Cathy Higgins

Research Director | New Buildings Institute

Cathy Higgins has over 25 years of experience in energy efficiency strategic planning, research, policy and large-scale project management. As NBI Research Director, she manages the portfolio of research work involving Zero Net Energy Buildings, Measured Performance, and Emerging Technologies and supports business development. She recently led the Getting to Zero Status Report resulting in documentation of over 160 ZNE buildings in North America. Other notable work includes a California Energy Commission (CEC) PIER research effort on Evidence-based Design and Operations, national research into deep energy savings in existing buildings, and technology field research for lighting and small HVAC.

Her work on the project, business and energy performance stories of high performance buildings is a part of NBI’s efforts to move the market toward low-and zero energy targets. Cathy has also engaged in regional and national policies to move best practices into standards and codes, set targets for energy performance and increase measured performance data.

Prior to joining NBI in 2000, she served as Director of the Oregon Municipal Energy and Conservation Agency and was a Commercial Conservation Manager with Bonneville Power Administration. Cathy is a LEED Accredited Professional and was has been recognized as the Oregon, and the National, Energy Manager of the year. She spent four years in HVAC sales and management. Her undergraduate studies were in urban and resource planning, with graduate work in energy economics.