Q-and-A: Debbie Kitchin energized by board role
By Andy Giegerich
Digital Managing 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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