This week, Waypoint VP of Utility Solutions, Emily Pearce, attended the Efficiency Exchange Conference (EFX17) in Portland, Oregon. EFX17, sponsored by Waypoint partners Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), was an event to network and learn from energy efficiency professionals across the Pacific Northwest. Attendees ranged from electric utilities, consulting and research firms, and government and non-profit organizations – all for the mutual goal of connecting to effectively achieve the region’s energy savings goals.
This year’s theme was Energy Efficiency in a Changing Environment. As such, conference sessions included “Location, Location, Location – Targeting Demand Side Solutions to Meet Utility Goals” and “Regional Challenges and Opportunities: Shaping the Future of our Industry”, all based around identifying future hurdles and suggesting solutions within evolving regulations and environments.
One highlight that resonated with Waypoint at EFX17 was keynote speaker Shane Snow, who kicked off the conference on Tuesday morning. Snow is an award-winning journalist, entrepreneur and bestselling author of the book Smartcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking. Lateral thinking, or in other words, alternative problem solving, is the idea of using clever shortcuts to jump through steps to reach the ultimate goal more efficiently. Note the word “clever” before the word “shortcuts” – only the strategic and smart shortcuts will reach the right end goals. A series of small successes, as well as fast failures, are healthy as long as there is an overall vision and desired outcome. It was great to hear these strategies targeted towards the utilities and other energy efficiency stakeholders. Especially in a “changing environment,” alternative ways of thinking can accelerate the path towards energy efficiency goals. As a nimble small business, Waypoint is can adopt this lateral thinking across a number of our efforts in the utility, energy efficiency, and commercial real estate spaces.
Waypoint was honored to be amongst such powerful voices in the Pacific Northwest and can’t wait for next year’s conference.