2023 Impact Report

Innovation and Future Focus

Innovation and Future Focus

As an independent, mission-driven nonprofit, CEE has devoted nearly 40 years of specialized experience to understanding and improving energy efficiency in cold climates.  


Center for Energy and Environment helps households, businesses, and entire communities use energy wisely, saving money and cutting carbon in the process.

We spent much of the past year exploring community needs, our own mission and vision, and the wealth of skills and earned experience of our growing team. Pairing what we learned with opportunities to increase CEE’s impact, we ultimately arrived at a new organizational strategic plan, which we recently announced. To keep pace as a learning organization, we prioritize inviting diverse perspectives, listening to customers and clients before we speak, and constantly seeking creative approaches to reach more people in pursuit of equitable electrification and decarbonization.  

As always, CEE’s strategies require collaboration and a practical, shared vision. We are grateful for our longtime partnerships as we seek and build new relationships for an even brighter future. 


our research

Our research drives every move we make.

A science-based foundation underlies everything we do, including our lab-to-field research that allows us to design innovative programs based directly on what we’re learning.

Working solo and with other industry experts, CEE’s researchers investigate new energy efficiency technologies and potential strategies for utility programs, advancing efficiency as well as public health. Our niche lies at the intersection of building science and the practical realities of running utility-funded programs. We have a clear line of sight to emerging technologies because we develop and participate in some of the most essential and groundbreaking building science research projects in the country.

Research Projects

CARD grants announcement

Research Newsletter


We design and deliver equitable solutions.

Guided by our mission and tailored to meet clients’ goals, we undertake research, create programs, and advance public policies to ensure the clean energy transition works for everyone.  

For example, in 2023 CEE was part of a Native Sun-led, collaborative U.S. Department of Energy grant to expand EV charging for Tribal Nations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. And CEE’s leadership of the state-sponsored Minnesota Advanced Energy Codes Partnership is informed by a broad-based Advisory Council that includes labor unions and Tribal Nations. With an eye on the future, in recent years our clean energy workforce programs have trained more than 90 participants with a 98% certification credential pass rate, and more than 15 former participants are already gainfully employed in the sector. 

Career Training program 

Native Sun/EVSE expansion project page  

Our impact

Home Energy visits
Energy Advisor calls
Active research projects
Midwest city partnerships
Twin Cities neighborhoods
Lighting and HVAC projects
Home improvement loans approved
Home Energy career training graduates
test small

We test small before we go big.

Thanks to CEE’s comprehensive market thinking, our pilot programs focus on everything from testing new technologies to enhancing program outreach and engagement.  

For example, last year CEE worked on a St. Paul decarbonization pilot funded by Xcel Energy in affordable rental properties with electric resistance heat. In Michigan, our building benchmarking pilot with Consumers Energy engaged more than 50 participating buildings by the time CEE’s work on the pilot concluded. And CEE concluded a two-year Community Code Support pilot funded by Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy focused on supporting communities to improve code compliance. 

Minneapolis 1–4 Unit Residential Weatherization and Electrification Roadmap

CEE benchmarking pilot takes root in Southwest Michigan

Lessons learned from the Save to Give Challenge Pilot Program

Presence across the country

We achieve successful research and program delivery across the country.

Wherever you are, tailoring programs for your local stakeholders to achieve success is what we do.  

In recent years, we have expanded our efforts and established CEE's presence in Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan. Building and strengthening consulting or program management partnerships with ComEd, Consumers Energy, Xcel Energy, and others, we're bringing our strategic vision, diverse skillsets, and decades of experience to reach new audiences and ensure a more equitable energy future for more people throughout the cold climate, upper Midwest. 

Why Choose CEE? 

Midwest ASHP Collaborative

Variable Speed Heat Pumps, summary report for ComEd, Illinois

Our areas of work


We cut energy waste while improving comfort in homes and buildings. 



We explore energy advances through field analysis, modeling, and engagement. 



We strive for high-impact, pragmatic solutions built to serve public interests.



We work toward long-term, energy-saving solutions in buildings and communities. 



We empower Minnesotans to upgrade efficiency and comfort at home and at work.


Market Transformation

We smooth the way for broader adoption of promising technologies. 

Market Transformation
magic is our people

Our people bring innovation to life.

CEE’s staff combine energy field expertise with mission-driven passion.  

Our offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul now house a combined staff of more than 200 professionals from energy auditors to program managers, energy advisors, research engineers, home performance experts, programmers, construction managers, community energy planners, loan officers, and policy analysts. In addition to our Minnesota-based employees, we're increasingly deploying satellite teams to take on important work in other states such as Colorado and Illinois. CEE’s great culture has resulted in being named one of Minnesota's Top 200 Workplaces. 

Staff Directory 

Work with Us


45 million kWh
of electricity
27,000 Decatherms
in natural gas
29 million pounds
of CO2 (2022)
in annual energy costs


Tom Garry, Chairperson  

Amanda Novak, Vice Chair  

Nancy Tyra-Lukens, Treasurer  

LisaBeth Barajas  

Ralph Dickinson  

Julia Donaldson  

Jimmy Loyd  

Non-voting Officers of the Corporation  

Chris Duffrin, President  

Stephanie Haddad, Corporate Secretary 

Shonda Biddle, Director of Program and Business Development   

Dave Bohac, PE, Senior Director of Research  

Chris Duffrin, President  

Ryan Ellis, General Counsel 

Kristen Funk, Senior Director of Commercial and Industrial Energy  

Cindy Greenwood, Director of Human Resources  

Stephanie Haddad, Chief Operating Officer  

Tim Hanrahan, Director of Communications  

Jim Hasnik, Director of Lending Services  

Carl Nelson, Senior Director of Market Transformation   

Rebecca Olson, Senior Director of Residential and Community Energy  

Audrey Partridge, Director of Policy

Tom Spielman, Director of Information Technologies  

Judy Thommes, Director of Operations   

Doug Will, Chief Financial Officer