Beyond the Meter - Episode 13

Beyond the Meter - Episode 14: The Power of Resiliency

The Power of Resiliency with Ann Kloose, Michael Kilpatrick, and Whit Remer


This episode is made in partnership with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions.


Municipalities across the U.S. experience any number of challenges when building infrastructure projects and energy solutions, but one of the biggest is building with future needs in mind. The issues of resilience and sustainability are front and center in this undertaking, and the guests on this episode are on the front lines of the fight.

Join John Failla of Smart Energy Decisions as he hosts a conversation about resilience and sustainability, with his guests Ann Kloose, City of Fresno Manager of Sustainability; Whit Remer, City of Tampa Sustainability and Resilience Officer; and Michael Kilpatrick, Key Segment Manager for State and Local Governments at Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Ann’s past experience and role in the City of Fresno [1:54]
  • Whit’s past experience and role with the City of Tampa [3:23]
  • Michael’s past experience and role with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions [5:16]
  • How does resiliency play into an overall sustainability plan? [6:19]
  • What is happening in municipalities across the U.S. [9:51]
  • How infrastructure can be designed in adaptable and user-friendly ways [16:55]
  • The biggest challenges in building future-ready projects [26:54]
  • Unifying stakeholders around common goals [31:21]
  • Specific projects happening in Fresno and Tampa [33:56]
  • Trends being seen across the United States [40:49]
  • How social equity figures into resiliency [43:33]

How do Resiliency and Sustainability work together?

In Whit Remer’s view, resiliency is the top-line of any sustainability plan. It requires looking at the shocks and stressors that affect the community being served. He says the acronym, E.S.G. — the Environmental, Social, and Governance measurement of energy solutions — is a helpful way to remember what resiliency is all about. Sustainability comes into the picture when the Environmental area is considered. How can we take care of the water, land, and air in a community? A good resiliency plan should include sustainability initiatives to ensure that the provision of energy for the community is not damaging the area, and in fact, is helping to improve the community.

There’s a “Resiliency Movement” happening in municipalities across the U.S.

Michael Kilpatrick has the opportunity to see and hear what a variety of communities across the U.S. are doing to increase both the resiliency and sustainability of their energy solutions. He says that in the past, the two were often not tied together. But things are changing now, due to the impacts of COVID and a growing realization that sustainability and resilience support each other. This new approach is benefiting communities across the nation.

Community-wide, resiliency is simply defined as improving the quality of life across the entire population. As an example, the design of streets has an amazing impact on a community. Do they include protected bike lanes? Are they complete and well maintained? Are they aesthetically pleasing? Do they include walking trails or sidewalks as part of their design? These factors and many others create vibrant, connected neighborhoods that provide access to businesses, community features, and public services conveniently and easily.

The biggest challenges when building future-ready projects

It’s impossible to predict the future, but municipalities have been attempting to wisely forecast future needs when planning infrastructure and improvements. But working to meet future needs doesn’t happen without challenges. Communities around the nation are finding common roadblocks such as…

Communicating effectively about budgetary and timeline needs for large scale projects such as solar arrays
Many governments still operate in “siloed” ways, with each department competing with the others for budget, resources, etc., when the real need is for cooperation and coordination between departments to build resilience into every aspect of infrastructure and services.

Smaller communities often experience a deficit when it comes to technical proficiency to move forward with resiliency projects. They have neither the budget nor the amenities to attract those with the expertise needed to move in a new direction.
Finally, there is the need to address the root causes behind many issues resilience is trying to solve. A prime example is carbon emissions, where mitigation and new approaches need to be implemented on a wider scale.

It’s clear that there are many challenges facing cities around the world, but the dedication, cooperation, and expertise of individuals like Ann, Whit, and Michael are making a difference from which other cities can take notice.

Connect with Our Guests

Ann Kloose, City of Fresno Manager of Sustainability

Ann Kloose has over 25 years of combined government and utility industry experience and currently serves as the Sustainability Division Manager for the City of Fresno. She is committed to serving the citizens of Fresno and is responsible for guiding the City’s energy efficiency programs, sustainability efforts, and energy policy issues.  Ann’s experience also includes City Council Chief of Staff, Utility Outreach Manager, State Communications Coordinator for the Concord Coalition, and Sr Government Relations at PG&E. She also serves as a Board member on the Fresno Fire Chief’s Foundation, Board Secretary of Jazz Fresno, and is an instructor and Board member at the San Joaquin Valley Political Academy.  Ann graduated from Fresno State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. 

Whit Remer, City of Tampa Sustainability and Resilience Officer

As the City of Tampa’s first Sustainability & Resilience Officer, Whit is advancing Mayor Jane Castor’s commitment to 100% renewable energy and building a more resilient and equitable city. In partnership with international resilience experts and community partners, Whit led the creation of the Resilient Tampa roadmap - an extensive process identifying Tampa’s shocks, stresses, and resilience opportunities in coordination with frontline communities. Prior to joining the City of Tampa, Whit was Counsel and Director of Public Policy for the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), an insurance-backed research organization focused on building safety and community resilience. Whit also held roles for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as a lobbyist and lead author of the American Infrastructure Report Card. Following the 2010 BP oil spill, Whit worked for Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in Washington, D.C. Whit holds a law degree from Loyola University of New Orleans, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of New Orleans, and a bachelor’s degree in geography and political science from Florida State University. Whit is a member of the Florida Bar, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), an ENVISON Sustainability Professional, and Courtesy Faculty for the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida.

Michael Kilpatrick, Key Segment Manager for State and Local Governments at Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions

In his role at Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, Michael is focused on helping State Governments, Cities, Towns, and Villages solve complex energy problems by delivering the solutions that meet their needs.  His focus areas include public transit, airports, seaports, water/wastewater, municipal electrics, and smart-city technologies. Michael began his career in energy as an Energy Trader which led him to Duke Energy.  During his time at Duke Energy he has also held roles in Natural Gas Transportation, Products and Services Management, and Business Development focused on Distributed Generation.  Michael has a strong understanding of organized energy markets, public policy, and renewable energy which he leverages to help Municipalities pursue their sustainability goals.  Michael is a graduate of North Carolina State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a concentration in Finance and Accounting.

Connect with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions

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