WPUI Director

Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait

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Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait (aka Sam) has actively worked in the energy industry for more than 30 years and includes such highlights as:

  • Peninsula Conservation Center: In the late 1970′s she was the conference and meeting coordinator for this public interest group. While there she helped create the first Farmer’s Market in the San Francisco Bay Region to build interest in and support for local farms suffering from economic squeezing by residential zoning.
  • City of Palo Alto’s Conservation Services Coordinator:
    • Created the first use of a computer in a retail setting with a DIY energy audit. The difference in this audit was that that in addition to information in energy savings it would also print out information on where the product could be found in the store. At the time, money spent on energy saving activities was coming not from a future-investments perspective as much as it was from what was called “disposable income”:  money that was at the discretion of the homeowner to spend or not. Thus she used “disposable income ideas” to translate energy savings into something of value. For example, rather than stating simply “$25 in savings,” the print-out would note, “enough money for a family four to go to dinner and a movie.”
  • Barakat and Chamberlin Consulting
    • Turned around a high-efficiency motors program for Ontario Hydro by splitting the rebate dollars between distributors and customers. This was so successful that it advanced the definition of a HEM and was adopted by other utilities in Canada.
  • Wisconsin Center for Demand-Side Research
    • Developed training and seminar series for the Center and a Motors Consortium.
  • Christensen Associates Energy Consulting
    • Responsible for all technology transfer and market development work for clients and the company. A partial list of clients:
      • The Large Public Power Council
      • The Electric Power Research Institute (over 25 years)
      • Edison Electric Institute
      • The International Energy Program Evaluation Conference
      • The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership
      • The Behavior Energy and Climate Change Conference

    Cara Lee has assembled hundreds of workshops, forums, conferences and seminars. WPUI is fortunate to have her at its head.