Evan Mills is a recently retired Senior Scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), operated by the University of California--one of the world's leading research centers on energy and environment. He was past leader of LBNL's Center for Building Science, which represented the work of about 400 people. He continues his collaborations with "The Lab" as an Affiliate.
Mills is a member of the international body of scientists which as worked over the past three decades under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC collectively shared in the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 with former U.S. Vice President Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." He also participated in the U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program's third national assessment entitled "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States."
Mills has worked as an energy and environmental systems analyst on projects ranging from local to global scales. While completing his Bachelors of Science degree in Conservation and Resource Studies at U.C. Berkeley in the mid-1980s, he studied and taught about green buildings with Sim van der Ryn before they were in vogue. He received a Masters of Science degree in 1987 from Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group (where he is now a Research Affiliate) and a Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental and Energy Systems Studies under Thomas B. Johansson at Lund University in Sweden in 1991. In Sweden, he worked closely with the Swedish State Power Board (Vattenfall) and the Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical Development on national energy planning projects, while serving as an energy advisor to the Swedish Parliamentary Working Group on Energy Futures.
He spent most of his career with LBNL. His closest mentor and collaborator there was Art Rosenfeld, for whom he served as his Deputy Director of his Center for Building Science, later leading the Center. He also consultst widely for private industry and the public sector. He has published over 350 articles and reports in his fields of interest.
His specific research centers on the impacts of climate change and the means of mitigating those impacts through reduced emissions and loss prevention. His specialties are energy efficiency in buildings and industry and the intersection of energy technology, global climate, and risk management. His interests further center around pinpointing "sleeper" uses of energy and empowering policymakers, consumers, and non-traditional market actors to capture improved efficiencies, reduced greenhouse-gas emissions, resilience, and other non-energy benefits.
Within the realm of climate-change impacts assessment, Mills studies the linkages between changes in natural systems and economic systems, particularly with respect to the insurance and financial services sectors. Within the realm of emissions reductions, his major areas of expertise include quality assurance of energy-efficiency projects; energy in data centers, laboratories, and other high-tech facilities; efficient lighting; advanced data visualization; federal energy management; the real-estate appraisal process for green buildings, energy in low-income housing; utilization of the Internet for disseminating energy information and tools; energy access in the developing world; and energy planning and policy more broadly. He founded the Home Energy Saver project—a do-it-yourself, web-based energy audit—which pioneered the development of web-based carbon and energy calculators, and has had nearly 10 million users to date.
Research communication to stakeholder groups is a key focus. Mills has published over 300 technical articles and reports and has contributed to 17 books. He has been a speaker in 20 countries and 57 cities.
He frequently writes for popular and trade publications, and has contributed to Forbes, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Slate, Salon, Technology Review, and The Washington Post. His work has been reported in publications including The Atlantic, Bloomberg, The Boston Globe, Business Week, CBS Radio, CNN, Discover Magazine, The Economist, The Financial Times, Grist, High Times, Huffpost, The International Herald Tribune, Mother Jones, National Geographic, National Public Radio, Nature, Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Politico, Popular Science, Rolling Stone, Salon, Slate, Scientific American, Slate, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired.