Taking Your Smart Energy Knowledge to the Next Level

by | Feb. 16, 2016

In many ways, I was born to moderate a panel at next week’s Smart Energy Summit, held at the Omni Hotel in Austin.

I grew up in a household where my father would “politely” remind us to turn off the lights when we left a room. I can say with some degree of certainty his motivation went far beyond being an early conservationist; he didn’t want to pay the Philadelphia Electronic Company (now PECO) one penny more than he had to.

And for the past 32-plus years, I have been living with one of the greenest women around, a true relic of the self-aware, save-the-planet ‘60s and devoted follower of Lady Bird Johnson, one of our generation’s great ecologists and prime forces behind the Highway Beautification Act. Not only was my wife one of the first folks in the Pacific Northwest to engage in multi bin recycling programs, she was (and is) cautious to never run the dishwasher or laundry machines during peak energy times. Hers is not a case of being thrifty; my wife is a die-hard, power-saving sort who delights in shutting down the hot water heater temperature when we are away for more than 24 hours.

For me, the Smart Energy Summit is a three-day educational journey—a graduate degree in all the things I have been exposed to from my father and later, my wife. The list of topics of interest to me—an analyst plotting the growth and vision for the smart energy, smart home and smart security spaces—includes smart energy services but detours into home automation, solar energy and electric cars. Four years ago, I made the leap from traditional to hybrid automobile and have my eye on an electric car even though gas prices are now at a point that hasn’t been seen since my college years.

I am especially excited about my panel, Success Stories in Energy Management, which I think of as a window into a large expert user’s group. In many user groups, it’s traditional for participant to share “things that worked” and “best practices” to share with each other and provide take-aways that can be introduced into each other’s programs. In the case of the panel I am moderating, the panelists will share success stories which we will then explore to learn how these pilots or programs were built and the keys to making them work. This will be a session that leads to a lot of note taking and hallway discussions after our hour concludes. We all are eager to experience the audience input in this interactive session.

Panel Participants include:

  • Patrick Agnew, Program Manager, In-home Technology, Florida Power and Light
  • Mark Cosby, Business Development Leader, Westar Energy
  • Harry Emerson, Smart Grid/SmartHours Program, Director, Product Development, OGE Energy Corp
  • David Grant, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Tendril
  • Steve Nisbet, VP - External Relations & Power Solutions, Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association


The  seventh-annual Smart Energy Summit: Engaging Consumers will be held February 22-24 at the Omni Hotel Downtown in Austin, Texas. The event provides businesses with networking opportunities and examines partnerships and new business solutions that leverage the growing consumer demand for energy efficiency products and services.

Information about the Smart Energy Summit can be found at http://www.ses2016.com.



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