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2022 Climate-Forward Efficiency Symposium

March 24, 2022 | 2:30pm - 4:00pm EDT

Day 1: February 24, 2022 | Day 2: March 24, 2022

 

As states and utilities set ambitious decarbonization goals, the case for leveraging demand-side measures to reduce emissions is stronger than ever. The ways in which utility energy efficiency programs are designed, operated, and evaluated must evolve to ensure they are on track to achieve an affordable and equitable clean energy future. This symposium explored the wide range of strategies we have at our disposal and shared leading examples where climate-forward actions are being taken today. 

During day 1 of the symposium, participants learned from and engaged with experts from across the United States that have successfully approached the nexus of energy efficiency programs and decarbonization. Attendees also gained crucial insights from ACEEE’s newest report, A Roadmap for Climate-Forward Efficiency, which introduces multiple strategies to accelerate climate-forward efficiency through legislative, regulatory, and utility actions. 

During day 2 of the symposium, we convened three working sessions designed to move climate-forward efficiency into action. The topics and their brief description, which were identified through a survey of the participants, are listed below. The three sessions ran concurrently, and the results of these sessions are shared here.

 

Agenda:

Day One: Thursday, February 24th, 2:30 – 4:00 pm  Day Two: Thursday, March 24th, 2:30– 4:00 pm

Welcome

Opening remarks by Steve Nadel, Executive Director, ACEEE 

Join us for the introduction of the Climate-Forward Efficiency Symposium.  

Report Presentation

Presentation by Mike Specian, Utilities Manager, ACEEE 

Hear a summary presentation of A Roadmap for Climate-Forward Efficiency report.

Climate-Forward Efficiency Lightning Round and Moderated Q&A

Moderated by Rachel Gold, Principal, Carbon-Free Electricity Practice, RMI

Hear practitioners from cross-sector perspectives discuss successful examples of climate-forward efficiency in practice. Get your most pressing questions answered and begin thinking how to apply insights to your own work. 

Welcome

Opening remarks by Edward Yim, Utilities Program Director, ACEEE 

Breakout Sessions

Three concurrent breakout sessions facilitated jointly by ACEEE staff and external partners

Breakout 1: Advancing beneficial electrification energy efficiency measures to maximize reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

One of the most vital steps to align energy efficiency with climate change action is to increase the efficiency of buildings in a manner that reduces their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  By deploying smart, efficient electric technologies inside buildings, we can deliver the benefits of energy savings to consumers while also reducing GHG emissions and improving grid flexibility. Understanding the opportunities and challenges of beneficial electrification in buildings is vital for stakeholders in the utility, government, and non-profit sectors seeking to design plans to scale up adoption. This discussion will focus on important strategies, best practices, and program designs that combine energy efficiency and electrification as a climate solution.

Breakout 2: Measuring GHG reductions: moving forward on workable approaches and needed data

Aligning energy efficiency with climate change action necessarily requires data to measure the impact of energy reduction on GHG emissions. This discussion will focus on how best to measure efficiency’s full impact on GHG emissions and the data needed for such measurement. Questions to be examined will include: What data would be required to design and evaluate utility energy efficiency portfolios focused on maximizing GHG reductions? What practical methods are available for translating energy efficiency measures into estimates or measurements of avoided GHG emissions? What data does each method require, and how can such data be accessed efficiently in the context of privacy and security concerns? What are best practices or pilot programs underway for measuring GHG reductions of energy efficiency portfolios?

Breakout 3: Facilitating legislative and regulatory change: which states might present good opportunities in 2022 and 2023? 

Addressing climate change takes leadership. For climate-forward efficiency, legislatures and utility regulatory commissions need to provide such leadership, as witnessed by recent experience in Minnesota and Illinois. In this workshop we will examine and discuss key elements and actions that can enable and establish goals, frameworks, and requirements for utilities and related organizations to expand and align their energy efficiency efforts with decarbonization. From this discussion we will identify states that present good opportunities for taking actions in 2022 and 2023 to advance climate-forward efficiency.

Closing Remarks and Sharing Insights

Moderated by Edward Yim, Utilities Program Director, ACEEE


Speakers:

Day One Speakers Day Two Speakers

Moderator: Edward Yim, Utilities Program Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Edward directs the Utility Programs and strategizes how transformative energy efficiency can be incorporated in utility programs and practices, including infrastructure planning for reliability and resiliency, at state and local levels. He advocates for policies and programs that lead with low demand and energy efficiency strategies to combat climate change and to realize greater energy independence. He joined ACEEE in 2022.

Moderator: Edward Yim, Utilities Program Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Edward directs the Utility Programs and strategizes how transformative energy efficiency can be incorporated in utility programs and practices, including infrastructure planning for reliability and resiliency, at state and local levels. He advocates for policies and programs that lead with low demand and energy efficiency strategies to combat climate change and to realize greater energy independence. He joined ACEEE in 2022.

Moderator: Rachel Gold, Principal, Carbon-Free Electricity Practice, RMI

Rachel leads RMI’s work with utilities, regulators, and advocates to evolve utility business models and regulations to support the rapid and equitable decarbonization of electricity systems. At RMI, Rachel has served as the project manager for innovative facilitation and technical assistance engagements, including the first eLab Summit, RMI’s support for the Solar Energy Innovation Network, and RMI’s initial post-storm efforts in Puerto Rico. She has advised clients including utilities, regulatory commissions, and government agencies on process design and facilitation, business models, and customer engagement strategies. 

Breakout 1 Facilitator: Charlotte Cohn, Research Analyst, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Charlotte conducts research and analysis on Utility Energy Efficiency Policy. Prior to joining ACEEE, she worked with the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment on building Community Solar projects for low-moderate income communities in New Hampshire, which combined access to solar energy with energy efficiency education and services in order to maximize the impact of clean energy. Additionally, she was a Residential Solar Energy Consultant in Massachusetts and worked with customers to control their home energy use by installing solar systems. She holds a Master's in Energy Regulation and Law from the Vermont Law School and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont. She joined ACEEE in 2020.

Steven Nadel, Executive Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Steven joined ACEEE in 1989 and was has served as executive director since 2001. He has worked in the energy efficiency field for more than 40 years and has over 200 publications. His current research interests include energy and climate change policy; strategies to decarbonize the buildings, transportation and industrial sectors; utility-sector energy efficiency programs and policies; and appliance and equipment efficiency standards. Before ACEEE, Steve worked for Massachusetts’ largest electric utility and largest environmental group and worked with an inner city housing organization in Connecticut.”

Breakout 2 Facilitator: Mike Specian, Utilities Manager, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Mike’s research focuses on the role of energy efficiency within the evolving energy landscape, including policies and practices to maximize EE's potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. Prior to joining ACEEE, Mike worked at the U.S. Department of Energy where he facilitated behind-the-meter innovations to make buildings more energy efficient, resilient, and flexible for the evolving electricity grid. Mike holds a Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins University.

Mike Specian, Utilities Manager, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Prior to joining ACEEE, Mike was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO). As a member of BTO’s emerging technologies team, Mike facilitated behind-the-meter innovations to make buildings more energy efficient, resilient, and flexible for the evolving electricity grid. He has also served as a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies of Science in Washington, DC; a scientific consultant for the U.S. Global Change Research Program; and a researcher for Baltimore City in the area of disaster preparedness.

Breakout 3 Facilitator: Dan York, Senior Fellow, Utilities and Local Policy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Dan has more than 20 years of experience in researching, analyzing and implementing energy efficiency policies and programs. He is widely recognized for his work tracking and analyzing trends and emerging issues in utility-sector energy efficiency programs. His entire educational and professional experiences have focused on energy efficiency and conservation as the foundations for a sustainable economy. He joined ACEEE in 2001.

State Senator Mike Barrett, Massachusetts

Mike Barrett is State Senator for nine Massachusetts communities — Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Lincoln, Waltham, Weston, and large parts of Lexington and Sudbury. Mike serves as Senate Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. He was the lead author of Massachusetts's next-generation climate roadmap, signed into law in 2021.

Breakout Co-Facilitator: Jasmine Mah, Research Analyst, Health and Environment Program, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Jasmine conducts research within ACEEE’s Health and Environment department. Prior to joining ACEEE in 2021, Jasmine worked for the National Center for Sustainable Transportation. She has bachelor’s degrees in environmental policy and English literature from the University of California, Davis. In 2020, Jasmine earned a master’s in environment and development from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

Carmen Best, Vice President of Policy and Emerging Markets, Recurve 

Carmen is VP at Recurve, which connects the dots between efficiency, electrification, renewable energy, and DERs to enable demand flexibility to become a market-based procurable resource. In ten years working with the California Public Utilities Commissions, she led the Energy Efficiency Commercial Programs & Evaluation team and served as a senior analyst, bringing findings and insights to statewide energy policy through demand forecasting, integrated resource planning and overall improvements in the deployment of energy efficiency, and has shared lessons learned across the continent and the world.

Breakout Co-Facilitator: Mike Waite, Senior Manager, Buildings, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy

Mike conducts research related to building energy decarbonization and steers ACEEE’s energy code efforts. Mike leads initiatives that root energy code development in sound and innovative research in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote energy affordability in new and existing buildings. He collaborates with others at ACEEE to align building policy with emerging climate policies.

 

 

 

 

Justin Brant, Utility Program Co-Director, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project

Justin works with utilities and consumer groups to advance energy efficiency in SWEEP’s six-state region. His work also includes appearing before public utility commissions and state legislatures, and collaborating with utilities and other stakeholders. Before joining SWEEP, he worked at The Cadmus Group, a nationwide energy and environmental consulting firm. At Cadmus, he advised Fortune 500 companies, state and local governments, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on policies and programs that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as encouraging energy efficiency and renewable energy use.

Breakout Co-Facilitator: Delmar Gillus, Chief Operating Officer, Elevate 

Delmar is responsible for implementing operational, workforce development, and project management processes in support of Elevate Energy’s growing portfolio of clean energy projects. He currently leads Elevate’s core operational functions and also supports business development, program design, project coordination, engineering support, and contract management for Elevate’s diverse energy efficiency and growing renewable energy programs. Delmar plays a critical role in supporting Elevate’s work in increasing contractor diversity and launching energy assistance, community solar, and smart grid programs for Illinois utility consumers.

Jamie Fitzke, Director of Legislative Affairs, Center for Energy and Environment

As the director of legislative affairs, Jamie works to protect Minnesota’s deep commitment to energy efficiency and also to create and advocate for smart energy policy with Minnesota legislators. Jamie uses her experience in program implementation, energy efficiency, and energy policy to build relationships and promote CEE’s mission and impact. Her outreach includes an ongoing series of legislative informational events about Minnesota's Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP) to highlight the importance of energy efficiency in local economies and as part of the clean energy transition.

Breakout Co-Facilitator: Chris Duffrin, President, Center for Energy and Environment

Chris leads a team of more than 160 staff who work in technology research, building science, program implementation and development, energy retrofit financing, large-building recommissioning, software development, and public policy. With a 40-year history in Minnesota and work that stretches across the U.S., CEE drives policy and program efforts to decarbonize the building sector through scaled energy efficiency and strategic electrification.

 

 

Rebecca Foster, Chief Executive Officer, VEIC 

Rebecca heads up VEIC’s leadership team and guides the organization’s strategic planning, corporate goal setting, business development and performance. With more than two decades of experience in the clean energy industry, and 10 years at VEIC, Rebecca is a trusted leader, dedicated to the organization’s success. Throughout her career she has focused on fostering collaboration and engaging tough challenges head-on. She encourages creativity and innovative thinking at all levels of VEIC.

Breakout Co-Facilitator: Tyler Poulson, Deputy Director, Building Electrification Institute

Tyler focuses on helping cities develop state and utility partnerships to accelerate smart building electrification policies across their regions. He believes in the power of collaboration to envision and deliver utility programs and regulatory outcomes suitable for 21st century climate and social equity challenges.

 

 

Anthony Fryer, Conservation Improvement Program Supervisor, Minnesota Commerce Department  

Anthony provides oversight and regulation for over 120 natural gas and electric utility energy efficiency programs as part of the implementation of Minnesota's energy efficiency resource standard. He has over 20 years of experience in the energy industry and holds a degrees St. Mary’s University in the United Kingdom and William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. Anthony also serves on the board of directors for the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

 

Delmar Gillus, Chief Operating Officer, Elevate 

Delmar is responsible for implementing operational, workforce development, and project management processes in support of Elevate Energy’s growing portfolio of clean energy projects. He currently leads Elevate’s core operational functions and also supports business development, program design, project coordination, engineering support, and contract management for Elevate’s diverse energy efficiency and growing renewable energy programs. Delmar plays a critical role in supporting Elevate’s work in increasing contractor diversity and launching energy assistance, community solar, and smart grid programs for Illinois utility consumers.

 

Scott Hinson, Chief Technology Officer, Pecan Street Inc. 

Scott leads the Pecan Street Lab and directs research efforts to study the grid and climate impacts for integrating renewable technologies, electric vehicles, and software enabled smart devices that will modernize and decarbonize the electric and transportation sectors. Prior to Pecan Street, Scott worked at a thin film CIGS solar module manufacturer where he led module packaging, performance, certification and reliability efforts. Scott has also worked in the military, medical, consumer and oil industries developing power supplies, precision measurement equipment and inductive heating technologies.

 

 

 


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Day 1

Day 1 Recording     Day 1 Slides     Day 1 Transcript
 


Day 2

Discussion Group Summary
 


 

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