Category: Virginia News

Virginia Energy Efficiency Success: CHP is EarthCraft Proud

Good things really do come in threes!  Earlier this year, VAEEC member Community Housing Partners (CHP) hit a green building trifecta when they were honored with their third EarthCraft™Virginia Sustainable Leadership Award in five years.

The 2013 award named CHP as Multifamily Contractor of the Year for their “exceptional commitment to sustainable housing;” in 2011, they received a Multifamily Developer of the Year Award for demonstrating the “largest commitment to sustainable, green multifamily housing across the state;” and in 2010, CHP accepted EarthCraft’s Best Architect/Design Firm Award for their commitment to green and sustainable design.

EarthCraft, the Richmond-based green building certification and education program, presents awards every year to regional builders, developers, and other stakeholders who demonstrate superior dedication to the advancement of sustainable housing. Winners are honored in several categories that cover new construction, renovation, single-family homes, multi-family housing, and more.
Building on a long-standing tradition of environmental, economic and social responsibility, CHP has almost 40 years of experience creating homes and neighborhoods with responsible products and practices.
“CHP is very proud to be recognized by EarthCraft Virginia for our commitment to green housing,” said CHP Vice President of Construction Todd Peacock. “Their awards reflect our sincere commitment to building stronger, healthier communities.”

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. 

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!

Award Announcement from U.S. Dept of Energy

AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT FROM U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – Update from Al Christopher of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME)

The DMME’s application for State Energy Program (SEP) funds has been selected in a highly competitive procurement for negotiation of an award. The successful proposal, supported by Charlottesville LEAP, Clean Energy Solutions, Inc., and BLT Sustainable Energy Inc., is to “Make Energy Conservation Self-Sustaining” in public facilities. This capitalizes on recent Virginia policy initiatives intended to make the Virginia Energy Management Program (VEMP) a replicable and self-sustaining enterprise based on a fee-for-services model. DMME also proposed to make a significant contribution to the development and demonstration of the next generation of energy performance contracts specifically tailored to public facilities; to accelerate the program and increase its scope in order to more quickly create jobs, achieve greater energy cost savings and receive more environmental benefits; and to extend the mostly state-focused program to include local government and other buildings and facilities.

The proposal supports implementation of Governor Bob McDonnell’s Executive Order 19 and Executive Directive 2, which targeted a 5% reduction in energy spending and supports converting VEMP into a permanent fee-for-service enterprise, greatly expanding access to public and private capital sources and centralizing responsibility for state energy management and investments. The CESI/LEAP/BLT Team will support VEMP in outreach to state agencies, design of new performance contracting vehicles, identification of optimum financing methods, development of new revenue sources, and provision of support services to participating agencies.

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