EF China News

Our Heartfelt Thanks to Eric

December 24, 2018

(Photo courtesy Tim Porter)

Eric Heitz, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of the Energy Foundation, will leave office on December 31, 2018 and start a new career, after working for the foundation for 28 years.

In 1991, Eric, a fresh Stanford graduate in energy and environmental studies, co-founded the Energy Foundation in San Francisco, with a dream to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy. After years of hard work, the foundation has grown into one of the leading U.S. charities in the field.

In 1999, Eric helped bring the Energy Foundation to China, in the great hope of facilitating the country’s transition toward renewable energy. Thanks to his far-sightedness, pragmatic innovation ideas, and entrepreneurial spirit, Energy Foundation China has expanded from several people to dozens of talented staffers over the past two decades. We have built relationships and partnerships with governments at different levels, research institutes, universities, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations, thereby introducing international partners and best practice to China. The research, education, and pilots we support have helped China form sound policies and implement them across the fields of clean power, environmental management, industry, low carbon economic growth, low carbon cities, transportation, and strategic communications. By the end of 2018, Energy Foundation China will have supported 2,739 clean energy projects of over 750 grantees, pushing the total grants to more than $300 million in 20 years. Our annual charitable giving has also increased to almost $20 million in 2018, from a few million at the very beginning.

Eric is well respected for his commitment to China’s energy sustainability, and he has been constantly invited to speak at China’s most important forums and conferences as a leading energy expert. In 2014, he received the Friendship Award by the Chinese government, the highest honor given to “foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress.” Since 2017, he has served as a foreign member on the prestigious China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.


We are sincerely grateful to Eric for all the brilliant work he has done for the Energy Foundation and China’s sustainable energy development. After leaving the foundation, he will continue to devote himself to the field of energy and environment. As much as we will miss him, we admire his great courage to explore something new and we sincerely wish him the best as he rides the wind and crests the waves in his next chapter of life. We also look forward to his invaluable support to and participation in our future endeavor.

Going forward, Energy Foundation China aims at new possibilities, innovation, and great heights. We will relentlessly endeavor to assist China in achieving decarbonization, world-class air quality, and green growth through more renewable energy, higher energy efficiency, and better economic structure. We hope that our funders, partners, and grantees can continue to join our hands and support us. Together, we can help achieve prosperity and a safe climate through sustainable energy in China.

Let us keep forging ahead. 

Zou Ji,
President, Energy Foundation China


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