We enjoyed the spring meeting last week and hope that you did too. We received many positive remarks on the venue, so we may just have to hold another event at the University of Richmond Jepsom Center.
In case you missed it, below are some highlights from the day and links to download the presentations. You can also see photos on our Facebook page — be sure to tag yourself and your colleagues.
To kick off the event, we unveiled a new logo and website! This took many hours of hard work, and we are pleased with the end result. I hope you will check out the rest of the site while you’re here.
I also ran through some of the key data from the member survey. It’s very clear that you, our members, enjoy being part of a broad coalition that is driving energy efficiency policy and programs in Virginia.
We received positive feedback on our communications and potential new member-only benefits. We also heard that you want more networking and training opportunities such as webinars, so later this month we’ll launch our webinar series. We asked and you answered so the first webinar topic will be on PACE financing. The date is set for June 30 at noon. Details will follow soon.
The VAEEC membership also reappointed 3 of our board members and voted on two new members to expand the board to 13. You can see all of our board members here.
After my remarks, Hayes Framme, from the office of Governor McAuliffe, gave an update on the 2016 General Assembly session and the work of the Governor’s Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency (GEC). Hayes told the crowded room about SB 395 and HB 1053, which were bills the Governor initiated. The final outcome for these bills, which wasn’t the initially hoped for outcome (as detailed here), directed the State Corporation Commission to open a public comment period in order to draft a response on the feasibility of developing protocols to verify savings of utility programs. The VAEEC supported these bills during session and our full comments to the SCC can be found here.
Hayes also discussed the GEC itself, for which we have a dedicated page on our website as we are a partner of the state energy office in providing support to the GEC’s work.
Next up was John Morrill with Arlington County to discuss the progress of the DEQ stakeholder group that is helping DEQ identify the commonwealth’s compliance path for the Clean Power Plan. John mentioned that consensus was hard to come by among the stakeholders, but more importantly, consensus was reached that all stakeholders like pie. Details were not shared on which kind.
Following the lunch networking break, we picked the agenda back up with three more presentations. First was Ryan Hodum with David Gardiner & Associates — also our newest member! Ryan presented on two of DGA’s initiatives: Chambers of Innovation for Clean Energy, a program that is engaging local Chambers of Commerce on clean energy issues, and the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, which which focuses on state and federal industrial energy efficiency policy, primarily on combined heat and power.
Next, was the Featured Member of the month. For May, we featured, Pearl Certification. Cynthia Adams, VAEEC’s board chair is CEO of this new company, which helps homeowners save money through energy savings but also helping them recapture some of the value of their home improvement investment if they decide to sell later on.
Our final presentation of the day was by Zack Miller with Virginia Housing Alliance who discussed the initiatives of the Multifamily Energy Efficiency Coalition (MFEEC). Multifamily housing accounts for 12% of Virginia’s total housing stock, equal to 385,000 units. These residences are typically left out of energy efficiency programs, so the coalition is working to advance policies that provide comprehensive energy efficiency services to this sector. The VAEEC and many of our members are proud to be part of this worthwhile initiative.
We spent the last 30 minutes of the meeting giving our members the opportunity to brag a little bit. A microphone was sent around for members to give a 2-3 minute update on anything they are working on related to energy efficiency. Dominion Virginia Power, Columbia Gas and Washington Gas all gave updates on their energy efficiency programs and their latest proceedings before the SCC. Several other members gave updates as well including Trane, Viridant, Virginia Community Capital, and Loudon County Public Schools. We are pleased that so many members chimed in to talk about their work.
Our next member meeting will take place in November where we will hold our first annual Energy Efficiency Champions awards ceremony. Stay tuned for details.
Links to Presentations:
General Assembly Recap and Governor’s Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency Update (Hayes Framme: Virginia’s Chief Energy Efficiency Officer)
Clean Power Plan Update (John Morill: Energy Manager for Arlington County, VAEEC Goverance Board and member of the Governor’s Clean Power Plan Stakeholder Group)
Chambers of Innovation (Ryan Hodum: Vice President, David Gardiner and Associates)
Member Spotlight (Cynthia Adams: Pearl Certification)
Multifamily Housing Coalition Update (Zack Miller: Policy Director, Virginia Housing Alliance)