Press Release

ACEEE Announces 2020 Champions of Energy Efficiency in Buildings

August 19, 2020

Washington, D.C. — From government to the private sector, five distinguished experts today received the Champions of Energy Efficiency in Buildings Award from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

The awards, presented at ACEEE’s 21st biennial Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, recognize leadership and accomplishment in five categories, including Young Professional (age 35 or younger). The 2020 winners are:

Frank Gundal (Implementation & Deployment): For leading energy efficiency programs at Eversource in nation-leading directions, achieving high energy savings, and moving efficiency markets. Most recently, he helped lead a regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to protect customer and contractor health while minimizing economic impacts.



Ashok Gupta (Lifetime Achievement): For a lifetime of work advancing energy efficiency in New York State, Missouri, and elsewhere, and for his many efforts to mentor a new generation of energy efficiency leaders.




Srinivas Katipamula (Research & Development): For his research in building controls at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and development of innovative tools that make buildings smarter, more efficient, and less carbon intensive. His work in HVAC controls has led to significant advancements in HVAC efficiency, and his research in automated fault detection and diagnostics has reduced energy waste in millions of square feet of commercial and federal buildings.


Maria Stamas (Energy Policy): For her extensive body of work as an advocate for clean energy and affordable housing. A strategist for the NRDC and founding member of the California Energy Efficiency for All project, she has brought diverse stakeholders together to shape policies that reduce emissions while improving equitable outcomes for those disproportionately burdened by energy costs and the impacts of climate change.


Ellen Zuckerman (Young Professional): For her coordination of many successful efforts to advance energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, and other states, while also fighting policy rollbacks in several states. In these efforts, Ellen has proved adept at working with utilities, consumer and environmental groups, and Fortune 500 companies.


An ACEEE Board of Directors’ committee selected the winners, nominated by their peers, from an impressive group of nominations. The judges evaluated each nominee’s impact, innovation, and leadership in the energy efficiency field.

"We were — to a person — so impressed and inspired by the exceptional group of nominees, and the Board would like to commend them for their commitment, creativity, and leadership," says Kathrin Winkler, chair of the awards committee. "It is a real privilege to honor this year’s winners for their outstanding contributions at the oh-so-critical nexus of energy efficiency, equity, and climate change." 

Neal Elliott Headshot

Neal Elliott, ACEEE’s senior director of research, also received a special ACEEE Energy Efficiency Leadership Award for his 27 years of dedicated service in advancing energy efficiency through his research and policy efforts at the organization.




This year's Champions join a select group of efficiency leaders recognized by ACEEE for their extraordinary contributions and leadership at the annual Summer Study conferences. Learn more about them and stay connected with what’s happening at the 2020 virtual event by following @ACEEEdc and #SummerStudy20 on Twitter.


Media Contact

Ben Somberg
Communications Director
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