Category: Press Release

Virginia Hits Energy-Efficiency Milestone

For Immediate Release: Dec. 16, 2020
 
Contacts: Jason Roop, jasonroop@springstory.com | Virginia Energy Efficiency Council: Executive Director Chelsea Harnish, chelsea@vaeec.org, 804-457-8619
 
 
Virginia Hits Energy-Efficiency Milestone
Ranks No. 1 in South, Breaks into Top 25 in New Ranking
 
RICHMOND — The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council heralds a new research report, released today, that names Virginia as the regional leader of the South for its energy efficiency practices.
 
Virginia had its best year on the annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, a nationwide analysis of states based on “their policy and program efforts to save energy and pursue efficiency as a cost-effective, critical tool for slashing emissions and meeting state clean energy goals.”
 
“We’re thrilled to see Virginia named as a state to watch and break into the Top 25,” said Chelsea Harnish, executive director of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC). “This is a reflection of the hard work that went into passing the Virginia Clean Economy Act and the efforts of the energy efficiency industry in the Commonwealth.”
 
The annual scorecard is published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and can be found at aceee.org. Among the report’s findings:
 
“Virginia was among the top energy stories of 2020, creating its first-ever clean energy standard and becoming the first state in the Southeast with a 100% clean electricity goal. The Virginia Clean Economy Act also established an energy efficiency resource standard that sets multiyear electric savings targets for utilities and includes important measures to support low-income customers and reduce energy burdens. The governor also signed HB 981, making Virginia the first southern state to join RGGI, with proceeds going toward energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate mitigation measures.”
 
About the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council
The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council is the voice for the energy efficiency industry in the Commonwealth. Founded in 2012, our broad coalition of more than 100 members includes Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, startups, local governments and state agencies. Our goal is to ensure that energy efficiency is an integral part of Virginia’s economy and clean energy future. For more information, please visit vaeec.org.

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Statement on Gov. Northam’s SCC Appointment

RICHMOND — The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council, a broad coalition and voice for the Commonwealth’s energy efficiency industry, enthusiastically endorses Gov. Ralph Northam’s appointment to the State Corporation Commission, Angela Navarro.

“The governor’s announcement today is welcome news for the energy efficiency industry in Virginia,” said Chelsea Harnish, executive director of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC).

Navarro helped create the Virginia Clean Economy Act, passed by the General Assembly earlier this year. “As one of the authors of this transformative legislation, having Ms. Navarro overseeing its successful implementation will be crucial in the coming years,” Harnish noted.

“The VAEEC typically doesn’t weigh in on Commissioner appointments,” Harnish said, “but given Ms. Navarro’s extensive history in promoting effective energy efficiency policy in the Commonwealth, we anticipate her bringing that same frame of mind to this new role.”

Northam made his announcement during a 2 p.m. press conference today. Angela Navarro is a former Virginia deputy secretary of commerce and trade. She would fill a seat left vacant by SCC Chairman Mark Christie, who was confirmed by the Senate earlier this week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

About the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council
The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council is the voice for the energy efficiency industry in the Commonwealth. Founded in 2012, our broad coalition of more than 100 members includes Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, startups, local governments and state agencies. Our goal is to ensure that energy efficiency is an integral part of Virginia’s economy and clean energy future. For more information, please visit vaeec.org.

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Joins Bill Signing Ceremony for Virginia Clean Economy Act

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Joins Bill Signing Ceremony for Virginia Clean Economy Act
For Immediate Release: Aug. 17, 2020
Contacts: Jason Roop, jasonroop@springstory.com | Virginia Energy Efficiency Council: Executive Director Chelsea Harnish, chelsea@vaeec.org, 804-457-8619
RICHMOND — The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council stands with Gov. Ralph Northam today as he signs the Virginia Clean Economy Act into law.
“The passage of this legislation is a massive step for the advancement of energy efficiency in the Commonwealth,” said Chelsea Harnish, executive director of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC). “Today’s bill signing represents the culmination of collaborative work to advance Virginia’s clean energy future, which will have a significant positive effect on job creation in our sector.”
The Virginia Clean Economy Act is transformative legislation passed by the General Assembly earlier this year. It will boost the economy, transform the energy efficiency industry, reduce electric bills for families and position the Commonwealth for a clean energy future.
The legislation also paves the way for Virginia to reach a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2045. It represents an unprecedented shift in energy policy and ensures investment in energy-efficient programs, policies, jobs and technology.
The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council — a broad coalition of business, government and nonprofit voices across the state — spent hundreds of hours working alongside lawmakers, environmental advocates and business groups to advocate for the passage of this legislation.

Fifth Annual Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2020

RICHMOND — Two green building programs are being honored by the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC) for their innovative efforts to drive energy efficiency in schools, libraries, university construction and government buildings.

The programs, led by Henrico County and the University of Virginia, received VAEEC’s fifth Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards on May 14 at the VAEEC Spring Forum.

Henrico County has built or renovated 16 government buildings and schools to LEED certification standards since 2011 and is pursuing certification of LEED Silver or higher on six current projects. These efforts have reduced energy use by approximately 30 percent. Henrico County Energy Manager Carrie Webster oversees the program.

UVA’s Delta Force Program is responsible for achieving energy efficiency and savings across the university’s nearly 18 million square feet of building space. Since 2009, UVA has invested $17.4 million in energy projects, for a savings of $28.7 million in energy costs and 180,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. The program is overseen by Jesse Warren, sustainability program manager for buildings and operations.

“Our goal with these awards is to showcase how energy efficiency can drive local economic growth, create jobs, and reduce utility bills,” said Chelsea Harnish, executive director of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC). “It’s encouraging to see these programs make such a positive impact on their communities.”

About the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council
The Virginia Energy Efficiency Council is the voice for the energy efficiency industry in the Commonwealth. Founded in 2012, our broad coalition of more than 100 members includes Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, startups, local governments and state agencies. Our goal is to ensure that energy efficiency is an integral part of Virginia’s economy and clean energy future. For more information, please visit vaeec.org.

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Celebrates Passage of Transformative Energy Efficiency Legislation

For Immediate Release: March 6, 2020

Contacts: Jason Roop, jasonroop@springstory.com | Virginia Energy Efficiency Council: Executive Director Chelsea Harnish, chelsea@vaeec.org, 804-457-8619

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Celebrates Passage of Transformative Energy Efficiency Legislation

RICHMOND — Legislation passed by both chambers of the General Assembly today will boost the economy, transform the energy efficiency industry, reduce electric bills for families and position the Commonwealth for a clean energy future.

The landmark plan, known as the Virginia Clean Economy Act, paves the way for Virginia to reach a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2045. It represents an unprecedented shift in energy policy and ensures investment in energy-efficient programs, policies, jobs and technology.

In support of its passage, the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council — a broad coalition of business, government and nonprofit voices across the state — spent hundreds of hours working alongside lawmakers, environmental advocates and business groups.

“To say this is monumental is an understatement,” said Chelsea Harnish, executive director of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC). “The passage of this legislation is a massive and critical step for energy efficiency advancement in the Commonwealth. We’re thrilled with the potential impact this will have on job creation in our sector.”

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.”

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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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.

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