ACI Leader Helen Perrine Retiring

March/April 2010
A version of this article appears in the March/April 2010 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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March 01, 2010
It was two weeks into Jimmy Carter’s presidency in 1977 that the Georgian donned a sweater on national television and said there was a permanent energy shortage, so we should all turn down our thermostats. Helen Perrine is still trying to repair the damage done by that speech. Americans don’t want to sit around in the cold waiting for summer to come, says Mrs. Perrine, executive director of ACI, a Waynesburg, Pennsylvania–based nonprofit that promotes energy efficiency in homes. Mrs. Perrine has been trying to convince people that they can be comfortable in their own homes and still use less energy. Last summer, Mrs. Perrine, 65, announced she would retire in August 2010. The announcement has people in private industry and the government hoping that Perrine’s successor can continue to pull together the diverse constituencies that she has turned into sometimes surprising allies within the field. It was only a couple of summers ago, when green energy was starting to come into the nation’s consciousness, that Helen Perrine looked a step beyond everyone else, says Larry Zarker, CEO of BPI, in Washington, D.C. “When we started talking green, she started talking ...

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