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Review for Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), Washington, DC, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

The EESI team is extraordinarily effective at bringing people together, educating them on energy and environment issues, and working with coalitions to develop and implement solutions. Their small staff is incredibly knowledgeable, professional and totally dedicated to the cause of clean, renewable, efficiently used, energy – to combat climate change while enhancing job creation and energy independence.

Their briefings and publications are invaluable to Congressional staff. A couple of years ago I first attended, as an interested member of the public, one of EESI’s Congressional briefings. EESI’s Carol Werner was knowledgeable and articulate as the moderator. The panel was a mix of private and government representatives. Their combined knowledge covered all facets of the subject. The very large room was filled. A House staffer in the audience shared that he was doing committee work on legislation to facilitate migration to an “intelligent” electrical grid, to reliably and efficiently transmit electricity generated by clean, renewable energy sources. A crisp, intense dialogue between the panel and the staffer ensued - he relied on the information exchange to gain knowledge and insight, and brainstorm ideas, a critical part of the process to create more effective law and policy. EESI holds dozens of briefings each year on a variety of subjects, often at the request of members of Congress from both parties.

As a volunteer“fellow” at EESI for the last year, I have also seen EESI pull diverse groups of people together, public and private; national, regional, or state; left, right, or middle; to lay the foundation for widespread adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency. One such case was when EESI helped design a pilot program to enable energy efficiency retrofits for rural homes. The project uses an innovative financing mechanism – the resident pays for the retrofit cost by making loan payments through their electric bill. The savings from reduced energy use more than offsets the loan payments. The program is creating local jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing usage of foreign oil – and letting people live more comfortably! Some residents used to live in one room of their homes because they could not afford to heat all of it. EESI is now working toward enabling replication of the program, and proposed rules for a federal program have been published.

These are just a couple of examples of the highly talented, dedicated and efficient EESI team at work! By the way, Charity Navigator, the nation's premiere charity evaluator, has given EESI its top rating—4 Stars—five times in a row, something only 4% of non-profits have accomplished.

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Role:  Volunteer