June 17, 2016—Around 570 advocates, public officials, and policy makers shared best practices from around the nation at this year’s National Energy and Utility Affordability Conference (NEUAC) last week. This year’s conference titled, “Building Bridges: The New Frontier,” was nestled in the middle of the Rocky Mountains in the Mile-High City of Denver, CO.
National leaders in the energy field presented on “The Utility of the Future,” focusing on the impact the changing energy market will have on low-income energy consumers. Energy affordability issues have arisen around the implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which currently faces litigation. Both a plenary session and a workshop explored the Clean Power Plan’s relationship to low-income households. Overall, NEUAC featured more than 40 workshops on a wide variety of issues related to low-income energy assistance.
The NEUAC board chose to honor Skip Arnold, executive director of Energy Outreach Colorado, with its prestigious Sister Pat Kelley award. The award is given annually to an activist who works tirelessly to provide energy assistance to low-income communities.
The Victorine Q. Adams award went to HeatShare Human Services of New York in recognition of the fuel fund’s excellence and innovative work, while the Corporate Excellence award went to Xcel Energy.
NEUAC wasn’t the only one giving out awards during the conference. The National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association (NEADA), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded five recipients with the Eternal Flame award: Sue Brown (Wisconsin), Jerry McKim (Iowa), Carri Crittenden (Oklahoma), Richard Moffi (Vermont, retired), and Elliot Jacobson (Action, Inc. in Massachusetts). This relatively-new award is given to LIHEAP directors and other notable individuals in the low-income energy assistance field, not as a “lifetime achievement award,” but as an acknowledgement of the recipient’s everlasting impact on the low-income community. The award’s first recipient, in 2015, was Kay Joslin, who was a longtime director of the LIHEAP Clearinghouse.
Sources: Press Release, NEUAC, NEADA