Spring 2019 Forum Recap

The Spring 2019 Forum was held on May 9th at the University of Richmond Jepson Alumni Center. Almost 100 people from every facet of the energy efficiency industry attended, making it one of our most successful events to date! We want to offer a huge thank you to our sponsors for their support, and to everyone who came to the Forum.

Executive Director Chelsea Harnish formally opened the event with her annual presentation on VAEEC’s accomplishments and updates. Many of the 2018 highlights are in our annual report, which you can view hereShe also discussed the incredible momentum VAEEC and the industry as a whole is gaining. The SCC Final Order approving all 10 of Dominion’s proposed energy efficiency programs is a big part of this progress, as is the C-PACE budget recently passed in Alexandria.

Next, Vice Chair John Morrill, with Arlington County, introduced the current Executive Committee and recognized the service of Bill Greenleaf and Cynthia Adams as they transition off of the Board of Directors, as well as David Steiner for stepping down as the Board Chair. Before electing new Board members, John announced the VAEEC 2019 Executive Committee: David Koogler, Board Chair; John Morrill, Vice Chair; and Mark Jackson, Secretary.

VAEEC members re-elected three Board members:

  • Mark Jackson of Community Housing Partners
  • Susan Larsen of Columbia Gas of Virginia
  • Tom Nicholas of the City of Virginia Beach

They also elected five new Board members:

  • Elizabeth Beardsley of USGBC
  • KC Bleile of Viridiant
  • Rick Counihan of Google
  • Bill Eger of the City of Alexandria
  • Stephen Evanko of Dominion Due Diligence Group

We are excited to add these new voices to our organization as we move into this year’s strategic planning process.

Next, Tom Nicholas with City of Virginia Beach and Chair of the Membership Committee, lead the Membership Spotlight session and Membership Poll. Following last year’s positive reception, we used PollEverywhere to collect real-time responses to our four questions:

  • What is the most valuable aspect of VAEEC membership to you or your firm?
  • What additional benefits would you like to see included in VAEEC membership?
  • Would you like VAEEC events to offer continuing education credits?
  • What topics would you like to see covered at our Fall 2019 Forum?

Representatives from 2RW Consultants, Think Little, Community Housing Partners, VEIC, Viridiant, Dominion Energy, C-Power, LEAP, City of Virginia Beach, and Trane all shared their accomplishments during the spotlight session, so make sure to check out our Member Success Stories page in the coming weeks. We appreciate everyone’s participation in both the poll and spotlight and will incorporate the information gathered into our future plans.

After the Membership Spotlight, participants attended one of two breakout sessions: Blending Technologies to Maximize Building Efficiency and Working Together to Increase Efficiency. The Blending Technologies panel featured Eric Oliver (2RW Consultants, Inc.), Rodes Boyd (Siemens), and Nick Lange (VEIC) with George Barnes (Trane) moderating. The speakers discussed the benefits and challenges surrounding current and upcoming smart building technologies that monitor energy usage and identify areas of waste. 

The Working Together session focused on how local governments and higher education institutions can cooperate across departments to increase energy efficiency and incorporate successful IT solutions. Chris Smeds (UVA), Nell Boyle (City of Roanoke), and John Morrill (Arlington County) formed the panel of speakers, with Bill Eger (City of Alexandria) moderating.

The final session of the day was an interactive session where participants chose four topics to discuss, then split into groups to consider the opportunities and barriers for each, as well as the role VAEEC could play in that work. The topics were:

  • Emerging Technologies
  • Grid Modernization and Transformation Act Implementation
  • The Intersection between Solar and Energy Efficiency
  • Local Government Collaboration

The information we gathered from this session will form the foundation of our upcoming strategic plan, so everyone’s participation and feedback were truly invaluable.

As with all of our work, the Spring Forum would not be possible without the continuing support of our incredible members and sponsors. Thank you to everyone who attended for helping us push energy efficiency in Virginia toward an even brighter future.

Presentations can be viewed here:

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