Richmond, Va.- The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) was recognized by the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC) when the agency accepted two first-place energy efficiency leadership awards at the ceremony in Richmond on November 2nd.
DMME’s VirginiaSAVES Green Community program received the first-place State Government Award. The program uses Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) to provide low-cost financing to school districts, commercial, industrial, non-profit, institutional and local government borrowers for energy efficiency improvements. Energy retrofits financed through the program to date will deliver expected energy cost savings of $63.9 million over the life of the projects; annual greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by over 16,000 metric tons.
“This program saves energy and money and will be instrumental in creating jobs,” said DMME Director John Warren. “The current pipeline of projects will require 750 skilled contractors to perform the retrofit work, with priority given to local contracting companies. We want program benefits to include having a ripple effect on local community businesses and economy.”
VirginiaSAVES was enabled in 2015 by Executive Order 36. DMME developed the program in partnership with program administrator CleanSource Capital and conduit bond issuers Virginia Small Business Financing Authority and Virginia Resources Authority. Virginia Community Capital lead outreach and marketing efforts to connect project developers and clients with the program opportunity. Private sector lenders and energy services contractors are also vital partners.
A project partner was also recognized by the VAEEC. Schneider Electric received the first-place Commercial Award for work done through Energy Performance Contracts. Working with DMME, Schneider Electric made energy efficient improvements to six government buildings. The installation of 17,000 high efficiency LED lights and 500 low-flow plumbing systems will save the Commonwealth just over $4 million over the life of the project.
“Performance Contracting has been successful in millions of dollars of energy savings for the Commonwealth,” said DMME’s State Energy Manager Nam Nguyen. “Like many of our energy services companies we work with, Schneider Electric was an excellent partner in getting huge savings by working with the Department of General Services (DGS) and is deserving of this award.”
An energy performance contract (EPC) is an agreement between an energy services company, or ESCO, and a customer to perform as a condition of payment. ESCO’s must be pre-approved to do energy efficiency work through DMME’s Performance Contract program and they are required to meet a guaranteed level of energy savings.