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Innovative Projects Engage Consumers, Businesses in Energy Savings via Technology Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Inspiring Efficiency Award Winners Celebrated

The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) celebrates nine winners that helped Midwestern businesses and consumers save energy and money in new and innovative ways. The recipients of MEEA’s 2015 Inspiring Efficiency Awards include:

  • The development of an interactive smart phone app, which allows residential electric customers to see their energy usage in real-time.
  • An initiative that has helped to make Chicago a more affordable, competitive and sustainable city.
  • An industry leader who developed and managed an energy efficiency program portfolio that achieved the highest natural gas savings in the U.S.
  • Innovative new program to advance energy efficiency in low income housing, saving residents energy and money.

“These organizations, programs and individuals showcase the many benefits of energy efficiency, from saving money for consumers and businesses, to saving energy and creating new technologies and innovative programs,” said MEEA Interim Executive Director Stacey Paradis. “MEEA is pleased to recognize this group of winners as part of the 11th Annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards’”

The winners were honored at the Inspiring Efficiency Awards dinner and gala on Thursday, Jan. 29, during MEEA’s 13th annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference ( The three-day conference, which ended Jan. 30 and was hosted at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, is the largest regional energy efficiency conference in the Midwest. The event brings together a broad range of private and public sector thought leaders in energy strategy, policy, technology and program design and implementation.

The Inspiring Efficiency Awards competition recognizes Midwest energy efficiency leaders in five categories: Leadership, Education, Impact, Innovation and Marketing. MEEA also honors one winner with the Inspiring Efficiency Chairman’s Award. Award recipients for 2015 included:

  • Education Award:
    • Nicor Gas won for its “What’s in the Box?” campaign that creatively simplified energy efficiency for homeowners and encouraged participation in Nicor Gas’ cost and energy saving programs.
  • Impact Awards:
    • The Illinois Public Housing Authority Efficient Living Program by the Illinois Public Housing Authority through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Architecture is one of the few public sector programs in the nation to influence energy and cost saving measures at local public housing authorities. The program helped install 97,510 energy saving measures at 52 of 99 public housing authorities in Illinois.
    • Retrofit Chicago by the City of Chicago won for its role in helping to drive energy efficiency improvements, and associated cost savings, job creation and greenhouse gas reductions, in Chicago’s residential, commercial and municipal sectors.
  • Innovation Award:
    • AEP Ohio was honored for its Continuous Energy Improvement Program, one of the first Strategic Energy Management Programs in the U.S. to apply a full treatment of energy use in large industrial facilities.
    • DTE Energy was celebrated for its DTE insight app, which allows customers to see their energy usage in real-time allowing them to change their habits, saving more money and energy.
  • Marketing Award:
    • Nicor Gas also won for its Customer Journey Strategy. The strategy involved examining program interactions, removing barriers to participation, and redesigning marketing, outreach and communications strategies, to be customer-centered.
  • Leadership Award:
    • Carol Stemrich, demand side manager for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, won the leadership award for playing a key role in launching Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency program. Carol’s vision and passion helped establish Wisconsin as a national leader in energy efficiency.
    • Jim Jerozal, managing director of energy efficiency at Nicor Gas, was honored for developing a program portfolio that resulted in more natural gas savings last year than any other energy efficiency program in the U.S.
  • Chairman’s Award:
    • Tim Melloch, retired director of energy efficiency services at ComEd, became known as the ComEd Energy Doctor. He is honored for his role in managing one of the nation’s largest and most cost-effective energy efficiency portfolios, and for his role in helping ComEd customers reduce energy consumption by approximately 8.5 million MWh and save more than $800 million on their electric bills. The former chairman of the board of MEEA retired from ComEd in August 2014.

View the Storify recap from that evening.

More information about the Inspiring Efficiency Awards and this year’s recipients can be found at