BECC Day 2 Report

More great learning on day two of the Behavior, Energy & Climate Change (BECC) conference in Sacramento, including the best presentation of the conference. That honor goes to Col. Robert J. Charette, Jr., director of the year-old Expeditionary Energy, United States Marine Corps. Col. Charette's mission is all about using renewable energy and energy efficiency on the battlefield, not to save money or energy or the environment, but to save lives. Too many Marines are killed or wounded working the supply lines, bringing water and fuel to the front. By reducing the demand at the front lines, fewer Marines are targets of the enemy while working the supply chain.

Col. Charette's presentation and his service to his country earned him, deservedly, the only standing ovation of the conference.

Off the battlefield, the energy efficiency fight continues.

Leo Raudys, senior director of environmental affairs at Best Buy, talked about how his company's entrepreneurial culture has helped it embrace green initiatives. It has three: (1) closing loop on product life cycle, (2) reducing its carbon footprint, and (3) connecting customers to energy efficiency. In its first year of recycling electronics--pretty much anything--Best Buy took in more than 140 million pounds of e-junk. Raudys says it's all about the bottom line, especially for public companies.

At a session on Smart Grid Strategies, Seth Frader-Thompson of EnergyHub shared some of his company's early experiences deploying smart meters and in-home displays. His advice: display dollars not kWh and give customers a reason to come to the device every single day (home, away, goodnight settings). His observation: the smart grid is growing more in breadth than depth.

Finally, at a session introducing California's new energy efficiency movement, called Engage 360 (, a group of experienced marketers from Draftfcb and other organizations shared their plan to engage 80% of Californians in Smart Energy Living by 2020. It's an ambitious goal that is going to depend heavily on new media channels. It will also be a test of government's ability to inspire people not just to change their behavior but to encourage their friends and family to do so, too.