The Environmental and Energy Study Institute

Ideas. Insights. Sustainable Solutions

aka EESI   |   Washington, DC   |


Our mission is to advance science-based solutions for climate change, energy, and environmental challenges in order to achieve our vision of a sustainable, resilient, and equitable world.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Daniel Bresette

Main address

1020 19th Street NW Suite 400

Washington, DC 20036 USA

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NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (C05)

Management & Technical Assistance (C02)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Climate change is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. As the U.S. is a leading global emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, we have a responsibility to prioritize climate mitigation quickly and in a way that centers on equity and workforce development. Additionally, we need communities to be resilient to intensifying climate impacts by promoting common-sense solutions like energy efficiency, utilizing all renewables, and making construction more sustainable. Yet, the federal government is not addressing climate mitigation and adaptation at the scale and scope required by this enormous crisis. Lack of expertise and in-depth knowledge regarding climate change issues and affiliated policy are major reasons. U.S. federal policy has the potential to propel the country and lead the world, toward economy-wide equitable decarbonization and resilience to climate impacts. To work, these policies need to become law and be implemented quickly and consistently.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Federal Climate Policy Program

Since its inception, EESI has been a powerful force in federal energy and environmental policy. Starting in 1988, we have focused our policy work through a climate change lens. More recently, EESI has engaged in a complementary effort to provide technical assistance to municipal utilities and rural electric utilities to help them adopt financing solutions that benefit their customers while driving down emissions.

As a nonpartisan climate policy nonprofit, EESI fills a critical need: turning complex concepts into accessible information and inviting Democratic, Republican, and Independent decision makers to ask questions and critically examine today’s pressing climate issues. All Congressional staff need to be motivated and equipped to act on urgently-needed climate solutions. Many will be new and overwhelmed when the new Congress is sworn in. But EESI has a plan to help them get up to speed so our democracy can function better no matter which party is in control of either chamber.

EESI works to inform a policy environment in which policymakers work to curb climate change and to increase resilience to current and future climate impacts in an equitable way. It is also urgent for our country’s leaders to understand the economic and human costs of climate change that frontline communities bear, and to act to reduce those effects.

Population(s) Served

EESI is working with a growing number of rural cooperative and municipal utilities to encourage customers to switch to electric heat pumps, water heaters, cars, and trucks, including by providing convenient, low-cost on-bill financing options. This process—called beneficial electrification—means replacing fossil-fuel-consuming appliances, equipment, and vehicles with electric alternatives. These efforts are delivering economic and environmental benefits to families and businesses. In many parts of the country, especially where renewable energy is on the rise, generating and consuming electricity results in lower greenhouse gas emissions than burning natural gas, propane, and fuel oil. Plus, removing fossil fuel combustion from buildings can improve indoor air quality.

Additionally, EESI champions "on-bill financing," which gives small electric cooperative and municipal utilities the ability to offer their customers the opportunity to finance energy improvements. EESI’s program design places an emphasis on equity, allowing customers with good bill payment history, whether they are renters or owners, to afford energy upgrades, conveniently paid back on their monthly bills. EESI works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP), which provides electric cooperatives and municipal utilities with zero-interest federal loans dollars, to accelerate the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy by customers. This experience working with federal programs and unique financing mechanisms across the country, coupled with long-term relationships with key congressional offices, positions EESI well to inform federal policymaking focused on these issues.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

EESI improves the visibility and impact of our work by increasing traffic on our website.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

EESI was founded in 1984 by a bipartisan group of members of Congress to fill a critical need: turning complex concepts into accessible information, inviting decision-makers to ask questions and learn about winning solutions to climate change, the most urgent threat facing the world today. Although the impacts and risks of climate change are clear, the way forward sometimes remains elusive. EESI works to change that. Our vision is a sustainable, resilient, and equitable world.

Our long-term goals are:
-Clean, decarbonized energy that is affordable and accessible for all;
-Resilient, healthy, sustainable, and just communities that can prepare for and adapt to climate change impacts and other disasters; and
-Informed decision-makers motivated and equipped to act on urgently-needed climate solutions

EESI works to effect policy changes that put the U.S. on a cleaner, secure, and sustainable energy path. We need federal, state, local, private-sector, decision-makers, and stakeholders to take action as soon as possible to foster an equitable transition to a decarbonized economy.

In our federal policy work, our key strategies and activities are:

Educate members of Congress, their staff, and the public about climate change, energy, and environmental issues and policy opportunities;

We host public briefings/webcasts to provide the most up-to-date research and information. Our events are recorded and accessible anywhere. We write and distribute fact sheets on key climate, energy, and environmental topics (without charge) on our site, to email subscribers, Congressional staffers, and reporters. Lastly, we continue to write thoughtful, original web articles focused on climate change solutions across the country and climate-related activity which feed into our biweekly Climate Change Solutions e-newsletter.

Advocate for federal policies related to climate change, energy, and environmental issues;

EESI is a non-partisan resource for time-strapped, often inexperienced Congressional staff, offering ideas, identifying information gaps, and responding to requests for information. For example, in November 2019, EESI submitted an extensive set of recommendations to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Work collaboratively in coalitions and share information to draw on expertise across organizations and broaden EESI’s impact;

Serve as a resource for the media on climate change, energy, and environmental issues;

EESI’s briefings provide venues for the media to gain knowledge and access to experts. They regularly look to EESI staff to provide information and quotes, such as in "Cutting Commercial Real Estate Carbon Emissions: Q&A with Carbon Lighthouse" in Environment+Energy Leader.

Spread innovative financing solutions at the local and federal level

EESI is building a national network of high-impact energy efficiency and beneficial electrification programs that drive down greenhouse gas emissions by providing technical assistance to rural utilities pursuing on-bill financing programs. We advocate for inclusive and equitable on-bill financing models that reach customers who are frequently left behind — those who do not have enough cash on hand, are on limited budgets or do not qualify for traditional consumer credit (i.e., low credit scores). This approach to financing enables homeowners, renters, and small business owners to make cost-effective investments based simply on bill payment history. Moreover, we help further electrification efforts — as the national electric grid becomes cleaner, this is a winning strategy to help drive down emissions. Additionally, EESI will continue its collaboration with USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to promote RESP, recruit and assist applicants, and streamline program processes.

EESI has continually proved we have the history, connections, and knowledge to act as an effective catalyst for change.


For over 35 years, EESI has acted as a catalyst, framer, connector, facilitator, and synthesizer of ideas and issues to help move win-win ideas forward.


EESI develops and disseminates information through our numerous briefings on science, technology, and environmental and energy policy issues (all online for the duration of the COVID pandemic). We facilitate communication among diverse stakeholders and their representatives in Washington, D.C. EESI staff also participate in numerous coalition-building meetings, conferences, and other events.


In 1988, EESI’s Board declared that addressing climate change was a moral imperative, making EESI one of the first organizations to issue such a statement in the United States. EESI has been able to cultivate great leadership and capabilities on climate solutions because we look at energy and climate impacts holistically. We seek to unite a range of constituencies behind win-win solutions, building consensus and emphasizing the multiple benefits of a stable climate, the socio-economic benefits of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and the costs of inaction.

EESI's role is critical. Our briefings are attended by Congressional staff, the public, and the media. We receive requests for assistance from rural co-ops, and media outlets continually engage with our resources. We have a track record of more than 35 years.

Our Recent Top Accomplishments

1. Submitted policy recommendations to the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and testified before a Congressional committee. EESI’s response to the request for information issued by the Select Committee in September 2019 covered a wide range of topics and provided specific recommendations to Congress for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. In October 2019, EESI’s Executive Director testified on the importance of energy efficiency. The hearing, “Energy Efficiency Efforts in the United States and Internationally,” was held before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chaired by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

2. Completed our report and briefing series on coastal resilience to climate change. EESI examined the issues and solutions pertaining to every region in the United States. We incorporated the recommendations from this series into a report, A Resilient Future for Coastal Communities: Federal Policy Recommendations from Solutions in Practice.

3. Increased our work providing technical assistance to help utilities innovate. We are helping 39 rural electric co-ops and municipal utilities across the country innovate by offering on-bill financing programs and ways to speed electrification. Despite t COVID-driven uncertainty, in June, a wholesale power distributor to 135 municipal utilities in nine states asked EESI to assess its potential for on-bill financing and electrification. We delivered that report in August and consider it a model for future work.

4. Began advising green banks on applying for federal zero-interest Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, based on our long experience in assisting rural electric cooperatives in setting up energy financing programs using RESP funding.

5. Transformed our ad-hoc work to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into an organization-wide policy. We recommended environmental justice considerations in federal policy, such as our response to the House of Representatives Select Committee on Climate Change; have an active staff group and board committee focused on DEI; and have an operational plan on infusing DEI into all aspects of our work.

Looking Forward
We plan to increase our engagement with federal climate policy by equipping and motivating decision-makers to understand and respond to climate change mitigation, resilience, and adaptation.

We also aim to help more co-ops launch or scale-up inclusive clean energy programs for their members, thereby funneling help to rural economies and better equipping them to improve their communities while reducing their energy use.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve the people of the United States. In our primary focus on national policymakers, we aim to benefit everyone. In our focus on rural electric cooperatives, we aim to bring clean energy and innovative financing solutions to rural Americans. We also aim to provide information on climate change to the broader public.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Suggestion box/email, meetings,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We shortened the length of our online briefings and began to incorporate takeaway point summaries, as one of our viewers had requested. We put greater emphasis on certain parts of our newsletter, based on audience feedback.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    In our work with policymakers and our technical assistance to electric cooperatives, we regularly ask for feedback and adapt practices. In our work with Congress, we ask for their feedback on what would be most useful in topics we should cover in our briefings and on the format that would be useful to them. Based on their feedback, we increased our written materials and made components more modular. In another example, we heard from utilities that they were interested in our assessments on how on electrification. We began to provide electrification assessment services, provided an evaluation of electrification opportunities, and are currently developing an interactive electrification toolkit, based on their feedback. In sum, EESI has long believed it is more important to listen than talk.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,


The Environmental and Energy Study Institute

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute

Board of directors
as of 07/20/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jared Blum


Term: 2015 - 2019

Richard Ottinger

Pace University School of Law, former member of Congress (D-NY)

Jared Blum


Shelley Fidler

VanNess Feldman Attorneys at Law

Chris Schepis


Rosina Bierbaum

School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan

Linda Church-Ciocci

National Hydropower Foundation

Monty Cooper

Sedgwick LLP

Laura Kalick

Kalick Law LLC

David Terry


Joseph Cavarretta

Neurology Center of Fairfax

Frank Murray


Raya Salter

NY Renews

Jeffrey Talley

Lieutenant General (Ret.), The P3i Group LLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/30/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/27/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.