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Energy Efficiency Isn’t Learning on the Job, Anymore. It’s Starting in the Classroom.

We’ve all been there. You’re at a backyard BBQ or career day at your kid’s school. The usual question is popped: “So what do you do?”

You respond, ready to receive a stark contrast of either 20 questions or blank stares (especially depending on the age of your kid’s classroom). You explain the energy efficiency business and what it means to be an implementer. 

(Silence…) “Why does a utility pay you and its customers to reduce sales of its own product?”

I love it when I get this question.


Solid energy efficiency programs provide an energy resource at a fraction of the other available options like conventional coal, gas, nuclear or even renewables. A recent report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy outlines the history of utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs and forecasts its future. And guess what…that future is bright.

One reason for that actually takes us back to the classroom.

Universities across the nation realize the demand and are creating paths for students – essentially a running start out the career gate. Programs offered at UW Platteville and UW Madison pave the way for interested scholars. These students are becoming subject matter experts in the energy efficiency industry in the classroom and their head start has the potential to shape where we go.

It’s pretty cool to think that young professionals entering the workforce are problem solving almost immediately.

I take pride in what we do at Franklin Energy, every day. But I’m even more excited for what is possible from the next generation.

Franklin, as a whole, places emphasis on talent and development. If you know any students focusing in engineering or environmental sciences, tell them about our Energy Efficiency Experts of Tomorrow Scholarship. The scholarship is open Nov. 16 – Feb. 16.

Ed Carroll
Written by Ed Carroll

Senior Vice President
Ed Carroll pursued his passion for demand side management and building engineering before he had even secured his first professional job, and he never looked back. He navigates the world of new program and product design across all sectors and markets, serving as lead of Franklin Energy's internal innovation team focused on product management. In that role, Ed oversees and guides leaders in demand response and other distributed energy resources, marketing and the residential, multifamily, small business, and commercial/industrial customer groups as they develop solutions to meet our clients’ current and future needs. Ed holds a master's degree in energy analysis and policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a certified business energy professional (BEP).

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