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John B. Phillips

August 06, 2008

John B. Phillips, February 27, 1933-August 3, 2008.  Son of Ralph E. Phillips and Dorothy

Phillips, of Los Angeles.  Husband, father, grand-father, innovator and visionary, mentor, teacher and poet, died at home in California after a recent serious illness. He was surrounded by his family. 

He studied humanities and engineering at Columbia University before joining his father’s engineering firm in Los Angeles. Called the “Machiavelli of Electric Power,” he formed the Engineering Supervision Company (ESCO) in 1964, after leaving his father’s firm.  There he pioneered the use of energy cooperatives and load management techniques which partnered utilities and large power users. 

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In 1975, he founded the California Energy Coalition, after the Middle East oil embargo and its accompanying energy shortage.  There he expanded his work to the local and community level – including programs for school-aged children - and created projects throughout California, the Midwest, Northeast, and Sweden. Today, called simply The Energy Coalition, this non-profit continues to advance the cause of energy efficiency. 

In 1994, he established the Aspen Accord, a bi-annual conference of delegates who meet and work to advance the exchange of energy efficiency and demand response management utilizing the best environmental and energy efficiency practices employed in California and Sweden. 

He taught at MIT, was commended by President Reagan for his work, and was heralded in countless journals and newspapers for his foresight and leadership. He worked tirelessly to advance his vision until his death.

He loved all things Swedish and was passionate about biography, history and tradition. Brilliant mind, adventurous spirit, agent provocateur, and dreamer, he joins the company of those who have gone before: his wife Viola (d. 1997) and his sons Erik and John-Christian (d. 1985.).  and is mourned by his wife Christine, daughter Anna, brother Ralph, Sister-in-Law Kiki, Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law Irma and Hans Mossblad of Stockholm, Son-in-Law Arthur, grandchildren Eugenia and Viola, god child Mercie, and his entire Swedish family, as well as countless friends, relatives, and colleagues.   

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