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ASHRAE Member GGAC Accomplishments & Activities

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ASHRAE Day on the Hill

ASHRAE’s members are inspiringly active, educating government officials on the Society’s positions, technical knowledge, research, products, and services. Below is a small sample of activities.

  • Society Year 2017–2018

    United States

    South Carolina Chapter Day on the Hill
    By Hunter Wilson, GGAC Chair, South Carolina Chapter

    South Carolina_2018 DOTH-250W-caption.jpgASHRAE Chapters in South Carolina held their second extremely successful Day on the Hill. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson joined ASHRAE members for lunch and was helpful in giving his insights on talking with elected officials. ASHRAE member Randy Jones contact with a legislative agent provided good direction once everyone was in the State House. Senator Stephen Goldfinch from Georgetown recognized Mr. Jones and all of the ASHRAE members from the Senate Floor.

    Individually ASHRAE members spoke with eight Senators on the Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry (LCI) Committee. Senators were very receptive of us being at the Capitol. A second group of ASHRAE volunteers went to the Blatt House Office Building and spoke with a number of Representatives in their offices. Each Senator and Representative was provided an ASHRAE folder of materials in their office. An individual meeting was also held with House LCI Chairman Representative William Sandifer in his office. Representative Sandifer was receptive to our message and agreed that codes and standards are very important in the commercial sector.


    Indiana Chapter Day on the Hill Highlights
    By Andy Cheung, GGAC Chair, ASHRAE Central Indiana Chapter

    The ASHRAE Central Indiana Chapter held a Day on the Hill (DOTH) event at the Indiana Statehouse on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018.  It was Indiana’s first Day on the Hill event.  Because it was not feasible to meet all 150 legislators in a day, the DOTH efforts were directed to only those legislators that were involved with utility and/or environmental committees.  With a more focused approach, we were able to make 45 phones calls and setup approximately 12 appointments with Senators and Representatives of both parties. 

    Some of the highlights of the day were:

    • House Minority Leader Terry Goodin met with ASHRAE volunteers and asked for 30 copies of all of our handouts in order to distribute to the entire Democratic House Caucus. 
    • Senator Jim Buck provided a contact in the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) that could be of help on legislative issues. The LSA is comprised of lawyers whose job it is to research information on subjects the legislators are unfamiliar with. By knowing how information is passed to Representatives and Senators, ASHRAE can be more effective at being a resource to the people who have the ears of the Indiana legislators. Senator Buck also suggested we focus on the public heath committees for our next visit.
    • Representatives Sue Errington and Carey Hamilton were very happy to meet us and asked many questions regarding how we operate and what we do.  Representative Hamilton, in particular, had worked in a related field prior to joining the state legislature so she was quite familiar with building energy issues.
    • Representative Randy Frye could not attend our meeting, but we were able to meet with his Legislative Assistant (LA).  His LA sits on the Utilities Committee and was more than happy to pass our information along to the committee members. 

    The first Indiana Day on the Hill event went well. We were able to pass along the ASHRAE message and have our presence known.  Next year, we will plan earlier and target different committees while making sure we make a point to talk to specific LA’s and interns.  That way they will be more receptive for every subsequent DOTH hereafter.  The only follow up with the senators and representatives completed was a personalized thank you letter.  However, there were follow up items that came from the DOTH coordination, including contacting the LSA, writing a DOTH report and debriefing with the rest of the Central Indiana Chapter board members.

    pdf_icon.png Full Report

    Day on the Hill - Virginia
    by Brian Derby
    The Virginia Day on the Hill visit went well, but legislators had limited time due to the fact that they were in session. Because they were in session, legislators were interested in hearing about specific topics. After speaking with individuals in the Code Commission office, they explained how to use a few online tools such as to help track regulatory changes. In addition, we learned that one can request changes to building code online through the Department of Housing and Community Development website. Having a better understanding of the lawmakers’ process, we are looking forward to acting on future legislation by utilizing our area of expertise. A monthly meeting would be helpful to stay abreast of current legislation and keep ASHRAE’s membership informed as necessary. For future visits, we hope to reach out by phone or email and prepare knowledge on a specific topic for pending legislation.

    Day on the Hill - Kentucky – SSRC 90.1 member Christian Taber provided testimony to the Kentucky Housing, Buildings, and Construction Advisory Committee on August 22, 2017 in opposition to attempts to roll back the state's commercial energy code to an earlier version of IECC. Jim Scarborough, Manager of Grassroots Government Affairs for ASHRAE, was in attendance to provide technical support.

    Day On the Hill - New Mexico
    by Alex Quintero, GGAC Chair, New Mexico Chapter
    As a first year Grassroots Government Advocacy Chair, the Day on the Hill of January 25, 2018 was an awesome experience. This is the best opportunity we have as part of ASHRAE to communicate our goals to legislators and others involved in adopting or updating our energy efficiency, indoor air quality and any other Standard promoted by ASHRAE. From my personal experience at the Santa Fe Capitol in New Mexico, it was an honor being able to speak to the decision makers for which new bills are passed, mainly for the benefit of our state which ends up contributing to the conservation of our country as a whole.

    Many of the legislators were familiar with ASHRAE already, which made it easier to advocate about our goals for the future. Arizona House member Bill McCamley offered an interesting comment. He noted that the state will be changing Governors and there will be new legislators that may or may not be aware of ASHRAE. As the great organization we are, we must be there to advocate for who we are, what we do and where we stand.

    Puerto Rico 2018 Day on the HillDay on the Hill - ASHRAE Puerto Rico Chapter & the Puerto Rico Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Alliance presented comments and recommendations to "Camara de Representantes de Puerto Rico" in public hearing for the Puerto Rico Building Codes Revision & Update project. Pictured: Jorge Molina, GGAC Chair of the Puerto Rico Chapter.

  • Society Year 2016–2017

    Ottawa, Ontario – The first Canadian ASHRAE Day On The Hill (DOTH) was organized by GGAC members from Region II and XI. On June 7th, ASHRAE members visited government ministers, members of Parliament, department leaders and other influential Ottawa agencies. They informed them how ASHRAE could be helpful in meeting Canadian government climate change objectives in three areas:

    • Research activities about use of flammable refrigerants to meet the agreed UNEP protocols from the recent Kigali conference.
    • Reducing energy consumption in existing buildings by referencing  our Standard 100.
    • Improved building operations by using ASHRAE Building Energy Quotient Program.  

    After the visit, participants plan to write formal thank you letters to every person visited and follow up with requested information. Each chapter involved were asked to follow up with their established connections and encourage new ones. Canadian GGAC members expressed interest to form a group dedicated to the DOTH initiative. For those of you interested to hold your own DOTH, set a date and make sure to prepare your volunteers a couple months in advance.

    United States

    Arkansas – The Arkansas Chapter in Little Rock partnered with Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA) to have their "Day on the Hill" on March 14th. Their day included conversations with legislators and staff before, during and after a pre-programmed luncheon. ASHRAE was part of several organizations focused around Advance Energy Applications at the capital. This allowed a focus on attendees to leverage a larger population of constituents. One special moment occurred when the Chairman of the Public Service Commission approached ASHRAE, asking about ASHRAE Standards for communications, application and integration of smart meters, and various other topics.

    Georgia – Approximately 10 volunteers visited the office of each of the 236 legislators in Georgia on February 15, 2017. The Atlanta Chapter held a training at ASHRAE headquarters and visited the State Capitol distributing information on ASHRAE. Interviews were held with the volunteers both before and after to capture thoughts and feelings and to make suggestions on what could be done differently or added for future events.  

    New Mexico – On March 16th, volunteers from the ASHRAE New Mexico Chapter spent the afternoon and evening at the capitol building in Santa Fe spreading the word about ASHRAE.  More specifically, they spoke to several elected legislative officials about ASHRAE-funded research and ASHRAE standards regarding energy efficiency, sustainability, building occupant comfort, and ventilation. Government officials were receptive to the idea of incorporating or updating the latest ASHRAE energy and ventilation standards into state legislation. Leading up to the next legislative session, the ASHRAE New Mexico Chapter plans to follow up with their local state government. Local ASHRAE members expressed interest in modifying existing bills or proposing a new bill incorporating ASHRAE standards beneficial to New Mexico’s population. "A Day on the Hill was definitely a day to remember. Through the final forty-eight hours, elected officials showed interest in ASHRAE and the information that was given to them. So much knowledge can be acquired from these types of events. This was a gratifying experience and I'm glad I was able to be a part of it," said Andres Mendoza, ASHRAE New Mexico Chapter GGAC member.

    North Carolina – Approximately 14 volunteers from the Triangle Chapter attended North Carolina’s first Day on the Hill visit on February 22, 2017. Teams were broken up into two and were given specific areas and assignments within the legislature buildings to see as many elected officials and/or administrative support as possible. All attendees were given a brief script example of how to introduce themselves (including that were are not lobbying), what ASHRAE stands for, and our reason for being there. After the visit, the chapter recorded specific questions that were asked and are currently setting up future one-on-one meetings with elected officials to dive deeper into what they can help them with. Most of the volunteers started out hesitant about this event, but everyone now understands of the importance of creating a positive relationship with elected officials. The Triangle Chapter is looking forward to their next visit to build on this year’s success. 

    Oklahoma – The Northeastern Oklahoma Chapter held a Day on the Hill at the state capitol in Oklahoma City on March 21, 2017. ASHRAE Members met with state representatives and senators to discuss the various talking points on the legislation listed below as well as offering as much feedback to legislators as experts in the industry. Thank you to all who attended the Day on the Hill to continue to promote ASHRAE and our industry at the grassroots level.

    • HB1168 – This bill would move the OUBCC from being an independent committee reporting to a congressional committee, to reporting to the CIB and consolidate the 2 groups.
    • SB104 – This bill would make it legal for homeowners to do their own work on their residences without requiring licensed professionals. There is concern that the bill isn’t specific enough and there may be loopholes that allow them to apply this to other projects.
    • SB283 – This bill establishes the minimum cycles that codes are adopted. The debate centers around whether the cycle should be 3-year or 6-year adoption cycles.
    • HB1883 – This bill proposes an energy conservation program for public school buildings, similar to the one the state has now for the state government buildings.

    South Carolina – The South Carolina Chapter held its first Day on the Hill visit on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. Led by SC Chapter GGAC Chair Hunter Wilson, ASHRAE members circulated through the legislature to introduce the Society and its members to legislators as a leading source of expertise for policy makers in the development of legislation affecting the public and the HVAC profession. Approximately a dozen volunteers from the Chapter participated in this Day on the Hill, making Region IV the first ASHRAE Region to have a Day on the Hill visit in every state of that Region.

    Texas – Approximately 20 volunteers represented the 8 ASHRAE chapters of Texas when visiting legislative offices on February 21, 2017. Their focus was on meeting their State Senators and Representatives and introducing them to ASHRAE. An E-Week Proclamation was approved by the Texas House and all ASHRAE members in the House Gallery were asked to stand while the proclamation was approved with thunderous applause. For the entirety of Engineers Week, ASHRAE was also provided space in the Texas State Capital building to display information about ASHRAE with posters, banners and literature.

  • Society Year 2015–2016
    • ASHRAE Vice President Chuck Gulledge met with his US Senators and Representative to discuss high performance green buildings issues, building energy codes, and energy legislation.
    • Mr. Gulledge also presented on a Congressional briefing hosted by the Alliance to Save Energy on “The Role of Benchmarking, Transparency and Codes in Driving a More Efficient Built Environment”.
    • President David Underwood and GGAC Responsive Engagement Subcommittee Rob Craddock met with the Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
    • GGAC finaled brochures for the new Canadian government as well as Region XIII and the Region-at-Large that introduces ASHRAE and its members as a resource.
    • Sections of Standard 188-2015 Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems were incorporated into emergency legislation in New York City in response to the legionella outbreak in the City. Adoption of the full Standard 188 is being considered by New York State and City. Portions of the Standard 188 were incorporated by New York State and City.
    • The Government of Dubai (United Arab Emirates) announced that ASHRAE’s Building Energy Assessment Professional Certification has been accredited for the performance of energy audits. Region-at-Large RVC and GGAC member Ahmed Alaa Eldin Mohamed was very involved in this effort.
    • Montreal Chapter was consulted and participated in the new building energy efficiency law for the province of Quebec to be instated in 2017. ASHRAE’s Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) program was introduced.
    • Quebec Chapter met with government agencies and ministries on code issues and bEQ.
    • Central Oklahoma Chapter and Northeastern Oklahoma Chapter partnered for a Day on the Hill.
    • Central Arizona Chapter and Tucson Chapter partnered for a Day on the Hill.
    • Philadelphia Chapter had a Chapter meeting with the City of Philadelphia’s Sustainability Officer.
    • North Piedmont Chapter had Nancy Hoffman, a member of the Greensboro City Council, speak at its February Chapter meeting.
    • Randy Jones of the Charleston, South Carolina Chapter has been appointed by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to serve as the ASHRAE representative on the Sustainability Construction Advisory Committee.
    • So Cal Chapter met with the Mayor Santa Barbara.
    • Manitoba Chapter held several meetings with government Building Program offices.
    • A building code official serves as the GGAC Chair for one of ASHRAE’s Florida Chapters.
    • Central Florida Chapter worked with the City of Orlando and Orange County on their Building Energy & Water Disclosure Ordinance.
    • Brasil Chapter organizing an event in early 2016 involving the Brasilian government and ASHRAE members to promote government interaction and collaboration.
    • Issued two Action Alerts to US-based ASHRAE members opposing the inclusion of harmful building energy codes language in congressional energy legislation. A total of 987 letters were sent by ASHRAE members to their US House Representatives in response to these Alerts, demonstrating strong member engagement.
    • Succeeded in updating the reference standard in the 179D Commercial Building Tax Deduction from ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001 to Standard 90.1-2007, and extending the deduction until December 31, 2016. This is now federal law.
    • President-Elect Tim Wentz met with his US Senators, Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), and staff for his US House of Representatives member, Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-1). Mr. Wentz discussed ASHRAE’s Public Policy Priorities, the Society’s opposition to harmful building energy codes language, ASHRAE’s involvement with indoor environmental quality, and the use of Standard 189.1 by the US Department of Defense, among other things. These meetings went very well, and Mr. Wentz subsequently held a follow-up meeting with local staff from Senator Fischer’s office to further discuss how ASHRAE and the Senator can help each other achieve common objectives.