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In this newsletter:

  • Industry & Policy Workshop: NEW Speakers Announced!
  • Upcoming Webinars
  • "Watt's Up" With Senator Nathan Johnson
  • Welcome New SPEER Members
  • Noteworthy Announcements
  • What We're Reading

SPEER Industry & Policy Workshop: Speakers Announced!

Speakers announced:

We're thrilled that Doug Lewin, author of the Texas Energy and Power Newsletter and the host of the Texas Power Podcast with Renewable Energy World, will sit down with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) Chairman Thomas Gleeson. They'll discuss pertinent energy grid related issues and cover topics around energy efficiency, balancing reliability and affordability in the energy sector, energy policies, and the fast approaching legislative session to name a few.

In addition, State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) Director, Eddy Trevino, will discuss the status of SECO and IRA funding. You won’t want to miss these conversations!

This year's SPEER Industry + Policy Workshop will be held in Austin at the Archer Hotel on September 19-20th.  Join us in the Lone Star state for insightful discussions and presentations from energy experts and leaders focused on the most pressing energy matters in our region, including consumer's role in resiliency, shifting demand with energy efficiency policies and residential demand response programs, heat pump insights and EER requirements, navigating DER policy implementation, and much more. Let’s create change and expand efficiency together. Registration rates will increase 50% after July 31st, and make sure to take advantage of our discounted hotel block. **Book your room by August 29th.

Huge thanks to our sponsors at Mitsubishi Electric |  Ameresco | CLEAResult | TRC Advanced Energ | Advanced Power Alliance for supporting SPEER's 2024 Industry + Policy Workshop!

Interested in joining them as conference sponsors? Head over to our registration page to save your spot and browse sponsorship opportunities! Your sponsorships are incredibly important to us and help continue the sustaining efforts of our organization as we educate and support energy efficiency across the Texas and Oklahoma regionWith your support we are able to further our mission and initiatives. The SPEER team looks forward to seeing you in the fall!

Upcoming Webinars

Building Operations, Workforce Training, and Navigating Federal Grant Requirements

July 11th at 1:00 PM CDT

The field of building operations and facility management is evolving rapidly due to factors such as benchmarking, grid enhancing technologies (GETs) and a swiftly retiring workforce. Join us to learn more about the Building Operator Certification (BOC), a program addressing the need for maintenance staff training as new technologies enter the market. Renowned for its comprehensive curriculum, BOC is an ideal choice for meeting various federal government grant training requirements in energy efficiency. BOC is the nation’s leading training and credentialing program for building engineers and maintenance personnel, and is now aligned with an international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – ISO 17024. Graduates make their buildings more comfortable, efficient, environmentally friendly, and save $10,000 annually in utility bills thanks to skills they master in classes.

In this webinar, we will discuss the following:

  • Gain insights into the comprehensive curriculum of the BOC program.
  • Understand how BOC meets federal government grant training requirements in energy efficiency.
  • Review case studies and examples of how BOC graduates have improved building performance. 

Speaker: Melanie L Danuser, M.P.A., LEED Green Associate Director of Education & Training

Register Now

Resilience Through a West Texas City Lens

July 18th at 10:00 AM CDT

Join us as we explore the unique challenges and opportunities that West Texas cities face in building resilience. This session will delve into how these communities navigate economic, environmental, and social resilience in the face of adversity.

Speaker: Nicole Ferrini, Climate & Sustainability Officer, City of El Paso

Nicole Ferrini holds degrees in both interior design and architecture from Texas Tech University. It is from that basis in the world of design that Nicole launched her career building better, stronger, more prosperous communities. In 2007, she founded Uncommon LLC as a mechanism to affect positive change within the built environment. The Uncommon concept of “Build for Life” is about creating environments that move with the way we live now and change for the way we will live tomorrow, while always maintaining respect for the rich cultural history that represents where we’ve come from.

Register Now

"Watt's Up" With Senator Nathan Johnson

On January 14th, 2025 the 89th Texas Legislature will convene. As we move closer to the first day of session, SPEER is sitting down with energy policy leaders in our video series “Watt’s Up” to discuss a broad range of topics that impact the Texas grid operations, reliability and resiliency, and consumer bills. In our first discussion, we had the opportunity to speak with Senator Nathan Johnson, representing Senate District 16, to review distributed energy resources (DER), how they can be deployed effectively to reduce stress to the grid, recent legislation that is pending implementation at the PUCT, and what the Senator is looking forward to in the upcoming session. 

For our next discussion available in July, we will meet with Representative Gina Hinojosa to talk about the importance of clean energy workforce development in Texas.

New SPEER Member

SPEER is thrilled to welcome our newest member, GeoExchange! The Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) is the voice of the Geothermal Heat Pump Industry in the US. As a non-profit trade association, they promote the manufacture, design, and installation of energy efficient and environmentally friendly heating and cooling GeoExchange® systems. In addition, our gratitude goes out to returning member Owens Corning. We are excited to have these folks on board as we continue our mission to advance energy efficiency in our region.

Learn more about SPEER membership and consider joining us!


Notice of Public Hearing - Texas House State Affairs Committee

The State Affairs Committee will meet on Monday, July 8, at 9:00 a.m. to hear invited testimony and discuss crucial grid and energy related interim charges, including but not limited to:

  • HB 2555, relating to transmission and distribution system resiliency planning by and cost recovery for electric utilities
  • SB 1699, relating to electricity service in the ERCOT power region, including the participation of aggregated distributed energy resources in the ERCOT market
  • SB 2627, relating to funding mechanisms to support the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities

You can learn more about the interim charges and find the link to the live stream here.

ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade

The ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade Service Provider Partnership features companies and community-based organizations that specialize in offering concierge services for more comprehensive efficiency upgrades. Participating partners bring added value to their customers by helping them adopt elements of an ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade -- a set of six high-impact improvements that work together to deliver significant energy and cost savings by addressing the biggest energy users in most homes. Capitalizing on Inflation Reduction Act incentives to accelerate the adoption of these upgrades presents an opportunity for almost every home in America to lower energy bills while improving home comfort and health.

We're proud that SPEER member, Pearl Certification, is one of the six charter partners. To be recognized by the ENERGY STAR program, they have been screened based on their Quality Control procedures, installer qualifications and oversight, and fair financing practices. View press release here.

Last month SPEER member CPS Energy announced the extension and expansion of a previous 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that will more than double its share from the Avangrid’s Peñascal wind farm in Kenedy County, Texas, South of Baffin Bay. The utility will increase power generation by adding 84 MW of renewable energy that will help to power roughly 41,000 Texas homes on a hot summer day with clean energy. Read more.

Need to Catch Up?

Missed last week’s policy newsletter? Browse past issues of our newsletters and subscribe to other distribution lists here

2024 Smart Buildings Exchange (SBX)

Join the Seattle-based Smart Buildings Center for the free 2024 Smart Buildings Exchange (SBX) to be held virtually & in-person August 27-29, 2024. Interactive conference sessions featuring a mix of panel discussions and case study presentations will explore the market opportunity for smart buildings and highlight solutions that can help building owners, managers, and operators address challenges currently facing the commercial, corporate, and institutional real estate industries. Topics of focus will include building optimization efforts to address climate change, grid-interactive efficient buildings and the role they play in the clean energy transition, smart technologies for resiliency and security, enhancing buildings for hybrid work environments and more.

The virtual opening plenary session for Smart Buildings Exchange (SBX) 2024 will feature Jigar Shah, Director of the Loans Program Office at the US Department of Energy (DOE). Mr. Shah will provide opening remarks on the extensive efforts by DOE and other federal agencies to help building owners invest in reducing carbon emissions from their properties. He will be joined by an elite panel of experts including Marc Daudon (The Caspian Group), Andy Hammons (Ryan Company), and Molly McCabe (HaydenTanner) in a discussion moderated by Ash Awad (McKinstry) about the public, private and tax credit resources that will catalyze the decarbonization of the built environment. Register for free today!

What We're Reading

US summer electric bills expected to rise 8% in 2024 amid drop in low-income aid: report - Utility Dive

Scorching Days Followed by Sweltering Nights - Climate Central

The Texas grid should be fine in July. Here's what ERCOT says about the dog days of August - Austin-American Statesman

Texans brace for high electric bills as temperatures rise - Marketplace

Finding little interest, ERCOT going back to drawing board for a solution to South Texas chokepoint - San Antonio Express News

Residential DERs could compensate for rise in peak energy demand by 2035: Deloitte - Utility Dive

ERCOT predicts up to 16% chance of emergency power conditions in August - KXAN

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