This letter was sent to NEC and CEE colleagues and partners on November 10, 2016.
Dear Colleagues and Friends of the NEC,
Because you are a key partner and contributor to our missions, we want to let you know about an important development taking place between the Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC) and Center for Energy and Environment (CEE).
After months of rigorous exploration and discussion, our boards of directors have resolved to merge our organizations in 2017 for greater reach and mission impact. This decision is as strategic as it is thoughtful: Our merger will allow us to build upon each organization’s successes, adding efficiencies as we increase and improve our collective reach under the name Center for Energy and Environment. Combining forces will enable us to better serve customers and communities with the region’s best energy efficiency programs and services — helping customers control their energy costs while improving the vitality of our local economy.
Both NEC and CEE are well known for our community-focused energy efficiency efforts. In addition to similar missions and programs dating back to the 1990s, like-minded leadership and a shifting policy framework have brought the NEC and CEE into even closer collaboration. When earlier this year, CEE hired NEC’s leader at the time (Chris Duffrin) to replace CEE’s retiring president, both boards noted a timely opportunity to explore the best possible future for our long partnership.
Given the NEC and CEE's similar missions and approaches to residential energy efficiency, this next step feels to us like a natural evolution in our work together. Among our common strengths is our emphasis on local relationships, including deep partnerships with regional energy utilities. In Minneapolis, CEE delivers the Home Energy Squad residential energy efficiency program for Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy; the NEC delivers essentially the same program for Xcel Energy in St. Paul. Collectively last year, our organizations conducted energy assessments in more than 8,500 homes, helping Minnesotans save energy through major upgrades and installation of energy-saving products and materials.
Speaking on behalf of our boards and our dedicated staff, we are eager for what comes next. Tomorrow we will issue an official news release about our merger, and we will post periodic ongoing updates on CEE’s website at www.mncee.org. Thank you for your partnership as we continue our planning for a brighter future together.
Linda Taylor, Interim Executive Director, Neighborhood Energy Connection
Chris Duffrin, President, Center for Energy and Environment