We’re proud of the intelligent, passionate, and hardworking people that make up the Bright Power team. Each month, you’ll get a chance to meet one of them, understand how they contribute to the organization, and what makes them excited to come to work every day.
Meet Amanda Clevinger, Policy and Programs Manager.
What are some of the things you like most about working at Bright Power?
I think everyone always says “the people”? It sounds cliché but it’s still true. I almost didn’t pursue my interest in energy because my first experience in the industry was so negative. I got a crash course in office politics and condescension, and I was ready to run for the hills!
But at Bright Power, my experience was different from day one. So many people have taken time out of their busy days to teach, debate, and mentor me. And as I’ve walked through difficult times in my personal life, they’ve been there for virtual laugh/cry/caffeine sessions more times than I can count.
What are some projects and accomplishments you’re most proud of?
It’s hard to pick just one project! As our incentive liaison, I work behind the scenes on dozens of projects and programs each week. On any given day, I could be assessing a new pay-for-performance program in California, participating in stakeholder meetings with the New York Public Service Commission, or briefing an Account Manager on solar program requirements in New Jersey. It changes every day and that’s what I love. However, on a non-incentive note, I’ve also expanded our library of green building legislation. I currently track compliance requirements in cities across 14 states, and I expect that number to grow as more and more cities take up the mantle.
What’s something people might not know about you and your role at Bright Power?
Most people know that I spend a lot of time talking to the utilities, NYSERDA, NJCEP, and other administrators about all the up-and-coming incentive program news. But many don’t know that some of the best intel comes from regulatory proceedings, so I make time for those as well. In most states, the utility regulator leads the high-level policymaking when it comes to incentive program portfolios. The regulators direct important conversations about issues like budgets and cost-effectiveness, which have very tangible effects on measure eligibility and other aspects of programs that affect building owners and their projects.
One of your focuses is keeping a pulse on energy-related state and municipal policies and legislation across the country. Are there any you feel will be especially impactful on mitigating climate change?
As a self-ascribed policy wonk, it pained me deeply to witness the lack of federal leadership on climate during the previous administration, but it has been truly remarkable to watch municipalities across the country step up to fill the void. Cities, such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Reno, are setting ambitious climate targets and are rolling out a plethora of legislation for buildings to support those efforts. California has a solar mandate for new single-family homes. Dozens of cities and states now require annual energy benchmarking, and over 17 of them also require energy and water audits, retro-commissioning, and/or regular tune-ups.
All of these legislative efforts will help reduce building energy use, but I’m most excited about a newer type of policy called a Building Performance Standard (BPS). BPS legislation sets energy performance targets for individual buildings based on building type, size, and fuel source. New York City; Boston; Washington, D.C.; St. Louis; and Washington State are all developing their own version of a BPS at this time. Washington, D.C.’s first compliance cycle started earlier this month!
The biggest advantage of a BPS policy is impact. After setting laudable climate goals, many legislators were left scrambling to figure out how to achieve their targets. BPS became a popular choice for buildings because it allows policymakers to drive deeper retrofits than ever before, but with the precision and flexibility to avoid imposing undue burdens on marginalized communities.
What’s the one service offering we have that you think is the most beneficial to clients and why?
I love seeing the range of green building legislation that municipalities are pursuing, but I’ll admit that it can cause some anxiety amongst owners that have to navigate that, especially when it’s left to the last minute. That’s why one of the best things owners can do is to prioritize their portfolios. As part of other services we offer, such as MoBIUS, energy audits, and on-site generation consulting, our Account Managers will do a full review of an owner’s portfolio to identify properties that may be subject to compliance requirements. It’s definitely not the sexiest service we offer, but it could prevent major headaches—and fines—down the road.