David Hepinstall receives 2014 ACI Leadership Award in Detroit

DH accepts 2014 ACI awardThe 2014 ACI Leadership Award was presented to David Hepinstall, executive director of the Association for Energy Affordability, at the Affordable Comfort National Home Performance Conference this week in Detroit.

According to the ACI website, “The ACI Leadership Award celebrates visionary leaders doing extraordinary work to strengthen the home performance industry. This award showcases individual excellence in leadership as demonstrated by outstanding initiative, impact of work, and inspiration to others.”

David is widely known through his tireless advocacy for Weatherization and multifamily energy efficiency programs, AEA’s Multifamily Buildings conference series, and his efforts to strengthen the industry through education, accreditation, and other initiatives. AEA’s demonstrated technical excellence has led to requests for technical support and training from many states, and eventually led to publication of our Multifamily Weatherization Resource Guide and the creation of our distance learning network.

He is nationally known for his leadership role with the Building Performance Institute (BPI). He served as one of the earliest technical advisers in the 1990s and has been an officer of the BPI Board of Directors continuously for over 10 years, first as Treasurer and most recently as Board Chair. An early BPI affiliate, AEA was the first organization to develop and teach curriculum for its multifamily building analyst and related heating certifications, and has contributed its technical expertise to a variety of BPI undertakings.

David has led AEA for over 20 years of growth and change. In the past five years alone, AEA has more than doubled in size while supporting its New York members with leveraging initiatives designed to increase the resources available for energy efficiency projects throughout downstate New York. We performed hundreds of audits and directly weatherized some 5,000 units of housing during the ARRA period. We contributed to successful workforce programs for green jobseekers. We have now opened new offices in California and Illinois that are extending the reach of our expertise in these key markets, with a special emphasis on affordable housing.

David has encouraged and supported AEA staff to grow professionally and to introduce our students and clients to new approaches to help them achieve deeper energy savings. Working at AEA with David has provided us with extraordinary opportunities to contribute our knowledge to shape policies that will affect how our country achieves its energy efficiency goals through AEA’s role as Multifamily Market Lead for the DOE Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals project.

The work that David has poured into national and New York-based initiatives of this kind is testament to his unwavering commitment to raising the standard of work quality and resources for the energy efficiency workforce.

David has been a dedicated advocate on behalf of the network of downstate New York Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) providers that AEA serves. Our WAP member agencies have weatherized more multifamily buildings than agencies in any other part of the country.

Yet David has long insisted that the best way for Americans to unite behind energy efficiency goals is to promote them universally – because their benefits are universal, and so is the harm caused by energy waste and pollution from burning fuels inefficiently, and the high costs of paying for energy. And WAP resources have never been sufficient to meet all the energy retrofit needs of low-income households in their homes. Thus he has led AEA and its members to participate actively in other government and utility programs to stretch their dollars to provide more comprehensive services and greater energy savings to larger numbers of customers.

Throughout the years and all of these forms of engagement – including at the awards event at ACI, David has taken every opportunity to increase awareness among program administrators and policy makers that – for more than one quarter of Americans across all income levels – home is an apartment. A large proportion of low-income Americans live in multifamily housing, which has been the basis of AEA’s specialization in this housing sector. David has been driven by a special passion to insure that these Americans are not left behind by programs that target low-income persons and families.

Click here to read ACI’s posting about the award and see a list of previous winners,

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