Category: Governor's Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency

News: Virginia Joins Alliance of States Committed to Upholding Paris Climate Agreement

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia and 12 other states (to date) have formed an alliance to move forward on the principles of the Paris Climate Agreement, despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the federal government from the accord.

This decision to join the U.S. Climate Alliance follows the Governor’s signature of an Executive Directive initiating the process to cap carbon emissions by electric utilities in Virginia, the first action of its kind since President Trump took office.

“As the first state in the Trump era to take executive action to limit carbon emissions and create clean energy jobs, Virginia is proud to join the U.S. Climate Alliance,” said Governor McAuliffe. “President Trump’s announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement does not speak for the states and cities that are committed to fighting climate change and paving the way for a new energy economy. If the federal government insists on abdicating leadership on this issue, it will be up to the American people to step forward – and in Virginia we are doing just that.”

In addition to Virginia, the U.S. Climate Alliance is composed of the states of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Read the full press release. 

Leaders and Innovators Recognized with Inaugural Virginia Energy Efficiency Awards

6 Winners Honored by Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC) and Governor McAuliffe at Richmond reception

Richmond, Virginia (November 29, 2016) – The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC) honored the winners of its first-ever Virginia Energy Efficiency Awards at a reception in Richmond tonight attended by Governor Terry McAuliffe. VAEEC received more than 50 nominations for the 6 awards which showcase how energy efficiency champions across the Commonwealth are helping businesses, schools, government and homeowners save money on energy expenditures while reducing energy consumption — all while stimulating job growth and our economy.

“Congratulations to all of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards winners, and thank you for your contributions to the new Virginia economy,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe, who attended the Awards Ceremony and presented the State Agency and Local Government awards.  “Tonight we recognize your achievements and celebrate the tremendous progress that we are making together on energy efficiency in the Commonwealth.  Thank you to the Governor’s Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency for creating this vision and to the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council for pursuing that vision and supporting an industry that is vital to helping build a new Virginia economy.”

“The winning entries are proof that energy efficiency has tremendous potential to drive economic growth, create jobs, shrink utility bills, conserve natural resources and reduce pollution. They reflect the preliminary numbers from our 2016 Clean Energy Census which indicate that building energy efficiency alone accounts for $1.1B in annual revenue,” said Chelsea Harnish, VAEEC Executive Director.“We are pleased to use these awards to shine a spotlight on innovative approaches, positive impacts in our communities, unique partnerships and replicable and scalable programs. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all 50+ applicants.”

Any person, entity or group who works on energy efficiency in Virginia was eligible for the Awards which were chosen by a Selection Committee, comprised of members of the VAEEC Education and Outreach Committee and additional volunteer members of VAEEC.

The full list of winners and runners up with project descriptions can be found online (http://vaeec.org/programs/2016awards/), and winners’ descriptions are below.

Winners: 2016 Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards

Academic

1st Place: Manassas Park Elementary School & Pre-Kindergarten

Submitted by 2rw Consultants, Inc.

2nd Place (tie): Get2Green

Submitted by Fairfax Public Schools

Henry County Public Schools

Submitted by Henry County Public Schools

Commercial

1st Place: Development of PACE Financing in Virginia

Submitted by Abacus Property Solutions, Virginia Community Capital, and McGuireWoods Consulting

2nd Place: Ballston Garage LED Retrofit

Submitted by Arlington County

3rd Place: Exact Energy Inc.

Submitted by Exact Energy, Inc.

Local Government

1st Place: Henrico County

Submitted by Henrico County

2nd Place: City of Virginia Beach

Submitted by City of Virginia Beach

3rd Place: Fontaine Fire Station

Submitted by 2rw Consultants, Inc.

Low-Income

1st Place: Live Stream Distance Learning Energy Efficiency Project

Submitted by Community Housing Project

2nd Place: Appalachian Power Company (APCO)

Submitted by Association of Energy Conservation Professionals

3rd Place: Arlington-Alexandria Energy Masters

Submitted by Arlington Alexandria Office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, and Arlington Thrive

Residential

1st Place: WarmWise Web-Based Home Audit Program

Submitted by Columbia Gas of Virginia and Richmond ARC

2nd Place: 1922 Blair Street

Submitted by Bain-Waring Home Energy Remodeling, RIC Design Build, and Richmond Region Energy Alliance

3rd Place: Alexandria Renew Enterprises

Submitted by AlexRenew

State Government

1st Place: Virginia Department of Corrections

Submitted by the Virginia Department of Corrections

2nd Place: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Division of Energy

Submitted by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Division of Energy

3rd Place: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy

Submitted by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy

Academic

Manassas Park Elementary School & Pre-Kindergarten

Submitted by 2rw Consultants, Inc.

The new Manassas Park Elementary School and Pre-Kindergarten were built with the goal to create a campus that was not only environmentally sustainable but that was also a resource to teach students about environmental stewardship. The buildings are designed to meet the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Challenge and use 50% less energy than code-compliant schools. Features include photo-sensors, which activate artificial light only when needed to supplement natural lighting; ground-source heat pumps, variable-speed pumping, pre-treatment and total energy recovery for ventilation air; natural ventilation; rainwater harvesting; low-consumption fixtures and kitchen equipment.

Commercial

Development of PACE Financing in Virginia: 1st Place

Submitted by Abacus Property Solutions, Virginia Community Capital, and McGuireWoods Consulting

The team was largely responsible for fixing the flawed Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation in 2015, which previously did not give the PACE lien priority over existing mortgage holders. Through their efforts, the PACE legislation passed easily – where previous years’ efforts to modify the statute failed – with very little opposition in the General Assembly. Since the legislation went into effect in July 2015, the team has been active in building interest, support and knowledge of the value proposition of PACE throughout the state.

Local Government

Henrico County: 1st Place

Submitted by Henrico County

The mission of Henrico County’s Energy Management program and energy manager is to develop Henrico County Government and Schools as the leading local authorities for sustainable energy use and to promote the importance of good energy management for the economic and environmental well-being of the county’s residents and employees. The Energy Management program also strives to improve energy education and foster a culture of efficiency and sustainability in the County, while the Energy Manager supports green design and construction efforts for capital projects. Completed projects include energy audits, HVAC and lighting system upgrades, participation in demand response programs, commissioning and retro-commissioning, traffic and street light upgrades, building automation systems, and construction of a 4-megawatt methane gas to electricity generator at the landfill.

Low-Income

Live Stream Distance Learning Energy Efficiency Project: 1st Place

Submitted by Community Housing Project

Community Housing Partners’ (CHP) innovative energy efficiency training project involved a live broadcast from a manufactured home in Virginia to the statewide Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) conference in Minnesota. Having been a WAP provider for 40 years, CHP knows firsthand the importance of equipping WAP crew members with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to produce quality work resulting in maximum energy savings for the low-income households served by the program. CHP developed a 3.5 hour live-stream training session with relevant predefined topics and real-time Q&A, which enabled CHP to develop a new approach to energy efficiency training that will be replicated nationally, and potentially internationally.

Residential

WarmWise Web-Based Home Audit Program: 1st Place

Submitted by Columbia Gas of Virginia and Richmond ARC

Columbia Gas of Virginia’s Web-Based Home Audit Program allows residential customers to participate in their own energy analysis and places them in the “driver’s seat” of achieving an energy efficient future. Customers participating in an online home energy audit receive a customized report recommending home improvements that can be implemented to reduce natural gas usage. Through the end of 2015, CGV’s customers have achieved over $4M in savings through the program.

State Government

Virginia Department of Corrections: 1st Place

Submitted by the Virginia Department of Corrections

The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) executed the first executive branch energy services contract (ESCO) in Virginia, leads Virginia in ESCO volume, and has embraced ESCOs as an integral part of its building renewal program. VADOC has also tied energy efficiency to its public safety mission by creating an inmate training program in energy sector skills. Additionally, VADOC employs a broad fuel portfolio including renewable and alternative energy sources

About the VAEEC

The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council is the voice for the energy efficiency industry in the Commonwealth. Our members include Fortune 500 companies, universities, nonprofits, local governments, state agencies, and utilities. The Council’s goal is to ensure that energy efficiency is an integral part to Virginia’s economy and clean energy future. Together, we are creating, implementing, and sharing energy efficiency solutions that keep costs down for residents and businesses, while improving the quality of life in our work and home environments. www.vaeec.org

McAuliffe attracts heat from pipeline foes but kudos from clean energy sector during Roanoke visit

Meanwhile, several roundtable participants, including executives from businesses large and small that are involved in renewable energy projects, congratulated McAuliffe for his administration’s support of solar and wind energy and efforts to promote energy efficiency. Discussion focused on clean energy projects completed, underway or proposed, as well as on how utilities, state government and regulators, including legislators and the State Corporation Commission, could provide additional support for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

One sponsor of Thursday’s event was Advanced Energy Economy, a national association of businesses whose stated mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy companies. J.R. Tolbert, a vice president for Advanced Energy Economy, said before the roundtable that McAuliffe “has done more under his watch to open up our state to investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency than any other leader.”

Read the full story. (Roanoke Times)

Governor challenges Dominion to accelerate energy efficiency education and education program

During a day-long tour of three locations receiving energy efficiency improvements, Governor McAuliffe challenged Dominion Virginia Power to accelerate outreach efforts by attending 400 events in the next 12 months, reaching as many as 240,000 people. This would double the number of events held and people reached by Dominion compared to last year. The outreach is intended to educate Virginians about the value of energy efficiency in reducing energy consumption and lowering their power bills.

“The progress we have made over the past year demonstrates the impact simple, low-cost energy efficiency measures can have on lowering energy bills,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the first of three stops today. “In addition to working directly with consumers to use energy more efficiently, I am challenging Dominion to expand its efforts to educate people on the value of energy conservation and how reducing energy consumption can save them money. Our electric utilities are in the perfect position to drive this education and outreach, which is what this challenge is all about.”

“We accept Gov. McAuliffe’s challenge to reach even more low-income customers with solutions to reduce energy consumption,” said Robert M. Blue, president of Dominion Virginia Power. “We will continue to place strong emphasis on the energy efficiency measures that any consumers can take to reduce energy usage and save on their bills.”

Read the full story. (Governor’s press release)