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Building Performance AssociationóLive from Chicago

Posted by Jim Gunshinan on April 02, 2019
Building Performance AssociationóLive from Chicago

Check out that title! Monday, we were HPC, Tuesday we are a new association made up of three organizations, HPC, Home Energy, and Efficiency First, called the Building Performance Association. It’s been a change a long time coming, but seems like it’s happening all at once. All of these organizations share a commitment to the same goals and values, and becoming the Building Performance Association will allow us to combine our resources, knowledge, and passions to start a new era—and allow us to do more than we ever could as separate organizations.

Also check out this excellent video. (FYI, I am the guy on a ladder looking into the “can lights” with a flashlight.)

There is so much to write about and only so many paragraphs to keep your interest. Yesterday began with the Opening Plenary session. Crowded, large venue holding the largest ever assembled for an HPC event. A tribute to Mike Rogers, a rock star, hero, and friend to many in the home performance community. Mike was awarded the 2019 Linda Wigington Leadership Award, which was accepted on his behalf by his daughter Sabine. The official announcement of the creation of the Building Performance Association. (Notto referred to asBPA, which is an acronym associated with a cancer-causing plastic additive, and not a good association for the Association.) Introductions, welcomes, and then the plenary speaker, Daniel Simmons, Assistant Secretary for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

Simmons presented three values he wants EERE to focus on under his leadership: Energy Affordability, Energy Integration, and Energy Storage. This means creating a grid that integrates the various forms of energy that supply it in an efficient, safe, and effective way; includes the latest storage technology to allow that integration to take place; and provides affordable energy to individuals, families, businesses, and industry. A healthy give and take form the audience brought out for me one important challenge that we face, among many. How do we reconcile affordable energy for everyone with mitigating the effects of climate change through lowering greenhouse gas emissions? An income adjusted carbon tax? More carbon trading? The conversation will continue.

There were again so many great sessions to attend and not enough time to be at them all.  A few personal highlights:

  • In the “Developing a Green Work Force Across the Nation—Setting the Standard” we had a great discussion about how to encourage young people, high school age and under, to consider learning a trade that will provide them with a good income as well as important and interesting work that they will enjoy over a lifetime? This challenges us to confront the mistaken belief that a four-year college degree will equip everyone for a well-paying and enjoyable career.
  • In the session aptly titled “Federal Policy Update: The Elephant in the Room”, my new colleague Kara Saul-Rinaldi, Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy at HPC and someone you definitely want on your side in any debate; EERE’s David Nemtzow; and another home performance rock star, Steve Cowell of E4TheFuture, had a surprisingly positive outlook on the Federal Policy scene in Washington DC. “Sure, it’s dysfunctional, you all know that, but there is a lot of compromise and working together happening right now,” said Nemtzow. He also described a new 3-D printer technology that is now creating concrete forms for a 45-story building going up in New York City. Saul-Rinaldi discussed all the great legislation out there that supports a green economy, some of which was recycled from the 114thCongress for the 116th And Cowell showed us how to take the long view. He’s been advocating for home energy efficiency, health, and affordability for several decades. He knows a few things! (He also remembers when oil was still dinosaurs.)

Note: Conference attendees, check today's "Day at a Glance" for session s approved for BPI QCI.

More tomorrow.

 

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