The Spring Meeting of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council attracted an overflowing crowd on May 29, and exemplified the emerging enthusiasm for energy efficiency in the Commonwealth. Held in Richmond, the biannual gathering drew a packed audience of approximately 100 attendees representing a wide variety of interests, including business large and small, nonprofit groups, national associations, colleges and school districts, and local governments and state agencies.
VAEEC members took part in a special opportunity during the membership portion of the meeting, as we were pleased to be joined by Hayes Framme, the Governor’s newly-appointed Advisor for Infrastructure and Development in the Secretariat for Commerce and Trade, and Al Christopher, Director of the Division of Energy at the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy. The pair presented on the status of the development of the new Virginia Energy Plan, and solicited input and questions from the VAEEC membership. We were thrilled to have this exercise take place at our meeting, and look forward to participating further in the plan’s development, due for completion by October 1.
The agenda for the general meeting covered a number of timely, emerging issues as well as ongoing VAEEC priorities:
- Attendees heard an up-to-the-minute report on the outlook for regulation through Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, from Kara Saul Rinaldi of the National Home Performance Council;
- Ralph Joyce of Dominion Virginia Power (and VAEEC Governance Board Member) joined with Jim Fawcett of Appalachian Power Company to share the very latest on energy efficiency programs from their respective utilities;
- Ed Carroll and Harry Godfrey of Opower teamed up to provide insight on the company’s exciting work on Behavioral Demand Response, specifically how smart meter data and behavioral science are driving voluntary peak reduction in the residential sector;
- Eric Lacey, chairman of the Responsible Energy Codes Alliance, shared his perspective on where Virginia stands on building energy codes — what Virginia is doing right and where we have room to grow; and
- VAEEC Governance Board Member Bill Greenleaf summarized the recommendations that emerged from the council’s first-ever industry census, and solicited volunteers to form working groups that will advance the recommendations into action steps.
There was a surplus of exceptional content and dialogue crowded into one afternoon, and the networking hour that followed the meeting lasted well after its scheduled time. Many of the presentations are available on our website, and please let us know if you have any questions about the meeting.
Further details will be coming soon on many of the above items. Judging by the audience, the speakers and the agenda at the Spring Meeting, exciting times are ahead.