Energy Lecture Series


This year the EERMC is once again sponsoring the University of Rhode Island’s Plugged Into Energy Research (PIER) Lecture Series. Since 2015, the PIER Lecture Series has highlighted cutting-edge research and outreach projects and engages industry experts to explore how a variety of energy-related topics may affect our daily lives in the future. The goal of the PIER lecture series is to increase literacy around energy topics of concern in Rhode Island. Join us this fall at the URI Kingston Campus or on livestream. Learn more…


The EERMC Energy Lecture Series is designed to promote public understanding and stakeholder dialog around key energy efficiency issues relevant to Rhode Islanders today. This series features local leaders and covers an array of topics – from tips on how to lower your energy bills at home, to innovative solutions from the Rhode Island business community, to training our workforce amidst a rapidly changing energy landscape.

Lecture #1 – Show Me the Money: How to Save on Your Utility Bills through Energy Efficiency

October 28, 2021

The first installment of the 2021 EERMC Energy Lecture Series focuses on energy efficiency best practices for the residential sector, featuring insight from RISE Engineering’s Brian Kearney and the EERMC’s Karen Verrengia. As home heating costs are expected to spike this winter, Rhode Islanders are looking for ways to cut costs on their utility bills. The good news: there are several simple steps you can take right now to increase your energy efficiency and save money.

Lecture #2 – Innovative Energy Solutions: A Rhode Island Business Roundtable

December 20, 2021

The second lecture serves as a more business-focused conversation, featuring a panel of local business leaders who are forging connections, introducing new technologies, and building innovative solutions to both create jobs and address Rhode Island’s looming energy problems. Guests include Tom Giordano, executive director of the Partnership for Rhode Island, Julian Dash, founder and CEO of Copacity, and Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

Lecture #3 – Ready to Apply: Preparing Rhode Island’s Workforce for Clean Energy Jobs

January 25, 2022

Changing the way we source and use energy is critical for the future our planet, but it’s also an opportunity to create jobs and support the economy here in Rhode Island. With record-level investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy storage, and advanced vehicles and transportation, experts are predicting as many as 10 million jobs could be created in the clean energy sector in the coming years. Our third lecture will showcase a panel of leaders shaping Rhode Island’s workforce development ecosystem.


Since 2015, the University of Rhode Island’s ​Plugged into URI Energy Research (PIER) Lecture Series has provided stakeholders with research-based information on important energy topics and highlighted ongoing academic energy research. In 2020, the EERMC sponsored three virtual lectures themed around the nexus of health outcomes, equity and energy efficiency. The 2020 Lecture Series focused on the nexus of health outcomes, equity and energy efficiency and featured expert speakers from across the U.S.

Energy is entwined in all aspects of our lives, whether at home or work, in the car or on foot, and in the wind, sun, water and plants around us. The Plugged Into Energy Research (PIER) Lecture Series highlights cutting-edge energy research and outreach, and explores how the results of this research may affect our daily lives in the future. The goal of the PIER Lecture Series is to increase literacy around energy topics of concern in Rhode Island and beyond.

More information can be found at URI Cooperative Extension. Watch the recordings here:

Lecture #1 – Energy Efficiency, Human Health, and COVID-19

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the links between health and the built environment. Adequate ventilation is essential to reducing transmission of the virus causing COVID-19 (Dai, H., Zhao, B. (2020) and people living without proper ventilation may be at an increased risk of exposure. Is energy efficiency an effective solution to increasing health and safety in buildings, and reducing exposure to COVID-19? Join us for this important conversation featuring experts from around the United States.

Lecture #2 – Energy Efficiency in Schools: Safer Buildings, Healthier Students

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

There is strong evidence that building environments affect the health and performance of individuals learning or working inside. How has COVID-19 required us to re-examine our treatment of school buildings in relation to air quality, and how can attention shift towards energy efficiency and help schools reopen safely amidst the pandemic? How can we leverage energy efficiency in schools to create healthier, more productive environments that inspire students to join the energy efficiency workforce?

Lecture #3 – Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Rental and Affordable housing

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The economic benefits of improved energy efficiency in homes are well documented, however energy efficiency programs are not easily accessible to all. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how many communities already struggling with economic and social hardships are less likely to live in properly ventilated, energy efficient housing. What are the economic, social and cultural barriers to participation in energy efficiency programs? How can/should energy efficiency programs be designed to specifically address these barriers to entry?