Previous Posts

Debrief of AEE World 2019

This year’s AEE World Energy Expo and Conference is in the books!  The conference and expo provided many learning opportunities for energy professionals from all around the world.

AEE's President-Elect Samer Zawaydeh Gives the Opening Remarks
AEE’s President-Elect Samer Zawaydeh Gives the Opening Remarks

Defining a New Energy Future

Starting with an impressive display of the sustainable development in China and the lessons learned along the way, Peggy Liu of the Joint US China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) has accelerated the adoption of green infrastructure in China. Focusing on large scale solutions and leveraging networks in both nations, JUCCCE has accelerated the adoption of smart grid technology and renewable energy sources to replace the GHG intensive coal plants that are prevalent throughout China.

Peggy Liu Presenting on The Sustainable Development in China
Peggy Liu Presenting on The Sustainable Development in China

As Energy Engineers and Energy Managers, we spend a lot of time problem solving, educating our colleagues, and adding value to our communities. As reiterated by former AEE President Dr. Eric Woodroof, if you can’t appeal to someone’s senses, appeal to their bottom line. Energy conservation projects consistently outperform Wall Street (or Bay Street). Energy projects typically last longer, have a higher return on investment (ROI) than other projects, are less risky, and most importantly; reduce our carbon footprint.

Conference Tracks and Meeting International Colleagues

The AEE World Energy Conference and Expo provides a unique learning and networking opportunity for energy professionals. Every region has a different priority in their local energy management plans. With so many representatives from jurisdictions all around the world, AEE World allows us to share and collaborate collectively and work towards bigger goals. Sharing with our colleagues offers everyone a chance to learn and to grow.

John Petze Presenting on How Big Data, the IoT, and Analytics are Changing Monitoring & Verification Practices and Results
See Presentations from Industry Leaders at AEE Events

With over 260 presentations this year on a variety of topics (ranging from high performance buildings to emerging energy trends), AEE World provided many learning and networking opportunities.

Climate Change and The Bigger Picture

The significance of our work was emphasized by the conference being in Washington DC during the climate protests that many youths of the world are participating in.

School Strike for Climate
School Strike for Climate

The frustration that these climate activists are feeling is justified. Millennials and Generation Z will be the first generations to feel the impact of climate change but will be the last generations who can do something about it.

The 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5°C warned that “global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions [must] decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050” (2018) to limit global warming to 1.5°C. To reiterate in layman’s terms, we only have 10 years to take an unprecedented amount of action to limit the damage of climate change. As members of AEE, we owe it to this next generation to continue being leaders for change.

Final Thoughts

The conference closed with the world-renowned polar explorer and environmentalist Robert Swan. Swan was the first man ever to walk unsupported to both the north and south poles. Climate change is having a measurable impact at the north and south poles. A man of action, Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Swan will be returning once again to the south pole in December 2019. He will complete this journey with only renewable energy sources.

Bill Kent and Robert Swan. Swan will take this AEE Flag to Antarctica in 2019.
Swan will take this AEE Flag to Antarctica in 2019

Swan will do his best to plant this flag for the AEE at the south pole. All he asks for in return is that you do your best.

Learn More


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2018). Special report: Global warming of 1.5 °C, summary for policy makers. Retrieved from

Chapter Update – Approval of Charter

It’s official – The Metro Vancouver Chapter’s application for Charter has been approved by the AEE! Thank you to those who signed our Petition to Charter and those who participated at our chapter events to make this possible.

Moving forward, there will be an election for the board in the fall. If you’re interested in volunteering with the chapter or becoming a board member, please e-mail

We also currently have a need for volunteers to assist with the following:

  • Website Design
  • Quarterly Newsletters
  • AEE Membership Renewal Assistance

Additionally, if you are attending AEE World in Washington this month feel free to drop us a line.

July 2019 QA with Kerly Acosta Hitchcock

Hi Kerly – you recently presented at the AEE West Energy Conference – how did you find the event?

For my first AEE west conference I found it to be well organized, with a range of sessions, from broad topics to those specific to California. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew it was going to be interesting since it was in the heart of Silicon Valley. And California is a leader when it comes to energy & climate change policy. California’s climate change goal is to double building efficiency, reduce GHG emissions by 40% for 2030, and have 50% renewable energy supply. And be 100% clean energy by 2045. This will mostly will be met by solar power.

One of the highlights for me was listening to one of the Keynote speakers from Tesla, and to sit in a new Tesla XP100D.

I also really enjoyed Susan Freed, who is the Project Manager from the County of San Diego. She presented on M&V for ZNE Facilities. Susan’s presentation was clear, easy to follow, and well laid out. The lessons learned are transferrable to any ZNE project.

There were a couple of neat technologies, such as the kompogas technology presented by Thomas Gratz, who described an anaerobic digestion technology that takes organic matter such as yard waste or compost and turns it into biogas and high grade fertilizer. This will help mitigate some of the methane release in California from landfills and waste water which accounts for 24% of their GHG’s. The other technology that caught my interest was Trane’s thermal battery cooling system that acts like a battery by storing energy to deliver cooling when it’s needed most. Technological ingenuity.

You presented on “Education/Training on Using Building Controls Strategies to Maximize Energy Efficiency” – could you tell us a little more about this?

There is high demand for someone who is knowledgeable in building automation, controls and energy management; however the labour pool is small. The labour pool gets even smaller when you add the skill of data analysis. These skills are in high demand in places like Vancouver and Toronto, where modern, green buildings dominate the urban landscape.

Most of the training/education comes from on the job training which creates inconsistencies across buildings, and it is therefore difficult to problem solve when issues arise.

I used the AEE west conference as an opportunity to highlight the need for more formal training in building controls to provide industry with quality skilled labour in this area, and to get the word out on BCIT’s unique, one of a kind in Canada, Building Controls & Energy Management program or BCEM.

Could you tell us a bit more about the BCEM program?

BCIT’s relatively new Advanced Certificate in Building Controls and Energy Management (BCEM) is a fully online distance education program that will supply industry with graduates who can use controls and building automation systems to improve energy efficiency.  This program fulfills the need for education in controls, building automation, and energy management as a combined field. Graduates will integrate this knowledge in all phases of a building’s life: design, construction, commissioning, and ongoing operation. For more information about the BCEM program check out the link or join us for an online info session on August 13th, register here:

Kerly Acosta Hitchcock, P.Eng is the Program Head for Sustainable Energy Management at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Kerly has 18 years of engineering work experience in automotive, alternative energy generation, demand side management, environmental consulting, and teaching. Kerly also has her Masters in Sustainable Development, with her thesis focused on Sustainable Community Energy Planning.

If you would like to see Kerly’s presentation from AEE West, please click here!

If you are an AEE Member and would like to see the rest of the AEE West 2019 conference proceedings, login at!

Summer General Meeting Minutes and Presentation Slides

The Summer General Meeting was held on June 19 in downtown Vancouver. Thank you to Jonathan Ho and the BCSEA for helping provide material for this general meeting!

With completion of this general meeting, the chapter now meets the mandatory requirements to submit the petition to charter to AEE for review. Upon a successful review by the AEE, Metro Vancouver can become a chartered chapter with the AEE.

The meeting minutes as submitted to the AEE head office and can be found here.

The two presentations for the evening can be found below:

Spring General Meeting Presentation Slides

Thank you to Alexandre Hebert and Eric Mazzi for their engaging presentations at the Spring General Meeting! The night was a success with their support.

Alexandre provided an informative introduction to The BC Energy Step Code.
The presentation can be found here.

Dr. Mazzi presented on the evidence that of an energy efficiency gap (accompanied with barriers and criticisms) and an introduction to a new energy rate designed to eliminate these barriers and criticisms. The presentation can be found here.