On November 14th the Virginia energy efficiency community gathered for the VAEEC Fall Meeting and Awards Luncheon at the University of Richmond Jepson Alumni Center. Without the contributions of our generous sponsors, we would not have been able to make this event possible. A big thank you to our sponsors and event attendees for making the event a great success!
Registration and networking began at 10 am, followed by an opening presentation from Executive Director, Chelsea Harnish. After welcoming attendees she gave a quick recap of some of VAEEC’s 2018 accomplishments and updates. Next came a presentation from keynote speaker, Journey Williams, Vice President of Smart Building Technologies. Journey covered the following before transitioning to audience Q+A:
- Intro to Smart Building Technologies, LLC and how they are helping buildings become more energy efficient
- “Tour” of District Center, one of the most advanced smart tech buildings in our area (555 12th St NW building in D.C.), including what makes this building unique and how it utilizes smart technologies to reduce and manage energy consumption.
Afterward, participants attended one of two breakout sessions: Energy Efficiency Startups or Health and Energy Efficiency.
Energy Efficiency Startups panel: The Commonwealth Energy fund strategically invests in companies with market-ready products to take the next step into broader commercialization. This panel focused on three companies working on energy-efficient technologies in the realms of building automation, LED lighting, hot water tanks, and thermal storage. Speakers included Arnoud van Houten (Aquanta), Roger Whyte (LiteSheet Solutions), and Serene Almomen (Senseware), and Marco Rubin (Center for Innovative Technology) was the panel moderator. Arlington County was the session sponsor.
Health and Energy Efficiency panel: Energy efficiency measures have the potential to improve not only the comfort of buildings but building health as well. However, these measures can lead to moisture and air quality problems if not implemented correctly. Panelists discussed the links between energy efficiency and building health and addressed the impacts of energy efficiency construction for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing and EarthCraft Virginia rehabs. Speakers included Mark Jackson (Community Housing Partners) and Dona Huang (VA Dept. of Health), and Wilson Ratliff (LEAP) moderated. Virginia Housing Alliance and the Virginia Poverty Law Center sponsored this session.
Based on member feedback, we decided to incorporate this year’s Awards Ceremony into the Fall Meeting agenda, instead of having it as an evening event proceeding the Fall Meeting. After a plated lunch, we recognized 12-Virginia based projects or programs in the Academic, Commercial, Government, and Residential categories, as well as the first every Committee’s Choice Award. For info on each winning project or program, visit our 2018 Awards page.
The second breakout session proceeded the Awards Luncheon, where participants attended one of the following panels: Efficient Homes or Strategic Electrification.
Efficient Homes panel: Recently there have been many updates in the realm of residential energy efficiency in Virginia. Panelists shared the latest smart technologies making homes more efficient, provided an update on the Virginia residential building code, and reviewed the findings of the Virginia DOE Field Study report. The speakers included Sean Evenson-Shanely (Viridiant) and Andrew Grisby (VA-REA), and the session was sponsored by the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA).
Strategic Electrification panel: The grid is undergoing a major transformation, with strategic or beneficial electrification at the epicenter. Panelists discussed applications of beneficial electrification in the residential sector as well as how Virginia is using Volkswagen settlement funds to build electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the Commonwealth. John Semmelhack (Think Little) and Angela Conroy (DEQ) were the two speakers, and Wesley Holmes (SEEA) moderated the panel. SEEA sponsored this session.
After the breakout session, attendees enjoyed refreshments during the Networking and Snack break before heading into the last panel of the day. The Final Panel focused on energy efficiency updates in Virginia. Speakers included Del. Rip Sullivan (Virginia House of Delegates), John Warren (VA DMME), and Eric Bateman (Dominion Energy). VAEEC Board Chair, David Steiner (D + R International) moderated. Topics covered included the newly released Virginia Energy Plan, the Grid Modernization and Transportation bill (SB 966), and other legislative and regulatory updates.
The event closed with VAEEC announcing the winners of our membership raffles. The winner for our 2018 New Member raffle was the Fifth Fuel, and Abby Johnson won the Member Recruitment raffle. Congratulations! To be considered for next year’s raffles, you/your organization can join the VAEEC, or current members can recruit new members. New members must join at the $250 level or higher.
Mark your calendars! We hope to see everyone at our Spring 2019 Meeting on Thursday, May 9th in Richmond.