Perspective
Our corner office is actually a corner of the country.
Our corner office is actually a corner of the country.

Our home base of Seattle isn't just a place—it’s a point of view. And like the Great Northwest, our outlook is a little different. From here, we can help you see more. Beyond numbers. Beyond conventional wisdom. From our vantage point, information paves the way to insight and metrics reveal more meaning. When your way forward isn't clear, a shift in perspective isn't just refreshing. It’s essential.

See career opportunities.

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world travellers

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parents

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multi-linguals

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cyclists of varying commitment levels

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dancers

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sailboat skippers

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hikers

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person who started in Oil before changing course

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Our People.
Our People.

Accomplished. Eclectic.
Client-centric.
Meet the minds of EMI Consulting.

  • Rob Bordner
    Founder & CEO
    Strategy and vision from an energy-efficiency thought leader.

    Drawing on three decades in the energy industry, Rob helps clients develop better strategies by providing a forward-looking, systems-based perspective encompassing the industry’s technical, economic and organizational dimensions. An economist by training, Rob’s experience dates to the early 1980s, when he worked with the pioneering firm that built New England’s first wind farm. Rob founded EMI Consulting in 1995 to combine his passion for sustainable energy with his talent for innovative and insightful research. His expertise and interest lies in strategic planning, energy policy, scenario analysis, systems theory, emerging technology and program evaluation. As CEO, he holds the vision for the firm, mapping growth as he mentors staff. When he’s not working, Rob enjoys listening to live music in small venues, sailing the Salish Sea, backpacking in the Olympics, browsing farmers markets and making wine. Rob also founded two youth-focused ventures—Vashon Independent Scouts and Sharing the Stage—combining his interests in music, the outdoors, mentoring and youth empowerment. Rob is working to reduce his ecological footprint to the size of one off-shore-capable sailboat.

    • Posted 1.19.15
      Insights: EMI Consulting: 20 Years!

      EMI Consulting was founded in the loft of a barn, sharing space with a Saddlebred horse, an ornery Shetland pony, and some polled Dorset sheep.  My objective was to engage my entrepreneurial instincts in the energy field I am so passionate about while also earning a good living, having balance, and spending time with my kids. 

      Twenty years later, as we approach a staff of thirty, creating a thriving and progressive place of work continues to be a top priority.  The loft space we now occupy in downtown Seattle is much larger, devoid of wild chickens in the background, and humming with activity as we work away on over 40 projects with clients in 20 different states.  In my role as CEO, some of the greatest moments come when I am working with our younger staff, many of whom are just starting out in their careers.  They are the future, and each is sure to make their mark. 

      This is such an incredibly exciting time to be working in the energy industry; the rate of technology change and innovation is rapid, and seemingly increasing each week.  Central plants, energy efficiency, distributed renewables, storage, the Internet of Things, and nanotechnology all have a role in this emerging energy system of the future.  I am grateful to all who have contributed to our success, including current and past employees, clients, and our families.  It is a privilege to work with such a great team and to work with such an amazing professional community of clients and peers — many of whom have also become lifelong friends. The work we are doing today to support a clean energy future is good work, work that is worth doing.  And I am looking forward to all that unfolds going forward!  

  • Julie Rey
    President
    Driving growth and delivering outstanding client experiences

    Julie brings expertise in LEADING CONSULTING COMPANIES through substantial GROWTH CYCLES. She has spent two decades working in RAPIDLY TRANSFORMING INDUSTRIES, helping companies to adapt, INNOVATE, and DIFFERENTIATE themselves. Julie believes that the NEW ENERGY ECONOMY holds great promise for utility companies, as well as the rest of society, as the country transitions to a LOW-CARBON ENERGY FUTURE. Julie is responsible for expanding EMI Consulting market share, deepening the firm's strategic “UTILITY OF THE FUTURE” SERVICE OFFERINGS, and managing the company’s GROWING STAFF. Her SIX SIGMA MASTER BLACK BELT reflects a true dedication to quality. She is a LIFELONG LEARNER, holding a master’s degree and two bachelor’s degrees. She and her husband have two teenage boys who are both jazz musicians. She enjoys PLAYING BARITONE SAXOPHONE, taking (amateur) PHOTOS of people out in the world, COOKING world cuisines with her family, YOGA, and SKIING.

    • Posted 1.31.18
      Announcements EMI Consulting Appoints Julie Rey as President

      Global Consulting Executive to Drive Expansion of Company’s “Utility of the Future” Strategic Service Offerings and Market Share.

      SEATTLE, Wash. – January 31, 2018 – Energy advisory firm EMI Consulting today announced it has hired Julie Rey as president. Recognized for her expertise in driving business growth and supervising global consulting teams, Ms. Rey will be responsible for expanding EMI Consulting’s market share, deepening its strategic “Utility of the Future” service offerings, and managing the company’s growing staff.

      “We’re pleased to have Julie join our leadership team,” said Rob Bordner, EMI Consulting founder and CEO. “It’s an exciting time for our industry. The nation’s energy future is in the middle of a radical shift driven by unprecedented technological innovation, global climate change, and geo-political uncertainty. We see this as a perfect opportunity for the expansion of our clean energy ‘Utility of the Future’ consulting initiatives. Julie’s leadership will be instrumental during this time of company growth.”

      With a twenty-year track record of profitability, premier clients, and consulting bench strength, EMI Consulting is poised to achieve significantly greater success. As president, Ms. Rey will report to CEO Rob Bordner, joining him in defining the company’s long-term strategies and fostering efficient business growth. The creation of this position enables Mr. Bordner to focus on strategic market direction, high-level project conceptualization and design, and new business development.

      “I’m excited about working with this visionary and talented team,” said Julie Rey, EMI Consulting president. “The company is well-known for its in-house strategic and analytical talent, depth of industry partnerships, cutting-edge technological expertise, and passion for delivering the best consulting experiences. Being able to lead the company to greater levels of growth is a fantastic opportunity.”

      Ms. Rey was most recently vice president and market lead for global management consulting firm North Highland Consulting. Prior to that she held positions as managing director for Strong-Bridge Consulting, vice president/business process improvement for Safeco Insurance, and director/Six Sigma Black Belt for Western Wireless Corporation. She brings expertise in leading companies through substantial growth cycles, designing and streamlining service processes, advancing consulting methodologies for enhanced client experiences, training leaders, and improving profitability. Ms. Rey holds a master’s degree in organizational communication from the University of Washington, and bachelor’s degrees in rhetoric and Italian from the University of California at Davis.

       

      About EMI Consulting
      EMI Consulting advises electric and gas utilities nationwide on business strategies related to new market opportunities, distributed and renewable energy, energy efficiency, and customer engagement. Founded in 1995, the company is recognized for industry leadership in three key areas: strategy and evaluation, data analytics and modeling, and customer experience research. Headquartered in Seattle, the company also employs staff in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Portland, and Los Angeles. More information is available at www.emiconsulting.com

       

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      Media Contact: Wil Marquardt | (206) 621-1160 | wmarquardt@emiconsulting.com

  • Matthew Rose
    Director
    For 30 years, an energy-industry go-to guy.

    After more than three decades as an energy industry consultant, Matthew is as passionate as ever about helping clients Understand and resolve their issues. His secret? Helping them first clearly articulate their needs and define their vision of success.  A patient, grounding presence, Matthew listens closely and makes sure he and his clients grasp all the Elements of their challenge before delving into solutions. It’s an approach that agrees with his clients: he’s worked with many for well over a decade. Matthew has traveled extensively throughout most of the U.S., nearly all the Canadian provinces, and in Scandinavia and the Philippines. He enjoys canoeing Michigan’s storied rivers, watching hockey, fishing, and playing bluegrass mandolin and guitar.

    • Posted 7.24.17
      Insights: The Current Value of Demand Response: It All Depends Where You Look

      Depending on where you look, the value and business rationale for demand response (DR) varies. In certain parts of the country, there seems to be a growing focus on DR; in others, market forces are reducing the value of DR. In some areas DR is viewed as a resource competing in capacity markets whereas in others it is a resource included in utilities’ integrated resource planning.

      In the Pacific Northwest, the focus has traditionally been only on energy efficiency, but the current 20-year power plan prepared by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council indicates demand response could offer billions in cost savings. In California, the state’s Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) now participate in the state’s Demand Response Auction Mechanism (DRAM) program. DR also is unfolding in the Northeast with both utility and ISO programs.

      Despite new areas of DR attention, there are signs that activity levels are tapering off in some of the more mature markets. A review of the current market for demand response points to a fragmented landscape affected by varying aggregator activities, changing market rules, and a capacity market that has notable swings in capacity requirements and value. For a closer look, click here.

  • Jeremy Kraft
    Director of Consulting and Analysis
    Improving the nation’s energy efficiency programs, one evaluation at a time.

    Mix a thorough understanding of energy efficiency with a masterful grasp of research methodology, toss in airtight project management and a passion for sustainability, and you get Jeremy. His experience includes program evaluations in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, Maine and Connecticut. His current professional interests include helping utilities identify the next generation of DSM programs and working to transform how evaluation research is used within the industry. Jeremy moved to Seattle after 15 years in Wisconsin and won’t shut up about how the cheese is better back home.

    • Posted 9.9.14
      Insights: Evaluators as a Partner, not an Auditor

      In our evaluation work, we come across two kinds of requests from utilities and public service commissions. The first kind is the classic summative evaluation. A program has been running for a year or two and the utility needs someone to come in and assess its performance. At the end of the day, the evaluators provide recommendations for program improvements and realization rates to apply to reported savings. The second kind is when a utility is looking for a long-term evaluation partner. Someone that can sit at the table up-front and help the program administrators understand the programs they are running before the summative “evaluation” begins.

      Recently, we’ve been playing this role with clients more frequently and the benefits are tangible. We’ve vetted savings calculation methodologies prior to approval of large custom projects and double-checked application materials against TRMs to avoid realization rate surprises. We've created process flow maps to identify implementation bottlenecks before they occur instead of identifying them retroactively via complaints from participants during a telephone survey. We've conducted web usability tests to understand how trade allies interact with a new portal before it’s launched to maximize uptake and participation with the new offering. 

      In every case, we’re using our skills as evaluators to solve problems before they occur. We still play our critical M&V role – verifying that savings are real and that programs are efficient – but we help programs run better in the meantime.

  • Wil Marquardt
    Director of Finance & Operations

    Always one to explore what's around the next bend, Wil picked up stakes and moved from New Jersey to Seattle to pursue an MBA with a concentration in environmental management—and he’s never looked back.  Over the years since grad school he's applied his finance expertise at several large Seattle-area companies while occasionally moonlighting with startups and environmental non-profits. After many years working for large companies, he's found his place: applying his background at a smaller firm that is endeavoring to improve our Earth through world-class energy efficiency research. When he's not building the next Franken-spreadsheet, Wil spends his time communing with the outdoors and traveling the world with his other half. "To the ends of the Earth would you follow me?"

    • Posted 4.17.18
      Announcement EMI Consulting Names Wil Marquardt Director of Finance & Operations

      Seattle, WA (April 17, 2018) – EMI Consulting is pleased to announce the appointment of Wil Marquardt as Director of Finance and Operations. He will be
      responsible for driving financial strategy, planning, and processes, as well as business operations as an integral part of the company’s growth strategy.

      Prior to joining EMI Consulting, Wil held senior consulting positions at SumBridge, Strong-Bridge, and Two Degrees consulting firms, and he’s worked with companies as varied as Starbucks and T-Mobile. While the common thread in these engagements was primarily finance and operational management, Wil has also applied his skillset to the leadership of customer experience and technology initiatives. He also held tenure as Vice President at Washington Mutual, where he was charged with several business-imperative directives, including operational excellence and long-term forecasting.

      “Wil’s deep and varied background creates the perfect blend of financial acumen and operational experience needed to help grow and sustain our firm,” explained EMI Consulting President Julie Rey. “His experience as a consultant also brings an understanding of the unique pressures of the space, which I believe is vital for this role.”

      Julie added, “Wil is also an approachable and well-respected person, who has a passion for the environment, which aligns well with our desire to cultivate a Utility of Future initiative.”

      In fact, Wil chose the University of Washington for his MBA specifically for their concentration in environmental management. He explained, "I chose my MBA concentration because environmental sustainability is important to me, and I genuinely believed my career would eventually intersect.”

      “EMI Consulting is in a really strong position – there is significant change stirring in the industry, great business opportunities, and this very committed and talented group of people I get to work alongside will help to realize the goals of a sustainable, clean energy future for utilities and their customers,” said Wil. “I am thrilled to use my background and experience to help drive important growth goals and set the company on course for long-term financial success.”

  • Kara Crohn
    Associate Director
    Evaluation expertise that opens a window onto your programs.

    Besides the focus and high standards you’d expect of a former gymnast, rower and track athlete, Kara has 20 years of experience in research. She serves our clients with a thorough knowledge of program evaluation theory, qualitative and mixed-methods research design, Customer Market Research, evaluation capacity building, and training design and evaluation. Outside of work, she volunteers with the Riverside GREEN Mapping and Integration team to help account for and coordinate sustainability-related initiatives across the city. When she’s not evaluating something, Kara loves hiking with her family and sneaking off to dance classes to maintain the balance, strength, creativity and flexibility she needs to keep up with her sons.

    • Posted 2.25.16
      Insights: Process Mapping Primes the Pump for Successful Program Design and Useful Process Evaluations

      When we embark on a journey with our clients to support program design or to understand what really makes a program work, we start by developing a logic model with them. Logic modeling clarifies program staff’s and stakeholders’ understanding of how the activities they perform will logically lead to the goals they want to attain, and it establishes interim markers of success that can be measured along the way. However, it is often necessary to dig deeper into how activities are conducted to identify places where efficiency can be designed into the program’s operations.

      Process mapping is the tool we use to go deeper. The opportunity cost of not creating process maps is potentially overlooking gaps or redundancies in the program’s activities that could have saved the program money, time, or frustration had they been identified and resolved sooner. With this in mind, we work with program staff and those who interact with the program to collectively map out day-to-day operations; to have a conversation they rarely, if ever, have time for during their day. To get the most out of the exercise, it is critical to have the right people in the room and to foster an environment of exploration that respects differences in perspective.

      From a program design perspective, we use process mapping for locating opportunities to build in efficiency from the beginning, avoid pitfalls, and engender collaboration across job roles. From a process evaluation perspective, we focus evaluation questions on aspects of the program process in most need of feedback and tie performance metrics to critical program process steps. We also map the actual process against the designed process to more thoroughly identify implementation fidelity questions and, ultimately, feed timely design considerations back into the program design cycle.

      Process mapping is a simple tool that requires methodologically rigorous facilitation to produce meaningful results. Facilitated well, staff and stakeholders who participate in the process mapping exercise leave with a deeper appreciation for the work they each perform and some immediate steps to improve the efficiency of their work. They also have a better understanding of how their daily actions will lead to longer-term, farther-reaching goals described in their logic model. 

  • Lisa Perry
    Managing Consultant
    Equally fluent in econometrics and eggplant.

    Lisa offers expertise in both economic theory and research methods, with a focus on evaluating how behavioral responses shape the effectiveness of policies and programs. Her academic background includes application of advanced econometrics, including differences-in-differences regressions, instrumental variables regressions and regression discontinuity. Originally from Michigan, Lisa spent two years in Washington, D.C. before landing in Seattle. She loves exploring the Pacific Northwest's natural and urban wonders, from hiking and camping to farmers' markets and microbreweries. In addition to traveling and playing tennis, she grows vegetables in her backyard and experiments with new ways to cook them.

    • Posted 9.9.14
      Insights: How far can energy efficiency financing take us?

      Financing programs should be seen as a valuable complement, not replacement, for traditional utility programs.  Financing programs are one of today's fastest growing types of energy efficiency program, in part because they offer policy makers and utilities the tantalizing possibility of replacing taxpayer and ratepayer funding with private capital. This was an argument I heard applied from states as diverse as Connecticut to Ohio at the 2014 ACEEE Finance Forum.

      The challenge with the idea that financing programs can replace traditional utility programs is that financing by itself does not overcome all of the barriers that traditional utility programs target through rebates, marketing, and education. Take rebates, for example. While financing can help overcome customers’ barriers related to high first cost and lack of capital, these are not the only reasons utilities offer rebates. Rebates can be necessary when a project that is not cost-effective for an individual customer is economical for the utility. This can occur because customers make decisions about efficiency project payback based on their current energy rates, while utilities' cost-effectiveness is based on the higher marginal costs of investing in additional supply or generation. By helping align customers' payback with the value of efficiency for the utilities, rebates can be an important tool to help utilities meet demand at the lowest cost possible. Financing programs do not address the underlying differences in the economics of efficiency for customers and utilities. 

      Of course, money isn't everything. The growing field of behavioral programs is showing us just how much factors other than payback matter to customers. At least as currently designed, financing programs do not provide customers with information, education, and non-financial motivators that utility programs have found can drive efficiency. 

  • Donna Whitsett
    Managing Consultant
    Using her research powers for good.

    How serious is Donna about energy sustainability? Forty miles into her cross-country move from Houston to Seattle, Donna’s car broke down. She abandoned her vehicle, rented a U-Haul and hasn’t owned a car since. When she’s not literally walking the talk, Donna likes using research to inform strategies that encourage people to conserve energy. Handily enough, she has a strong background insocial psychology and a wide range of experience in research methodology and data analysis, including experimental design, sample development, data collection and statistical data analysis. Although Donna grew up in Texas, she developed neither a noticeable accent nor a love of barbecue.

  • Hannah Carmalt Justus
    Senior Consultant
    Our resident process cartographer.

    Hannah has contributed to diverse evaluation and planning projects for utilities across the country. She specializes in process mapping and focuses much of her research on community-based programs and social marketing techniques. Most recently, Hannah helped develop evaluation plans for Consumers Energy’s pilot programs. She also managed an evaluation of a community-based program in Wisconsin and conducted research on CUSTOMER AND TRADE ALLY ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES. Currently, Hannah is leading a portfolio-level evaluation for Xcel Energy. Much of her recent research has focused on MIDSTREAM or TRADE ALLY-LED PROGRAMS throughout the country, and she has also evaluated community-based SOCIAL MARKETING techniques in Wisconsin and California. She previously worked in New York City for Seamus Henchy and Associates, a project management firm, and completed graduate work in sustainable community development and behavior. Hannah has lived in Australia and Ireland. She enjoys Washington State’s parks and is partial to hiking, Canoeing, and skiing.

  • Brett Close
    Managing Consultant
    Passionate about data and the people behind them

    Brett has been working in energy efficiency since graduating from college, but he has been thinking about the utility of the future since high school, when he wrote his senior paper about energy efficiency and renewable energy. Brett has always had a passion for connecting the quantitative and the qualitative, the sciences and the humanities. He started college in physics labs but transitioned to a major in public policy analysis with a physics emphasis, and added in a second major of Medieval history (just for fun). Today his work combines advanced statistical methods with thoughtful modeling of the human interactions that drive markets, policies, and programs. When not crunching numbers, he enjoys hiking, baking bread, brewing beer and cider, and traveling the world with his wife and young son.

  • Nate Wilairat
    Senior Consultant
    He knows one data visualization is worth a thousand words.

    Nate is passionate about finding innovative ways to communicate information—including infographics and data visualization—that lead to data-driven decisions and better understanding. His areas of expertise include energy benchmarking policies for buildings, smart and programmable thermostats, trade ally engagement and small business energy efficiency programs. He is also experienced in using quantitative methods for sample design, trend analysis and data exploration. Nate grew up in Berkeley and has lived briefly in Japan, Minnesota, Crater Lake and Paris. He is a year-round bike commuter who logs over 1000 miles annually and is also fluent in French. He is happiest hanging off rock faces or catching the sunrise from a peak.

  • Matt Galport
    Senior Consultant
    Making the world safe for better evaluation.

    A man of simple tastes, Matt loves three things: helping organizations make better decisions, traveling, and hiking. While visiting South Africa for six months, he was able to combine all three: he traveled the country while developing evaluation systems for the African Union. In addition to conducting state-of-the-art research and helping organizations build capacity for supporting actionable, cost-effective evaluations, Matt also develops Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on research and evaluation funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. His courses have helped thousands of professionals on every continent but one deepen their mastery of evaluation concepts. One day, Matt hopes to improve evaluations on that final continent by teaching aboard a research vessel bound for Antarctica.

  • Mike Hamilton
    Senior Consultant
    Demystifying the behavior of energy consumers.

    With expertise in quantitative analysis, Mike provides our clients with an organized, thorough approach to interpreting complex data. His extensive statistical modeling experience, coupled with an understanding of how energy markets behave, enables him to deliver measurable estimates of key factors affecting energy efficiency decision-making. Before joining EMI Consulting, Mike spent more than two years researching investment preferences for energy-efficient technologies in commercial buildings, helping to conduct several national market surveys. Outside of work, Mike stays busy skiing, surfing, learning bluegrass mandolin and growing berries in his garden.

    • Posted 12.3.15
      Insights: Breaking Apart Small Business Decisions regarding HVAC Maintenance Contracts:

      WHAT MATTERS MOST?

      According to the Small Business Administration, there are 23 million small businesses in the U.S. that account for over half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product and occupy 30-50% of all commercial space. (1) With increasing activity by small startup companies and lower rates of startup failure, this sector will undoubtedly remain a vital contributor of the U.S. economy in the foreseeable future. (2)

      Now pair this projection with a recent finding from the J.D. Power 2014 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study – overall satisfaction with electric utility providers is lowest among small businesses. (3) Businesses spending between $250 and $499 per month on their electric utility bill averaged about 10 points lower (on J.D. Power’s 1000 point scale) than businesses with higher utility bills.

      Why are small businesses relatively less satisfied with utility providers? Small businesses are diverse and have unique operational needs and preferences, particularly with respect to energy-related equipment and usage. Additionally, many small business owners simply do not have time and/or resources to worry about “secondary” issues like their energy bills.

      At EMI Consulting, we use innovative market research methods to help our utility clients better understand their small business customers. For example, EMI Consulting recently worked with the California investor-owned utilities to characterize how business owners and managers make decisions about the maintenance of their heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) systems (a copy of the report is available here ). We estimated the relative importance of decision factors related to the purchase of an HVAC maintenance contract (as shown in the figure to the right). (4) Not surprisingly, the cost of a maintenance contract is important to small business customers (accounting for 26% of the overall decision weight, on average). But our results also show that small businesses greatly value improvements in the reliability of their HVAC systems (21% of the overall decision weight). The small business stakeholders we surveyed expressed comparatively little concern over improvements in the longevity of their HVAC systems, the number of maintenance visits they receive per year, indoor air quality benefits, and environmental impacts.

      While it is clear that contract cost plays an important role in small business customers’ maintenance contract decisions, our findings also suggest that the value proposition that may resonate most deeply with the small business sector is that maintenance contracts improve the reliability of HVAC systems. Insights like this could have a big effect for programs promoting the benefits of regular maintenance.

      (1) Source: http://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/ocpl/resources/13493
      (2) Source: http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/2015/05/nations-startup-activity-reverses-five-year-downward-trend-annual-kauffman-index-reports
      (3) Source: http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2014-electric-utility-business-customer-satisfaction-study
      (4) As revealed by commercial stakeholders responsible for two or fewer business locations comprising five or fewer HVAC units.
  • Katie Cary
    Senior Consultant
    Complex analysis. Simple explanations.

    When you need thorough data analysis that’s easy to understand, talk to Katie. With degrees in economics, political science, and international public policy, she wields a broad arsenal of analytical tools capable of attacking just about any problem. And she combines it with a gift for clear communication; just ask the faculty at The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs, which awarded Katie its Penniman Prize for most outstanding graduate paper. In her free time, Katie can be found cheering on Tottenham Hotspur, her favorite English soccer team, hiking with her dog, and pursuing her dream to visit every U.S. national park. Katie recently moved to Seattle from Madison, and does not miss the arctic weather.

  • Krys Buckenwolf
    Office Manager & Proposal Coordinator
    Advocating for cleaner sentences and oxford commas since 2015

    Pursuing his QUEST FOR MORE SCENERY, Krys swapped his beloved CHICAGO for a different kind of skyline and landed in Seattle, where his many duties include KEEPING OUR HQ HUMMING and adding POLISH to our work products. Before joining EMI Consulting, Krys worked as a college English TEACHER, a SUPERVISOR at an animal hospital, and a TRAINER at a call center. In his free time, he tinkers at what will one day become a SERIES OF LINKED SHORT STORIES FOR A COLLABORATIVE WEB PLATFORM. You can also find him roaming QUEEN ANNE HILL, fleshing out CHARACTER PROFILES or trying to CONDITION HIS BIKE-RIDING LEGS for Seattle’s ample hills.

  • Ian Johnson
    Senior Consultant
    Relax. He’s a doctor.

    As a part of our Customer & Market Research team, Ian applies his ADVANCED SCHOLARSHIP IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, as well as his experience developing and measuring marketing CAMPAIGNS utilizing effective persuasion techniques and targeted messaging and attitudinal, cognition and memory theoretical frameworks, to help our clients CHANGE CONSUMER BEHAVIOR. When not moonlighting as batman, Ian has been involved with numerous grants ranging from drug abuse prevention programs to EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM EVALUATIONS, which has enabled Ian to demonstrate a commitment to actionable, EVIDENCE-BASED INSIGHTS along with an extreme COMMITMENT TO DETAIL.  In his off hours, he loves to DJ, play SOCCER, and watch the pride of his home state, the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS. He has an EXTENSIVE FILM COLLECTION and particularly enjoys campy 80s horror, foreign films, and the work of Stanley Kubrick. For dinner, he’ll have THAI FOOD AND A HOPPY IPA, thanks. 

  • Joan Effinger
    Senior Engineer
    Passionately bridging the gap between business and engineering

    Joan has a passion for taking ideas and making them happen. A Natural Planner  and researcher, she loves to connect the dots and get to the root of the problem, with entrepreneurship in her heart. Joan has over 12 years of experience in the energy industry, including work at the National Fuel Cell Research Center, many years in energy efficiency consulting, a tech start-up, and most recently at a utility researching and piloting disruptive technologies. She is a subject matter expert in whole building measurement and verification and also has extensive experience designing and implementing innovative energy efficiency pilots and programs. When not working,  Joan enjoys Kickboxing, hiking, sailing,  and playing with her sons.

  • Emily Rich
    Consultant

    Emily holds an M.P.A. from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington where she sought to acquire every quantitative skill she could—from multivariate analysis to environmental economics to financial analysis. Chasing her obsession with electricity utilities and the energy industry, she interned in Seattle City Light’s Strategic Planning division and at the Northwest Energy Coalition as a graduate student, conducting research and analysis into residential electric rate design, demand response, and integrated resource planning. Prior to graduate school, Emily led the charge as a community organizer and advocate for energy policies in Virginia. She knows the Cascades like the back of her hand after significant time hiking, backpacking, and camping through them. She still carries the flag (and maybe shouts a bit) for the UNC basketball team, and she thinks potlucks with friends are the way to go.

  • Julie Scrivner
    Consultant

    Julie is passionate about understanding the regulatory, social, and economic contexts of current energy issues. She has a wide range of qualitative research experiences focused on improving how communities interact with their limited resources. Before joining EMI Consulting, Julie spent two years digging into utility residential and commercial customer engagement in energy efficiency programs. The ultimate extra-curricular enthusiast, Julie is frequently found climbing mountains, dancing with her hip-hop crew, speaking Spanish at a local community center, or volunteering with a poverty alleviation group in downtown Seattle.

  • Robert Saul
    Consultant
    Helping to humanize data through sharper visuals

    Robert is an exception to the archetype of a data-driven analyst, being an extrovert but also passionate about digging into the details. For the past two years, he has worked specifically in energy evaluation, including working on projects for most forms of residential lighting programs, evaluating programs in Rhode Island, California, Massachusetts, Illinois, both Carolinas, Indiana, New York, and Ohio. He has also led training efforts for energy efficiency fieldwork and is the go-to guy for helping put together the best client presentations and coaching on delivery. He strongly believes visuals humanize data and he’s not shy about how much of a data-viz geek he is. Be ready for many graph puns unleashed through social media. Robert may also be the most hardcore cyclist we have on staff, having toured Europe as well as a taking 6-week ride from Vancouver to Tijuana.

  • Mary Boyd
    Project Coordinator

    Mary enjoys the behind-the-scene work that keeps projects moving. From managing budgets to coordinating resources and fostering communication across teams, she masters the details that keep projects in scope and on budget. Mary’s educational background is in web design, with a focus on accessibility and inclusive design, and she has experience managing projects across various industries, including corporate and public events and conferences, web and graphic design, and web development. Mary is a life-time Pacific North Westerner. Outside of work, you can find her cheering for cooking competition shows with the fervor of a sports fan and making plans to fulfill her goal of visiting every state capitol.

  • Nick Neverisky
    Consultant

    Nick’s research experience includes developing and implementing strategies to understand stakeholders behaviors and uncover their underlying motivations in sustainability contexts. He brings a clear focus on designing research that enables the discovery of actionable insights to address pressing issues. Although versed in a range of methods, Nick brings particular strengths in in-depth interview methodologies and qualitative data analysis. Throughout his customer experience research, Nick leverages his background in social psychology and behavioral economics to understand stakeholder behaviors and to inform novel engagement strategies. Nick is an enthusiastically improving skier, an occasional sailor, and a fairly regular bike rider. He enjoys using statistics to grasp the complexities of daily life and considers building complex spreadsheets to be a form of recreation.

  • Lauren Holstein
    Associate Consultant

    Lauren is on a personal mission to ensure that everyone has the ability and access to interact with, understand, and build data into their decision-making process. She has a wide range of experience on both the qualitative and quantitative side of analysis, and is passionate about connecting clients with data instruments, visualizations, and reports that suit their unique needs. During her MPA program at the University of Washington, Lauren helped create analysis tools for the federal government, foundations, nonprofits, and community organizations. Prior to attending graduate school, Lauren traveled the world as an ESL teacher in South Korea and France and had some amazing opportunities, like watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat and snorkeling with a reef shark in the Andaman Sea. In her free time, Lauren loves camping, trying out new recipes, skiing, whitewater rafting, evaluating which restaurant has the best pizza in Seattle, and fulfilling her goal of traveling to a different country every year.

  • David Wagner
    Associate Consultant

    David is thrilled to be working with utilities to help them achieve their energy efficiency goals. He understands the regulatory landscape of clean energy, having worked in the federal government with environmental economists and in academia with policy and sustainable transportation experts. David enjoys solving challenging problems and discovering actionable insights, especially when it involves pouring over energy data. He studied environmental politics and economics at Pomona College, where he worked hands on with the sustainability office to address pressing energy issues. Originally from Maryland, David enjoys exploring the city of Seattle and the nearby natural landscape.

Leadership Team
  • Rob Bordner
    Founder & CEO
    Rob Bordner
    Strategy and vision from an energy-efficiency thought leader.

    Drawing on three decades in the energy industry, Rob helps clients develop better strategies by providing a forward-looking, systems-based perspective encompassing the industry’s technical, economic and organizational dimensions. An economist by training, Rob’s experience dates to the early 1980s, when he worked with the pioneering firm that built New England’s first wind farm. Rob founded EMI Consulting in 1995 to combine his passion for sustainable energy with his talent for innovative and insightful research. His expertise and interest lies in strategic planning, energy policy, scenario analysis, systems theory, emerging technology and program evaluation. As CEO, he holds the vision for the firm, mapping growth as he mentors staff. When he’s not working, Rob enjoys listening to live music in small venues, sailing the Salish Sea, backpacking in the Olympics, browsing farmers markets and making wine. Rob also founded two youth-focused ventures—Vashon Independent Scouts and Sharing the Stage—combining his interests in music, the outdoors, mentoring and youth empowerment. Rob is working to reduce his ecological footprint to the size of one off-shore-capable sailboat.

    • Posted 1.19.15
      Insights: EMI Consulting: 20 Years!

      EMI Consulting was founded in the loft of a barn, sharing space with a Saddlebred horse, an ornery Shetland pony, and some polled Dorset sheep.  My objective was to engage my entrepreneurial instincts in the energy field I am so passionate about while also earning a good living, having balance, and spending time with my kids. 

      Twenty years later, as we approach a staff of thirty, creating a thriving and progressive place of work continues to be a top priority.  The loft space we now occupy in downtown Seattle is much larger, devoid of wild chickens in the background, and humming with activity as we work away on over 40 projects with clients in 20 different states.  In my role as CEO, some of the greatest moments come when I am working with our younger staff, many of whom are just starting out in their careers.  They are the future, and each is sure to make their mark. 

      This is such an incredibly exciting time to be working in the energy industry; the rate of technology change and innovation is rapid, and seemingly increasing each week.  Central plants, energy efficiency, distributed renewables, storage, the Internet of Things, and nanotechnology all have a role in this emerging energy system of the future.  I am grateful to all who have contributed to our success, including current and past employees, clients, and our families.  It is a privilege to work with such a great team and to work with such an amazing professional community of clients and peers — many of whom have also become lifelong friends. The work we are doing today to support a clean energy future is good work, work that is worth doing.  And I am looking forward to all that unfolds going forward!  

  • Julie Rey
    President
    Julie Rey
    Driving growth and delivering outstanding client experiences

    Julie brings expertise in LEADING CONSULTING COMPANIES through substantial GROWTH CYCLES. She has spent two decades working in RAPIDLY TRANSFORMING INDUSTRIES, helping companies to adapt, INNOVATE, and DIFFERENTIATE themselves. Julie believes that the NEW ENERGY ECONOMY holds great promise for utility companies, as well as the rest of society, as the country transitions to a LOW-CARBON ENERGY FUTURE. Julie is responsible for expanding EMI Consulting market share, deepening the firm's strategic “UTILITY OF THE FUTURE” SERVICE OFFERINGS, and managing the company’s GROWING STAFF. Her SIX SIGMA MASTER BLACK BELT reflects a true dedication to quality. She is a LIFELONG LEARNER, holding a master’s degree and two bachelor’s degrees. She and her husband have two teenage boys who are both jazz musicians. She enjoys PLAYING BARITONE SAXOPHONE, taking (amateur) PHOTOS of people out in the world, COOKING world cuisines with her family, YOGA, and SKIING.

    • Posted 1.31.18
      Insights: EMI Consulting Appoints Julie Rey as President

      Global Consulting Executive to Drive Expansion of Company’s “Utility of the Future” Strategic Service Offerings and Market Share.

      SEATTLE, Wash. – January 31, 2018 – Energy advisory firm EMI Consulting today announced it has hired Julie Rey as president. Recognized for her expertise in driving business growth and supervising global consulting teams, Ms. Rey will be responsible for expanding EMI Consulting’s market share, deepening its strategic “Utility of the Future” service offerings, and managing the company’s growing staff.

      “We’re pleased to have Julie join our leadership team,” said Rob Bordner, EMI Consulting founder and CEO. “It’s an exciting time for our industry. The nation’s energy future is in the middle of a radical shift driven by unprecedented technological innovation, global climate change, and geo-political uncertainty. We see this as a perfect opportunity for the expansion of our clean energy ‘Utility of the Future’ consulting initiatives. Julie’s leadership will be instrumental during this time of company growth.”

      With a twenty-year track record of profitability, premier clients, and consulting bench strength, EMI Consulting is poised to achieve significantly greater success. As president, Ms. Rey will report to CEO Rob Bordner, joining him in defining the company’s long-term strategies and fostering efficient business growth. The creation of this position enables Mr. Bordner to focus on strategic market direction, high-level project conceptualization and design, and new business development.

      “I’m excited about working with this visionary and talented team,” said Julie Rey, EMI Consulting president. “The company is well-known for its in-house strategic and analytical talent, depth of industry partnerships, cutting-edge technological expertise, and passion for delivering the best consulting experiences. Being able to lead the company to greater levels of growth is a fantastic opportunity.”

      Ms. Rey was most recently vice president and market lead for global management consulting firm North Highland Consulting. Prior to that she held positions as managing director for Strong-Bridge Consulting, vice president/business process improvement for Safeco Insurance, and director/Six Sigma Black Belt for Western Wireless Corporation. She brings expertise in leading companies through substantial growth cycles, designing and streamlining service processes, advancing consulting methodologies for enhanced client experiences, training leaders, and improving profitability. Ms. Rey holds a master’s degree in organizational communication from the University of Washington, and bachelor’s degrees in rhetoric and Italian from the University of California at Davis.

       

      About EMI Consulting
      EMI Consulting advises electric and gas utilities nationwide on business strategies related to new market opportunities, distributed and renewable energy, energy efficiency, and customer engagement. Founded in 1995, the company is recognized for industry leadership in three key areas: strategy and evaluation, data analytics and modeling, and customer experience research. Headquartered in Seattle, the company also employs staff in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Portland, and Los Angeles. More information is available at www.emiconsulting.com

       

      ###

       

      Media Contact: Wil Marquardt | (206) 621-1160 | wmarquardt@emiconsulting.com

  • Matthew Rose
    Director
    Matthew Rose
    For 30 years, an energy-industry go-to guy.

    After more than three decades as an energy industry consultant, Matthew is as passionate as ever about helping clients Understand and resolve their issues. His secret? Helping them first clearly articulate their needs and define their vision of success.  A patient, grounding presence, Matthew listens closely and makes sure he and his clients grasp all the Elements of their challenge before delving into solutions. It’s an approach that agrees with his clients: he’s worked with many for well over a decade. Matthew has traveled extensively throughout most of the U.S., nearly all the Canadian provinces, and in Scandinavia and the Philippines. He enjoys canoeing Michigan’s storied rivers, watching hockey, fishing, and playing bluegrass mandolin and guitar.

    • Posted 7.24.17
      Insights: The Current Value of Demand Response: It All Depends Where You Look

      Depending on where you look, the value and business rationale for demand response (DR) varies. In certain parts of the country, there seems to be a growing focus on DR; in others, market forces are reducing the value of DR. In some areas DR is viewed as a resource competing in capacity markets whereas in others it is a resource included in utilities’ integrated resource planning.

      In the Pacific Northwest, the focus has traditionally been only on energy efficiency, but the current 20-year power plan prepared by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council indicates demand response could offer billions in cost savings. In California, the state’s Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) now participate in the state’s Demand Response Auction Mechanism (DRAM) program. DR also is unfolding in the Northeast with both utility and ISO programs.

      Despite new areas of DR attention, there are signs that activity levels are tapering off in some of the more mature markets. A review of the current market for demand response points to a fragmented landscape affected by varying aggregator activities, changing market rules, and a capacity market that has notable swings in capacity requirements and value. For a closer look, click here.

  • Jeremy Kraft
    Director of Consulting and Analysis
    Jeremy Kraft
    Improving the nation’s energy efficiency programs, one evaluation at a time.

    Mix a thorough understanding of energy efficiency with a masterful grasp of research methodology, toss in airtight project management and a passion for sustainability, and you get Jeremy. His experience includes program evaluations in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, Maine and Connecticut. His current professional interests include helping utilities identify the next generation of DSM programs and working to transform how evaluation research is used within the industry. Jeremy moved to Seattle after 15 years in Wisconsin and won’t shut up about how the cheese is better back home.

    • Posted 9.9.14
      Insights: Evaluators as a Partner, not an Auditor

      In our evaluation work, we come across two kinds of requests from utilities and public service commissions. The first kind is the classic summative evaluation. A program has been running for a year or two and the utility needs someone to come in and assess its performance. At the end of the day, the evaluators provide recommendations for program improvements and realization rates to apply to reported savings. The second kind is when a utility is looking for a long-term evaluation partner. Someone that can sit at the table up-front and help the program administrators understand the programs they are running before the summative “evaluation” begins.

      Recently, we’ve been playing this role with clients more frequently and the benefits are tangible. We’ve vetted savings calculation methodologies prior to approval of large custom projects and double-checked application materials against TRMs to avoid realization rate surprises. We've created process flow maps to identify implementation bottlenecks before they occur instead of identifying them retroactively via complaints from participants during a telephone survey. We've conducted web usability tests to understand how trade allies interact with a new portal before it’s launched to maximize uptake and participation with the new offering. 

      In every case, we’re using our skills as evaluators to solve problems before they occur. We still play our critical M&V role – verifying that savings are real and that programs are efficient – but we help programs run better in the meantime.

  • Wil Marquardt
    Director of Finance & Operations
    Wil Marquardt

    Always one to explore what's around the next bend, Wil picked up stakes and moved from New Jersey to Seattle to pursue an MBA with a concentration in environmental management—and he’s never looked back.  Over the years since grad school he's applied his finance expertise at several large Seattle-area companies while occasionally moonlighting with startups and environmental non-profits. After many years working for large companies, he's found his place: applying his background at a smaller firm that is endeavoring to improve our Earth through world-class energy efficiency research. When he's not building the next Franken-spreadsheet, Wil spends his time communing with the outdoors and traveling the world with his other half. "To the ends of the Earth would you follow me?"

    • Posted 4.17.18
      Insights: EMI Consulting Names Wil Marquardt Director of Finance & Operations

      Seattle, WA (April 17, 2018) – EMI Consulting is pleased to announce the appointment of Wil Marquardt as Director of Finance and Operations. He will be
      responsible for driving financial strategy, planning, and processes, as well as business operations as an integral part of the company’s growth strategy.

      Prior to joining EMI Consulting, Wil held senior consulting positions at SumBridge, Strong-Bridge, and Two Degrees consulting firms, and he’s worked with companies as varied as Starbucks and T-Mobile. While the common thread in these engagements was primarily finance and operational management, Wil has also applied his skillset to the leadership of customer experience and technology initiatives. He also held tenure as Vice President at Washington Mutual, where he was charged with several business-imperative directives, including operational excellence and long-term forecasting.

      “Wil’s deep and varied background creates the perfect blend of financial acumen and operational experience needed to help grow and sustain our firm,” explained EMI Consulting President Julie Rey. “His experience as a consultant also brings an understanding of the unique pressures of the space, which I believe is vital for this role.”

      Julie added, “Wil is also an approachable and well-respected person, who has a passion for the environment, which aligns well with our desire to cultivate a Utility of Future initiative.”

      In fact, Wil chose the University of Washington for his MBA specifically for their concentration in environmental management. He explained, "I chose my MBA concentration because environmental sustainability is important to me, and I genuinely believed my career would eventually intersect.”

      “EMI Consulting is in a really strong position – there is significant change stirring in the industry, great business opportunities, and this very committed and talented group of people I get to work alongside will help to realize the goals of a sustainable, clean energy future for utilities and their customers,” said Wil. “I am thrilled to use my background and experience to help drive important growth goals and set the company on course for long-term financial success.”

Policy, Planning & Evaluation Team
  • Kara Crohn
    Associate Director
    Kara Crohn
    Evaluation expertise that opens a window onto your programs.

    Besides the focus and high standards you’d expect of a former gymnast, rower and track athlete, Kara has 20 years of experience in research. She serves our clients with a thorough knowledge of program evaluation theory, qualitative and mixed-methods research design, Customer Market Research, evaluation capacity building, and training design and evaluation. Outside of work, she volunteers with the Riverside GREEN Mapping and Integration team to help account for and coordinate sustainability-related initiatives across the city. When she’s not evaluating something, Kara loves hiking with her family and sneaking off to dance classes to maintain the balance, strength, creativity and flexibility she needs to keep up with her sons.

    • Posted 2.25.16
      Insights: Process Mapping Primes the Pump for Successful Program Design and Useful Process Evaluations

      When we embark on a journey with our clients to support program design or to understand what really makes a program work, we start by developing a logic model with them. Logic modeling clarifies program staff’s and stakeholders’ understanding of how the activities they perform will logically lead to the goals they want to attain, and it establishes interim markers of success that can be measured along the way. However, it is often necessary to dig deeper into how activities are conducted to identify places where efficiency can be designed into the program’s operations.

      Process mapping is the tool we use to go deeper. The opportunity cost of not creating process maps is potentially overlooking gaps or redundancies in the program’s activities that could have saved the program money, time, or frustration had they been identified and resolved sooner. With this in mind, we work with program staff and those who interact with the program to collectively map out day-to-day operations; to have a conversation they rarely, if ever, have time for during their day. To get the most out of the exercise, it is critical to have the right people in the room and to foster an environment of exploration that respects differences in perspective.

      From a program design perspective, we use process mapping for locating opportunities to build in efficiency from the beginning, avoid pitfalls, and engender collaboration across job roles. From a process evaluation perspective, we focus evaluation questions on aspects of the program process in most need of feedback and tie performance metrics to critical program process steps. We also map the actual process against the designed process to more thoroughly identify implementation fidelity questions and, ultimately, feed timely design considerations back into the program design cycle.

      Process mapping is a simple tool that requires methodologically rigorous facilitation to produce meaningful results. Facilitated well, staff and stakeholders who participate in the process mapping exercise leave with a deeper appreciation for the work they each perform and some immediate steps to improve the efficiency of their work. They also have a better understanding of how their daily actions will lead to longer-term, farther-reaching goals described in their logic model. 

  • Lisa Perry
    Managing Consultant
    Lisa Perry
    Equally fluent in econometrics and eggplant.

    Lisa offers expertise in both economic theory and research methods, with a focus on evaluating how behavioral responses shape the effectiveness of policies and programs. Her academic background includes application of advanced econometrics, including differences-in-differences regressions, instrumental variables regressions and regression discontinuity. Originally from Michigan, Lisa spent two years in Washington, D.C. before landing in Seattle. She loves exploring the Pacific Northwest's natural and urban wonders, from hiking and camping to farmers' markets and microbreweries. In addition to traveling and playing tennis, she grows vegetables in her backyard and experiments with new ways to cook them.

    • Posted 9.9.14
      Insights: How far can energy efficiency financing take us?

      Financing programs should be seen as a valuable complement, not replacement, for traditional utility programs.  Financing programs are one of today's fastest growing types of energy efficiency program, in part because they offer policy makers and utilities the tantalizing possibility of replacing taxpayer and ratepayer funding with private capital. This was an argument I heard applied from states as diverse as Connecticut to Ohio at the 2014 ACEEE Finance Forum.

      The challenge with the idea that financing programs can replace traditional utility programs is that financing by itself does not overcome all of the barriers that traditional utility programs target through rebates, marketing, and education. Take rebates, for example. While financing can help overcome customers’ barriers related to high first cost and lack of capital, these are not the only reasons utilities offer rebates. Rebates can be necessary when a project that is not cost-effective for an individual customer is economical for the utility. This can occur because customers make decisions about efficiency project payback based on their current energy rates, while utilities' cost-effectiveness is based on the higher marginal costs of investing in additional supply or generation. By helping align customers' payback with the value of efficiency for the utilities, rebates can be an important tool to help utilities meet demand at the lowest cost possible. Financing programs do not address the underlying differences in the economics of efficiency for customers and utilities. 

      Of course, money isn't everything. The growing field of behavioral programs is showing us just how much factors other than payback matter to customers. At least as currently designed, financing programs do not provide customers with information, education, and non-financial motivators that utility programs have found can drive efficiency. 

  • Hannah Carmalt Justus
    Senior Consultant
    Hannah Carmalt Justus
    Our resident process cartographer.

    Hannah has contributed to diverse evaluation and planning projects for utilities across the country. She specializes in process mapping and focuses much of her research on community-based programs and social marketing techniques. Most recently, Hannah helped develop evaluation plans for Consumers Energy’s pilot programs. She also managed an evaluation of a community-based program in Wisconsin and conducted research on CUSTOMER AND TRADE ALLY ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES. Currently, Hannah is leading a portfolio-level evaluation for Xcel Energy. Much of her recent research has focused on MIDSTREAM or TRADE ALLY-LED PROGRAMS throughout the country, and she has also evaluated community-based SOCIAL MARKETING techniques in Wisconsin and California. She previously worked in New York City for Seamus Henchy and Associates, a project management firm, and completed graduate work in sustainable community development and behavior. Hannah has lived in Australia and Ireland. She enjoys Washington State’s parks and is partial to hiking, Canoeing, and skiing.

  • Brett Close
    Managing Consultant
    Brett Close
    Passionate about data and the people behind them

    Brett has been working in energy efficiency since graduating from college, but he has been thinking about the utility of the future since high school, when he wrote his senior paper about energy efficiency and renewable energy. Brett has always had a passion for connecting the quantitative and the qualitative, the sciences and the humanities. He started college in physics labs but transitioned to a major in public policy analysis with a physics emphasis, and added in a second major of Medieval history (just for fun). Today his work combines advanced statistical methods with thoughtful modeling of the human interactions that drive markets, policies, and programs. When not crunching numbers, he enjoys hiking, baking bread, brewing beer and cider, and traveling the world with his wife and young son.

  • Nate Wilairat
    Senior Consultant
    Nate Wilairat
    He knows one data visualization is worth a thousand words.

    Nate is passionate about finding innovative ways to communicate information—including infographics and data visualization—that lead to data-driven decisions and better understanding. His areas of expertise include energy benchmarking policies for buildings, smart and programmable thermostats, trade ally engagement and small business energy efficiency programs. He is also experienced in using quantitative methods for sample design, trend analysis and data exploration. Nate grew up in Berkeley and has lived briefly in Japan, Minnesota, Crater Lake and Paris. He is a year-round bike commuter who logs over 1000 miles annually and is also fluent in French. He is happiest hanging off rock faces or catching the sunrise from a peak.

  • Matt Galport
    Senior Consultant
    Matt Galport
    Making the world safe for better evaluation.

    A man of simple tastes, Matt loves three things: helping organizations make better decisions, traveling, and hiking. While visiting South Africa for six months, he was able to combine all three: he traveled the country while developing evaluation systems for the African Union. In addition to conducting state-of-the-art research and helping organizations build capacity for supporting actionable, cost-effective evaluations, Matt also develops Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on research and evaluation funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. His courses have helped thousands of professionals on every continent but one deepen their mastery of evaluation concepts. One day, Matt hopes to improve evaluations on that final continent by teaching aboard a research vessel bound for Antarctica.

  • Katie Cary
    Senior Consultant
    Katie Cary
    Complex analysis. Simple explanations.

    When you need thorough data analysis that’s easy to understand, talk to Katie. With degrees in economics, political science, and international public policy, she wields a broad arsenal of analytical tools capable of attacking just about any problem. And she combines it with a gift for clear communication; just ask the faculty at The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs, which awarded Katie its Penniman Prize for most outstanding graduate paper. In her free time, Katie can be found cheering on Tottenham Hotspur, her favorite English soccer team, hiking with her dog, and pursuing her dream to visit every U.S. national park. Katie recently moved to Seattle from Madison, and does not miss the arctic weather.

  • Robert Saul
    Consultant
    Robert Saul
    Helping to humanize data through sharper visuals

    Robert is an exception to the archetype of a data-driven analyst, being an extrovert but also passionate about digging into the details. For the past two years, he has worked specifically in energy evaluation, including working on projects for most forms of residential lighting programs, evaluating programs in Rhode Island, California, Massachusetts, Illinois, both Carolinas, Indiana, New York, and Ohio. He has also led training efforts for energy efficiency fieldwork and is the go-to guy for helping put together the best client presentations and coaching on delivery. He strongly believes visuals humanize data and he’s not shy about how much of a data-viz geek he is. Be ready for many graph puns unleashed through social media. Robert may also be the most hardcore cyclist we have on staff, having toured Europe as well as a taking 6-week ride from Vancouver to Tijuana.

  • Lauren Holstein
    Associate Consultant
    Lauren Holstein

    Lauren is on a personal mission to ensure that everyone has the ability and access to interact with, understand, and build data into their decision-making process. She has a wide range of experience on both the qualitative and quantitative side of analysis, and is passionate about connecting clients with data instruments, visualizations, and reports that suit their unique needs. During her MPA program at the University of Washington, Lauren helped create analysis tools for the federal government, foundations, nonprofits, and community organizations. Prior to attending graduate school, Lauren traveled the world as an ESL teacher in South Korea and France and had some amazing opportunities, like watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat and snorkeling with a reef shark in the Andaman Sea. In her free time, Lauren loves camping, trying out new recipes, skiing, whitewater rafting, evaluating which restaurant has the best pizza in Seattle, and fulfilling her goal of traveling to a different country every year.

  • David Wagner
    Associate Consultant
    David Wagner

    David is thrilled to be working with utilities to help them achieve their energy efficiency goals. He understands the regulatory landscape of clean energy, having worked in the federal government with environmental economists and in academia with policy and sustainable transportation experts. David enjoys solving challenging problems and discovering actionable insights, especially when it involves pouring over energy data. He studied environmental politics and economics at Pomona College, where he worked hands on with the sustainability office to address pressing energy issues. Originally from Maryland, David enjoys exploring the city of Seattle and the nearby natural landscape.

Customer & Market Research Team
  • Donna Whitsett
    Managing Consultant
    Donna Whitsett
    Using her research powers for good.

    How serious is Donna about energy sustainability? Forty miles into her cross-country move from Houston to Seattle, Donna’s car broke down. She abandoned her vehicle, rented a U-Haul and hasn’t owned a car since. When she’s not literally walking the talk, Donna likes using research to inform strategies that encourage people to conserve energy. Handily enough, she has a strong background insocial psychology and a wide range of experience in research methodology and data analysis, including experimental design, sample development, data collection and statistical data analysis. Although Donna grew up in Texas, she developed neither a noticeable accent nor a love of barbecue.

  • Mike Hamilton
    Senior Consultant
    Mike Hamilton
    Demystifying the behavior of energy consumers.

    With expertise in quantitative analysis, Mike provides our clients with an organized, thorough approach to interpreting complex data. His extensive statistical modeling experience, coupled with an understanding of how energy markets behave, enables him to deliver measurable estimates of key factors affecting energy efficiency decision-making. Before joining EMI Consulting, Mike spent more than two years researching investment preferences for energy-efficient technologies in commercial buildings, helping to conduct several national market surveys. Outside of work, Mike stays busy skiing, surfing, learning bluegrass mandolin and growing berries in his garden.

    • Posted 12.3.15
      Insights: Breaking Apart Small Business Decisions regarding HVAC Maintenance Contracts:

      WHAT MATTERS MOST?

      According to the Small Business Administration, there are 23 million small businesses in the U.S. that account for over half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product and occupy 30-50% of all commercial space. (1) With increasing activity by small startup companies and lower rates of startup failure, this sector will undoubtedly remain a vital contributor of the U.S. economy in the foreseeable future. (2)

      Now pair this projection with a recent finding from the J.D. Power 2014 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study – overall satisfaction with electric utility providers is lowest among small businesses. (3) Businesses spending between $250 and $499 per month on their electric utility bill averaged about 10 points lower (on J.D. Power’s 1000 point scale) than businesses with higher utility bills.

      Why are small businesses relatively less satisfied with utility providers? Small businesses are diverse and have unique operational needs and preferences, particularly with respect to energy-related equipment and usage. Additionally, many small business owners simply do not have time and/or resources to worry about “secondary” issues like their energy bills.

      At EMI Consulting, we use innovative market research methods to help our utility clients better understand their small business customers. For example, EMI Consulting recently worked with the California investor-owned utilities to characterize how business owners and managers make decisions about the maintenance of their heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) systems (a copy of the report is available here ). We estimated the relative importance of decision factors related to the purchase of an HVAC maintenance contract (as shown in the figure to the right). (4) Not surprisingly, the cost of a maintenance contract is important to small business customers (accounting for 26% of the overall decision weight, on average). But our results also show that small businesses greatly value improvements in the reliability of their HVAC systems (21% of the overall decision weight). The small business stakeholders we surveyed expressed comparatively little concern over improvements in the longevity of their HVAC systems, the number of maintenance visits they receive per year, indoor air quality benefits, and environmental impacts.

      While it is clear that contract cost plays an important role in small business customers’ maintenance contract decisions, our findings also suggest that the value proposition that may resonate most deeply with the small business sector is that maintenance contracts improve the reliability of HVAC systems. Insights like this could have a big effect for programs promoting the benefits of regular maintenance.

      (1) Source: http://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/ocpl/resources/13493
      (2) Source: http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/2015/05/nations-startup-activity-reverses-five-year-downward-trend-annual-kauffman-index-reports
      (3) Source: http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2014-electric-utility-business-customer-satisfaction-study
      (4) As revealed by commercial stakeholders responsible for two or fewer business locations comprising five or fewer HVAC units.
  • Ian Johnson
    Senior Consultant
    Ian Johnson
    Relax. He’s a doctor.

    As a part of our Customer & Market Research team, Ian applies his ADVANCED SCHOLARSHIP IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, as well as his experience developing and measuring marketing CAMPAIGNS utilizing effective persuasion techniques and targeted messaging and attitudinal, cognition and memory theoretical frameworks, to help our clients CHANGE CONSUMER BEHAVIOR. When not moonlighting as batman, Ian has been involved with numerous grants ranging from drug abuse prevention programs to EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM EVALUATIONS, which has enabled Ian to demonstrate a commitment to actionable, EVIDENCE-BASED INSIGHTS along with an extreme COMMITMENT TO DETAIL.  In his off hours, he loves to DJ, play SOCCER, and watch the pride of his home state, the ST. LOUIS CARDINALS. He has an EXTENSIVE FILM COLLECTION and particularly enjoys campy 80s horror, foreign films, and the work of Stanley Kubrick. For dinner, he’ll have THAI FOOD AND A HOPPY IPA, thanks. 

  • Emily Rich
    Consultant
    Emily Rich

    Emily holds an M.P.A. from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington where she sought to acquire every quantitative skill she could—from multivariate analysis to environmental economics to financial analysis. Chasing her obsession with electricity utilities and the energy industry, she interned in Seattle City Light’s Strategic Planning division and at the Northwest Energy Coalition as a graduate student, conducting research and analysis into residential electric rate design, demand response, and integrated resource planning. Prior to graduate school, Emily led the charge as a community organizer and advocate for energy policies in Virginia. She knows the Cascades like the back of her hand after significant time hiking, backpacking, and camping through them. She still carries the flag (and maybe shouts a bit) for the UNC basketball team, and she thinks potlucks with friends are the way to go.

  • Julie Scrivner
    Consultant
    Julie Scrivner

    Julie is passionate about understanding the regulatory, social, and economic contexts of current energy issues. She has a wide range of qualitative research experiences focused on improving how communities interact with their limited resources. Before joining EMI Consulting, Julie spent two years digging into utility residential and commercial customer engagement in energy efficiency programs. The ultimate extra-curricular enthusiast, Julie is frequently found climbing mountains, dancing with her hip-hop crew, speaking Spanish at a local community center, or volunteering with a poverty alleviation group in downtown Seattle.

  • Nick Neverisky
    Consultant
    Nick Neverisky

    Nick’s research experience includes developing and implementing strategies to understand stakeholders behaviors and uncover their underlying motivations in sustainability contexts. He brings a clear focus on designing research that enables the discovery of actionable insights to address pressing issues. Although versed in a range of methods, Nick brings particular strengths in in-depth interview methodologies and qualitative data analysis. Throughout his customer experience research, Nick leverages his background in social psychology and behavioral economics to understand stakeholder behaviors and to inform novel engagement strategies. Nick is an enthusiastically improving skier, an occasional sailor, and a fairly regular bike rider. He enjoys using statistics to grasp the complexities of daily life and considers building complex spreadsheets to be a form of recreation.

Engineering Analysis & Technology Assessment Team
  • Joan Effinger
    Senior Engineer
    Joan Effinger
    Passionately bridging the gap between business and engineering

    Joan has a passion for taking ideas and making them happen. A Natural Planner  and researcher, she loves to connect the dots and get to the root of the problem, with entrepreneurship in her heart. Joan has over 12 years of experience in the energy industry, including work at the National Fuel Cell Research Center, many years in energy efficiency consulting, a tech start-up, and most recently at a utility researching and piloting disruptive technologies. She is a subject matter expert in whole building measurement and verification and also has extensive experience designing and implementing innovative energy efficiency pilots and programs. When not working,  Joan enjoys Kickboxing, hiking, sailing,  and playing with her sons.

Operations & Finance Team
  • Krys Buckenwolf
    Office Manager & Proposal Coordinator
    Krys Buckenwolf
    Advocating for cleaner sentences and oxford commas since 2015

    Pursuing his QUEST FOR MORE SCENERY, Krys swapped his beloved CHICAGO for a different kind of skyline and landed in Seattle, where his many duties include KEEPING OUR HQ HUMMING and adding POLISH to our work products. Before joining EMI Consulting, Krys worked as a college English TEACHER, a SUPERVISOR at an animal hospital, and a TRAINER at a call center. In his free time, he tinkers at what will one day become a SERIES OF LINKED SHORT STORIES FOR A COLLABORATIVE WEB PLATFORM. You can also find him roaming QUEEN ANNE HILL, fleshing out CHARACTER PROFILES or trying to CONDITION HIS BIKE-RIDING LEGS for Seattle’s ample hills.

  • Mary Boyd
    Project Coordinator
    Mary Boyd

    Mary enjoys the behind-the-scene work that keeps projects moving. From managing budgets to coordinating resources and fostering communication across teams, she masters the details that keep projects in scope and on budget. Mary’s educational background is in web design, with a focus on accessibility and inclusive design, and she has experience managing projects across various industries, including corporate and public events and conferences, web and graphic design, and web development. Mary is a life-time Pacific North Westerner. Outside of work, you can find her cheering for cooking competition shows with the fervor of a sports fan and making plans to fulfill her goal of visiting every state capitol.

Working at EMI Consulting
Working at EMI Consulting
Dozens of ways to apply what you know. Infinite opportunities to shine.

At EMI Consulting, meaningful work, intellectual rigor and a balanced life co-exist in a way they just don’t in many other jobs. We mix hard and soft disciplines for an approach all our own.


We’re equal parts intelligence and irreverence. We love the outdoors (most of us) and fiercely guard our quality of life. At the same time, we possess a work ethic, business sense and mastery of energy issues that we’ll happily stack up against the most buttoned-down firm. We like quirky. We don’t tolerate flakey. And we mind the fulcrum that keeps life and work in balance. Our greatest ambition is to be indispensable to our clients’ success as we make a positive contribution to global energy challenges.


Our second-greatest ambition? To be the kind of people you want to have a beer with.

We're always on the lookout for smart people with vision. If you're interested, please send a resume or career questions to careers@emiconsulting.com

Current Job Opportunities
Current Job Opportunities Here are our latest listings.
  • Office Manager

    The energy industry is in an exciting time of change and transformation. At EMI Consulting, we believe the “Utility of the Future” will be technologically smarter, affordable, increasingly distributed, cleaner, and more customer-focused. We’re looking for people who share this vision and want to apply their skills and talents to a rapidly changing industry. By joining our firm as the Office Manager, you’ll be helping to foster a highly-engaging workplace culture for a team that is dedicated to clearing a path for the future for our clients.

    EMI Consulting is searching for an experienced Office Manager to support a workplace that is as exciting as it is efficient. The Office Manager will be responsible for creating dynamic and engaging communications, events, and experiences that deeply connect our team to EMI Consulting’s culture and greater purpose. The fundamentals of the job involve streamlining administrative procedures, keeping us supplied with all the things that make the office “go,” managing external vendor partners and supporting the cross-disciplinary teams that engage with our clients. We’re looking for an energetic professional who will be a champion for EMI Consulting and who loves to wear multiple hats on any given day.  This is a full-time position, working to support our consultants and engaging with senior leadership to help shape the culture of the firm.

    People and culture: 

    • Recruiting:  Ensure that the EMI Consulting presence in the labor market reflects our brand image and culture.  Be the first point of contact for prospective candidates.  Own the follow-up and tracking of the candidate pipeline. Do initial screening of potential candidates based on cultural and experiential fit.
    • Onboarding:  Be the initial point of contact and source of information as the new employee becomes a part of the team. Be the face of the brand and culture through this process.
    • Career Development:  Own the mechanism for tracking the documentation and ensure follow-through by both manager and direct report.
    • Ensure we celebrate our successes and milestones.
    • Continually look for ways to improve the employee experience.

     

    EMI Brand Awareness:

    • Engagement:  Plan and manage outreach events, execute email campaigns through an up-to-date contact list.
    • Social media:  Execute the social media outreach strategy by soliciting, managing, and curating content.

     

    Operations:

    • Facilities:  Ensure that the work environment is productive, pleasant, and reflects who we are as a company—both internally and externally.
    • Logistics:  Be the central coordination point for travel arrangements and staff meetings and establish a smooth, repeatable process.
    • Communications:  Be the hub of company-wide internal communications and newsletters.
    • Technology:  Act as central hub for the technology that allows employees to perform their jobs effectively and efficiently.
    • Operations budget:  Manage spending for all areas under their control and look for efficiencies without sacrificing quality or experience.
    • Document production support:   Qualify and manage outsourced document editing and production vendors to provide surge resources when required.

     

    Key Qualifications:

    The qualified candidate should be able to demonstrate successful experience in the following areas:

     

    • Demonstrating strong organizational skills and an ability to follow-through
    • Managing and improving internal tasks & processes
    • Developing standards and metrics
    • Managing inventory & budgetary controls
    • Reporting & scheduling
    • Showing flexibility & grace in a dynamic environment
    • Being proactive
    • Being personable
    • Demonstrating excellent written and verbal communication skills
    • Demonstrating the ability to be a creative problem-solver 
    • Possessing unwavering self-confidence
    • Having an associate's degree or equivalent experience
    • Possessing advanced computer skills with proficiency in Microsoft Office suite
    • Having experience in supply management

     

    Apply today by emailing careers@emiconsulting.com with:

    • Resume
    • Cover letter; be bold, tell us something real about yourself
    • Three references who can speak to your character as well as your accomplishments

     

  • Utility of the Future Positions

    BE A PART OF THE FUTURE OF ENERGY

     

    A number of disruptors in energy are driving significant transformation in the industry. At EMI Consulting, we believe the “Utility of the Future” will be technologically smarter, affordable, increasingly distributed, cleaner, and more customer-focused. We’re looking for people who share this vision and want to apply their skills and talents to an industry in transition. By joining our firm, you’ll be part of a dedicated team that is helping clear a path for the future—turning what you do best into a positive impact on the industry.

    Are you a future thinker with demonstrated expertise? Our available roles include:

     

    • Process architecture, design, and optimization
    • Customer service design
    • Program evaluation
    • Strategic planning 

     

    Apply today by emailing careers@emiconsulting.com with:

    • Resume
    • Cover letter; be bold, tell us something real about yourself
    • Three references who can speak to your character as well as your accomplishments
  • Senior Customer Experience Researcher

    EMI Consulting is a boutique strategy-consulting firm, located in vibrant downtown Seattle, Washington. We have been pioneers in the clean energy space for more than twenty years. We work across the country with electric and gas utilities that are faced with considerable uncertainty in the changing energy landscape. We advise them on business strategies related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, new and emerging market opportunities, and successful customer engagement, helping them to carve out a path toward the Utility of the Future. Our team of smart, experienced M.S. and Ph.D. researchers has recognized expertise in energy policy, economic analysis, qualitative and quantitative research, consumer decision-making, market analytics, technology assessment, and data analysis.

     

    Make a Difference in the World

    If you are a Customer Experience Researcher who wants to apply your skills and expertise in an environment where true and substantive impact will be made, please read on.

    Our Customer Experience team strives to fuel the engine of change. They focus on how energy-related decisions are made throughout our economy—by homeowners, businesses, government agencies, schools, developers, contractors, manufacturers, and others. As part of this team, you will be charged with conducting state-of-the-art mixed-methods research and will be responsible for the design and execution of rigorous, creative, and insightful primary research that helps shed light on how customers make these decisions. You will work with your team to provide insights that inform strategic business decisions, helping our clients positively impact markets and develop new products/services related to energy efficiency, distributed energy resources, electric vehicles, micro grids, home automation, smart cities and future opportunities that build upon the ubiquitous Internet of Things. Your research will result in actions that change our environment and our world.


     

    Your Day-to-Day

    As a Senior Researcher on our Customer Experience Research Team, we’ll be looking to you for leadership in both the design and execution of qualitative research efforts that will reveal the unexpected, and you will support our Strategy Team in designing new programs and product offerings for clients. Your typical day may include:

    • Planning innovative research and evaluation studies
    • Leading and mentoring teams of junior researchers
    • Designing effective interview guides
    • Leading in-depth interviewing efforts
    • Developing qualitative data management strategies
    • Leading coding and analysis efforts
    • Interpreting key themes found in the research
    • Integrating qualitative and quantitative research findings
    • Communicating results in creative and visually-compelling ways

    No project is the same. Our work is fast-paced and varied, so you’ll help prioritize what we do to make sure clients get what they need, when they need it.


     

    About You

    You have 4-6 years of experience conducting applied qualitative research, specifically with a focus on customer and/or user experience and a solid academic background, preferably an M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. from a top-ranked university. You have a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of research methods and design. Your tools should include: in-depth interviews, focus groups, field observations, ethnographic and anthropological research, usability testing, content analysis, and other structured research methods. Although most of your work will be qualitative in nature, you should have a strong understanding of how to effectively design and implement mixed-methods studies. Experience with utilities or the clean energy sector is preferred but not required.

    What is required is that you have a passion for your work, seek out and look for fresh perspectives and insights, have a systems-thinking perspective, and want to make an impact. Excellent writing and presentation skills are also essential, as is the ability to tell a good story!

     

    The Core of Who We Are

    We have been pioneers in the clean energy space and are known for the high quality of our work, and the passion for innovation that we bring to each project. Our offices are on the top floor of an historic Pioneer Square loft warehouse, along the waterfront in Seattle, Washington. We offer a very competitive benefits package, are cubicle-free, and have created a great place to work. Think lots of white boards, Ping-Pong, sophisticated analytics, Macs, the occasional office dog, work-hard/play-hard. We prioritize collaboration, expect optimism, and insist upon mutual respect.

     

    How to Let Us Know About You

    We want to hear from you.

    We also want to let you know that every resume is reviewed and you will hear from us—yes or no—regardless of our decision. That’s just who we are.

    Email careers@emiconsulting.com with the following materials:

    • Resume
    • Cover letter; be bold, tell us something real about yourself
    • Writing sample
    • Three references who can speak to your character as well as your accomplishments

     

     

    EMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages workplace diversity.