The region’s premier energy conservation advocate, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, is taking applications for the public interest representative position on its 20-member board of directors.

“The public interest representative can have a big influence on NEEA,” said Ben Otto, who currently holds the position. Otto is an energy associate with the Idaho Conservation League.

NEEA’s board primarily consists of industry insiders and state officials.

“The public interest representative is the sole voice for the consumer on the NEEA board,” Otto told Clearing Up in an email. “Because the goal is to operate by consensus, a strong public voice can influence the outcome.”

That influence can produce “tangible results as NEEA develops the next round of energy conservation products and programs,” he said.

“The best skill set is to be a good listener, be comfortable with budgets and organizational governance, and be able to find common ground with the other board members,” he said.

Otto has applied for another three-year term.

The term begins Dec. 19. Applications must be sent to by Sept. 27, and should include a resume, references, and a letter addressing the candidate’s interest in NEEA and the public interest position, their qualification for the role, and contact information.