Many organizations, including the U.S. Department of Energy and Natural Resource Canada, consider the systematic management of energy by large energy consuming facilities – a practice known as strategic energy management, or SEM – to be one of the largest opportunities for energy efficiency programs to save energy. A recent study by ACEEE determined that a robust expansion of SEM programs could reduce energy use in the industrial sector by 16 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity and 218 trillion British thermal units (TBtu) of natural gas by 2025. Companies could save $4.6 billion and carbon emissions could drop by 26 million metric tons (MMT).
To realize SEM’s game-changing potential, the SEM Collaborative’s goal is to improve the effectiveness of existing SEM programs, grow the number of programs in the US and Canada, and enhance the skills of thousands of workers. The SEM Collaborative will establish a community of practice by carrying out the following activities:
- Holding training and networking events
- Creating and disseminating informational materials on best practices
- Providing on-line educational resources
- Convening working groups to share best practices and insights on priority topics
- Conducting research and publishing the findings in white papers and reports
The SEM Collaborative will also engage policy makers and other stakeholders to encourage them to support SEM programs in general and effective program design in particular. The SEM Collaborative will coordinate with the regional collaboratives (see Related Items) and other organizations on research and engagement projects. It will also serve as an international clearinghouse for information on energy management programs and practices. The SEM Collaborative will be a resource that utilities and other entities can access when setting up new SEM programs.
To learn more about the SEM Collaborative and to get involved, join the mailing list today! It’s free, and you’ll receive information on SEM research and upcoming events.
Directory of SEM Programs in US and Canada
Is your program listed? If not, email Jonah at firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2022 | SEM and Resilience: 2021 Survey Results
This qualitative survey explored what effects the 2020 pandemic and/or natural disasters had on SEM participants.
November 2021 | Canadian Strategic Energy Management Market Study
This report examines the potential for SEM to reduce energy use and GHG emissions by 2030.
May 2021 | Strategic Energy Management Program Persistence and Cost Effectiveness Report
On behalf of the NASEMC, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and ACEEE jointly analyzed the cost effectiveness and prospective savings persistence of SEM programs across North America, surveying 24 active programs. The report provides the most comprehensive snapshot to date of strategic energy management.
August 2020 | Negative Savings Focus Group
This focus group, organized by the NASEMC, interviewed 24 program administrators and implementers across 14 states to understand how negative savings are handled. This report out includes findings and their recommendations for the SEM industry.
Follow NASEMC on social media to learn more about upcoming webinars, conferences, and networking opportunities. For more information on becoming a sponsor, contact Andrew Whitlock.
We want you to be involved in our organization! We depend on you to fulfill our mission: to accelerate adoption of Strategic Energy Management (SEM) and enhance the effectiveness of SEM offerings across the C&I sectors by providing leadership, strategic direction, and innovation to collaboratively develop solutions to SEM expansion, implementation, technical, market or policy challenges.
Your input, participation, and expertise will help guide us and ensure that we provide the most value to you and your organization. There are many ways for you to get involved:
Become a member here: Membership Application Form
The SEM Collaborative is led by a board of SEM leaders who are committed to elevating and accelerating how SEM is practiced across North America. This group is interested in increasing our representation from diverse perspectives, including from different organization types, different regions, and other forms of diversity. We welcome other persons potentially interested in supporting SEM Collaborative efforts as board members. Please reach out to Neal Elliott to express interest.
Pamela Birkel, Cascade Energy
Pamela Birkel is the Director of Strategic Energy Management (SEM) at Cascade Energy. Based in Portland, Oregon, she oversees SEM delivery to 15 utility clients as well as customer-direct SEM. Ms. Birkel received an MBA from the University of Oregon in 2013, focused on sustainable business practices, and has been with Cascade, in a range of SEM roles, since that time. Prior to her MBA, she was an architect in Portland with an interest in green buildings. She sees SEM as a vehicle for decarbonization, and believes that SEM brings the most accessible methods for reducing emissions and commercial and industrial sites worldwide. She envisions expanding the typical SEM arena of energy efficiency to include capital projects, time-of-use responses, distributed generation, and energy storage, thereby helping companies realize their goals of achieving net zero emissions according to science-based targets. Ms. Birkel holds degrees and credentials that include M.Arch., MBA, CEM, 50001 CP EnMS, and CAP.
Diana Chou, Marin Clean Energy (MCE)
Diana Chou brings over a decade of experience in clean energy & energy efficiency programs, most recently managing MCE’s SEM programs serving industrial, agricultural, large commercial, and multifamily property customers. Diana started her SEM journey as an energy coach, engaging with customers on integrating strategic energy management into their operations. She most enjoyed seeing the potential and enthusiasm in each organization, and thrived off of providing them with the tools they needed to further develop their energy management practices.
Prior to her SEM days, Diana supported grocers in making upgrades to more energy efficient equipment. She also worked with the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), where she fostered the development of several (then) forward-looking projects, including the “Ready Set Charge” EV-Ready Communities guidebook and an energy efficiency toolkit for the SMB sector. Diana holds a BA in Chemistry and minor in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jon Feldman, Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
Jon Feldman is the Senior Technical Officer for Industrial Energy Efficiency in the IESO’s Energy Efficiency department, which delivers energy efficiency incentive programs to Ontario’s electricity users. In this role, Jon is responsible for all technical aspects of the current and future industrial programs. He is specifically responsible for providing guidance, leadership and direction to a group of service providers who deliver the technical review function on behalf of the IESO. He also provides leadership and guidance on industrial energy efficiency measures, energy management, Strategic Energy Management and ISO 50001, to the Energy Efficiency department. Jon also led the innovative use of IPMVP Option D for assessment of savings from major new construction industrial projects including mine ventilation, compressed air and industrial refrigeration. In 2020 Jon became only the 2nd Canadian to be inducted into the AEE’s Energy Manager Hall of Fame; the Associations highest honor, given to outstanding leaders in the energy industry who over their lifetimes have made significant contributions in the field of energy management.
Jon holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He holds the CEM, CEA and CMVP designations, is a CMVP Instructor, and is the longest serving instructor on the Canadian CEM panel, having taught over 50 classes and over 1,300 students. In 2019 Jon was admitted as a Fellow of the Association of Energy Engineers.
Lura Griffiths, Alternative Energy Systems Consulting (AESC)
Lura is an experienced SEM Coach, analyst, consulting engineer, project manager, technical trainer, and program manager with a passion for communicating with customers and delivering organizational change. She is skilled at organizational change and stakeholder management by building consensus, resolving issues, and developing solutions across cross-functional teams. Lura serves as one of two lead energy coaches for AESC's SEM program- delivering energy management training to customers throughout Southern and Northeast Oregon and is a Commercial SEM Coach for the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Existing Buildings program. She facilitates workshops with diverse groups of all sizes in topics ranging from continuous improvement processes and behavioral change to HVAC controls and regression modeling of usage.
Lura holds a BS in Renewable Energy Engineering from the Oregon Institute of Technology in Portland, OR and several certifications including AAS Resolt Management, AAS Computer Support Specialist, Certified Energy Managner (CEM), and a Certified Practitioner in Energy Management Systems (50001 CP EnMS).
Clay Hoover, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
Clay Hoover is a Senior Program Manager with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) EnergyRight for Business and Industry, with 14 years of experience helping commercial and industrial customers leverage energy efficiency to achieve higher performance. Clay, the TVA Financial Service Engineer of the Year in 2023, has a wide range of experience successfully implementing SEM programing. This includes SEM efforts with TVA’s Magnolia Combined Cycle Plant in Ashland, Mississippi, that led to a 50001 Ready recognition. Clay currently oversees TVA’s EnergyRight School Uplift Program, working with K-12 school districts across the Tennessee Valley to make smart energy choices. Clay has also contributed to program design and management of TVA’s SEM programs for industrial, multifamily, and a potential hospital program.
Clay holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is a licensed professional engineer in Tennessee.
Chellie Jensen, PE, Idaho Power
Chellie Jensen has been part of the Idaho Power Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency team since 2009, specifically working on Custom Projects and Strategic Energy Management as a Senior Engineer. Chellie’s 22 years of experience includes working as an engineer for two of Idaho’s largest industrial customers. Chellie graduated from Montana Tech in 1999 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and is a registered Professional Engineer in Montana and Idaho. She and her husband Travis have two boys; Jackson (9) and Will (7). She enjoys skiing and mountain biking with her family (while she can still keep up with her boys) as well as knitting, making sourdough and kombucha, running, and playing volleyball (pre-pandemic.)
Katie Dooley, NYSERDA
Katie leads the Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program at NYSERDA. She designed and launched the initial program to the industrial sector in New York in 2016 and has since grown the program to include water resource recovery facilities and the commercial sector. In addition, Katie works with industry groups and stakeholders to incorporate standardized tools and best practices into the evolution of the program and shares out lessons learned.
Katie earned her degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany, and a M.B.A. in Sustainable Business from Marylhurst University.
Holly Farah, LEED AP, Rouj Energy Analytics
Holly Farah is Founder and CEO of Rouj Energy Analytics, a rapidly growing cleantech firm that is specialized in energy data analytics and quantitative research; design; planning; and evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V) of a wide range of demand-side management (DSM) portfolios and programs, including agile evaluation of industrial and commercial Strategic Energy Management (SEM) programs. Rouj harnesses the power and capacity of data to revolutionize the traditional implementation and evaluation practices and methodologies. Since its inception in 2016, Rouj has been involved in performing state-of-the-art engineering and meter data analysis for utilities and regulators across North America.
For over twenty years, Holly Farah has been leading DSM impact evaluations in different regulatory environments and climatic conditions across North America, training and mentoring many engineers on industry best practices related to quantitative analysis and energy performance modeling and serving as technical advisor and subject matter expert for a broad range of evaluation topics including energy codes and standards, net zero, and performance-based programs.
Anna Kelly received her MPP in Energy Policy from Oregon State University. Her specialty is measurement and verification (M&V) and she received her training from Energy Trust of Oregon’s evaluation team. She is a certified measurement and verification professional and serves on the IPMVP technical committee. She has evaluated over 150 energy efficiency programs, including more than half of the SEM programs in the US and Canada. She designed and launched the statewide Industrial Strategic Energy Management program administered by the Colorado Energy Office.
She is currently the Head of Measurement and Verification at Power Takeoff, where she oversees, directs and coordinates over 1,000 energy efficiency projects a year while prioritizing scholarly activity around advancing high quality, reliable, and cost-effective strategies to arrest climate change. Her active areas of research include measure persistence, the tradeoffs of cost benefit analysis and climate change mitigation, weather normalization, and advanced M&V. She serves the industry through research and has published 16 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, guidelines, and presentations to increase understanding of energy programs including designing measurement criteria, adapting to COVID-19 non-routine events, and using advanced M&V to measure SEM achievements and growth.
Anna has been married to her college sweetheart Patrick for 9 years and is the proud mother of Ruth (5) and Maggie (3).
Mike Kelly is the Acting Manager of the Industry Technical Team at the Office of Energy Efficiency. He is a member of the ISO/TC 301 and the Canadian Mirror Committee to ISO/TC 301, responsible for energy management and energy savings standards. Prior to this, Mike spent over four years as a Senior Industrial Engineer at Natural Resources Canada. He has an extensive knowledge of industry, programs and policies, with a focus on energy efficiency, emission reductions and economic performance.
Before joining government, Mike spent over six years in industry as a Process Engineer and Energy Manager. In these roles, he facilitated production through the design, development and continual improvement of industrial equipment and processes. Mike championed energy saving initiatives, including the implementation of an energy management system, employee awareness campaign and a number of energy efficiency retrofits and process upgrades. This resulted in an award-winning program that achieved energy, water and emission reductions by over 60% in three years and provided millions of dollars in annual cost savings. During his time in industry, Mike also served as a Chair for the General Manufacturing Sector of the Canadian Industry Partnership for Energy Conservation, a Standing Committee Member on Energy Efficiency in Buildings responsible for the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings, and an Industrial Partner for Algonquin College.
Mike is an advocator for responsible energy use and firmly believes that there is a direct link between meeting net-zero emissions targets and effective energy management. He is a strong supporter of the energy efficiency first principle and bringing behavioural, organizational and technological change together to maximize results. It starts with asking a simple question – how can we save more energy? Mike first asked this question in industry and continues to ask it regularly in government.
July 2021 | SEM Summit, Virtual
Join the North American SEM Collaborative for the 5th Annual SEM Summit! The 2021 SEM Summit will provide a unique opportunity to virtually connect with the growing SEM community. This 2-day event will offer live presentations, cutting-edge research, and special breakout sessions. Join utility professionals, program administrators, evaluators, and other energy efficiency professionals to hear customer perspectives, get updates from regional SEM collaboratives, and interact with the SEM experts.
August 17, 2020 | SEM Summit, Virtual
Hosted by the North American SEM Collaborative, the 2020 Virtual SEM Summit will provide a unique opportunity to explore how SEM is contributing to commercial and institutional markets across North America. This event will offer live presentations, cutting-edge research, and special breakout sessions. Join utility professionals, program administrators, evaluators, and other energy efficiency professionals to hear customer perspectives, get updates from regional SEM collaboratives, and interact with the SEM community.
NASEMC Webinar Series
The North American SEM Collaborative is starting an SEM webinar series that will provide value based on urgent issues as well as longer-term challenges and opportunities, feature regional highlights as well as updates on our other research and projects, and include guest speakers as well as engaging polls and surveys to foster collaboration and support continued elevation of the SEM community. The webinars lead up to the SEM Summit on August 19th, with the following webinar topics and dates:
SEM 2030 – Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST
SEM & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 2 PM EST
COVID-19 and SEM - Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST.
SEM&V: 2020 State of the Union – Wednesday May 6, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST
IDSM+SEM – Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST
NASEMC Webinar: SEM Lite – Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET
SEM programs initially focused on large industrial and commercial end-users. In recent years, programs have begun working with smaller and smaller sites… enter SEM Lite! This webinar will cover the different aspects of SEM Lite, where it is and where it is headed. Join us.
2020’s SEM Success Stories
Wednesday Dec 16 at 11 AM PST/2 PM EST
2020 has been a year of challenges—but it has also been a year of progress. Our Strategic Energy Management efforts have dealt with curveballs, overcome obstacles, and discovered positive and exciting trends for the future. Join us to hear success stories from program administrators, implementers, evaluators, and stakeholders, and learn how we can take this momentum into 2021.
August 12, 2019 | 3rd Annual SEM Summit, Portland, OR
Strategic Energy Management (SEM) programs are changing the way utilities and program administrators interact with large industrial, commercial, and institutional customers. To seize on this development, dozens of stakeholders have collaborated to launch a new initiative, the North American SEM Collaborative (NASEMC), to create a community of practice to advance the success of energy management programs. The third annual SEM Summit was their first official event and it introduced the Collaborative and its plans to the public.
The Summit took place at the same hotel as the ACEEE 2019 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry. This event introduced participants to NASEMC leadership, the Collaborative’s activities, and provided opportunities to become involved.
The Summit built on the success of prior summits, addressed participant’s key needs, and advanced SEM program efforts throughout North America.
Agenda items included:
- Discussion of collaboration between NASEMC and regional SEM collaboratives
- Presentations of successful implementation practices
- Barriers and opportunities for more success
- When and where to include ISO 50001 and DOE’s 50001-Ready program
- Measurement and verification (M&V), and persistence of energy savings
- Strategies to get customers and corporate leaders to act
August 15, 2018 | SEM Summit, Pacific Grove, CA
August 15, 2017 | SEM Summit, Denver, CO
 Unger, L. 2018. “Doing Our Part: The Contribution of Energy Efficiency Policies to Meeting US Climate Goals
The NASEMC thanks the following Members for their commitment to our shared cause: