Next VAEEC Meeting December 3

Panelists at VAEEC’s April 2013 meeting

The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council will convene its second meeting of 2013 on Tuesday, December 3, 2-5pm, at The Place at Innsbrook (site of the April meeting) in Glen Allen. Features include a briefing on the 2013 Clean Energy Census in Virginia, the first of its kind. It will also include a Crystal Ball Panel that addresses the gubernatorial election’s implications for energy efficiency in the Commonwealth. Plus, this is a great opportunity to network with other energy efficiency thought leaders and stakeholders from across Virginia.

WHAT: Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC) General Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 2-5pm

WHERE: The Place at Innsbrook, located in the Shoppes at Innsbrook, Glen Allen *Important: please enter through the Ballroom entrance” (directions below)

ETC:  Registration is free*. You do not have to be a VAEEC member to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

Register for free now by emailing us your name and company name.

*Future VAEEC meetings will have registration fees (with free registrations available for members) and members-only sessions


2:00 Introductory remarks by VAEEC’s Governance Board Chair, Steve Walz of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission

2:10    Roll call

2:20        2013 Clean Energy Census: How has NCSEA Leveraged the Census for EE Jobs Creation in North Carolina and Lessons for Virginia — Ivan Urlaub, Executive Director North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association

Specifics from the 2013 Virginia Energy Efficiency Census — Bill Greenleaf, Richmond Region Energy Alliance and VAEEC Governance Board

3:10      DOE Energy Efficiency Initiatives in Buildings — Subid Wagley, DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

3:20      Break, refreshments

3:30      Commercial PACE and the WHEEL — Cisco DeVries, President and CEO of Renewable Funding

4:00      Crystal Ball Panel: What’s on deck for energy efficiency in Virginia

Al Christopher, Energy Division Director, Dept. of Mines Minerals and Energy : What the new Governor could mean for energy efficiency and the State Energy Office

Andy Farmer, Education Resources Manager, State Corporation Commission: What’s ahead & their decision-making methodology

Bob Holsworth, Managing Principal, DecideSmart: How the most recent election might impact energy efficiency in the Commonwealth

Cynthia Adams, Executive Director, Local Energy Alliance Program and VAEEC Governance Boar Vice Chair: Update on federal energy efficiency policies

4:40    Members On the Horizon Lightning Round (Open Mic)

What’s on the horizon for the utilities, companies, organizations and individuals that comprise VAEEC ranks

4:55    Closing Remarks

5:00    Adjourn

Join us post-meeting for the Power Hour as networking continues with a cash bar
at Capital Ale House Innsbrook just around the corner. 

the crowd at VAEEC’s April 2013 meeting


Directions to The Place at Innsbrook:

From the North
I-95 South to I-295W (toward Charlottesville)

64 East toward Richmond Exit 178B
At first light turn left onto Dominion Boulevard
The Place is the second entrance on the right

From the East
I-64 West to I-295 West toward Charlottesville
64 East toward Richmond Exit 178B
At first light turn left onto Dominion Boulevard
The Place is the second entrance on the right

From the South
I-95 North to 64 West
Exit 178B
At first light turn left onto Dominion Boulevard
The Place is the second entrance on the right

From the West
64 East toward Richmond Exit 178B
At first light turn left onto Dominion Boulevard
The Place is the second entrance on the right

Live from the Virginia Governor’s Energy Conference

Post by Harold Crowder, VAEEC Managing Director

Coming to you  ‘LIVE’ from  “The Energy Capital of the East Coast: Virginia”

Governor Bob McDonnell praised the sponsors and attendees of the fourth annual Governor’s Conference on Energy in Richmond today, pledging to encourage the next administration to continue the commitment to provide this forum for the discussion of the many issues and ideas impacting energy industry development in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

VAEEC’s Governance Board Chair, Stephen Walz (pictured at left), presented, forecasting with his “wooden” crystal ball on ‘The Long View: 2013 Energy Outlook and Market Implications’ in an afternoon conference session. Mr. Walz pointed to a soon to completed census survey that will report on the state of energy efficiency regionally, including Virginia North and South Carolina, and Georgia. Further, he suggested the greatest untapped resource in Virginia is the potential of energy efficiency when considered on common ground.

Nearly 400 attendees, along with 35 exhibitors, are congregated for the event. VAEEC, a Bronze Level sponsor, was there promoting our mission and encouraging participation through membership.

Post-conference note:

A special thanks to David Hudgins, Director, Member and External Relations, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, who filled an open panelist position for the session ‘A Stronger Blend: How a Diversified Power Supply is Meeting Demand” when, as a sponsor, VAEEC was asked if we had a speaker.

Citing the projection of Virginia’s population growth rate at 30% and reaching 30-Million by 2040, it will be an ‘absolute driver’ in meeting demand for electricity. “Every megawatt from everywhere” will be required to meet the need! Renewables and energy efficiency alone cannot meet the future demand. Diversity in the fuel mix, including renewables and energy efficiency, is essential to providing affordable and dependable supply.

Without proffering a percentage of energy efficiency as a resource, Steve Herling, panelist from PJM Interconnection, conceded low consumption growth is an indicator that energy efficiency is making an impact.

The challenge is convincing consumers that the cheapest megawatt is the one not used.



Welcome Harold Crowder, VAEEC’s new Managing Director

Recently the VAEEC Governance Board agreed that the growth and demands on the Council were moving so fast as to merit additional support. By bringing a Managing Director on board, we could get immediate help and have the time and resources to plan the longer term needs for the organization and that position.

Enter Harold Crowder, who stepped up to the plate as Managing Director in September.

Crowder has specialized in helping utilities develop utility-sponsored, energy-focused programs for the residential, commercial, and industrial customer classes, as well as energy efficiency services to low-income customer segments. He has worked as a design architect in residential, commercial and education facilities in the private sector before taking a leadership role in a corporate architectural/engineering design department. And he’s a twenty-eight year veteran of Dominion Virginia Power.

Harold unique blend of talent, education and experience will enable the Council to meet the current demands and plan a strategic vision for our future.

Welcome Harold!

Read Harold’s full bio. He can be reached at


10 ENERGY STAR webinars in October

October is Energy Awareness Month. And EPA’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Program can help you get the most out of it with 10+ webinars. We’ve got the full list below, but you can learn more and register on their website.


ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems
Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm EDT

Learn how to use EPA tools and resources to help meet requirements for green building rating systems such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the Green Globes system, and others.


The Federal Guiding Principles Checklist in ENERGY STAR ® Portfolio Manager
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 2:00pm EDT

Tailored to Federal energy and sustainability professionals, learn how to use Portfolio Manager to help ensure compliance with the Guiding Principles for High Performance Sustainable Buildings required by Executive Orders 13423 and 13514.


Water: Benchmarking and Best Practices from WaterSense
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm EDT

Learn about new water tracking features in Portfolio Manager and data trends in water use across the country. Discover new ways to reduce water use in your facility with WaterSense products and best management practices, and hear examples and case studies where facilities have achieved water, energy, and money savings.


Portfolio Manager 101
Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm EDT

Get started using EPA’s Portfolio Manager tool. We’ll introduce and demonstrate the core functionality of Portfolio Manager tool, including how to enter properties, enter energy and water data, share data with others, and generate performance reports.


How to Launch an ENERGY STAR Energy Efficiency Competition
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm EDT

Learn about the benefits of an energy efficiency competition, the basic steps you can take to plan and launch a competition, and the resources made available by EPA’s ENERGY STAR program that can help you in this process, including the ENERGY STAR® Guide to Energy Efficiency Competitions.


Sensible Steps for Energy Efficiency in Schools with ENERGY STAR
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm EDT

Join EPA to learn how the ENERGY STAR program can help you improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs in your schools. See how leading school district Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) achieved success with ENERGY STAR and avoided $2.4 million in energy costs compared to a 2008 baseline.


Portfolio Manager “Office Hours”
Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm EDT

Get answers to your questions about Portfolio Manager’s features and calculations by joining this open office hours session. Even if you don’t have a question, join in to hear what others are asking.


Public Sector Networking Session: Energy Benchmarking: Transparent Information that Motivates Change
Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm EDT

Join us to hear governments and school districts share their experience tracking, analyzing, and communicating quantifiable energy efficiency achievements within their portfolio of buildings and throughout the community.


Portfolio Manager 201
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 2:00pm EDT

Take a deeper dive into the more advanced functionalities of Portfolio Manager such as managing changes in property uses over time, using spreadsheet templates to quickly upload data, setting goals, and creating custom reports.


ENERGY STAR Service and Product Provider Fall 2013 Web Conference
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm EDT

This session will provide an update on the current activities of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Buildings Service and Product Provider program. Topics will include where the SPP program is heading now that the upgrade to Portfolio Manager is released. The Web Conference will focus on particular market sectors and activities happening in the coming year.

Alert! October Sales Tax Holiday on ENERGY STAR products 10/22-10/14

If you’re thinking about buying any of the following products, make sure you do your shopping Friday, October 11th through Monday, October 14th. That’s when Virginia offers a sales tax holiday on qualifying ENERGY STAR and Water Sense products.

  • Dishwashers
  • Clothes washers
  • Refrigerators
  • Air conditioners
  • Ceiling fans
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Bathroom sink faucets
  • Faucet accessories
  • Toilets
Make a list and start shopping!

Get all the details here. 

Enmetric Systems Attracts VC Attention to Plug-Load Building Management Space

Enmetric Systems, a Belmont, California-based company whose platform helps companies and large organizations monitor and reduce energy use from plugged-in devices, recently announced that it has closed a $1.5 million follow-on financing round led by venture capital firm Navitas Capital and included Azure International, Lakewest, Inc., and other angel investors.

Navitas Capital managing partner Travis Putnam had been on Enmetric’s board of directors since 2011 and Chris Raczkowski, managing director of Azure International, joined Enmetric’s board as an observer.

A new report from New Buildings Institute on plug-load management indicates that companies specializing in “plug-load management” may soon be facing a new demand for their services. The Energy Information Agency says devices plugged into outlets by the user are the fastest-growing energy consumers in commercial buildings, and often use up to 50% of an office’s energy after other energy improvements—to lighting, heating and cooling, and other appliances—have been made.  The NBI report concludes: “The increased attention being paid to this source of energy use in facilities is resulting in new technologies, methods, and resources” to be used by building managers seeking to reduce plug loads.

Read the full story. (Clean Tech IQ)

Tom Coburn amendment to federal workers: Flip that switch

It’s the kind of thing most people heard from their parents over and over again when they were kids: Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Now Sen. Tom Coburn hopes to make it legally binding The Oklahoma Republican filed an amendment to energy efficiency legislation being debated by the Senate that would “encourage Federal employees to help reduce energy use and costs by turning off the lights at the end of the day.” But it would go beyond just offering encouragement.

Read the full story. (Politico)

Member Spotlight: City of Charlottesville

VAEEC is pleased to spotlight the companies, organizations, utilities and municipalities it works with to advance energy efficiency in Virginia.

August 2013 Member Spotlight: City of Charlottesville

In what ways does your local government promote energy efficiency? 

As a local government, the City of Charlottesville has a dual role in promoting energy efficiency – both throughout the community and within its own organization. Recognizing the importance of energy efficiency to our community, the City of Charlottesville helped to establish and has subsequently partnered with the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) to assist property owners to implement energy efficient retrofits to existing residential and non-residential homes. We have been a major partner of both the Charlottesville Area Better Business Challenges (Round 2 kicks off this September!), which provides resources and trainings to businesses through a friendly competition while making the case that resource efficiency is smart, sustainable, and successful. Energy is one of the most popular focuses in the Challenge. The City also offers several energy efficiency incentives to property owners who achieve green building certifications, combine renewable energy with energy efficiency improvements, or install a green (vegetative or solar) roof (

As an organization, the City ‘leads by example’ and has made significant process in reducing its operational energy use. For example, from 2000-2011, City facilities reduced their energy use by 29.5%, equating to over $450,000 in avoided utility costs, while increasing the square footage of our building portfolio. Sharing our experiences supports the City’s goal to be a green leader and celebrates our success while confirming that energy efficiency can produce good results.

How do you describe the value of energy efficiency to your constituents?

In speaking with the community, we often describe the value of energy efficiency in reference to the amount of dollar savings they could see, which would free up cash flow for other things, and the environmental stewardship aspects associated with reducing energy consumption. Our program partner LEAP uses the message of ‘it’s worth it’, increased comfort, potential health benefits, and the financial savings.

What innovations or trends do you expect to see in the near future? 

In our community, there are two trends we are looking to see where they go:  solar and integration of EE into other projects. The 2013 General Assembly identifies Power Purchase Agreements as permissible within our jurisdiction (we are within Dominion Power’s service area), and Dominion has begun to offer a community solar power purchasing program. Local solar installers have observed a sharp increase in interest in solar generation. While BMPs recommend pursuing EE retrofits before renewables, the exercise of identifying a properties’ electricity use and calculating from that the required solar capacity will likely be the first time many people will have grappled with the generation implications of their energy consumption. It could have the potential to make saving and/or producing a kWh more meaningful.

There has also been a growing conversation about the age and quality of the housing stock in our area in conjunction with the cost of living. As more conversations about being an affordable place to live occur, the role of energy use and energy efficiency measures will arise more often as well. To reach scalability, particularly for middle to low income property owners, the integration of EE measures into any substantial retrofits could likely prove to be a winning strategy.

What do you hope to accomplish as part of the VAEEC? 

As the other VAEEC members likely know, energy efficiency is a multifaceted topic with lots of players at the table. We hope to be well informed of current EE efforts within the state, be able to contribute a local government perspective to conversations, and to assist moving efforts in support of EE forward.

Blog: Governor McDonnell visits OPower to talk entrepreneurship and energy efficiency

This post was originally published on October 18, 2012, on Opower’s blog.


Yesterday, Opower had the honor of hosting Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who stopped by to check out the office and talk to some of the Opower team about entrepreneurship and consumer engagement in energy efficiency. Governor McDonnell who pledged to make Virginia the “clean energy capital of the world,” has been a strong promoter of energy efficiency and conservation. Having him here yesterday, coupled with a recently released ACEEE’s case study featuring us as a successful job creator, is evidence that we have become a model for achieving those goals.

Hanging out with the Governor was an absolute blast. We gave the Governor a demo of our wi-fi enabled thermostat and shared some deep insights we have into the residential energy management space. In addition to gaining a better understanding of how our solutions motivate residential customers to become more knowledgeable about and involved with their energy use, Governor McDonnell was very pleased to hear about how quickly we are adding people to the Opower team. This year, we have hired 133 new employees and about half of them are based in our Virginia headquarters.

Under McDonnell’s leadership, Virginia has been ranked second nationally in Forbes’ Best State For Doing Business In 2011” list. He told us that our growth and killer company culture are proof of the kinds of companies that the Governor wants to recruit and grow in Virginia.  “I’ve declared 2012 the year of the entrepreneur because, while Virginia is generally ranked in the top for business – 1, 2 or 3 – we realize that for Virginia to continue to grow we need more companies like yours,” said Governor McDonnell. “This is an American dream story. In five years you’ve gone from 2 people to 200 people plus, you’ve found an incredible niche and now you’re the leader in this space. This is exactly what we want more of in the state.”

We credit much of our growth to states that have energy policies that encourage utilities to run energy management programs that provide customers with the tools and insights needed to save energy and money.  In April, Governor McDonnell signed into law an energy efficiency bill as part of a broader energy package. The bill was an important step towards creating a more robust energy efficiency marketplace in Virginia.

Governor McDonnell, thanks for spending the afternoon with us. You are welcome to come back anytime!

Industry Spotlight: Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

VAEEC is pleased to spotlight the companies, organizations, utilities and municipalities it works with to advance energy efficiency in Virginia.

September 2012 Industry Spotlight: Rappahannock Electric Cooperative

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) delivers electricity to over 155,000 connections throughout portions of 22 counties in Virginia. As an industry leader, REC brings innovative technology, programs and services to its members, allowing them to easily incorporate and adopt energy efficiency initiatives into their daily routines.


In what ways does your company promote or service energy efficiency in your programs?

As a not-for-profit electric utility, REC focuses on providing its members with solutions they can rely on to improve their quality of life and the comfort of their home. REC works directly with its members through education programs (like the Together We Save campaign) and initiatives (such as its new Home Performance with ENERGY STAR pilot program) that focus on energy efficiency. As an industry leader, REC has been offering members the opportunity to participate in demand response programs since 1978, when it launched its water heater load management program. As a provider of both water heater and air conditioning load management programs, REC members are able to voluntarily contribute to Co-op wide load reduction.

How do you describe the value of energy efficiency to your customers and members?

REC recognizes that energy efficiency is the key to managing energy usage and lowering energy bills, and serves as a primary supplement to new generation resources. Through consistent and comprehensive programs, services and communications about little changes adding up to big energy savings, REC is making its members, and the communities it serves, contributors to efforts to ensure electricity remains reliable and affordable.

What innovations or trends do you expect to see in the near future?

Awareness and availability of information are crucial elements for REC’s members as the Cooperative strives to empower them to take advantage of energy efficiency services and energy management. With evolving tools and resources, REC expects to offer advanced technology, enabling members to better understand how they are using electricity, when they are using electricity and how to make adjustments to meet their desired expense goals. These efforts will allow members to make lasting changes to their lifestyles, and to make effective decisions about how they are using devices and equipment within their homes and about where their dollars go. As energy policies are formed at the local, state and national levels, members will likely begin to see increased opportunities to utilize renewable energy within their power grid.

What do you hope to accomplish as part of the VAEEC?

REC wants to position itself as an industry leader in energy efficiency and to help guide statewide initiatives already in place or ones that will be developed in the future. The Cooperative is looking out for the best interests of its members, while working with other organizations and companies to develop consistent statewide messages, programs and services that benefit all consumers in Virginia. With a 75-year history, REC’s experience, knowledgeable team of employees, and nationwide network of electric cooperatives, REC aims to assist the state in becoming a model for energy efficiency.

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