Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative Appoints Patty Durand as Permanent Executive Director

  • Posted on: 17 January 2011
  • By: chw staff

The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC), an independent non-profit group working to foster mutual understanding between industry and consumers regarding the creation of a next-generation energy infrastructure, today announced the appointment of Patty Durand as its full-time executive director. In a long-planned transition, a former Georgia Institute of Technology Smart Grid and Energy Research leader will take over from Jesse Berst, Managing Director of GlobalSmartEnergy (GSE), an internationally recognized research and consulting firm, who has acted as the organization’s interim executive director since its inception.

    “Few issues are as crucial for our nation as the transformation of our energy infrastructure -- and our behaviors -- to a more sustainable basis”

Launched in March 2010, the SGCC has already accomplished several key milestones, including:

  • Reaching its goal of fifty members its first year,
  • Completion of a comprehensive study, State of the Smart Grid Consumer 2011, an integrated analysis of more than 24 major research studies,
  • Completion of a focus group study to determine consumer attitudes, needs and preferences
  • Gathering all stakeholders for the “Partnering for Progress” symposium in San Diego on January 31, 2011.

With the group’s momentum continuing to build, it has grown to the point where the interim leadership provided by Jesse Berst needs to transition to dedicated leadership on a full-time basis. Following a rigorous evaluation of candidates from throughout the energy ecosystem, the group has named Patty Durand its new permanent executive director.

Durand’s work at Georgia Tech focused on smart grid research projects where she helped submit almost $10 million in grants to ARPA-E and DOE. She also serves on the board of the Smart Grid Society for the Technology Association of Georgia. Prior to her work at Georgia Tech, Durand was the state director for the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club, where she focused on energy policy and programs.

“Few issues are as crucial for our nation as the transformation of our energy infrastructure -- and our behaviors -- to a more sustainable basis,” Patty Durand said. “The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative is uniquely qualified to facilitate this process. Jesse Berst has laid a strong foundation of insight, relationships, and best practices, and I look forward to continuing to advance the work he has begun.”

Co-founder and former Acting Executive Director Jesse Berst will continue to advise the SGCC, with emphasis on educational and outreach activities. Said Berst, “The opportunity I’ve had to help the SGCC get started has been fascinating, inspiring, and incredibly rewarding. Perhaps the most satisfying part has been seeing the organization grow to the point that it requires a fully dedicated executive director -- a sign that it has reached a new level of maturity. We couldn’t have chosen a better-qualified permanent executive director than Patty Durand, and I’ll be following the group’s progress under her leadership as we continue to reach our goals for a new energy future.”

About the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC)
The SGCC is a consumer focused non-profit organization aiming to promote the understanding and benefits of modernized electrical systems among all stakeholders in the United States. Membership is open to all consumer and environmental advocates, technology vendors, research scientists, and electric utilities for sharing in research, best practices, and collaborative efforts of the group. Join @