DOVER — Andrew “Drew” Slater, Delaware’s Public Advocate for the last six years, was chosen by the Board as Energize Delaware’s new Executive Director.
The current Executive Director, Anthony “Tony” DePrima Ph.D, hired in 2009, is retiring from his position, but will stay on with the nonprofit until mid-March to assure a smooth transition.
“Drew Slater has everything it takes to move the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility Inc. and its Energize Delaware brand forward into the future,” said Mr. DePrima. “He has a deep knowledge of energy, and he is well networked in Delaware. As a former Board member, he knows how we work. And he has a winning personality and believes deeply in sustainability.”
Mr. Slater is the second executive director hired by the DESEU. The search began last year when the Board’s search committee hired a nationwide firm, Scion Executive Search, to find qualified candidates.
The mission was to find a leader that could shape the organization and move it forward. The Board unanimously voted in favor of the search committees’ selection.
Mr. Slater takes on his new role with over 20 years of experience advocating public policy solutions having been Delaware’s Public Advocate, Congressman John C. Carney Jr. as Kent and Sussex County Coordinator; and as a Legislative Assistant for the Delaware State Senate.
As the Public Advocate, Mr. Slater advocated for regulated utility consumers in utility rate cases, the Artificial Island project cost allocation, several legislative initiatives such as increasing the RPS and Community Solar, Utility Distribution Planning, reducing utility rates as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and many other initiatives.
In addition, Mr. Slater was the Vice President of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) and spoke on many panels on rate design, collaboration, and clean technology.
He was a member of the Advisory Committee, Critical Consumer Issues Forum; member of the National Association of State Utility Commissioners Subcommittee on COVID-19; and is a board member of the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover.
Senator Harris McDowell, president of the DESEU Board of Directors said, “I am looking forward to working with Drew as he guides our DESEU (Energize Delaware) to further excellence. Our current staff has led us to be among the best per capita developer of renewable energy in the nation. The future is bright!”
Mr. Slater said, “I’m deeply honored to be selected by the Board to succeed Tony as the Executive Director of Energize Delaware. We are in the midst of an energy transformation and the SEU (Energize Delaware) is well-positioned to lead the transition to cleaner, more sustainable sources of energy for all Delaware consumers.”
Mr. DePrima created and grew the 20 programs that help Delawareans with sustainable, energy-efficient living. When he started, he worked alone in his home and now has eight people on his team; not to mention the many other energy sector jobs created because of the nonprofits programs.
“The DESEU was most fortunate to find Tony DePrima both available to and interested in fulfilling our executive director position the last time it was open. His extensive background included managing a relatively large municipal power plant and its electrical grids system,” said Sen. McDowell.
“Since we hired him, approximately 12 years ago, he has fleshed out his C.V. with a PhD from University of Delaware. But more importantly, he has grown Energize Delaware to be among the leaders in private, not for profit, renewable energy capacity development in the United States. Tony has earned his retirement and I wish him all the happiness, enjoyment, peace and contentment that should attach to the move,” said Sen. McDowell.
Some would say Mr. DePrima is going out strong. He was named CEO of the Year for a medium-sized nonprofit organization by Delaware Business Times. He also won the 2022 Energy Services Coalition (ESC) Champion Award in the Public Sector for the Delaware Chapter. 2022 is the 6th year that Energize Delaware won the Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Another large award came during the summer as the Energize Delaware’s ZeMod Program won the National Housing Innovation Award for a Zero Energy Ready Home from the DOE.
“When Tony took over as executive director, it was clear his vision and voice would make the SEU even more successful. Tony has worked to fulfill the SEU's mission, create and expand programs, and make the SEU more forward-facing, engaging, and community driven. Through his work, renewable energy and energy efficiency have grown, energy savings have been realized by customers, and the state and environment are better off because of Tony's leadership,” said Mr. Slater.
When asked about his role, Mr. DePrima said, “It has been great fun building up the organization into what it is today. The first office was in my house, and we had two programs. Now we have several office suites in Downtown Dover and offer over 20 programs. It took a team of people to make it happen including our Oversight Board, our employees, our partners and clients. All were great to work with over the past eleven years.