Energy Action Council

On March 21, 2011, the Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute convened a group of 30 highly-placed and cross-sector leaders to focus on regional imperatives for increased energy efficiency, conservation and use of renewables (EECR). The meeting was hosted by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and keynoted by its President, Kit Cramer. This landmark gathering provided strong affirmation of the importance of EECR issues and a framework for creating a leadership council and initial agenda to address them. Thus, the Energy Action Council (EAC) was created, with BRSI Principal, Steve Cochran, serving as EAC steward and facilitator. Founding Partners of EAC include private industry, academia, government, economic development, hospitality and foundation support.


Input at the initial EAC meeting and feedback collected via a subsequent on-line survey of the participants supported: (1) a near-term Energy Finance Summit and (2) the design and launch of a regional Energy Upfit Campaign to help link and support the many existing – but mostly unaligned – regional programs and projects addressing EECR.


Energy Action Council 

Financial Summit


In response to input received at the inaugural meeting of BRSI’s Energy Action Council (EAC) in March, an ‘Energy Finance Summit’ was convened on June 14, 2010. The overarching goal of the Summit was to bring together cross-sector regional leaders to focus on enabling financial support for energy efficiency, conservation and use of renewable energy (EECR). Particularly, representatives of the public and private banking community and of government at all levels were invited to participate. EAC’s founding Corporate Partner,Conrad Industries hosted the event at their Weaverville NC manufacturing facility, The Summit included a tour of Conrad’s 1,200 panel rooftop solar power facility.AdvantageWest/Advantage Green co-convened and provided financial support for the Summit. Additional financial support was provided by the Global Institute for Sustainability Technologies at A-B Tech.


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The standing-room-only assembly of 35 participants included senior leaders from across the spectrum including banking, higher-education, business, and manufacturing. As envisioned and designed, the four hour event generated information exchange, partnering opportunities, commitments for institutional and cross-sector action and general enthusiasm for and commitment to regional funding for EECR. Real Returns, consulting group from New York, presented a well-received blueprint for cross-sector funding collaboration. Real Returns will work with EAC to identify and act on follow-on opportunities.


Financial Summit participants volunteered to participate in two follow-on activities: focused sessions with the regional ‘Risk Management Association’ of banks, insurers and others, and the Manufacturers Executives Association. These events will occur this fall.


Thanks to all our sponsors!


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