Wednesday, October 21 

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. CT

Emerging Issues in The Mid-West States & Utilities: COVID-19 Response, Interim Mitigation Measures & Longer-Term Trends

Joe Cullen, BPA; Reine Rambert, MEEA; Molly Graham, MEEA


The Building Performance Association (BPA) and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) are partnering together to provide a “live state update” on Emerging Issues in States and Utilities in the Midwestern Region. Experts from BPA and MEEA will focus on: 1) BPA and MEEA’s policy responses to COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols and Interim COVID Mitigation Measures; 2) a survey of emerging COVID-19 Trends in policy and programs in Mid-Western states; and 3) a discussion of longer-term trends and strategies for 2020 and beyond.

The BPA and MEEA presentations will update attendees on state policy issues impacting home performance contractors and small businesses in the Mid-West. The presentations will also highlight trends across the energy efficiency marketplace in each state. A significant portion of the presentations will be devoted to answering questions from the audience.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT

The Healthy Homes Opportunity in the Time of COVID--New Opportunities, Growing Demand

Peter Troast, Energy Circle


One of the greatest opportunities for expanding the home performance industry is in connecting consumer demand for healthy homes with private market opportunities for building retrofits that improve both energy use and indoor air quality. The demand for and awareness of healthy homes continues to grow—especially in the post-COVID-19 world, wherein people are more conscientious of their health at home than ever before. For this to be a viable business, the key question is: how can home performance contracting companies convert the growing demand for healthy homes to whole house jobs? In this presentation, Energy Circle CEO and Founder Peter Troast will explain the trajectory of the healthy homes movement within home performance, and consumer trends supported by first-party statistics and market intelligence. He will unpack how contractors can bridge this communication gap with homeowners, and the foundations of a healthier home business and marketing strategy.

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. CT

Energy Efficiency to Preserve Affordable Rental Housing in Minneapolis

Rebecca Olson and Grant Carlson, Center for Energy and Environment


More than ever cities across the nation are recognizing the challenges of, and experimenting with programs to preserve affordable housing, mitigate climate change, and address issues of environmental justice. In the face of such challenges, the City of Minneapolis created the 4d Affordable Housing Incentive program. The program is a unique pairing of housing and energy policy that leverages City and utility incentives to preserve affordable housing, lower utility bills, and cut greenhouse gas emissions. By providing technical assistance from CEE's energy experts and up to 90% cost share on energy efficiency projects, this program is able to ensure lasting affordability through rent stabilization and lower utility bills.

In this session, we will discuss the successes and lessons learned while coaching property owners through projects. This will include program design elements, funding streams, case studies, and data on energy savings.

Thursday, October 22

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. CT

Cold-Climate ASHPs: Real World Results

Emily McPherson, Center for Energy and Environment; Ben Schoenbauer, Center for Energy and Environment; Bruce Manclark, CLEAResult


Air-source heat pumps (ASHP) have improved over the last decade, and they are now an energy-efficient heating option in Minnesota and the Midwest. This presentation will discuss CEE’s cold-climate ASHP research, including performance and capacity results, lessons learned, and experiences from over five years of detailed data monitoring from ASHP field installs in Minnesota. Achieving heat pump's potential for energy savings, maximizing durability, and preventing release of climate-warming refrigerants requires proper design, installation, commissioning and service. This session will also discuss best practices for equipment selection and sizing, as well as when heat pumps work and when they don't.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT

Workforce Development Townhall- Telling the EE Story

Keith Aldridge, BPA; Ameedah Hafeez and Darnell Johnson, Urban Efficiency, LLC, Karl Stanley, Nisource


Join this interactive discussion about the development needs of the home performance workforce. You’ll hear how organizations are focusing on workforce development and the demand for qualified candidates, from recruitment, hiring, training, and retention. Panelists will share their experiences finding field and office personnel and solutions they’ve developed to educate and train staff.

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. CT

Working in the Field During COVID: Ventilation & Using a Blower Door

Paul Francisco, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Patricia Fritz, NY State Department of Health


The pandemic has raised many questions regarding safety of workers and residents during home performance work. A major question has been whether to use a blower door, and if so how to do it safely. This session will first discuss health concerns related to respirable particles in general, reflecting that the virus travels in this type of particles, with linkages to the virus specifically. With this foundation, the session will then review when and how to use the blower door in a manner that maximizes safety, and may contribute to enhancing the safety of those in the home.

More information and to register



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