Great Day

One upside to the economic downturn is the influx of finance and technology professional entering the sustainability sector. They are ubiquitous. (“And they are everywhere, too,” as an old friend used to say.) These professionals bring to programmatic endeavors around slow food, climate change, recycling and the myriad elements of sustainability not only valuable expertise, but alacrity, defined purpose and accountability. It’s refreshing.
Energize New York – a government-funded program that markets residential energy efficiency improvements — is overseen by a local development corporation, Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC). The founder of EIC is Mark Thielking; Mark came out of the finance world (UBS, specifically). He has a focused, data-driven mission to transform the residential and commercial energy improvement market through financing loans to building owners. He draws from a pool of talented corporate, legal, finance and grassroots folk, including the non-profit Bedford2020 which helped write the grant that established Energize for the Town of Bedford in New York’s Westchester County.
EnergizeNY is under the reporting gun to deliver results (as measured in the number of homes that make energy improvements). The program is dependent on infrastructures that have less va-va-voom than corporate finance. There is, for example, the issue of extracting data from government bureaucracies … data that is pivotal to effecting market transformation … data that resides within the orbit of a government contractor.
When things that may take mere weeks to effect in the corporate world, take months to bring about (like data access), it can feel a bit like Andy Samberg’s SNL skit, ‘Great Day’ (drugs aside):
“Any problem is solvable, we can feed the hungry and cure disease
But all of that would be a huge waste of time because we live in the
Matrix.”
You may remember … a business-suited Samberg dances and sings on a cocaine-induced high, and then backbends into a slow-mo Matrix move.
Energize has made, and continues to make, great strides in modernizing the IT systems needed for targeted marketing, with the essential support of a handful of forward-thinking contract managers at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), as we aim to get at the data that resides within the Authority’s orbit. NYSERDA is currently reviewing bids for an RFP to implement its home performance program, including the technology piece.
In effecting market transformation around energy improvements, it can feel like our hearts race along barupa papapam pam! And then we go into the Matrix. And then we’re off to the races again.

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  1. […] change, recycling and the myriad elements of sustainability not only valuable expertise, […] Cleantech Blog TAGS:  Great This entry was posted on Monday, April 9th, 2012 at 10:55 am and is filed […]

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