Affordable Comfort, Inc.

Affordable Comfort, Inc.

March 10, 2011 11:46 ET

Leading Contractors Meet With Investors and Policy Makers to Grow the Home Performance Industry at ACI Home Energy Summit

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA--(Marketwire - March 10, 2011) - Affordable Comfort, Inc. (ACI), the nation's leading educational resource for home performance and weatherization, is pleased to welcome politicians, private investors, academics and entrepreneurial home performance contractors as they discuss the acceleration of clean energy entrepreneurship and green-collar job creation at the ACI Home Energy Summit in San Francisco, CA, March 28-29, 2011. A complete speaker roster appears below.

The ACI Home Energy Summit is a high-level gathering of industry thought leaders that kicks off the week-long ACI National Home Performance Conference, the largest event of its kind, with an expected 2,000 attendees who are interested in and passionate about improving the energy efficiency, comfort, health, safety and durability of homes.

This year's summit is perfectly aligned with President Obama's Startup America campaign, which was launched at the White House on January 31, 2011, to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. For the first time in ACI's history, leading venture capital firms, including Ascent Partners Group, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Foundation Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, will join the conversation between the public and private sectors on ways to transform the market for residential energy efficiency retrofits. All the VC firms participating in the summit discussions bring successful experience in greentech/cleantech investments to the conversation.

"The industry has typically been supported by incentive programs that help homeowners afford major energy efficiency upgrades, and that has helped us get this far," says Aaron Goldfeder, Co-Founder and CEO of EnergySavvy, a Seattle-based start-up that connects homeowners with incentive programs and qualified contractors, who will moderate the VC session Attracting Private Capital: Perspectives from Institutional Investors. "But to achieve long-term sustainability and more good jobs in local communities, we have to develop modern policy approaches, attract investment capital and leverage the private industry in our programs. We have been able to grow EnergySavvy substantially thanks to innovative customers and investors who share our vision."

"We are proud to be able to offer a forum in which policy makers and the private sector can sit at one table to discuss ways they can work together to accelerate market transformation," says Amy Fazio, Executive Director of ACI. "Key to the discussion will be input from home performance contractors—the folks who make their living improving the energy efficiency of existing homes. This is an opportunity for you to present the challenges you face and hear about the new opportunities that are surfacing at the local, state and federal levels."

The home performance and weatherization sector is among the fastest-growing specialty trade contractor niches. Key contributors to this growth are a rise in the number of newly formed small businesses offering energy improvement remodeling services, and the development of utility, state and local homeowner energy efficiency incentive programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), as well as federal tax credits for energy efficiency retrofits.

However, there are still challenges to overcome. Unemployment rates in the construction industry remain the highest among all industries at 21.8% in February 2011. Construction employment grew by 33,000 in February, with specialty trade contractors accounting for the bulk of the February job gain (+28,000), according to numbers released March 4, 2011 by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The current speaker roster is as follows (subject to change):

Members of the media are encouraged to attend the summit. To request credentials for the event, please contact Stephanie Inglis at singlis@motumb2b.com.

In addition to the Home Energy Summit, ACI's National Home Performance Conference, March 29 to April 1, 2011, will offer 144 core sessions—more than ever before in the event's history—providing cutting-edge information for contractors, builders, energy raters, remodelers, designers and weatherization professionals.

For more information on the ACI National Home Performance Conference 2011 and find updates to the conference agenda, visit http://acinational.org/

About Affordable Comfort, Inc.

Founded in 1986, Affordable Comfort, Inc. (ACI) is a not-for-profit organization that has become the go-to resource for information, education and best-practices in the home performance and weatherization industry. ACI recently expanded to new headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA, while also maintaining its original offices in Waynesburg, PA.

ACI national and regional events provide the forum for thought leadership, bringing together the best and the brightest—and the eager to learn—to solve technical problems, exchange new techniques, source new tools and materials and build the momentum of this fast-growing industry. For more information, visit www.affordablecomfort.org

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www.affordablecomfort.org

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