NECEC announced Nexamp, CMC Energy Services, Eversource Energy, Embue Inc., and PowerOptions as winners of the Clean Energy Back to Work Challenge, an initiative launched to highlight innovative projects from clean energy organizations that successfully adapted their business practices amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our Back to Work Challenge awardees show that despite many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the clean energy sector is thriving,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “These companies adapted new business strategies, employed innovative technologies, and connected with customers and communities in new safe ways, demonstrating that the clean energy sector will be key to our region’s economic recovery as we emerge from this crisis.”
NECEC announced the Clean Energy Back to Work Challenge initiative in June and invited businesses and organizations to nominate their best practices, pilots, innovations, and model projects to be considered for awards in five specific categories. In October, NECEC selected 12 finalists from 22 exciting nominees. The winning projects include:
Customer Acquisition Award - Nexamp
Nexamp adapted new practices to address customer acquisition challenges by participating in online municipal meetings, providing virtual site tours using live drone footage, and researching potential project sites using a variety of digital tools rather than conducting these activities in person. Nexamp also held virtual information sessions to educate the public about community solar and partnered with local officials to cross-promote these events, forming new relationships across the region that will last well beyond the pandemic.
Innovating Remote Work & Technology Solutions Award - CMC Energy Services
CMC Energy Services partnered with Eversource and Avangrid to develop a virtual energy assessment for residential customers to meet with energy technicians via video chat for an energy solutions assessment. The pilot program allowed the company and its partners to reach customers at a critical time, providing them with energy savings and protecting jobs and businesses that provide clean energy solutions in the region.
On-Premises Project Construction & Installation Award - Eversource
Eversource partnered with Environmental Health & Engineering Inc., The Program Administrators of Energize Connecticut, Mass Save, NHSaves, National Grid Rhode Island, Clearesult, Rise Engineering, Action for Boston Community Development, and the Building Performance Association to lead a working group to develop COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for energy efficiency contractors to continue working safely throughout the pandemic. The guidelines were introduced via an informational webinar and online training course that allows contractors to earn certification on a rolling basis. More than 4,400 contractors passed the certification test since it went live in late August.
Greenhouse Gas Reduction & Public Health Mitigation Award - Embue Inc.
Embue Inc. partnered with Schochet Companies, Rethinking Power Management, Howse Corp, Victor Francis Mechanical, and Vencom Communications to implement a whole building intelligence system that improves energy efficiency, creates a healthy and comfortable environment for tenants, and protects buildings and building equipment from damage. The company’s system helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use on one project undertaken during the pandemic by an estimated 20 percent.
Community Engagement During the Pandemic Crisis Award - PowerOptions
PowerOptions engaged in extensive outreach to its nonprofit member companies to help connect them with critical supplies and resources needed to protect health and safety throughout the pandemic. The company delivered more than 20,000 masks and nearly 80 gallons of hand sanitizer to organizations across three states, and forged new relationships with other organizations working to provide supplies in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Sponsors of NECEC’s Clean Energy Back to Work Challenge include Eversource, Daymark Energy Advisors, E4TheFuture, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Natixis Investment Managers, Schneider Electric, Anbaric, BerryDunn, Borrego Solar, Engie, Greenberg Traurig, and Canaccord Genuity.