Highlights Include Briefings on New Legislation, Federal Clean Power Plan
The Spring Meeting of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council attracted an overflow audience on May 11, filling the meeting room at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. Efficiency advocates gathered for the biannual meeting representing a wide variety of perspectives, including business of all sizes, utilities, nonprofits, national associations, local governments and state agencies.
The agenda featured several particularly timely topics, and speakers’ presentations can be found on the VAEEC website on our Resources page. A few highlights from the 2015 Spring Meeting:
- A pair of legislative successes at the General Assembly were prominently featured, starting with a top VAEEC priority: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. VAEEC Board Member Bill Greenleaf of Virginia Community Capital, and Abby Johnson of Abacus Property Solutions, orchestrated the successful campaign and now teamed up again to share the story of how PACE passed in Virginia and how it’s working in other states.
- Another successful piece of legislation, a clarification to the CARE Act that governs natural gas utilities, promises to increase program offerings from the utilities. Gina Slaunwhite of Columbia Gas of Virginia provided background on why the change was needed and what it could mean going forward.
- Mary Shoemaker (pictured at right) of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) presented the latest details on the proposed federal Clean Power Plan and how it could be addressed in Virginia, with a specific focus on the potential of EE as a cost-effective solution.
- VAEEC Board Member Tom Jewell of Dominion Virginia Power moderated our regular meeting feature in which attendees from utilities provide updates on their EE programs; a high number of utilities (electric and gas, investor-owned and coops) were in the room and participated.
- Bob Adams of Housing Virginia shared details of a recent report examining how EE benefits low income and rental housing and highlighted a new coalition under development to promote EE in multifamily housing in Virginia.
The meeting was peppered with many additional updates and announcements, including; a sneak preview of the VAEEC’s latest industry census results; Borna Kazerooni offering updates from Virginia DMME; and Matthew Cooper sharing the exciting news that his Virginia-based firm, PEG, was honored by ENERGYSTAR as a national Partner of the Year.
As always, we greatly appreciate the many individuals who attended the Spring Meeting, traveling to Richmond from across the Commonwealth and beyond. A special thank you to Dominion Virginia Power for sponsoring this year’s Spring Meeting. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Fall Meeting for another opportunity to share information and insights, catch up with friends and colleagues and make new connections.