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Energy efficiency manager named to governor’s committee in Virginia

by on July 2, 2015

(Story by Matthew Thompson)

Jim Fawcett, manager of energy efficiency and alternative energy initiatives for Appalachian Power Company, has been appointed by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to his new Executive Committee on Energy Efficiency.

                              Jim Fawcett

The committee is comprised of 12 public and private sector stakeholders. The group aims to develop strategies and recommendations to achieve the goal of a 10 percent reduction in retail electricity consumption in Virginia by 2020.

“The energy sector is a key strategic growth area as we work to build a new Virginia economy, and improving energy efficiency is one of the real opportunities. I have put together this talented group of people to help ensure that we meet our goal in an accelerated time frame,“ McAuliffe stated in a news release.

Fawcett is one of only three utility representatives serving on the committee. He said he is honored to serve on the committee and hopes it will advance the energy efficiency issue in the state.

“The biggest importance is that it gives Appalachian Power a seat at the table to talk about the landscape of energy efficiency in Virginia going forward,” Fawcett said.

In Virginia, Appalachian offers energy saving initiatives for residential customers, including residential peak reduction and low income weatherization programs.

The residential peak reduction program provides a household the unique opportunity to save money and assist energy reliability for all customers. A device is installed near the outside central air conditioning unit at the home and during a limited number of peak demand periods, Appalachian will activate this device to adjust the air conditioner’s compressor to run at 50 percent cycling.

The low income weatherization program provides products and services to residential customers in need of help in reducing home energy bills and improving comfort. To qualify for the program, a household must have a total annual household income at or below 60 percent of the state median income.

Serving on an energy efficiency committee put together by a governor is a first for Fawcett. Although he works with different states on various initiatives, Fawcett said he’s excited to work with a group that reports directly to state leaders. He’s hopeful Appalachian customers in Virginia will benefit from the committee’s decisions.

“We always have to look at it from what’s in the best interest for our customers,” Fawcett said. “There has to be a certain balance there. The programs we run, our customers pay for. We want to make sure it’s always in their best interest and that its cost effective.”

The Executive Committee will be overseen by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones and will be staffed by the Energy Division of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy.

Fawcett is based at the Appalachian headquarters in Charleston, W.Va. He plans to travel to Richmond to attend meetings. The committee plans to meet on a monthly basis, with occasional conference calls to discuss updates.

From → News From AEP

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