our EnerChange blog. We have learned a great deal in this first year of our organization’s history, serving now over 54 clients, helping them to new levels of energy savings and dollar savings and to the other benefits that accompany our work. Since this is the first post, it seems entirely appropriate to comment on our mission and the complex of issues that contributed to our formation.
The founding of EnerChange grew out of two major impulses – 1) a desire to give stronger voice to the demand side of the energy distribution equation and 2) the belief that our country’s energy discussion focused too much on information and research and too little on action. Aware that we are facing global challenges from peak oil to climate change to unprecedented population growth to planetary crises such as the recent tragedies (earthquake and tsunami) in Japan – we can easily become bewildered about which way to turn and which challenge to address first.
The Reason We are Determined to Improve Energy Management
EnerChange is based on the premise that while all these issues are real and there is great divergence about meeting the challenges, the indisputably greatest opportunity for progress comes through the simplest solution of all – reduce energy consumption in every way possible. This objective of course, is a step toward the broader goal of planet health and wellness. The reason we are determined to improve energy management acknowledges that we are seriously involved in a major effort to reverse the many negative influences degrading the earth – deforestation, intolerable levels of carbon emissions, interdependence on fossil fuels, addiction to oil, and the list goes on. Paul Hawken, one of the founding forces in the sustainability movement reminds us that “Living within the biological restraints of the earth may be the most civilized activity a person can pursue, because it enables our successors to do the same.”
Around the time that we were becoming a viable 501 (c) 3 organization, then Governor Tim Pawlenty directly addressed the same issues we were targeting. “We are well past the cultural tipping point on climate change and our addiction to fossil fuels. It’s no longer a question of whether we change the way we produce and use energy, but how dramatic those changes are and how they’re implemented.” –from February 21, 2007 address to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce forum on The Future of Minnesota’s Energy. Governor Pawlenty, addressing the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group (MCCAG) two months later, continued to press the issue – “As Peter Drucker taught us, “The practices that got us here, won’t get us to the future. The best way to think about future is to go out and invent it…I’m proud of Minnesota’s longstanding attention to environmental issues, but here we need to raise the bar as others catch up. We want to be bold, dynamic…Sadly we have been complacent in thinking about energy and environment. But we’re reaching a tipping point, and we have to deal with it now.”
Newt Weed, founder of NICE – National Initiative by Consumers of Energy – and its program EnerChange, knew of the importance of high level commitment to this challenge. NICE/EnerChange’s founding Board of Directors included many well-known civic and political leaders from a clearly bipartisan spectrum. Wheelock Whitney, Walter Mondale, Arne Carlson, Gordon Sprenger, Dave Durenberger, Charles Denny and Bill Petersen were among the original Board members lending their support and influence to help our organization get started.
EnerChange is Gaining Momentum
Actively underway now – working with nonprofit clients since August of 2010 – we believe we are truly gaining momentum, living up to our original goals, objectives and spirit. We are dedicated to the highest possible levels of performance – saving our clients money by saving energy – and in so doing, reducing the pressure from the larger global issues facing the planet in 2011.
Be sure to contact us at EnerChange if you’d like to learn how our free service can save you money by saving your energy consumption. Visit our website www.EnerChange.org, contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. We look forward to helping you any way we can.