Volunteers for Energy Seeking Energy Assessors

Volunteers for Energy, a program of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, is seeking part-time retired, volunteer engineers to perform energy and sustainability assessments at businesses, nonprofits, governments and industries in the greater Roanoke region.  These assessments provide specific strategies for organizations to cut their energy use, reduce waste, and implement other energy and environmental practices such as recycling programs, transportation demand management, and green energy, and are provided free of charge.

Volunteers should have industrial or facilities management experience with good communications and computer skills and an interest in sustainability and energy issues.  Experience in some technical, educational, or professional fields is also appropriate.  Volunteers for Energy staff provide training and assessment supplies, including all necessary tools.  A stipend is available and volunteers are eligible to be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the assessment process.

Interested volunteers should contact Jeremy Holmes, Coordinator of Sustainability Programs, at (540) 342-9393 or jholmes@rvarc.org.  More information and a volunteer interest form can be found at www.rvarc.org.  Just click the Volunteers for Energy logo.

Volunteers for Energy helps organizations improve environmental and energy management through efficiency techniques that save money.  The VfE team conducts on-site assessments and provides consulting services to businesses and public facilities throughout the greater Roanoke region.  Highly experiences volunteer engineers, scientists, and staff provide clients with innovative cost-saving strategies and resources to meet their goals.  Consulting services are confidential and are provided at no cost to the client, supported by a Department of Energy grant and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission.

Regional Commission Awarded Energy Grant

March 2, 2010 – Roanoke, VA – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC) will be awarded $277,751 to develop a pilot energy efficiency and conservation program in the Roanoke Valley and Alleghany Highlands.  The Regional Commission’s proposal was one of 26 applications that were selected for funding from over 150 submissions that came from all regions of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Commission’s new energy efficiency program will utilize retired engineers and scientists to provide confidential and nonregulatory pollution prevention and energy efficiency assessments to businesses and institutions in the region. Volunteer assessors will identify utility cost-cutting measures through on-site energy and water efficiency auditing, strategic energy management planning, technical assistance, solid waste reduction, and project implementation guidance.

No-cost technical assistance and training will be provided to industries, businesses, and public facilities, including K-12 schools and local governments.  The program will be modeled on successful programs throughout the nation that harness the expert knowledge of retired technical professionals, such as North Carolina’s Waste Reduction Partner’s (WRP) program.  It is anticipated that the new Regional Commission program will begin accepting request for energy assessments by Fall 2010.

Several of Virginia’s Planning District Commissions played a vital role in reviewing applications and will continue to manage this program as it moves into the implementation stage.  The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy partnered with the state’s 21 planning districts in order to take advantage of their well-established administrative, project management, and technical support capacity as well as their communications systems and channels with local governments and the local business and non-profit communities.

The funding is provided by the Virginia Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block (EECBG) program, which was established to help local governments, cities and counties implement strategies to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives.  The EECBG program was initiated as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

More information can be found at http://www.eecbg.energy.gov/