White House Environmental Advisor Joins LEAP for Residential Energy Efficiency Roundtable

Charlottesville, VA – Leaders from a variety of Charlottesville sectors and institutions joined the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) and White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley for a Residential Energy Efficiency Market Transformation Roundtable on Wednesday, November 9th, at ecoREMOD. Sutley, who serves as President Obama’s principal environmental advisor, was in town touring Johnson Elementary School to see their efforts to save energy and money through energy and water efficiency initiatives.mountainsphoto


In 2009, CEQ released the Recovery through Retrofit report, which looked at how Federal actions could help expand the home energy efficiency market, grow jobs and save consumers money on their energy bills. The discussion centered on that question of market expansion for Central Virginia and included voices from the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, the University of Virginia, Piedmont Virginia Community College, UVA Community Credit Union, Dominion Virginia Power, LEAP Certified Contractors, and the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors. The group was also joined by Danielle Byrnett of the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Program Manager for the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program.


“Partnering on innovative strategies to reduce energy use is one of the most practical ways to save consumers money, boost our economy, and invest in technologies that will keep us competitive in the 21st century,” Sutley said.  “The Local Energy Alliance Program is a great example of how city leaders and the business and non-profit communities are working together to put people back to work in ways that will reduce consumer energy bills and cut pollution.”


Participants discussed how and why local stakeholders came together to support the mission of LEAP and how together they can scale up the energy efficiency market in Central Virginia. In particular, the conversation centered on what opportunities and challenges exist on that front, the limitations of utility participation due to local regulatory hurdles, new job creation, increasing homeowner interest in these issues, and what the federal government can do to help.


In addition to LEAP staff, the roundtable included:


Maurice Jones, City Manager
Kristel Riddervold, Environmental Administrator
Nancy Quirk, Climate Protection Program Coordinator

Tom Foley, County Executive
Andy Lowe, Environmental Compliance Manager

Laura Fiori, Owner, Key Green Energy Solutions
Ralph Sachs, General Manager, Albemarle Heating and Air
Gary Dettra, Program Manager, Abrahamse and Company

Greg Slater, Better Homes and Gardens III Associate Broker

Rebecca Cardwell, Director of Community Relations

Ralph Joyce, Energy Conservation Program Manager, Dominion Virginia Power

Paxton Marshall, Professor and LEAP Board member
Ben Margolis, Darden School of Business student

Valeria Palamountain, Dean of Workforce Services
Michelle Oliva, Program Manager for Construction and Weatherization