Women in Building Performance: Jamie Peters
Jamie Peters is the Director of Client Solutions at EnergySavvy, a software company that aims to transform the way utilities interact with and serve their customers. Peters brings seven years of energy efficiency program experience to EnergySavvy, including launching Illinois’ first statewide Home Performance with Energy Star program, managing large-scale prescriptive and direct install utility programs, and developing tools and training for residential contractors.
Lindsay Bachman Flickinger: How did you get started in the energy efficiency industry?
Jamie Peters: I was lucky enough to get introduced to energy efficiency in the workplace through my job as sustainability manager at Lincoln Park Zoo, where I did some lighting retrofit projects. When searching for my next job, I decided to focus on energy—out of all the possible green business/sustainable pathways—since it had the biggest impact on climate change and there is often a positive business case. My next job was at the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA)...and the rest is history.
LBF: What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
JP: My greatest accomplishment is two-fold: First, from my days at MEEA, building Illinois' first ever statewide Home Performance with Energy Star program from the ground up. I am really proud of this since the program is still running today, 7 years later, and has gone on to win the Energy Star Partner of the Year award. Tied for first place is successfully transitioning into sales and business development as a Director of Client Solutions at EnergySavvy, where I have had the unique opportunity to grow our business within the Midwest 18 times over the past 3.5 years.
LBF: When you started out, what were some of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome these?
JP: My biggest challenge has always been wanting to go further and faster than is often possible. One of my past managers offered the sage advice that sometimes change can feel small but it absolutely required to "turn the ship". I keep this in mind and keep on moving forward, doing what I can.
LBF: What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
JP: The most rewarding thing is knowing that I don't just have a job—I am working towards something I really believe in. I wouldn't have it any other way.
LBF: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges for women in this industry?
JP: Working at a software company within the utility/energy industry, women make up a doubly low portion of the people I encounter through my job. This does not have to be a challenge in and of itself but it does occasionally keep me on my toes. It is unfortunately still the case that a woman's actions can be interpreted differently than something identical completed by a man. We all need to be vigilant about recognizing and disrupting biases. Of course, this is not just about women—increasing diversity more broadly in the green/clean tech space is incredibly important since we all benefit from diversity of backgrounds and thought.
LBF: What advice would you give to a woman starting out in the industry?
JP: Trust yourself! And don't be afraid to speak up and stand up for yourself and others.
Lindsay Bachman Flickinger is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Home Performance Coalition (HPC). She strategizes, publicizes, and transforms PR and media messaging for the conference, policy, and project aspects of HPC and plays an integral role in developing and maintaining the coalition partner relationships.
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