Q-and-A: Debbie Kitchin energized by board role
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Debbie Kitchin has studied energy issues since at least the early 1980s.
Debbie Kitchin, who was just re-elected vice president of the nonprofit Energy Trust of Oregon board, is herself teeming with energy.
Kitchin, co-owner of InterWorks LLC, has been on the board since 2004, or shortly after the group formed. Before she became a small business owner, she was an economist with what is now the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and for the Bonneville Power Administration.
In other words, she has a lot of insight into power, both the electric and the authoritative kinds. We caught up with Kitchin Monday afternoon for a quick interview.
Sustainable Business Oregon: What’s the extent of your work with Energy Trust?
Kitchin: I’ve been on the board for eight years, since 2004. Since the Energy Trust was created by legislation in 1999, the first board started doing programs in 2002. I wasn’t there at the very beginning but joined the board fairly quickly.
SBO: Why did you get involved?
Kitchin: It was an opportunity to work with a new organization and bring my background as an energy economist as well as my more recent background in the construction industry. It was a great combination for me to bring those points of view to bear. The Energy Trust has great programs and is investing in cost-effective energy efficiently and I think it’s really important as we go into the future to take advantage of these opportunities and put the money to use for cost-effective energy efficiency.
When I was with Northwest Power Council — I was there from 1982 to 1986, their first power plan was adopted in 1983 — the first power plan for the NW was the first time that conservation was treated as a resource. It’s exciting to continue that effort. The seeds of what Energy Trust is doing were planted with the Northwest Power Council’s first power plan.
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