The buzzword in energy today is “sustainability.” More than the installation of the sexiest new technology, sustainability is a melding of renewable energy and energy efficiency. It’s a blend that forms the foundation of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA).
For more than three decades, NESEA has “supported and inspired” a burgeoning network of professionals who are dedicated to the widespread acceptance and use of sustainable energy in the northeast. Through NESEA, architects, engineers, educators, builders, energy consultants, renewable energy manufacturers and installers, facilities managersand planners have come together in the effort to bring healthy, efficient buildings and transportation systems powered by clean, renewable energy into everyday use.
Unlike many organizations that target specific industry groups, the Greenfield, Massachusetts–based NESEA has found that the diversity of its membership – and the collaboration that develops from that diversity –is the key to its success.
Members Set Standards
“Our role is to support the professionals who are involved in making ourbuilding stock more energy-efficient and in optimizing the use of renewable energy,” says Jennifer Marrapese, NESEA executive director. “We’re a group of practitioners who work at a very high level; NESEA members sort of set the standard for sustainable building and renewable energy solutions.” In contrast to many energy-related groups, she notes, “NESEA is less about public education and consumer outreach/advocacy, and more about supporting professionals interested in adopting sustainable energy solutions in their practice.”
A chapter of the American Solar Energy Society, NESEA was launched in 1974 with a focus on solar energy. Known at that time as the New England Solar Energy Association, the group held conferences, published a news-letter and became a network of people interested in technological developments, market trends, and governmentpolicies related to energy consumption. In the 1980s, as NESEA banded with similar groups throughout New York and the Mid-Atlantic states, the expanded organization morphed into the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association.