Energizing Change: Celebrating the Women of Power Moves
It’s no secret that the energy industry has significant work to do when it comes to gender equity. According to a 2020 article from the International Energy Agency, “Despite making up 48% of the global labor force, women only account for 22% of the labor force in the oil and gas sector and 32% in renewables.” This gap has led to the launch of several initiatives and organizations in recent years, including Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), USAID’s Engendering Industries program, Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE) Network, and others.
As part of Women’s History Month and our celebration of International Women’s Day, we’d love for you to get to know several of the women working in our field, understand the work they do, and how it impacts you.
Powering Your Payment
As a regular Power Moves reader, we hope you’re familiar with all of the amazing residential rebates available to co-op members. Encouraging members to be more energy efficient is a big part of the work we do around here. We’re passionate about connecting members to incentives that make their home more efficient. But in order to make that happen, members must complete rebate applications and those applications must be processed. That’s where Kim Flowers fits in. As the residential energy efficiency coordinator for Wabash Valley Power, Kim administers the entire Power Moves program and processes residential rebates to ensure members get paid for their efficiency upgrades.
“I love working with our members,” she said. “I absolutely love connecting with people, and I love to solve problems.”
Kim has been in her role since 2016, when Wabash Valley Power brought the rebate processing operation in-house. Prior to that, Wabash outsourced the processing of rebate applications to Franklin Energy.
Kim is proud of the work we do at Power Moves and she’s passionate about co-op culture. “We have great resources in Power Moves,” she said. “Our website is user-friendly, so I try to connect members to all of our great DIY resources. I like the concern for the community. The co-ops care about their members, and I love being a part of that.”
Similar to Kim on the commercial side is Julie Serletic with Franklin Energy. Julie processes the Power Moves business rebates for C&I members. Julie’s role is focused on the details, and she runs a lot of reports, and like Kim, she’s passionate about finding answers for co-op members.
“I do a lot of the data entry, the project entry, and member verification with the REMCs,” Julie said. “I just love talking with the members and learning about all of the different agricultural projects going on. Older farmers don’t email. They don’t fax. They pick up a phone and talk to somebody instead of emailing to ask for information. I like that one-on-one relationship.”
Another lady who Julie works closely with is Mary Miller, an energy engineer for Franklin Energy who runs the Power Moves C&I Custom program. She’s a LEED-AP certified energy manager, and she’s a licensed engineer in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
“I work with members doing new construction projects to figure out incentives, offer suggestions on how to be more efficient, and advise on how to qualify for more money through rebates.” Mary said.
Getting the Word Out
The fact that you found this website and you’re reading this blog post is a credit to Wabash Valley Power’s Marketing Manager Laura Matney. Laura serves as the program manager for Power Moves.
“We try to meet members where they are,” Laura said. “There are some residential members who are very savvy and don’t need a lot of guidance from the program. They know what they want to do and what they need. There are others who appreciate the information the program offers and that Energy Advisors can provide. The same goes for the C&I members. We’re here to meet their needs. We’re here to serve them.”
Laura is particularly proud of the Power Moves participation from Wabash Valley Power member cooperatives. Every co-op participates on some level.
“It’s somewhat surprising that Power Moves has ended up as big as it has,” she said. “We didn’t start out in 2010 with lofty goals in terms of a number of rebates or dollar amounts tied to incentives paid out, or even a certain amount of energy savings in kilowatt hours. We just wanted to offer programs that our members could use to better manage their energy use. Everything we do is with end-use members in mind.”
As you can see from the talent highlighted here, women are a driving force behind the work we do at Power Moves, and we look forward to making this industry more equitable by continuing to create more opportunities for women in the future.