December 2015 Newsletter

 

December 1, 2015

The Weatherization PLUS Newsletter

Economic Opportunity Studies, Inc.  |  www.weatherizationplus.org

The National Weatherization Assistance Program has an Acting Director

Last week, the US Department of Energy leadership announced the appointment of Erica Burrin to act in the position vacated by Robert Adams last June until a permanent program manager is appointed. The department is currently considering the applications of candidates who responded to the federal announcement of the position.

Burrin is widely respected as a deeply committed but no-nonsense expert not only on the Weatherization program but also on federal program and project management and operations. She most recently served as the department’s WAP Team Lead for field operations; before she joined the federal government in 2009, she served in the Indiana state Weatherization office and had experience in local community action agencies. Her appointment suggests the Department is committed to reducing decision-making bottlenecks and to solidifying a unified management structure as quickly as possible. Those who worked with her know she is refreshingly committed to being responsive to all levels of the Weatherization network.

Readers can wish her well at her regular email address: eburrin@ee.doe.gov


More Resources for Building Partnerships [and funding] Ahead

Economic Opportunity Studies is delighted to announce we have just received notice the Weatherization Program will continue to fund our work that supports partnerships between investors and the local and state programs during FY 2016 and 2017, albeit at a reduced level.

We are expecting to develop a close partnership of our own with the National Community Action Partnership which will bring the strengths

of both our organizations to the work of supporting your programming and resource leveraging. While 80% of WAP local agencies are Community Action agencies, this project and its partners will continue to serve all types of local organizations.

Three important opportunities will have our full attention in FY 2016:

  1. Tools and information to help you counter the utility industry drive to bill customers a [high] flatcharge instead of a usage-based bill. See below for links to our first products.
  2. Tools and information to support your participation in the development of your state’s CleanPower Plan in 2016 [more below] and
  3. Developing national linkages that could lead to connecting weatherization work to theAdministration’s new solar access for all policy.

The EPA Clean Power Plan’s Opportunity and Challenge

Rule favors more low-income community investment: When EPA’s August rule was issued, low-income advocates including the National Community Action Foundation, the National Consumer Law Center, Consumers’ Union and the Environmental Justice Forum learned they had won much of the policy they had requested in their public comments on the program: a federal commitment to low-income community efficiency programs, low-income representation in the state planning process and environmental justice tests for the plans.

EPA will keep a reserve of carbon emission allowances to match the savings from qualifying efficiency programs in or for low-income communities. Solar and wind projects will also receive a match, but a lower one. This is the CEIP, Clean Energy Incentive Program.

Federal Policies -The Devilish Problem of Details Remains: EPA’s decision-making process remains open following the announcement of these general commitments. In October, EPA issued a series of technical questions about how to set up sound CEIP criteria and implementation processes; it asked for public and group input through four open conference calls and in comments to be submitted by December 15. This is a non-regulatory process and, therefore, input and dialogue, while all recorded and eventually published, can continue in small as well as larger group discussions. Our understanding is all the calls raised as many or more questions to EPA as they included recommendations.

Your thoughts? Questions for EPA? Many State WAP associations and some agencies have expressed interest in shaping EPA policy about what makes a sound and legitimately beneficial CEIP. We energy folks at EOS wrestling with learning Clean Air regulatory policy in order to support National Community Action Foundation and its advocacy partners’ comments on EPA’s policy requirements for state plans that seek the CEIP incentives/rewards; another essential question concerns states that refuse to submit a Clean Power Plan at all. They will be governed by a plan EPA makes and carries out FOR them. What should the federal framework for a sound, EPA-run CEIP look like?

If there is sufficient interest shown by reader’s responses to this inquiry, EOS will try to  setup a call among WAP agencies and other local or state organizations next week to discuss answers to the EPA request for input about the CEIP; And then we will invite EPA experts to another call to answer the concerns and questions gleaned from the first call so that the network’s responses to EPA can be clear and, perhaps, united. Write us if interested to info@opportunitystudies.org with a list of your issues and the days you cannot join a call.

Future steps: EOS will be creating materials to help Weatherizers participate in all phases of your state plan development through 2016 and perhaps later.

 


DOE/WAP Wants your Opinion on Impending Policy Changes

Please see the two draft policy notices and three related documents regarding Multi-family Weatherization and the Weatherization of Rental Units HERE.

Some of these policies will change how the DOE program operates in multi-family units and rental units .

DOE requests feedback from stakeholders before they are released as requirements.

Please respond by emailing your comments to holly.ravesloot@ee.doe.gov by Dec. 11, and please copy us and NCAF at: info@opportunitystudies.org and megpower@ncaf.org.

Fair Rates Webinars available on the EOS site

Our three-tier introduction to the challenge of the utility industry initiative to change utility rate structures is a series of webinars led by EOS consultant John T. Colgan, former Illinois regulatory commissioner with experts he recruited to provide the information and insights advocates need to oppose the initiative.

The three webinars are posted for viewing and download on the EOS website . You can also find these at the EOS Vimeo channel.



 

The Newsletter of Economic Opportunity Studies’ Weatherization PLUS Leveraging Partnership Project brings timely information about developments that expand the Weatherization Assistance Program to help your organization take advantage of emerging opportunities. Visit the Weatherization PLUS portal for more information.

Why You Are Receiving This Email
Your name is on a list of federal and state Weatherization Program contacts from W.A.P. conference attendance records. Of course, you may unsubscribe (see below). However, we hope you will help us add the names and addresses of all who may be interested. Our promise: 1) We do not share our list, and, 2) The newsletter will be sent only when there is useful material for weatherizers.

Specific questions? Opinions? Subjects we should cover in the future? Email us at:
energy_leveraging_news@opportunitystudies.org

 

In This Issue:

» THE NATIONAL WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM HAS AN ACTING DIRECTOR

» MORE RESOURCES FOR BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS [AND FUNDING] AHEAD

» THE EPA CLEAN POWER PLAN’S OPPORTUNITY AND CHALLENGE

» PROPOSED NEW DOE MULTIFAMILY UNIT POLICY – COMMENTS WANTED

» WEBINARS SUPPORT ADVOCATES


 

 

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Our Project Staff:

Meg Power
Executive Director

Rick Vasquez
Media Manager

Disclaimer: “This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.”

 

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