AEE World 2019: Partner Solutions, Engaging Discussions, and Celebrated Success

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 15, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants team recently wrapped up a successful AEE World 2019 in Washington, D.C.! AEE World is the Association of Energy Engineers’ annual conference and expo, and features an entire track dedicated to the work of Better Plants and its partners.

The week started with a pre-conference Field Validation peer review workshop on September 24 with Better Plants partners and experts from DOE and the Defense Department. Workshop participants discussed how DOE can help facilitate and support Better Plants partners with field testing of new energy-efficient technologies in their manufacturing plants. The engaging exchange yielded some excellent feedback from program partners and suggestions on how to make field validation efforts a success.   

AEE World’s panel sessions and expo hall opened on Wednesday, September 25, giving the Better Plants team more opportunities to engage with partners and conference attendees. The Better Plants booth featured a section dedicated to software demonstrations for the MEASUR tools suite and other resources, as well as a networking lounge for attendees to converse with the Better Plants team. Many conference attendees stopped by the booth to learn about the free tools and resources available through the program and inquire about becoming a partner.

Left: Technical Account Manager, Daryl Cox, demonstrates the MEASUR software tool to a conference attendee; Right: Conference attendees take a break in the Better Plants Boiler Room Networking lounge

The Better Plants team and partners were among 260 industry experts presenting at the conference. The team hosted a track of four panel sessions featuring partner success stories and solutions as well as resources and pilot programs from DOE:

  • Waste Not, Want Not: Waste Reduction and The Circular Economy
  • Dynamic Energy Management: Real World Strategies for Your Plants
  • Stop, Collaborate, And Listen: Innovation in Energy and Water Efficiency
  • Friday Morning with the DOE: Tools and Resources to Help Your Business


Better Plants partners who shared solutions during the sessions included PepsiCo (Frito-Lay), FMC Corporation, Saint-Gobain North America, Raytheon Company, United Technologies Corporation, CalPortland Company, Waupaca Foundry, Inc., Toyota Manufacturing North America, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Flowers Foods, and Volvo Group North America.

On Wednesday evening several members of the Better Plants family were recognized at AEE’s annual International Awards Banquet:

  • An Energy Manager of the Year award for Sharon Nolen, Global Natural Resources Director at Eastman Chemical
  • An International Young Energy Professional of the Year award for Tom Wenning of Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • A Corporate Energy Management Award for 3M, a Better Plants Challenge partner
  • Energy Project of the Year: National for Nissan North America, a Better Plants Challenge partner; the winning project was the subject of a showcase project


On Thursday, the Better Plants team hosted a session for program partners to review some of their highlights and achievements from this past year. CalPortland Company was recognized as a goal achiever, having surpassed their energy reduction goal with a significant 28% reduction in energy intensity in only 8 years.

As a voluntary partnership program, Better Plants succeeds because partners and other energy leaders are willing to step up and share successful solutions and best practice-strategies at events like AEE World. Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s Better Plants track a success, and we look forward to seeing everyone at the 2020 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit on June 8-10, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia.