Congratulations to the 2024 AESP Energy Award Winners
Innovation in Demand Flexibility: Viking Cold Solutions
Viking Cold Solutions (VCS) optimizes refrigeration in cold storage, retail, and restaurants resulting in lower grid demand, greater load flexibility, reduced kWh consumption, and lower GHG emissions. Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology also efficiently stores renewable energy and has a 20+ year lifespan with zero maintenance. This technology is being adopted by food companies globally and allows them to work with grid operators to cost effectively manage demand variability while already saving over 42MM kWh and avoiding over 31 thousand MT of GHG emissions.
Innovation in Technology: Bidgely
Bidgely’s UtilityAI Platform gives utilities unique, behind-the-meter insights that unify strategic grid and customer programs. Enabling utilities to easily share appliance-level energy consumption information and data-driven discoveries cross-departmentally, Bidgely’s AI-powered energy insights inspire the rethinking of legacy problems with new approaches. Collaborating with Avista, Bidgely helped reduce high bill investigation truck rolls by 27%; improve customer engagement/satisfaction; identify new opportunities for Federal Grant capture; enhance EV and DER grid planning; and save hundreds of hours in employee workloads.
Program Design and Implementation – Commercial & Industrial: Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) was the first utility to create the Clean Buildings Accelerator (2021), a no-cost program, designed to help building owners comply with Washington’s Clean Buildings Law (HB 1257, 2019). This program aims to assist building owners, operators and facility teams to meet state-mandated energy targets and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in existing commercial buildings. To date, PSE supports 90 customers and counting on their path to compliance, targeting energy savings between 2%-7% or more per building. Nearly half of the customers continue into other PSE efficiency programs for additional energy savings engagements. PSE has successfully shared its program design with other utilities in WA.
Program Design and Implementation – Residential: Orange and Rockland
Rockland Electric Company (RECO) is an electric utility that serves more than 72,000 energy customers in northern New Jersey, including Passaic County and Bergen County. Rockland Electric is part of the Orange and Rockland Utilities group of companies. The New Jersey RECO EV Team has transcended ordinary job expectations and showcased an unwavering commitment to operational excellence by embarking on a mission to encourage EV charger installation through its Charger Ready program creation and program execution. A key aspect of this endeavor was the execution of contracts with EV manufacturers, facilitating data sharing necessary for program reporting.
Emerging Professional of the Year: Melinda Molina, C+C
Melinda has routinely been a star of her company-wide communications. She sends the multicultural minutes and has been a speaker at internal events where she teaches the company about how we can break down language barriers and learn to understand each other and the market better. She is an advocate for change in the best possible way.
Marketing and Customer Engagement – Commercial & Industrial: PEPCO
The Energy Efficient Communities Programs provide financial incentives to local municipal governments, schools, non-profit organizations, religious institutions, and other community-serving entities for implementing energy efficiency upgrades. These programs are specifically tailored to address entities that have historically been underrepresented in energy efficiency efforts. The growing recognition of potential energy savings by small businesses and even residential dwellings presents an opportunity for these entities to actively pursue improvements that not only save energy but also result in lowering electricity bills long-term.
Marketing and Customer Engagement – Commercial & Industrial: BGE
Since 2009, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s Smart Energy Savers Program® has offered customers a range of options to help them reduce their energy use and save money at home. Examples include discounts and rebates on energy-saving appliances and in-home consultations offering personalized advice on energy efficiency opportunities. One such program is the Quick Home Energy Check-up, marketed as a fast, easy way to learn about your home’s energy efficiency and identify simple ways to save. Already, BGE has reduced energy use by nearly 4 million kWh, the equivalent of removing 629 gas-powered cars from the road for a year.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Organizational: Ameren Illinois
Since 2008, the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program has been helping our state transition into a more affordable and cleaner future. They don’t just work in the communities they serve, they‘re a part of it. They work with residents, businesses and partners across Illinois to save our customers money, lower carbon emissions and strengthen our state’s economy. They are committed to helping customers improve comfort, manage usage and reduce costs.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Individual: Elie Touma, Energy Sciences
Elie increased the team size by 360% hiring and recruiting more than 35 plus professionals from various cultures and backgrounds so that every continent is represented at his current organization and more than 15 languages are spoken. But the most important part is giving the opportunity to diverse candidates and opening the clean energy career door for them. DEI is part of Elie’s daily life on the personal and professional level in his journey for a better clean world where clean energy is available and affordable to all.
Member of the Year: Karen Germain, ICF
Karen has been an AESP member since 2014 and served as a co-chair of the Marketing Topic Committee from 2020-2023. She has been an integral member of several Annual Conference planning committees – including helping to plan this year’s event – and is a frequent speaker and moderator on the AESP stage. She has been a strong voice for AESP for many years and continues to step up to the plate as needed – whether it is as a committee leader, speaker, or mentor to the next generation.
B.H. Prasad Award: Sarah Colvin, GE Digital
Sarah has been an AESP member since 2013 and served as the Ontario Chapter President from 2014-2017. She has also been a powerful force for change at AESP over the past six years as a member of our Board of Directors. As a member of our Strategic Initiatives Committee, Sarah helped lead our efforts to create our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Most recently, she led a full revision of AESP’s bylaws to ensure we are better prepared for our future as a strong organization. AESP owes her a great deal, and we are extremely grateful for her service to our organization, the AESP community, and our industry at large.
The clean energy industry is driven by a noble goal to make the world a better place. We work toward reducing harmful greenhouse gasses and our dependence on earth’s limited fuel resources.
Members of the AESP community are involved in activities every day that make strides – both big and small – toward achieving these goals. From developing new technologies and finding better ways to do things, to solving problems and devising innovative new approaches, the AESP ENERGY AWARDS were created to recognize this spirit of innovation and hard work.
Why Enter the AESP Energy Awards?
Prestige & Recognition
Give your project the recognition and exposure it deserves. There’s no better validation for a great idea than winning the industry’s leading award.
Help Advance the Industry
Great ideas should be shared. Through your award-winning program you help contribute to industry best practices and help inspire more innovative thinking.
Behind every success story is a team of individuals who’ve championed the idea every step of the way. This award recognizes your team and their hard work.
2024 Award Categories
Joule Mentor of the Year
Emerging Professional of the Year
Leadership in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Organization)
Leadership in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Individual)
Innovations in Demand Flexibility
Innovations in Technology
Marketing and Customer Engagement – Commercial & Industrial
Marketing and Customer Engagement – Residential
Program Design and Implementation
Past Winners Include
Quinn Parker, CEO