Press Release

ACEEE Announces 2021 Champions of Energy Efficiency in Industry

July 14, 2021

Washington, D.C. — Six distinguished experts from government and the private sector today received the Champions of Energy Efficiency in Industry Award from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The awards, presented at the biennial Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry, recognize accomplishment in the industrial efficiency sector. An ACEEE Board of Directors’ committee selected the winners, nominated by peers, for their impact, innovation, and leadership in reducing energy waste and spurring sustainability.

“We had a remarkable slate of nominees,” says Mitchell Simpson, chair of the awards committee and director of the Arkansas Energy Office. “The committee was so impressed with the breadth and depth of each candidate’s work. It is truly a pleasure to be a part of honoring this year’s winners for their initiative, commitment, and impact on energy efficiency in industry!”  

The 2021 winners in this year’s six categories are:

Todd Amundson, Bonneville Power Administration (lifetime achievement): For his profound impact on industrial energy efficiency across 20-plus years, leadership in providing customer service, initiation of programs, and equitable SEM outreach. Notably, he began BPA’s Energy Smart Industrial program, which has supported more than 1,400 industrial plants and achieved more than 170 annual megawatts of verified savings.

Lauren Casentini, Resource Innovations (energy policy): For bringing innovative technologies and practices into the market and influencing policies, regulations, and legislation at all levels of government. She spearheaded some of the nation's first and most successful energy efficiency programs during her 10-plus year tenure at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, 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 Midwestern states.

Cristina Garcia, Building Electrification Institute (young professional, 35 or younger): For fiercely advocating for market transformation at the intersection of clean energy and diversity. She founded Latinos in Sustainability, which has held 20 events and reached more than 1,000 students to increase inclusivity and equity in the sustainability industry in New York City.

Peter Gourlay, awarded posthumously (implementation and deployment): For his leadership of successful programs including the Regional Manufacturing Institute’s Next Generation Energy Efficiency Gains (NGEEG) program. NGEEG has saved more than 22,500 megawatt-hours of energy and lowered customer bills $2 million a year. Peter also helped develop a workforce pipeline, lead manufacturers on the analog-to-digital transformation and spark a change in attitudes and cultures on corporate energy efficiency.

Chante Harris, SecondMuse (research and development): For her long-time efforts to scale innovative and impactful nationwide campaigns, technologies, and ideas in the public and private sectors. She recently led the For ClimateTech Global Innovation Challenge, which received 130 applications from 29 countries. She also co-founded Women of Color Collective in Sustainability, which has brought together more than 5,000 women of color to advance their careers in the sustainability industry.

Michael Stowe, Advanced Energy (industrial leadership): For his devotion to encouraging long-term and widespread industrial energy efficiency and strategic energy management. He has helped numerous industrial facilities make more with less, and he led ISO 50001 groups to deliver trainings at federal facilities.


This year's Champions join a select group of efficiency leaders recognized by ACEEE at the annual Summer Study conferences for their extraordinary contributions and leadership. Learn more about them and stay connected with what’s happening at the 2021 virtual event by following @ACEEEdc and #SummerStudy21 on Twitter.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a nonprofit research organization, develops policies to reduce energy waste and combat climate change. Its independent analysis advances investments, programs, and behaviors that use energy more effectively and build an equitable clean energy future.

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