October 27, 2008

Governor, Reality TV, Personal Responsibility and Innovative Lighting Inspire Energy Efficiency Awards

CHICAGO, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) (mwalliance.org) today announced the winners of its 2009 Inspiring Efficiency Awards, the organization's 5th annual competition recognizing Midwest leaders who deliver groundbreaking advancements in energy efficiency across five categories: Leadership, Education, Impact, Marketing and Innovation.

The five winners will be honored at a special Inspiring Efficiency Awards Dinner and Gala on January 8, 2009, as part of MEEA's highly-regarded Midwest Energy Solutions Conference (http://www.meeaconference.org/), taking place January 7-9, 2009, at InterContinental Chicago, the first ENERGY STAR(R) certified hotel in Chicago. A sixth award, the Inspiring Efficiency Chairman's Award, will be announced at the Gala to honor an organization or individual that has provided exemplary leadership and support to MEEA throughout the organization's history.

"We're excited and invigorated by the contributions that our 2009 Inspiring Efficiency Awards recipients have made in advancing energy efficiency in the Midwest," notes Wendy Jaehn, Executive Director, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. "From executive office leadership to engaging outreach strategies and state-of-the-art technologies, this group represents the highest levels of dedication and innovation. The depth and breadth of the applicants and winners only further demonstrates the success and contribution of the Midwest in the energy efficiency marketplace."

2009 Inspiring Efficiency Award winners:

Inspiring Efficiency LEADERSHIP Award -- Jim Doyle, Governor, Wisconsin (http://www.cleanenergy.wi.gov/)

Presented to the organization or individual who has served as a strong leader in support of energy efficiency in their city, state, region, company, or community.

Since taking office in 2003, Governor Doyle has been a champion of energy efficiency, introducing two key initiatives: Clean Energy Wisconsin, his plan for energy independence and improving the deployment of energy-efficient technologies; and an energy efficiency, renewable energy and global warming task force. Doyle, through the state Department of Commerce expects to award $15 million annually in grants and loans for research and development, commercialization or adoption of new technologies, and supply chain management in energy efficiency. These efforts are expected to help leverage nearly $1 billion in private investment and create new jobs for Wisconsin families. For more information about Jim Doyle and his Inspiring Efficiency LEADERSHIP Award, contact Lee Sensenbrenner at 608-266-1212 or [email protected]

Inspiring Efficiency EDUCATION Award -- Interstate Power and Light Co. (alliantenergy.com) Presented for the development and implementation of a local campaign, program, strategy, or idea to increase knowledge and action on energy efficiency.

Interstate Power and Light Co. (IPL), an Alliant Energy company based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, developed an innovative customer education and awareness program that promoted personal responsibility in relation to energy efficiency. IPL mailed Personal Electric and Natural Gas Use History letters to all residential customers and offered an array of actions steps, from sending away for a cash rebates booklet to conducting an online do-it-yourself energy audit or arranging an onsite walk-through Home Energy Audit performed by an energy expert. In total, over 800,000 letters were sent. For more information about IPL and its Inspiring Efficiency EDUCATION Award, contact Lisa Pucelik at 319-786-4283 or [email protected]

Inspiring Efficiency IMPACT Award -- Orion Energy Systems Inc. (http://www.oriones.com/)

Presented for significant contribution to market transformation either through the implementation of a specific program or through a policy change that has reduced energy consumption and/or increased market penetration of energy-efficient products.

Orion Energy Systems, of Manitowoc, WI, designs, manufactures and implements energy management systems, consisting of high-performance, energy-efficient lighting, controls and direct renewable solar technology for commercial and industrial customers. Orion's patented high-intensity fluorescent (HIF) lighting platform uses 50 percent less energy than traditional HID technologies. Since 2001, Orion technology has displaced 357 megawatts, enough electricity to power more than 298,000 homes, saved companies more than $400 million in energy costs, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 3.5 million tons. For more information about Orion and its Inspiring Efficiency IMPACT Award, contact Linda Diedrich at (920) 482-1988 or [email protected]

Inspiring Efficiency MARKETING Award -- Wisconsin Focus on Energy (http://www.focusonenergy.com/)

Presented for engaging in or supporting a marketing campaign, program, strategy, or idea to increase the adoption of energy-efficient products and/or best practices in the Midwest.

Focus on Energy, of Madison, WI, is a collaborative organization that works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. In order to inspire more people to embrace energy efficiency, the organization launched the Home Energy Makeover -- an innovative contest-driven marketing campaign designed to combine the allure of reality TV with the nation's growing interest in energy efficiency. The campaign gave residents of Milwaukee the chance to win a comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade for the home. Promotions using banner ads, television spots and segments on morning television, featured regular updates on the transformation of the winning home. For more information on Focus on Energy call (800) 762-7077 or visit focusonenergy.com. For more information about Focus on Energy and its Inspiring Efficiency MARKETING Award, contact Amy Wollangk, Marketing Manager, at 608-249-9322 or [email protected]

Inspiring Efficiency INNOVATION Award -- Keyser Visual, A Division of The Keyser Group (http://www.keyserind.com/)

Presented for developing and implementing a new and innovative program, idea or policy in the Midwest.

Keyser Visual, of Evergreen Park, IL, provides visual merchandising solutions, signage and menu boards to the quick service restaurant industry. The company showcased its substantial investment in energy-efficient light emitting diode (LED) technology through a complete interior and exterior conversion from traditional light sources to LEDs at one of the nation's leading fast food chain restaurants. The conversion will save over 16,000 kilowatt-hours annually in that one facility, demonstrating the benefits of a comprehensive approach to LED conversion over a socket-by-socket approach. Additionally, the project included an innovative Web-enabled tool to track LED installation, validate kilowatt reduction and lower carbon emissions. For more information about Keyser Visual and its Inspiring Efficiency INNOVATION Award, contact Judy Haselberger, COO, at 708-499-0400 x123, or [email protected]

About MEEA -- The Source on Energy Efficiency

The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (http://www.mwalliance.org/) is a collaborative network advancing energy efficiency in the Midwest to support sustainable economic development and environmental preservation.

MEEA promotes the market transformation of energy efficiency technologies, processes and best practices within a 12-state area, through policy advocacy, program design and facilitation and piloting of energy technologies. MEEA bridges the gap between policy adoption and program implementation.

Energy efficiency is the critical first step in meeting our nation's myriad energy challenges due to low entry costs, proven and emerging technologies, ease of implementation, fast return on investment and measurable results.

Through our diverse network of members and regional allies, MEEA possesses the practical experience and informed vision to effect positive change today by supporting the region's stakeholders to achieve their efficiency goals for the future.

Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

CONTACT: Stacey Paradis of Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance,+1-312-587-8390, ext. 12, cell, +1-312-339-0187, [email protected]

Web site: http:/// http://www.mwalliance.org/