2019 has been a transformative year for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) as we’ve deepened our effort to align our organizational strategy with the efficiency industry of tomorrow. In the early part of the year, we formalized our partnership with the Smart Buildings Center Education Program, the 501c3 charitable organization that is overseeing the strategy and program development of the Smart Buildings Center (SBC). Subsequent to this, NEEC’s Building Operator Certification (BOC) program joined the Smart Buildings Center; a change that captures the significance of trained building operators and a skilled workforce in making successful smart buildings that provide sustained benefits. Looking ahead into 2020, we will continue at our breakneck pace accelerating NEEC into the future with the launch of the Smart Buildings Exchange, the inaugural year of the SBC’s annual conference and trade show. We will continue the Why Smart Buildings Executive Forums looking to expand out of Seattle to host elsewhere within the Pacific Northwest. The NEEC staff will support the SBC in the development of new educational content, expansion of the Tool Lending Library, development of technical content and webinars and the launching of a BOC Smart Buildings Pilot Supplemental Course. NEEC will also welcome four new board members (Mike Christianson, Justin Fallstrom, Pete Segall, Poppy Storm) and the SBC Board will welcome one (Lucy Gedney). 2020 is going to be an exciting year and we are eager to share our new content with you, so stay tuned via all of our social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn), newsletters and blogs, and please enjoy the year in review below.
NEEC represents the changemakers who are transforming efficiency for the future. We are always eager to hear your thoughts about what the future holds for our industry, and our door at the Smart Buildings Center in Beacon Hill is always open. Please take a moment to renew your membership for 2020 here: https://www.neec.net/2020-membership-payment/ or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you are not yet a member, join us!
December 2018 – May 2019
Governor Inslee Visit & Legislative Advocacy
In December 2018, NEEC hosted Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee, several legislators and a large group of clean energy advocates as the Governor rolled out his 2019 Climate Package at the Smart Buildings Center. The package consisted of a set of policies that would move Washington State to 100% Clean electricity, accelerate efforts to transform the building stock into smart and highly efficient buildings, establish a clean fuel standard, electrify our state’s transportation system, and phase-down super-pollutants in certain products. Throughout the 2019 WA State Legislative session, NEEC attended hearings, met with and wrote to legislators, and offered testimony before countless committees in support of the package, particularly the Clean Buildings bill. Later in 2019, NEEC joined with hundreds of supporters as Governor Inslee signed several landmark policies, including the Clean Buildings bill, into law in a celebratory rally in Seattle. NEEC is continuing to track the implementation of this legislation, engaging in rulemakings throughout the region, and most recently at the Smart Buildings Center.
In Oregon, NEEC was supportive of HB2020, the cap & invest bill, and promoted the role of efficiency within the potential legislation. We travelled down to Salem to advocate for efficiency within the definition of distributed energy resources, meeting with legislators in Salem to discuss how building efficiency and behind-the-meter storage and generation can help manage grid reliability through demand-side flexibility.
Microsoft Site Tour
On March 14th, the SBC and the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) Seattle Chapter co-hosted a tour of one of Microsoft’s newer buildings in the Redmond campus, with a focus on creating a workplace environment that cultivates collaboration, creativity, and thoughtfully designed spaces that enhance employee experience and productivity. In addition, attendees were able to tour the Tree Houses, a set of amazing outdoor meeting and conference rooms, where one can be with nature while at work. Read more.
‘Why Smart Buildings?’ Leveraging Smart Tech for Building Performance
On June 18th, the SBC and the Building Commissioning Association hosted a one-day conference with sessions that highlighted real world examples of smart technology applications and practices. Attendees learned how smart technologies and practices improve building performance, increase tenant and occupant productivity, enhance security, and provide sustained operational cost savings.
‘Why Smart Buildings?’ Creating a Compelling Business Case and Tool Lending Library Open House
On September 17th, the SBC hosted an expert panel discussion focused on the latest trends and the business case for smart building technologies. The panel explored the advantages of smart technologies beyond building performance and discussed how leveraging smart technologies to enhance the user experience can improve your bottom line. The Tool Lending Library Open House featured a demonstration from tool manufacturer, Fluke, on some of the tools offered through the library, like our IR camera, as well as a brand-new leak detecting tool for compressed air or other gasses.
NEEC Webinar: Policy Perspectives for an Evolving Energy Efficiency Landscape
In this webinar, Carmen Best, Director of Policy & Emerging Markets at Recurve (formerly OpenEE), reviewed some of the historic pillars of energy efficiency policy and explored key transitions necessary for success in the future. The webinar recording and slides are available here.
Siemens Building Tour
On November 6th, the Smart Buildings Center and Siemens hosted a Smart Buildings Tour of the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center. Bob Cowan, Facilities Director for Fred Hutch, provided a guided tour of the facility showcasing how he and his team leverage a swath of smart practices and technologies to manage a highly complex campus, safeguarding critical operations and enabling more cancer research and treatment. Attendees were able to walk throughout the interstitial level to examine equipment, went inside of an operating air-handler and toured the “most energy efficient” data center in the world.