Category: News

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Announces 2019 Board of Directors

Press Statement from VAEEC regarding 2019 Board of Directors

For immediate release: July 1, 2019
Contact: Chelsea Harnish, Virginia Energy Efficiency Council, 804.457.8619, chelsea@vaeec.org

New members elected from Google, U.S. Green Building Council

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Energy Efficiency Council has announced its notable 2019 board of directors, including new members from Google and the U.S. Green Building Council.

VAEEC – a 501c3 organization headquarted in Richmond – identifies barriers to and opportunities for energy efficiency advancement in the state, while developing a strong, fact-based and balanced industry voice before local, state and national policymakers and regulators. The board of directors will guide the organization to serve as a platform for stakeholder engagement, while assessing and supporting policies that advance energy efficiency in Virginia.

“Our organization is committed to ensuring that energy efficiency is a key part of Virginia’s economy and clean energy future,” said Chelsea Harnish, executive director of VAEEC. “We’re thrilled to have a board with many new and returning members who will help achieve that goal.”

Rick Counihan, head of energy regulatory and governmental affairs for Google, is one of those new members.

“I want to help Virginia become a state that has significant energy efficiency programs,” Counihan said, “which help Virginians save money and reduce impact on the environment.”

New and returning members to the board are listed below:

New Members

  • Rick Counihan is the head of energy regulatory and governmental affairs for Google, the maker of the Nest Learning Thermostat. He has more than 25 years of experience in the energy and utility fields.
  • Elizabeth Beardsley is senior policy counsel at the U.S. Green Building Council. Her portfolio includes federal, state and local green building law and policy issues.
  • KC Bleile is the executive director of Viridiant. She joined Viridiant as its first employee and helped pioneer the first state-side green building program in Virginia.
  • Bill Eger is the energy manager for the city of Alexandria, leading the city’s office of energy management team that oversees energy efficiency, clean energy and other sustainability initiatives.
  • Stephen Evanko is the managing director of energy and sustainability for Dominion Due Diligence Group. He has worked in the sustainability industry for the past 14 years.

Returning Members

  • Mark Jackson is the vice president of energy solutions with Community Housing Partners. In addition to his work there, he co-founded and serves as the chief operating officer of Weatherizers Without Borders, an international nongovernmental organization that develops weatherization programs.
  • Thomas Nicholas is facilities engineer with the city of Virginia Beach’s public works department, where he oversees the facilities design and construction divisions, among others.
  • Susan Larsen is the director of business policy at Columbia Gas of Virginia, where she is responsible for government and regulatory affairs and energy efficiency programs.

“The VAEEC will benefit greatly from the breadth and depth of experience in energy efficiency that our newly elected board members bring to the leadership of the organization,” said David Koogler, board chair. “It’s a dynamic time for energy efficiency in the Commonwealth, and we are fortunate to have a team of industry leaders serving on our board.”

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Founded in 2012, VAEEC is a 501c3 organization, headquartered in Richmond, that provides a platform for stakeholder engagement while assessing and supporting programs and policies that advance energy efficiency in Virginia. We engage our members to identify barriers to and opportunities for energy efficiency advancement, and to develop a strong, fact-based, and balanced industry voice before local, state, and national policymakers and regulators. Our diverse group of over 100 members includes Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, local governments, state agencies, and more. The VAEEC’s goal is to ensure that energy efficiency is recognized as an integral part of Virginia’s economy and clean energy future.

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EPA Updates Energy Star Scoring Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its Energy Star scoring and standards, including creating a score range of one to 100. “The score represents a percentile ranking. According to Jean Lupinacci, chief of the Energy Star Commercial and Industrial Branch at the EPA, a 50 score is the median.” A building that scores less than 50 could be a good candidate for energy-efficiency innovation programs, while a score of 75 or higher could indicate Energy Star certification eligibility.

Read More (MultiBrief.com)

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Celebrates C-PACE Funding

Press Statement from VAEEC regarding Alexandria FY 2020 Budget
For Immediate Release: May 3, 2019

Contact: Jessica Greene, Virginia Energy Efficiency Council, 804.223.3467, jessica@vaeec.org  

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Celebrates C-PACE Funding

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Energy Efficiency Council commends the City of Alexandria for its efforts in promoting clean energy through the inclusion of a C-PACE program in its Fiscal Year 2020 budget, allotting $75,000 for program start-up costs.

C-PACE is a tool that allows building owners to finance their energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy improvements at an affordable price. Through C-PACE,  Alexandria building owners will be able to save money and make their buildings more comfortable and attractive to tenants. Over time, , participation in C-PACE can lead to greater economic development in the community.

VAEEC played a key role in the inclusion of C-PACE funding in the budget, through creation of GIS maps for the city. These maps indicate buildings in Alexandria that are eligible for energy efficiency upgrades through C-PACE financing.

VAEEC is looking forward to C-PACE’s start in Alexandria and the energy efficiency improvements to come.

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Founded in 2012, VAEEC is a 501c3 organization, headquartered in Richmond, that provides a platform for stakeholder engagement while assessing and supporting programs and policies that advance energy efficiency in Virginia. We engage our members to identify barriers to and opportunities for energy efficiency advancement, and to develop a strong, fact-based, and balanced industry voice before local, state, and national policymakers and regulators. Our diverse group of over 100 members includes Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, local governments, state agencies, and more. The VAEEC’s goal is to ensure that energy efficiency is recognized as an integral part of Virginia’s economy and clean energy future.

VAEEC is part of the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance, or MAPA, working to accelerate the implementation of C-PACE programs in the region.

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Celebrates SCC Approval of Dominion Programs

Press Statement from VAEEC regarding SCC Approval of Dominion Programs
For Immediate Release: May 2, 2019

Contact: Chelsea Harnish, Virginia Energy Efficiency Council, 804.457.8619, chelsea@vaeec.org

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council formally intervened in support of Dominion’s eleven new Demand-Response programs in the proceedings before the State Corporation Commission. Today, in their final order, the SCC approved each of these programs, which will fulfill part of Dominion’s commitment to energy efficiency under the Grid Transformation and Security Act. This is the first time ever that the SCC has approved Dominion’s programs without changes to the proposed timeline or budget.

A list of the approved programs with descriptions is provided below:

All six residential programs approved by the SCC, which were the first programs for residents in more than two years.

o    Appliance Recycling Program: Incentivizes consumers to recycle eligible freezers and refrigerators.

o    Home Energy Assessment Program: Facilities a walk-through energy assessment and incentivize efficiency upgrades based on the findings.

o    Smart Thermostat Management Program (DR): Provides consumers who already have an eligible smart thermostat an annual incentive to enroll in a peak demand response program.

o    Smart Thermostat Management Program (EE): Provides a one-time rebate for customers who purchase an eligible smart thermostat.

o    Efficient Products Marketplace Program: Establishes a rebate program for qualified efficient products purchased through participating retailers or an online marketplace.

o    Customer Engagement Program: Provides consumers with energy use data and energy saving suggestions.

All non-residential programs approved.

o    Heating and Cooling Efficiency Program: Provides an incentive to qualifying customers to implement high efficiency heating and cooling technologies.

o    Lighting Systems & Controls Program: Provides an incentive to qualifying customers to implement efficient lighting technologies with verifiable savings.

o    Window Film Program: Incentivizes customers to install solar reduction window film.

o    Office Program: Offers incentives for installation of a variety of energy efficiency measures related to building systems to small office facilities.

o    Small Manufacturing Program: Offers incentives for installation of a variety of energy efficiency measures to small manufacturing companies, primarily regarding compressed air systems.

Energy-efficiency Trend to Drive Thermal Insulation Material Market over 2016-2020

PMR indicates steady growth for the global thermal insulation material market over a four-year forecast period, 2016-2020. By 2016 end, the revenues are likely to reach US$ 45.073.8 Mn. The market will observe stable growth at a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period. Developing economies will continue to lead the market globally, witnessing strong growth throughout the next four years.

Rising urbanization and increased manufacturing and construction output levels are the key macroeconomic factors expected to escalate the demand for thermal insulation material. The critical need for thermal insulation in order to maintain any industrial system’s performance will continue to sustain the demand for thermal insulation material. Rising consumption of thermal insulation material by a wide range of verticals, such as oil and gas, energy, petrochemicals, and food and beverages, is projected to escalate the demand. Increasing manufacturing levels of automobiles as well as aircrafts will also accelerate the market.

Read More (Market Research Gazette)

GIS Maps Help Northern Virginia Consider Energy Efficiency

The following release was customized and sent to media outlets across the Commonwealth.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 12, 2019

GIS Maps Help Northern Virginia Consider Energy Efficiency

 Virginia Energy Efficiency Council develops maps, promotes C-PACE program

 ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Virginia Energy Efficiency Council has developed geographic information system (GIS) maps for localities across Virginia, including Alexandria, Loudoun and Fairfax County, to demonstrate the potential for building owners to engage in cost-saving energy efficiency measures.

 The maps demonstrate which buildings are eligible for the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program throughout these localities. Commercial, industrial, agricultural, nonprofit and multifamily residences with five or more dwellings are included in the maps. While promoting the C-PACE program, key feedback from localities is that they are hesitant to move forward with C-PACE without knowing the demand from the business community.

“The C-PACE program is designed for building owners to consider ways they can be more energy efficient,” said Jessica Greene, outreach director of VAEEC. “It allows them to upgrade their buildings for better water conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. The maps are our way of demonstrating the potential demand for C-PACE and to increase awareness about its benefits for local property owners.”

Alexandria, Fairfax County and Loudoun have recognized the value of C-PACE and are working toward participation in the program with the help of the GIS maps. Here are current updates on GIS mapping and C-PACE in these localities:

  • City of Alexandria
    • Requested additional maps for properties built/last renovated before 2010 and between 2000-2010
    • These dates were requested due to a green building initiative that the city implemented
  • Fairfax County
    • Ordinance was approved by Board of Supervisors during March 19, 2019 meeting
    • VAEEC participated in the Fairfax County C-PACE Stakeholders Group to review/provide feedback on the draft ordinance
    • Fairfax County’s program is set to be the first in the state to make resiliency and stormwater measures eligible for C-PACE financing
  • Loudoun County
    • Board of Supervisors approved ordinance during February 2019 meeting
    • Currently in procurement process for program administrator
    • RFP for program administration services has been released
    • Loudoun decided not to use C-PACE for multifamily buildings, so residential buildings are not included in the maps

“Ultimately, taking the steps to be more energy efficient will pay off for building owners,” Greene said. “These maps are a helpful starting point in promoting clean energy financing through this unique program. We’re excited about the opportunity to work with Alexandria, Loudoun and Fairfax County officials to continue to share the value of C-PACE, a truly unmatched and innovative financing tool for business owners in the area.”

To learn more about the C-PACE program and GIS mapping project, visit https://vaeec.org/pace/.

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Founded in 2012, VAEEC is a 501c3 organization, headquartered in Richmond, that provides a platform for stakeholder engagement while assessing and supporting programs and policies that advance energy efficiency in Virginia. We engage our members to identify barriers to and opportunities for energy efficiency advancement, and to develop a strong, fact-based, and balanced industry voice before local, state, and national policymakers and regulators. Our diverse group of over 100 members includes Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, local governments, state agencies, and more. The VAEEC’s goal is to ensure that energy efficiency is recognized as an integral part of Virginia’s economy and clean energy future.

VAEEC is part of the Mid-Atlantic PACE Alliance, or MAPA, working to accelerate the implementation of C-PACE programs in the region.

 

After the Audit: Improving Residential Energy Efficiency Assessment Reports

Tens of thousands of home energy assessments are conducted every year in the United States, but many recipients do not follow through on their recommendations. We studied 45 sample assessment reports by coding them for design and content elements, sending them for review by a panel of experts (energy assessors, graphic designers, and behavioral scientists), and examining a subset using an eye-tracker. We also surveyed over 600 customers who received assessments to see how they responded to them. This report summarizes the results of our study and suggests a number of strategies that assessors can use to increase the chances that customers will follow through on their recommendations. Check out a sample of the recommendations on this fact sheet.

Read More (ACEEE)

Fredericksburg saves $1.8 million by going green

Fredericksburg officials said the city saved $1.8 million and produced about 25.6 million fewer pounds of greenhouse gases over the past 20 years by reducing electricity and fossil fuel consumption in its government buildings.

This environmental stewardship was first implemented in 1996-97 through energy-savings performance contracts, most recently with Siemens Industry.

Under the current contract, Siemens Industry performs energy audits and pursues measures such as retrofitting city buildings with energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling equipment. These investments save energy, reduce maintenance and conserve natural resources, while saving taxpayer money and providing healthier building environments, according to city officials.

Read more (Free Lance-Star)

In Congress’s Climate Debate, An Opening For Energy Efficiency Progress?

Just three months into the 116th Congress, the discussion on climate change has noticeably shifted in Washington. From subtle evolutions in tone to bold new platforms like the Green New Deal, policymakers are taking a new approach to what is increasingly accepted on both sides of the aisle as an urgent problem.

The discussion spans a wide swath of policy areas, from energy to tax to infrastructure and transportation. And across them all, lawmakers are discovering that energy efficiency is uniquely positioned to make an immediate and significant impact. Political gridlock aside, there is a clear groundswell of alignment and deep bipartisan support for energy efficiency policy solutions because efficiency is the single most effective solution we have for reducing emissions, and it also is creating jobs, strengthening the economy, and enhancing American competitiveness.

Read More (ASE)

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