The Energy Foundation
Headquarters Location: San Francisco, CA
Mission: The Energy Foundation is a partnership of major donors interested in solving the world's energy problems. Their mission is to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy — new technologies that are essential components of a clean energy future.
Prior to The Energy Foundation,… See full bio.
Starting in 2002, Wayne Robertson was a self-employed energy efficiency expert running his business, Energy Ace, out of his home in metro Atlanta, Georgia. With a background in engineering, his services included energy audits, building commissioning, and other measures to reduce energy costs in commercial, government, and institutional facilities.
By March 2007 business was booming and Robertson decided to hire a full-time employee and grow his company. Now he oversees a staff of 20, and this year Energy Ace was named one of the 50 fastest-growing businesses in Atlanta. “These are green-collar jobs that didn’t exist three years ago,” Robertson says.
A recent Energy Foundation-funded study by Georgia Tech and Duke University, “Energy Efficiency in the South,” found that the adoption of strong initiatives on a region-wide basis would generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs, cut utility bills, and spur economic growth.
(Read about 10 big energy stories of 2013 at http://theenergycollective.com/jessejenkins/322541/10-big-energy-stories-2013)
Expert Reviews of The Energy Foundation
Evidence of Impact Summary:EF is the leading funder of projects that address climate change. EF has made an impact in California's transportation, energy, and climate policy. They spearheaded the growing adoption of decoupling policies for utilities in 20+ states across the US,and were also instrumental in setting TV standards. They help bridge the US and China on climate change and have made significant impact on their policies.
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Organization Strengths Summary:The Energy Foundation has a long term focus around climate policy which experts think is wise. Their staff have a high level of expertise allowing them to become experts in policy, China, transportation, and energy. They've been able to do a lot on a lean budget.
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Areas for Improvement Summary:Experts don't have many areas for improvement for the Energy Foundation, however they do suggest thinking more about funding transportation, think about how they might be able to grow, and consider ways to share their knowledge with big foundations.
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Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact
|The Energy Foundation is a strategic funder of renewable energy policies at the state, regional, and federal level. For example, they spearheaded the growing adoption of decoupling policies for utilities and their electricity generation in 20+ states across the U.S., leading to gains in energy efficiency.|
|The Energy Foundation is the leading funder of projects in the non-profit sector to address climate change. They have had very great impacts on policy in the United States and in China.|
|The Energy Foundation does high quality energy focused projects.|
|The Energy Foundation has focused their work to win specific policy strategies that will reduce greenhouse gas not only in the city of San Francisco, the state of CA, but also across the US. Their philosophy of starting in CA and then the rest of the country will follow has been proven correct in regards to automobile policies. They also were instrumental in setting TV standards.|
|The Energy Foundation funds critical research needs.|
|The Energy Foundation is a funder, but has a big impact on climate policy.|
|The Energy Foundation has made an impact helping reduce global warming pollution through sound transportation, energy, and climate policy in California. They have thoughtfully targeted their funding to ensure maximum impact per dollar spent.|
|The Energy Foundation is one of few nonprofits that is helping to bridge the US and China on climate change.|
Expert Comments: Organization Strengths
|Their staff are the highest caliber experts in their respective fields (e.g. China, transportation, energy efficiency.) They have a rigorous annual planning process, with logic models to support tactics and strategy.|
|They know the energy business very well.|
|Their staff are experts in the fields of energy efficiency, industry, policy, etc. They are also extremely lean -- they have less than half the staff of other foundations who give a similar amount of funding and yet their results are extraordinary.|
|They have strong leadership and direction, and a high-level of expertise in policy areas.|
Strong All Around
|I find the organization to be strong throughout.|
|They have strong leadership, healthy financial operations, and a vibrant, engaged staff.|
Long Term Policy Focus
|They have an international scope and policy focus.|
|They are able to fund projects that provide long term, rather than immediate, results. This is important because climate policy needs patience right now. Also, they are not too focused on technology (like some Silicon Valley engineering types are), and they are open to funding the promotion of innovative policy ideas.|
|They play an important role in funding the groups that do good work on climate and energy.|
|They have been very effective in bringing private resources to renewable energy in California.|
|They have a local China expertise.|
Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement
|I imagine their most difficult problem is coping with growth.|
Consult with Big Foundations
|They could align better with bigger foundations and maybe become energy consultants to them from time to time. They also need good links with ClimateWorks--they have a great start and big money but still are a bit new to rate their performance yet.|
Transportation Funding is Short Sighted
|I believe their funding in the realm of transportation is short sighted as they neglect modal change.|
New Focus in Energy
|They need to promote building energy efficiency measures, more locally-based renewable energy sources, and consider ecosystem health in prioritizing projects.|
Prior to The Energy Foundation, Mr. Heitz worked as an Agency for International Development energy consultant, advancing renewable energy in Egypt, and for the City of Palo Alto municipal utility, advancing efficiency and load management programs for commercial customers. Mr. Heitz has also sold and installed solar systems. Mr. Heitz has a BS in Energy and Environmental Planning and an MS degree in Civil Engineering, specializing in energy planning. Both degrees are from Stanford University.