Category: News

Virginia Shows Room to Improve in ACEEE Scorecard

Virginia ranked 29th in the recent ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. While the state scored lower than in previous years, the annual report did not factor in Governor Northam’s Executive Order as it had not yet been signed.

“It’s a really good time to be involved in clean energy in Virginia,” said VAEEC Executive Director Chelsea Harnish. “We’re on the cusp of something exciting.”

Virginia and other states with modest starting points can begin with basics such as efficient lighting before addressing more advanced measures such as appliance standards, building code upgrades, attic insulation, building retrofits, smart meters and demand-response programs.

Read More at Energy News Network

Press Statement From VAEEC Regarding Gov. Northam’s Executive Order on Energy

Gov. Northam unveiled an executive order on energy that will bring key improvements to Virginia’s energy system. Gov. Northam’s Executive Order 43 highlights a strong commitment to advance clean energy in Virginia. As one of the co-hosts of the inaugural Virginia Clean Energy Summit, the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council appreciates the Governor for announcing this Executive Order this morning at the Summit. Energy efficiency is one of the most practical, cost-effective tools to reduce our energy consumption and dependence on fossil fuels, which in turn, helps reduce carbon emissions.

Important items include a greater number of jobs in the energy efficiency sector; annual spending targets for energy efficiency in-line with the Grid Transformation & Security Act’s total energy efficiency spending; a plan for the state government to meet their 10% energy efficiency goal by 2022; and a commitment to utilities. We applaud the Governor’s Lead-by-Example strategies as outlined in Executive Order 43. For example, his recognition and prioritization of Energy Performance Contracting is a great financing mechanism to meet public savings targets. As the Governor noted this morning, Energy Performance Contracting is the best way to maximize energy savings for public buildings.

The VAEEC can serve as an expert source on the executive order and what this means for energy efficiency in the Commonwealth. VAEEC is committed to providing resources and continuing to work with DMME, to ensure the Governor’s goals are fulfilled as part of his climate legacy. “This is a positive step forward for the energy efficiency industry in Virginia,” Chelsea Harnish, executive director of VAEEC, said. “We applaud the Governor for prioritizing Workforce Development and advancing energy efficiency jobs across the Commonwealth. As the Governor mentioned this morning, the workforce in these growing industries is skilled and well-positioned to adapt to the energy job demands of the future.”

Energy-Plus-Health Playbook Released

This new document responds to a changing paradigm where both energy efficiency (EE) and health care sectors face major challenges and opportunities to improve customer engagement and better manage costs. The 84-page Playbook offers insights and examples of collaborations that combine EE and health resources.

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Northam outlines clean energy goals for Virginia

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed Executive Order 43 outlining the commonwealth’s goals for promoting clean energy and combatting climate change and setting out objectives for statewide energy production. “These include powering 30% of the state’s electric system from renewable sources — such as wind and solar —  by 2030 and 100% of its electric supply from carbon-free sources — which would include wind and solar as well as nuclear — by 2050.”

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AEE Releases Advanced Energy Now 2019 Market Report

The Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) has released its 2019 market report. It focuses on key trends in advanced energy growth, both globally and the U.S. market revenue from 2011-18. “The 2019 Market Report documents the tremendous growth of advanced energy markets over the past seven years. But if you work at a company in the advanced energy industry, you know how important it is to keep that momentum going.”

Download full report (Advanced Energy Economy)

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,

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.

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