MEEA Honors Lauren Casentini with 2019 Chairman’s Award

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Inspiring energy efficiency and making an impact to improve lives

We are excited to announce that Resource Innovations’ founder and CEO, Lauren Casentini, a pioneering advocate for innovative energy efficiency programs at the neighborhood, regional, state, and federal levels, was honored with the 2019 Inspiring Efficiency Chairman’s Award by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA).  The Chairman’s Award recognizes her exemplary leadership and support to MEEA throughout the organization’s history.

“Lauren Casentini, the 2019 Inspiring Efficiency Chairman’s Award winner, has been a national leader promoting energy efficiency for more than two decades,” said Jim Jerozal, Director, Energy Efficiency for Nicor Gas and MEEA’s Board Chair. “More importantly, her investment and commitment to growing MEEA and advancing energy efficiency in the Midwest will have a lasting impact both economically and environmentally.”

Casentini began her career leading the residential energy efficiency department at California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) during a dynamic period that included the development of the first energy efficiency specifications for several key residential products, emergence of the ENERGY STAR program, and rapid growth of energy efficiency in California. In the past two decades as a consultant and entrepreneur, Casentini guided the design and implementation of ground-breaking energy and water conservation programs for the agriculture and school sectors in California, and led award-winning residential, commercial, and industrial energy efficiency efforts in several states across the Midwest.

In addition to being a co-founder and current director of the California Energy Efficiency Industry Council (now known as the California Efficiency + Demand Management Council), Casentini also served MEEA as a board member from 2011 through 2016 where she was chair of the finance committee and co-chair to the policy committee. Her former roles also include founder and president of Resource Solutions Group, and senior vice president for Regulatory Relations and National Policy and California and Midwest Operations for CLEAResult Consulting Inc, both industry-leading energy efficiency consulting companies.

Receiving her award among hundreds of colleagues gathered for the annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, Casentini reflected on how Californians and Midwesterners are aligned, at least when it comes to their commitment to delivering real and meaningful energy savings, particularly to the most vulnerable populations. 

“This is truly a career highlight for me, and it motivates me to keep pushing the limits of what we can achieve together in terms of making sure clean, sustainable, affordable energy and water resources are available to every community,” noted Casentini. “We are making progress at a global level, and we are making a difference in people’s everyday lives.”

Throughout the industry, Casentini is known for her commitment to engaging with community-based organizations, local businesses, and trade associations to increase the diversity of voices in the industry and ensure the environmental and economic benefits of energy efficiency programs reach the neighborhoods most in need of resource resiliency. She continues to help forge strategic partnerships with utility and policy leaders across the country to bring new resources and energy savings to low-to-moderate income communities, increase job opportunities and support networks for women- and diverse-owned businesses, and develop strategies that address national energy policy challenges and opportunities.

Other Inspiring Efficiency Award honorees included the Honorable Mayor Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, who was presented with the 2019 Leadership Award for his development of the Sustainable Chicago Action Agenda. Richard Mark, Chairman and President of Ameren Illinois, was also presented with a Leadership Award for the utility’s ground-breaking “Energy Efficiency for All” initiative, which funds critical workforce development and training programs for diverse-owned businesses and home weatherization services for customers in historically underserved communities.

For more news and photos from the 2019 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, visit the MEEA Midwest Energy Solutions conference website.