Recap of December VAEEC Meeting and Request for Census Report Reviewers/Contributors

Guest blogger: Andrew Grigsby, Commonwealth Sustainabillity Works, VAEEC Governance Board

On December 3rd nearly 100 leaders in Virginia’s energy efficiency industry gathered for the biannual meeting of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council. The agenda was packed with presentations from notables like Al Christopher of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy; Andy Farmer of the State Corporation Commission; Cisco DeVries of Renewable Funding; and Subid Wagley of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

(If you couldn’t make it to the meeting, you can download most of the presentations.)

I captured a few of the most compelling conversation points from the meeting:

  • Perhaps energy efficiency advocates should partner with local and state economic development agencies? Few things create jobs better. Virginia might look to some efforts in North Carolina where communities are responding to the statewide Renewable Portfolio Standard.
  • Let’s buy building energy efficiency like we buy cars – with simple financing and an understanding of reasonable payback – and with an understanding that this is an asset that can be passed along to the next owner when we are done with it.
  • Would you pay ahead for 30 years of cell phone service?  That’s $40K. Why shouldn’t a homeowner pay for efficiency upgrades the same way: month-by-month as we use it?
  • Some 50% of Virginia schools are more than 50 years old. That’s a huge opportunity for energy efficiency work.

Part of the meeting was a sneak-peek at our first-ever Virginia Energy Efficiency Census report that VAEEC will be releasing before the VCU Energy and Sustainability Conference in mid-February. A request was made for VAEEC members to volunteer to review the draft report in early January, and to provide anecdotes and testimonials to include in the report. Ivan Urlaub, Executive Director of NCSEA, was a featured speaker, too, who highlighted how their census has augmented energy efficiency efforts in North Carolina.

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