Note from VAEEC Executive Director Chelsea Harnish
Last year was an exciting year for the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council. We are highlighting our successes with our 2016 Annual Report available now for download.
Over the last 12 months, we have:
- Expanded our staff
- Re-branded the organization
- Enhanced our communication with members and regularly sought their feedback
- Launched our campaign to support PACE implementation in localities across the Commonwealth
- Increased our engagement in regulatory processes- including utility regulation at the State Corporation Commission and providing support to members participating in the building codes cycle update
- Solidified our role as the education and outreach partner for the Governor’s Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency
- Launched the very first Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards Ceremony highlighting the amazing work happening across the Commonwealth in our sector.
Our members know energy efficiency has tremendous potential to drive economic growth, create jobs, shrink utility bills, conserve natural resources, and reduce pollution. In fact, preliminary numbers from our 2016 Clean Energy Census indicate that building energy efficiency alone accounted for $1.2 billion in annual revenue.
The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council is the voice for the energy efficiency industry in the Commonwealth, which is why our membership increased an astounding 21% over the last year. Our members include Fortune 500 companies, universities, nonprofits, local governments, state agencies, and utilities. The Council’s goal is to ensure energy efficiency is recognized as an integral part of Virginia’s economy and clean energy future.
In 2017, we will build on our successes over the last year and continue to play a pivotal role in advancing energy efficiency in Virginia. Some things we are already doing/ planning:
- Utility Regulation: Intervening in support of Dominion’s energy efficiency programs in their DSM proceedings before the State Corporation Commission this spring and participating in the SCC EM+V protocol proceedings later this year.
- Building Codes: Participating in work group meetings this spring and summer and engaging with board members and staff of state agencies who oversee the building code update cycle.
- PACE: Engaging with local government staff in Arlington County, Richmond (and surrounding counties), Charlottesville, Norfolk, and Roanoke to answer questions on PACE implementation; participating in Richmond’s official PACE stakeholder group and holding events throughout the commonwealth to educate property owners/ managers, financiers and contractors on the benefits of PACE to their work.
- Governor’s Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency: Continue working with our ‘Roadmap Team” to play a supporting role to the GEC’s efforts
- Membership Engagement: Continue to expand our communications with our membership through our annual member survey, e-newsletter and social media accounts, and the launch of our bimonthly webinar series (the next webinar focuses on Industrial Efficiency and is scheduled for 2/28. You can register here.).
- Events: Continue hosting our biannual member meetings with expanded programming and hosting our second inaugural Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards Ceremony in the fall.
Since 2017 is also an election year here in Virginia — where Virginians will elect a new Governor as well as elect a Lt. Governor and Attorney General — we plan to educate all statewide candidates on the benefits of energy efficiency and introduce them to our work, particularly our partnership with the state energy office. It is important that no matter who our new leaders are, they understand the many benefits that our industry provides to the Commonwealth.
The next 12 months are going to be exciting for the VAEEC and its members and we look forward to our continued work with all of you.