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Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA)

 50 Miles Street
 Greenfield, MA 01301
[P] (413) 774-6051 x 14
[F] (413) 774-6053
Miriam Aylward
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 23-7437161

LAST UPDATED: 07/23/2019
Organization DBA --
Former Names Northeast Solar Energy Association (1989)
New England Solar Energy Association (1985)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

NESEA advances the adoption of sustainable energy practices in the built environment by cultivating a community where practitioners share, collaborate and learn.

Mission Statement

NESEA advances the adoption of sustainable energy practices in the built environment by cultivating a community where practitioners share, collaborate and learn.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $1,431,770.00
Projected Expense $1,431,770.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • BuildingEnergy Conference & Trade Show
  • BuildingEnergy Pro Tours
  • Zero Net Energy Homes Database

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

NESEA advances the adoption of sustainable energy practices in the built environment by cultivating a community where practitioners share, collaborate and learn.

Background Statement

In 1974, the US was in the midst of an energy crisis. Oil was in short supply, and fuel prices skyrocketed. A group of builders, architects, engineers, and homeowners banded together to design and construct solar buildings that needed little or no oil, or other fossil fuels for that matter. They called themselves the New England Solar Energy Association (NESEA) and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1975..

These NESEA pioneers met monthly over lunch at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and held workshops for builders and home owners on such topics as solar water heaters. Even in the early years, NESEA organized major regional conferences and published a newsletter that served as a networking medium for people interested in technological developments, market trends, and government policies related to energy consumption.

Our early members also recognized that the community they had developed was valuable in itself.

In 1985, NESEA joined with similar groups that had started in metro New York and elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic. The new organization became the Northeast Solar Energy Association (still NESEA), and embraced the entire region from Maine to Delaware.

NESEA’s agenda expanded beyond solar to include transportation and energy-efficient building construction. In 1989, the first annual American Tour de Sol, a solar car demonstration and championship, traveled from Montpelier, VT, to Boston, MA. To reflect the broadened agenda, NESEA changed names again, to the current Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. Still NESEA.

In 1994, we moved to our present headquarters in Greenfield, MA, a small city that lies between the Connecticut River and the Berkshires. We committed to creating a community park and educational green space on the adjacent land, and the resulting Greenfield Energy Park opened in 1999.

In 2004 and 2005, the board of directors decided to narrow the organizational focus to supporting practitioners in the field of energy sustainability or teaching about sustainability. This meant eliminating programs designed to educate consumers.

In 2011, we narrowed our mission further, eliminating our K-12 education programs. This freed up resources to do more of what we do best, which is to support our member-practitioners. 

Impact Statement

FY18 by the Numbers:
  • 10 lifetime members made life-long commitments to NESEA
  • NESEA Membership grew to almost 3,000 individuals & organizations
  • 1890 employees utilized NESEA Business Membership through 300 organizations
  • 300 members volunteered over 4,000 hours to develop content for NESEA programs
  • 45 scholarships were awarded to students and emerging professionals
  • NESEA's VSECU partnership financed more than 120 sustainable energy projects
  • 148 donors contributed to NESEA's Annual Fund
  • NESEA hosted more than 30 events throughout the Northeast
  • 53 businesses improved their triple bottom lines through BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines
  • BuildingEnergy Pro Tours drew more than 600 attendees
  • 1,500+ individuals attended accredited sessions at BuildingEnergy conferences

Needs Statement

  1. Online platform for member collaboration: NESEA members are dispersed throughout 10 states, with only a handful of opportunities to meet face-to-face each year. NESEA needs staff and infrastructure to develop online communities of practice for networking and sharing of best practices. Cost: $100K in seed money to launch effectively
  2. Leadership development:  As a member-driven organization, we need to build leadership capacity within our membership such that they can curate content and help run new/expanding programs. Cost:  $60K per year for a staff person plus $25K for web development
  3. Retain staff: NESEA has a highly qualified but undercompensated staff. We need to bring staff salaries and benefits to market rate to ensure retention. Cost: an additional $50K per year
  4. Upgrades to NESEA building: NESEA is blessed to own its building, but during the past several years, we've had insufficient funds for reinvestment. Our building committee is developing a plan to preserve and enhance the value of the building through routine maintenance, upgrades to attract good tenants, and investments in energy efficiency. Investing in the energy efficiency of our building would make an important statement, in alignment with our mission. Cost: TBD

CEO Statement

Board Chair Statement

Geographic Area Served


Organization Categories

  1. Education - Professional Societies & Associations
  2. Environment - Professional Societies & Associations
  3. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Small Business Development

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



BuildingEnergy Conference & Trade Show

Over 2,500 renewable energy and green building practitioners bring their cutting edge thinking to Boston each March for the BuildingEnergy Boston Conference & Tradeshow. Now more than 40 years old, BuildingEnergy Boston is the largest, longest running regional sustainable energy event in the country. Sessions range from emerging trends in renewable energy to healthy alternatives to traditional building materials to deep energy retrofits of commercial and residential buildings. BuildingEnergy requires its case studies to present a full year of energy data. The conference includes 60 accredited sessions and the trade show features 60+ exhibitors showcasing the latest sustainable technologies, products, and services. We also host a career forum for emerging professionals.
Budget  $420,337.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environmental & Sustainable Design
Population Served Adults College Aged (18-26 years) Other Named Groups
Program Short-Term Success 
  • More than 90 percent of respondents to our post conference survey report that the BE Conference met or exceeded their expectations, and that they would recommend it to a friend.

  • More than 50 percent of respondents to our post conference survey report that attending BE they have changed their practice and/or improved their green building techniques as a result of what they have learned at the BE Conference.

  • More than 50 percent of respondents to our post conference survey report having made at least one valuable business connection at the BE Conference.

  • More than 25 percent of respondents to our post conference survey report that attending the conference helped them generate new business in the field of sustainable energy.
Program Long-Term Success 

For practitioners having attended the BuildingEnergy Conference, 80% of survey respondents will report having actually deployed the techniques and/or incorporated the information learned in their practice.

20% of these respondents will be willing to report actual results from the buildings in which they deployed these techniques.
Program Success Monitored By  We use a variety of tools, including post conference surveys of attendees, exhibitors, presenters, and sponsors, and interviews with conference attendees.
Examples of Program Success  In a recent post-conference survey we asked, “Did the conference fulfill your main reason for attending?” 96% of respondents said the conference fulfilled their main reason for attending. 100% of respondents said that they would recommend the conference to others. Respondents were also asked to tell us how they felt this conference would change their practice. One attendee responded, “It will encourage me to be more thoughtful about my decision-making; and encourage creative problem-solving and evaluation rather than going with the norm.”  Reasons that attendees liked the conference and would return next year included: great networking opportunities, in depth and strong discussions about green building, educational opportunities and continuing education credits offerings, and the quantity, quality, and diversity of information presented.

BuildingEnergy Pro Tours

BuildingEnergy Pro Tours, launched in 2012, give high-level practitioners already in the energy efficiency field an opportunity to see some of the best examples of net zero buildings and Passive Houses. Pro Tours give professionals a chance to speak with project teams and learn what other professionals in their field think works well and what doesn’t work well in high performance buildings. BuildingEnergy Pro Tours also allow professionals to receive continuing education units. We currently offer 13-15 Pro Tours per year, and include all types of buildings - new construction and retrofits, single-family, multifamily, commercial and institutional - throughout our 10-state territory.
Budget  $58,700.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Energy Resources
Population Served Adults Families Other Named Groups
Program Short-Term Success  Short-term, our goal is that 100% of attendees will learn best practices and "what not to do" in undertaking high performance building projects.
Program Long-Term Success  Ultimately, attendees of BuildingEnergy Pro Tours will implement energy efficiency practices, tools, and high performance systems into their own homes or buildings. 
Program Success Monitored By  The success of BuildingEnergy Pro Tours is monitored by post tour surveys, administered online, after each tour.
Examples of Program Success  Several Pro Tour attendees have subsequently submitted projects of their own to feature on Pro Tours.

Zero Net Energy Homes Database

In 2013, NESEA received a grant from the Barr Foundation to transform the market for zero net energy (ZNE) homes -- homes that produce at least as much energy as they consume. In order to do so, NESEA created a database of ZNE homes and small commercial buildings in the Northeastern United States. We have populated this database with hundreds of case studies that we’ve collected through our members and targeted outreach. We also published a resource guide on best practices and lessons learned in building and retrofitting Zero Net Energy Homes. We also incentivized practitioners to take Marc Rosenbaum’s Zero Net Energy Homes course, and to use what they learn in the course by offering tuition reimbursement to students who, for the first time ever, successfully complete ZNE or ZNE capable projects.
Budget  --
Category  Environment, General/Other Architectural & Landscape Design
Population Served Adults College Aged (18-26 years) Other Named Groups
Program Short-Term Success 

NESEA created a searchable database of ZN- and ZNE-capable homes, and populated it with at least 100 entries, all with a year’s worth of energy data. We reviewed performance metrics and major systems of each database entry and developed a report listing the best/most common practices. This report was circulated broadly on, through our email lists (>40,000), in BuildingEnergy Magazine, and via a workshop. NESEA incented up to 20 practitioners to complete ZNE projects. Anybody who took NESEA’s 10-week BE Masters Series course on ZNE homes (cost $1,000) was eligible to receive a full rebate: 30% upon evidence participant has been contracted for building/designing a ZNEB, 50%  upon submitting an “entry” for NESEA’s ZNEB award, and 20% if the submitter is a first-time ZNEB builder /designer.

Program Long-Term Success  By sharing case studies and best practices in building/retrofitting zero net energy homes, NESEA will help to transform the market such that these types of projects become the norm. More than 50% of newly constructed homes in Massachusetts will be ZNE homes or ZNE capable homes. More than 5% of existing homes in Massachusetts will be deep-energy-retrofitted such that they will be ZNE homes or ZNE capable.
Program Success Monitored By 

We’ll know what is working and what isn’t by monitoring things such as:

  • # of buildings submitted into NESEA’s ZNE database with at least one year’s worth of energy data

  • # of hits to ZNE database, # of clickthroughs to practitioners involved with the projects in the database, # of clickthroughs to products used in these projects

  • # of requests for additional information from database visitors

  • results of surveys of visitors to database and/or readers of our best practices white paper

  • # of BE Masters Series students undertaking a ZNE home project and requesting tuition reimbursement
Examples of Program Success  We currently have 80 examples of ZNE or near-ZNE-homes in the database and publicly accessible. Several of these buildings have been featured as tour sites for our BuildingEnergy Pro Tours program.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

For almost 40 years NESEA has been a membership organization that has appealed to a relatively small audience of professionals and consumers interested in promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency through varying means – advocacy, consumer education, professional development, and networking chief among them.

Over time, as the sustainable energy field has become more saturated, we have narrowed our mission and our focus. Our mission is to advance the adoption of sustainable energy practices in the built environment, and we meet it primarily by connecting professionals to each other, to ideas and to consumers.

Our signature program, the BuildingEnergy Conference, is widely recognized as “best in class” as a regional, multidisciplinary, whole-systems oriented gathering whose purpose is to engage, inform, and  connect professionals whose work is involved with the sustainable use of energy in the built environment.

Each year, BE attracts 3,000 practitioners from a broad spectrum of fields, with diverse interests, levels of experience, and technical knowledge. They have in common a desire to think clearly, and then act. During the conference, they experience the diversity of the content, connect with each other, and expand their capacity to act effectively. People leave BE with a sense of connection and a shared identity. But as time passes, that sense of connection and identity begins to fade.

Many who attend BuildingEnergy have expressed interest in creating BE-quality connection and information-sharing year-round, or “BE365.” We believe this is the next frontier in NESEA’s development. Creating BE365 will allow us to engage the 900 or so members we currently have more fully. It will allow us to bring new community members into the fold through a variety of activities that suit their interest and schedule, but that all serve to engage, inform, and connect this community and allow them to experience diverse content, connect with one another, and expand their capacity to act effectively.

We are working with a committee of members to help us determine how best to roll this out, and what resources will be required.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Miriam Aylward
CEO Term Start Mar 2019
CEO Email
CEO Experience Miriam joined NESEA in 2014 after completing a Masters of Business Administration at Antioch University New England. She most recently held the position of Program Director at NESEA prior to her appointment as Interim Executive Director in 2019. Before joining the NESEA team, she worked as a project manager at the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, ran an event planning business in Montana, and led backpacking trips in Wyoming and Utah.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Jennifer Marrapese Sept 2009 Mar 2019
Mr. David H. Barclay Mar 2006 Sept 2009

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 9
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 8
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Lauren Brust Moss
Board Chair Company Affiliation NORESCO
Board Chair Term Jan 2017 - Dec 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Saheel Chandrani Johnson Controls, Inc. Voting
Elizabeth Glynn BlueWave Solar Voting
Phil Kaplan Kaplan Thompson Architects Voting
Jennifer Kearney Gotham 360, LLC Voting
Nancy Ludwig ICON Architecture, Inc. Voting
Rob Meyers South Mountain Co Voting
Lauren Moss NORESCO Voting
Fortunat Mueller ReVision Energy Voting
John Skipper Con Edison Voting
Ben Southworth Garland Mill Timber Frames Voting
Kate Stephenson HELM Construction Solutions --
Andrew Webster studioWEBSTER Voting
Rachel White Byggmeister Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 81%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Building
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Nominating

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $1,280,262 $1,432,822 $1,350,878
Total Expenses $1,399,599 $1,580,561 $1,385,513

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $0 -- --
Individual Contributions $74,535 $189,759 $112,725
Indirect Public Support $0 -- --
Earned Revenue $935,384 $981,239 $1,010,597
Investment Income, Net of Losses $3,119 $157 $-1,948
Membership Dues $255,258 $221,400 $160,430
Special Events $0 -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $11,966 $40,267 $69,074

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $910,679 $1,050,931 $922,648
Administration Expense $466,287 $471,247 $426,976
Fundraising Expense $22,633 $58,383 $35,889
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.91 0.91 0.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses 65% 66% 67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 30% 31% 32%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $576,794 $665,410 $709,787
Current Assets $220,679 $366,773 $449,942
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $203,999 $95,541
Current Liabilities $432,216 $200,091 $205,187
Total Net Assets $144,578 $261,320 $409,059

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $105,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 0.51 1.83 2.19

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 31% 13%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's 990 for FY17 and per the audited financials for FY16 and FY15. Please note, the net assets for FY15 reflects the calculated amount based on the total assets and total liability amounts listed. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


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