"Energy Efficiency is at the heart of energy affordability." Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation

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For PG&E’s Vincent Davis, Energy Efficiency is the Path to Help Others

By Tony Khing

Vincent Davis’ father was a military police officer. And just like their counterparts in the civilian world, MPs are there to help and serve. “He always wanted to be someone that helped others,” said Davis, PG&E’s senior director of energy efficiency.

In a way, Davis is following in his father’s footsteps. For most of his utility career, he’s been in a similar situation. “What drives me,” he said, “is a desire to leave a positive impact for the generations that follow us.”

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Vincent Davis started as an accountant but felt that a focus on energy efficiency would make a positive difference. (Photo by Tony Khing.)

Davis worked for Duke Energy Corporation, the Charlotte, N.C.-based gas and electric utility, for more than two decades. He started as an accountant and assumed increasing levels of leadership responsibility in several core business functions. He eventually became director of Duke’s Smart Energy Now, a program created to help business customers reduce energy consumption.

“I was good at accounting and I wanted to leverage it as a way to help customers more directly,” said Davis. “I wanted to be in a space where I was making a positive difference on the environment. I felt energy efficiency was it.”

After Davis helped successfully launch Duke’s Smart Energy Now, he saw another energy efficiency and customer service opportunity: serving PG&E’s 16 million customers.

“This was a very compelling opportunity in terms of roles and responsibilities,” said Davis. “Our energy efficiency portfolio is one of the largest in the country. The opportunity to serve our customers in this capacity is an honor for me.”

Davis is responsible for managing PG&E’s energy efficiency portfolio. Davis and his team designs and develops programs for all customers—agricultural, commercial, industrial and residential. The programs include creating energy saving plans from lighting to HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) systems. “The basis for my job,” said Davis, “is delivering innovative offerings to our customers in a cost effective manner.”

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Energy Efficiency 2.0 will help PG&E help its customers save money and energy.

Part of Davis’ energy efficiency work focuses on employee engagement and development. He and his leadership team are leading an internal grass roots effort, aptly named Energy Efficiency 2.0 (EE 2.0). The program’s goal is to support his organization’s mission to make PG&E the world’s leading utility for sustained per-capita carbon reduction by 2025.

“When our teammates come to work every day, they’re thinking about our customers,” said Davis. “That’s at the forefront of our work. Our biggest opportunity is being relevant to our customers and understanding and meeting their challenges and exceeding their expectations.”

Davis’ passion for EE 2.0 also forms his thinking about the world’s approach to energy. He said one of the biggest opportunities facing everyone is how the planet is getting smaller every day because of social media and smart devices. “As global citizens, it’s our responsibility to actively engage and add value,” he said.

Caring about the world, especially from an energy efficiency standpoint, is why Davis feels one should consider a career in the energy industry.

“This business has so much to offer from a science, engineering, mathematical and technical perspective,” said Davis. “There are so many different aspects that can be exciting and intriguing to people. If we’re fortunate, young people from all ethnicities will continue to find their way to the energy sector. Playing a role in the utility business and helping pursue carbon reduction is incredibly important and it’s global. It makes a difference.”

Email Tony Khing at tony.khing@pge.com.