How can regional collaboration move us toward a low-carbon future?

This post was written by Carol Grant, Commissioner of Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and NEEP Summit Co-Chair.

Energy industry experts are challenged with implementing advanced efficiency as a key pathway to building a low-carbon future. But, what exactly does that mean? What is advanced efficiency? What does a low-carbon future look like?

Sometimes it feels as if there are more questions than answers, but I hope you will consider joining us at this year’s NEEP Summit, "EE by the Sea", where we’ll explore and begin to answer some of those questions. In fact, we’ll set sail where an “ocean of opportunity” awaits us.

As Commissioner of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, I am incredibly pleased to serve as co-chair and host for this year’s conversation, one that I believe will inspire, sustain, and challenge us to envision greater things in our energy future.

The image of our low-carbon future is not always clear. We face the challenge of effectively addressing affordability, resiliency, modernization, and system integration in our policy and program development, as we have since sustainability first came to the forefront of energy management. Though our region is a national leader and we’ve made much progress, we cannot rest on our laurels. Now more than ever, there is a great need to push forward in re-imagined and improved policies and programs aimed to achieve the lofty energy consumption and carbon emission goals we’ve set for ourselves.

In addition to serving as co-chair, I will moderate Tuesday’s policymaker panel with featured panelists Tommy Wells (DC DOEE), Mary Sotos (CDEEP), and others. Our discussion of leadership in a changing energy efficiency landscape will set a great foundation for the “Ports of Call” roundtable later that morning, where the cutting-edge programs in our region will be highlighted for their ability to meet multiple goals and address remaining challenges. With perspectives from multiple states, it will be an exciting morning filled with best practices and success stories we can use to chart our course forward.

Energy efficiency is a nationwide challenge—and it is also an opportunity. To make a difference, it is vital that we continue to focus on collaboration within our region. Rhode Island is ready to do its part in forwarding the work that regional energy efficiency organizations have facilitated these many years.

NEEP’s annual Summit represents the continued power of our partnerships, and what we can achieve through them. As in all of NEEP’s work, we have created an opportunity to not only bring people together, but also to highlight success stories and celebrate our shared victories. I look forward to “setting sail” with you on October 1!


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