We’re seeking candidates for the following positions at the Energy Foundation. Each announcement includes instructions on how to apply.

Grants Team Leadership Position (title to be determined)

The Grants Leadership Position supports the Energy Foundation’s mission and strategic program goals by managing grantmaking and contracting operations, systems, and data. This position is responsible for the policies and procedures to ensure the efficient processing of grants and contracts, ensuring timeliness, quality, and compliance. Continue reading

User Support Specialist

The working title for the position is User Support Coordinator. This person is responsible for providing basic desktop, device, and software support in a Mac environment as well as supporting knowledge sharing and collaboration activities. The Coordinator will provide direct support to staff in the San Francisco headquarters and remote offices in North Carolina and Illinois. Continue reading

Program Associate, California Programs

The Energy Foundation seeks a Program Associate whose primary responsibility will be to support the work of the California Program Director. Continue reading

Vice President of Partner Relations

The Energy Foundation seeks a Vice President of Partner Relations. The successful candidate will direct the development, execution, and evaluation of fundraising strategies to advance the clean energy mission of the Energy Foundation and Energy Foundation China. Continue reading

Program Coordinator, Public Engagement

The Energy Foundation seeks a Program Coordinator, Public Engagement, to support the work of the Vice President of Public Engagement and manage projects of the Public Engagement team. Using strong organizational, administrative, and communications skills, he or she is expected to manage the team’s workflow and perform discreet administrative tasks for the team. Continue reading

We want to share this opinion piece by Larry Kramer, President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Carol Larson, President of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. It appeared in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.


Foundations Must Move Fast to Fight Climate Change

By Larry Kramer and Carol Larson

Climate change is the defining issue of our day. It is an urgent global crisis that affects everything philanthropy seeks to do, whether it is to improve health, alleviate poverty, reduce famine, promote peace, or advance social justice. It is a problem that can and must be solved — a problem that demands action now, while we still have time. And it is a challenge on which foundations can make a profound difference.

Currently less than 2 percent of all philanthropic dollars are being spent in the fight against climate change. That is not enough given how big of a threat we face.

In 2013 the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million for the first time since the Pliocene epoch, approximately three million years ago. The global average temperature during that period was 2° to 3°C higher than it is today; global sea levels were, on average, 82 feet higher than they are now. Unless we act quickly, it will soon be too late to keep the average global temperature increase below 2°C, the internationally agreed threshold beyond which climate change risks become unacceptably high.

Climate change isn’t just an environmental problem. It is an everything problem. Its effects touch all cultures, all incomes, and all geographies. Climate change disrupts earth’s natural systems. It threatens public health and safety. And it hurts the world’s poorest people — those living on less than $2 a day — most of all.

The Hewlett Foundation and Packard Foundation have made commitments to the climate fight that far exceed any other pledges in our organizations’ histories. We have done so because the business values that motivated our founders, Bill Hewlett and David Packard, still underpin our approach: partnership, respect for science, tolerance for risk, and a willingness to make big bets on problems worth solving.

When we consider all of our grant-making priorities — children, education, health, reproductive rights, oceans, our communities, and so much more — it is profoundly clear that climate change has the unique potential to undermine everything we care about as foundations.

In California, for example, the Packard Foundation collaborates with organizations to ensure young children are healthy and ready for school. Yet in Fresno, a city faced with hazardous air pollution from traffic and industry, approximately 20 percent of children have been diagnosed with asthma.

Despite local efforts to address conventional pollutants caused by cars, agricultural operations, industrial processes and more, the challenge will intensify as drier air and hotter temperatures become more routine. These escalating conditions would make asthma attacks more frequent and more damaging to children, causing them to miss school and jeopardizing their ability to thrive and succeed.

In Africa, the Hewlett Foundation supports organizations that work to empower women to make choices about whether and when to have children, how to raise their families, and how to earn a living. But that work won’t transform women’s lives if climate change progresses at its current pace. Experts predict climate change could reduce the amount of arable land in Africa by two-thirds, making food scarce and less affordable, hurting families, and creating instability that could cause political and other problems.

Fortunately, significant work is already under way to confront these epic threats, and we’re beginning to see signs of progress worldwide: The U.S. has dramatically increased fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by 2025; Mexico has committed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 22 percent and emissions of black carbon or soot by 51 percent by 2030; Brazil has reduced rates of deforestation; China is embracing new models for cleaner mass transit; India is increasing efficient energy standards for appliances; and European nations are reducing their reliance on coal power.

Looking around the country, we see evidence of what’s possible when grant makers choose to engage in new ways.

The Barr Foundation in Boston expanded its climate portfolio several years ago and is now a leader in supporting efforts to promote clean energy and transportation alternatives. The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities is working to align foundations to promote an array of local climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. And the Council on Foundations is helping to bring all of philanthropy together to spotlight climate change and energy through its annual meeting. Initiatives like these demonstrate that foundations can have a positive impact on our climate future. But if we are going to prevail and preserve a future in which every person has the ability to achieve his or her full potential, foundations need to do more.

Our goal now is to enlist as many other grant makers and partners as we can, as quickly as possible, to join us. Working together, and by supporting the local, national, and international organizations focused on curbing climate change, we can prevent global average temperature change from exceeding 2°C.
It’s not too late, but we must act quickly, and we must act together.

In the fight against climate change, foundations can make a lasting difference in ways that other sectors cannot because they share certain special qualities: the freedom to think big, the capacity to tolerate risk, and the ability to invest for the long haul.

We don’t expect every foundation to make climate change its top priority. There are many urgent issues that demand attention. But there is a role for every organization to play in the fight against climate change, no matter where it works or how it works.

Leadership matters in this fight. We hope more foundations, whatever their grant-making priority — promoting civil society, economic development, social justice, or health (to name just a few) — will examine how climate change could impact their missions. Talk to your grantees about their climate concerns. Seek out allies for whom climate mitigation is a focus, and look for ways to learn from them. Attend climate-focused gatherings that might not fall neatly into your current program priorities. Engage your board. Ask hard questions.

There is no single playbook for preventing dangerous climate change. We are all forging solutions in real time. But we can no longer sidestep the threat that a warming planet presents to all the good we seek to achieve in the world.

Left to its current course, the impact of global climate change threatens the long-term success of every other effort foundations support. It is time to act in whatever ways we can. It is time to get going.

Larry D. Kramer is president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Carol S. Larson is president of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Both serve on the board of ClimateWorks.


Transitioning to renewable energy and energy efficiency represents the best of America’s longstanding tradition of innovation and embracing new technology and ideas.

A competition last week honored that tradition when 14 cleantech startups from seven Midwestern states competed for a combined $1 million in early stage investment funding. It was the Clean Energy Trust’s  5th annual Clean Energy Challenge in Chicago, and the sold-out crowd of 400 included clean energy investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators—as well as Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

Winners included a a gas storage solutions developer; a company whose battery charger runs on kinetic energy; and an energy storage and management service provider that combines intelligent energy management software with a unique thermal storage technology using phase change composites. Another winner is developing a fuel nozzle to improve jet-engine efficiency; their technology will improve fuel economy and safety by integrated plasma in the combustion process.

The Clean Energy Challenge, a nationally acclaimed accelerator program and pitch competition, has served as a launching pad for more than 60 cleantech startups in the Midwest through direct investment, commercialization assistance, mentorship, and access to Clean Energy Trust’s broad partner network.

Amy Francetic, CEO of Clean Energy Trust (shown in photo above), said past winners have received a collective $2.2 million in awards since 2011 and gone on to raise more than $62 million in follow-on funding, creating more than 300 high-tech jobs across the Midwest. Francetic said they are helping the Clean Energy Trust achieve its goal of a clean energy future where ingenuity creates a healthier environment and a more prosperous economy.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner also participated and emphasized the importance of clean energy and innovation to Illinois’ future.

“I am dedicated as governor to getting Illinois’ economy booming, thriving and the key to it is innovation and technology development,” Governor Rauner told the crowd. “And we can be worldwide leaders in clean energy innovation and technology. That’s what you’re focused on, that’s what I’m going to help you achieve.”

A panel of industry experts judged the finalists and awarded prize funding to the following companies, whose technology is described in more detail here:

  • Pritzker Foundation Prize ($100,000) – NETenergy
  • Wells Fargo Prize ($100,000) – Igor
  • ComEd Female Founder Prize and Clean Energy Prize Fund ($75,000) – Design Flux Technologies
  • U.S. Department of Energy Student Prize ($50,000) – FGC Plasma Solutions
  • Aviation Clean Energy Award sponsored by Boeing, United and UOP Honeywell ($50,000) – FGC Plasma Solutions
  • Hanley Foundation Prize and Clean Energy Prize Fund ($50,000) – Sun Number
  • Clean Energy Prize Fund ($50,000) – Glucan Biorenewables
  • McCaffery Lakeside Building Efficiency Prize ($25,000) – Igor

Two companies received Emerging Growth Awards from the Illinois Clean Energy Fund, an innovative program by Clean Energy Trust and the Illinois State Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

  • NuMat Technologies ($300,000)
  • AMPY ($200,000)

The Energy Foundation was a sponsor of the event.

To read more about the competition, learn more about the winners, and take a look at past winners, visit the Clean Energy Challenge website. See the Chicago Tribune story here.

The Energy Foundation is accepting applications for two positions.

The Program Associate, California Programs, supports the work of our California Program Director. Read the full job description here.

The Program Coordinator, Public Engagement, supports the work of the Vice President of Public Engagement and manages projects of the Public Engagement team. Read the full job description here.

The Energy Foundation seeks candidates for a new position in our organization: Vice President of Partner Relations. The new vice president will report directly to Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Eric Heitz.

The Vice President of Partner Relations directs the development, execution, and evaluation of fundraising strategies to advance the clean energy mission of the Energy Foundation and Energy Foundation China. The primary responsibility is to establish, strengthen, and steward relationships with current and potential funding partners.

To read the full job description, click here.

For a quarter century, the Energy Foundation has worked to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy by supporting policy solutions that create robust, competitive, clean energy markets. We are nonpartisan and work with conservatives and liberals to help educate business and community leaders, policymakers, and the general public about the health and economic benefits of a clean energy economy.

Some recent media coverage of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s resignation has included misleading statements about the Energy Foundation and our work. These voices are making claims based on mischaracterizations and exaggerations, so it is time we set the record straight.

The Energy Foundation’s nonprofit mission is to serve the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy. What was once aspiration is being realized today in communities across the nation with the creation of new jobs in emerging clean energy industries and a healthier environment today and for future generations.

We believe that good energy policies create innovative, competitive energy markets that in turn deliver affordable, reliable clean energy for U.S. homes and businesses. Since our founding 24 years ago, we have supported energy policy discussions with timely education and analyses.

Working with grantees across the political spectrum, we appreciate differing perspectives. We recognize that there will be more debates as the old 20th Century energy industry increasingly faces the disruptions caused by new technologies like solar power, wind power, electric vehicles, and highly efficient LED lights. But we believe that everyone—including those who defend the status quo—should be held accountable to their true motivations. To support our own claims, we make information about our grants available on our website, just like we do with our annual financial filings.

The consensus on clean energy and the climate is turning. More and more business, community, and Democrat and Republican leaders are looking for ways to move our nation toward a stronger economy based on clean, affordable, and reliable energy. For our part, the Energy Foundation staff of technical experts in renewable energy, building efficiency, and transportation remains committed to working with grantees nationwide, regardless of their political affiliation, to help realize the emerging new energy economy even faster.




The Energy Foundation is secretive and not transparent.
For 24 years, our financial activities, from the grants we provide to our annual financials, have been disclosed every year with the IRS on Form 990 and on our website. All of the grants recently cited in the media are from these publicly available sources.
The Energy Foundation is a “pass-through,” or a shell organization, for its donors.
The Energy Foundation is composed of energy experts who use their experience and industry knowledge to make grants to organizations that are working to show the benefits of the clean energy economy. Our donors contribute to Energy Foundation to tap this energy expertise, and EF staff is solely responsible for the grants we make.
The Energy Foundation is an “extremist, left-wing organization.”
The Energy Foundation is nonpartisan and works with organizations across the political spectrum. Our grants are available on a searchable database on our website.
The Energy Foundation is anti-free-market.
We believe competitive energy markets can deliver innovation along with big economic and health benefits across America. For a quarter century, the Energy Foundation has supported education and analysis that shows the benefits of policies that create robust, competitive clean energy markets.
In pursuing its objectives, the Energy Foundation operates just like the opponents of the new energy economy.
We advance the public interest while opponents protect private interests. We promote the creation of clean energy markets but don’t have a financial stake in them. Opposition funders frequently have a direct financial stake in fossil-fuel markets.
Tom Steyer is a major contributor to the Energy Foundation.
Mr. Steyer’s TomKat Charitable Trust is no longer a donor to the Energy Foundation. TomKat Charitable Trust funded us for only five years, from 2009 to 2013. On average, the TomKat Charitable Trust grants to the Energy Foundation were 0.65% of the total contributions and grants we received annually during this period.
Tom Steyer funded the work of Cylvia Hayes through the Energy Foundation.
The TomKat Charitable Trust did not earmark its donations to any specific Energy Foundation project. The Trust had no input on the Energy Foundation’s grant decisions.

A man in Michigan charges his electric car with power generated from solar panels on the roof of his house and has plenty of energy to spare. Four hundred farmers in rural Texas collectively earn $10 million a year from a wind-turbine project on their land. A solar array installed at a U.S. Air Force base in Nevada saves $1 million per year in energy costs and provides resiliency in an emergency.

Stories from the future? No: These stories and many more are playing out across the country. Families, businesses, local governments, schools, and the military are enjoying the benefits of clean energy technology born of the long tradition of American innovation.

The Energy Foundation’s online 2013 Annual Report, “American Clean Energy Stories,” shares real-life examples of clean-energy advances such as wind and solar power, city-wide LED lights, and electric cars. Since 1991 our grantees have provided education and analysis to advance policies to build vibrant clean energy markets like these.

We tell three stories: energy efficiency, solar, and wind. For each, online visitors can click through pictures and videos from around the country, graphs that show progress, and quotes from local energy leaders.

The Energy Foundation works to build a prosperous and healthy future powered by clean, reliable, and secure sources of energy. A thriving clean energy industry will offer American workers good jobs in viable industries, strengthen our national security, and keep our air and water clean and healthy—for today’s children and future generations.

Our 2013 Annual Report shows why we are optimistic about a clean energy future. Explore the report here.

UPDATE: The following positions have been filled.

The Vice President, Power Sector will be responsible for leading strategy across multiple program areas, including utility-scale generation, distributed energy resources, energy efficiency, and cross-cutting issues such as new utility business models. In addition to synthesizing strategy across the power sector, the vice president will manage a team of eight staff members, oversee an annual budget of $20-­25 million, and work closely with key funders who share our mission. The position is based in the San Francisco office. Learn more about the position and get details on how to apply.

The Director of Knowledge Systems will be responsible for advancing internal and external knowledge sharing and collaboration and is specifically responsible for knowledge management, institutional technology, and user support functions in the U.S.; and for coordinating and supporting similar efforts in China. Specific duties include a combination of direct responsibility, oversight, and collaboration. The director will be directly responsible for selecting, developing, and documenting appropriate platforms for content life cycle management; project management; internal and external collaboration; grantee and donor relation management; and ensuring integration with finance, grants, and human resource systems. Learn more about the position and get details on how to apply.



The Vice President, Power Sector will be responsible for leading strategy across multiple program areas, including utility-scale generation, distributed energy resources, energy efficiency, and cross-cutting issues such as new utility business models. In addition to synthesizing strategy across the power sector, the vice president will manage a team of eight staff members, oversee an annual budget of $20-­25 million, and work closely with key funders who share our mission. The position is based in the San Francisco office.

Read the full job description and get details on how to apply.

Illinois residents with clean energy jobs


The Midwest is a leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy, a subject covered in last year’s Energy Foundation annual report.

A new report called Clean Jobs Illinois—which presents findings of the first comprehensive survey of Illinois’ clean energy industry—shines a light on the industry’s job-creation benefits.

The survey found that 96,875 people currently work in the clean energy sector of Illinois’ economy and the numbers are projected to grow by 9 percent in 2014. Clean energy jobs are defined as those pertaining to energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric or hybrid vehicles, and greenhouse gas management. The report includes stories about Illinois professionals working in areas including building efficiency, advanced battery manufacturing, wind energy, smart grid meters and biofuels.

BW Research Partnership, a national leader in workforce and economic development research, conducted the Clean Jobs Illinois survey. More findings:

  • Energy Efficiency is the primary focus of 62 percent of Illinois clean energy businesses. Other sectors include renewable energy (28 percent), alternative transportation (6 percent), greenhouse gas management (1 percent) and “other” (12 percent).
  • Firms working on hybrid and electric vehicles are the fastest growing sector of Illinois’ clean energy economy. While these businesses currently make up only 6 percent of Illinois clean energy companies, the sub-sector expects to grow by 10.5 percent in 2014.
  • Illinois’ clean energy sector offers opportunity for qualified workers. The top job categories of clean energy jobs are engineering and research (21 percent), installation and maintenance (30 percent) and professional services (21 percent). Companies reported that they have difficulty hiring qualified engineers (software and mechanical), welders and installers.
  • Businesses reported that Illinois’ public policies affect their ability to grow. Maintaining a strong Renewable Portfolio Standard was a top concern for Illinois clean energy firms.

A new interactive website showcases the survey results and will serve as an educational resource about clean energy jobs in Illinois: www.CleanJobsIllinois.com.

The survey was commissioned and developed by Clean Energy Trust in partnership with Environmental Entrepreneurs, The Environmental Law & Policy Center and The Natural Resources Defense Council. Advanced Energy Economy, the Joyce Foundation, and the Energy Foundation provided funding.