Dr. Robert Koger Receives Clean Energy Lifetime Achievement Award
Advanced Energy is pleased to announce that Dr. Robert Koger was presented the Clean Energy Lifetime Achievement Award during the Making Energy Work Conference hosted by the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association on Oct. 1, 2014. The award is given annually to an individual who demonstrates exemplary leadership in the advancement of clean energy in North Carolina.
Dr. Koger began his energy career as an engineer at the U.S. Rural Electrification Administration, where he assisted in bringing electricity to rural communities across North Carolina. During a presentation he was delivering for the Administration, a member of the North Carolina Utilities Commission decided that Dr. Koger would be a valuable addition, and he asked him to join. Dr. Koger would go on to provide 22 years of service.
At the Commission, Dr. Koger began as staff director of the engineering and economics departments. He recruited top engineers and coordinated the staff’s response to and preparation for all rate cases involving the regulated electric, telephone, gas and water utilities. While on the staff, he also held several national leadership roles. In the early 1970s, he was one of four individuals selected from regulatory staff personnel across the country to author the first National Association of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (NARUC) Electricity Cost Allocation Manual.
In 1977, the North Carolina Legislature divided the staff of the Commission into an independent Public Staff and a smaller staff to assist the Commission. At this time, Dr. Koger was appointed Chairman of the Commission by Gov. Hunt. Over the next years, Dr. Koger became aware of how national policies could affect North Carolina and continued to participate in these matters. He served as a member of the executive board of NARUC, as chair of various committees and subcommittees within NARUC, and as president of the Southeastern Association of Utility Regulators.
In 1980, Dr. Koger led the Commission to establish Advanced Energy, where he now serves as president and CEO. Advanced Energy was one of the first organizations in the country established with the goal of limiting increases in electric rates and bills through implementing and promoting energy efficiency, demand response, and alternative and renewable electric generation sources.
When Advanced Energy’s first president left in 1988, Dr. Koger reviewed its progress and, while appreciating all that it had accomplished, thought the company was capable of doing more. So, when he was invited by the board to take the leadership role, he accepted and resigned from the Commission. Under Dr. Koger’s guidance, Advanced Energy has greatly expanded its base of operations, nearly tripled its staff and added major research and testing laboratories.