3702 Loop 322 • Abilene, TX 79602 • 325-672-8544

Regional Energy Management Assistance Project

Our Mission

In partnership with the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), we are seeking to increase energy efficiency and water saving activities and awareness in the region the WCTCOG serves.

GOALS AND INITIATIVES

  • Identify energy and water management needs, opportunities, capacities, and priorities in the region
  • Promote and provide education and resources to address regional energy and water management needs
  • Facilitate sharing of information throughout the region to promote efficient energy management practices

Events And Training

WEBINAR

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Webinar

Date: Thursday, June 20. 10:00 a.m.– 11:30am

Join AACOG, NCTCOG, and WCTCOG for an online webinar on the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and discover how this web-based tool enables property owners to track and assess energy and water consumption across their building portfolios. The session will feature a live demonstration from the EPA, showcasing how to add properties, input usage details, and generate comprehensive reports. Attendees will also hear from local government entities about effectively utilizing the tool for benchmarking, verifying savings, and identifying underperforming buildings.

ROUNDTABLE

Integrating Energy and Water Conservation into Hazard Mitigation Planning Roundtable

Date: March 7, 2024

Homeland Security staff met with elected officials, first responders, emergency managers, and county representatives to discuss updates to the region and upcoming events. During this quarterly meeting there was a discussion about the upcoming Hazard Mitigation Plan updates for the WCTCOG Region. The Homeland Security Department is responsible for updating 18 of the WCTCOG’s 19 county plans as required by FEMA.
One of the topics of discussion was the importance of integrating energy and water conservation into the planning process for the Hazard Mitigation Plans. Staff informed attendees that a survey will be sent out reviewing previous action items and to create mitigation action teams for each county. Staff stressed the importance of including public works and utilities in the conversations and having the departments represented in the planning teams for each county. The unique perspective and experience will provide valuable information to include in the Hazard Mitigation Plan updates and address Hazards that are often overlooked.

 ROUNDTABLE

Building Codes Roundtable

Date: February 27, 2024

The WCTCOG held a Roundtable on 2/27/24 to discuss our region’s capabilities and barriers to the adoption/usage of building codes. There were 19 individuals representing 19 of the region’s rural counties and city municipalities in attendance, targeted because they did not contribute to the discussion in year 1 of the SECO grant.

Key findings:
12 of the 19 had building codes adopted ranging from 1991 to 2012. The remaining entities that did not have codes adopted did not see the benefit or reasoning for implementing building codes. Support from City Councils was the number one barrier in the implementation of building codes, followed by getting the funding needed to support the enforcement of the codes once they’re in place. Code enforcement officers, City Managers, or City Secretaries follow city ordinances as well as state and federal laws to maintain public safety, health, and general welfare. Several of the participants rely on their respective County Appraisal Districts to oversee building and energy code activities.
Of the 19 participants only 4 currently utilize Energy STAR portfolio Manager. Most participants had not heard of Energy STAR Portfolio Manager or do not currently utilize the resource. Several of the communities depend on the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) for energy data and pricing. All participating communities have a drastic difference in understanding and utilization of energy resilience best practices and implementation of building codes and would like to receive additional information and resources on Energy STAR Portfolio Manager, Benchmarking, and PACE.

WEBINAR

Incentives for Inflation Reduction Act

Date: August 15, 2023

 

On August 15, 2023, the West Central Texas COG partnered with the Alamo Area COG and North Central Texas COG to host a virtual workshop for all the COGs statewide as well as their membership (primarily local governments but also includes utilities, businesses, and others). The topic was energy efficiency incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act – tax credits, grants, and other programs intended to reduce harmful air pollution, promote energy efficiency and resiliency, and lower operating costs. A total of 64 people attended the workshop. The workshop started at 1pm and concluded around 3pm. Speakers from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Texas State Energy Conservation Office, and each host COG presented on the energy efficiency incentives provided by the Inflation Reduction Act from the perspectives of each respective organization. 

 ROUNDTABLE

Building Code Update

Date: August 29, 2023

The WCTCOG identified some of the communities in the region that either do not have building codes in place or the adopted codes are older than 2012. We invited those communities to participate in a call to discuss the capabilities and barriers they may face in adopting or updating building codes. The following questions were asked of the communities: 

 
  • Do you currently have building codes adopted and in place?
    • If not, what is the reasoning?
    • If you do, what is the current year?
  • What do you see as barriers to adopting or updating building codes?
  • What are your current policies regarding building codes?
  • Do you currently utilize Energy Star Portfolio Manager Tool?
  • What topics on energy resilience and/or building codes would you find beneficial?

WORKSHOP

Regional Energy Efficiency Using Building Codes Presentation by SPEER.

Date: June 28th, 2023

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Location: 3650 Loop 322, Abilene, TX 79602

Speakers: Shaun Auckland, Local Government Program Manager and Randy Plumlee, Code Program Manager

Summary

The West Central Texas COG partnered with the South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) to host a workshop for city and county employees interested in hazard mitigation, code enforcement, and energy efficiency. 14 people attended the workshop, and 2 speakers from SPEER presented. The presentation by SPEER included an explanation of who the organization is, and then an explanation of codes and their importance. Mr. Plumlee discussed relevant legislative updates on energy codes, and practical applications for integrating codes into city plans.

WORKSHOP

PACE Presentation to Texas Midwest Community Network

Date: June 14th, 2023

Presenter: Ryan D. McCormick

Program Administrator: Lone Star Pace

Summary

Lone Star PACE presents the PACE program to newly elected officials from throughout the region. Highlights of the presentation include what PACE financing can do, examples of successful projects that have used PACE financing, the benefits of communities adopting PACE, and the steps to implement it.

ROUNDTABLE

Economic Development With PACE

Date: May 8, 2023, 2023

Presenter: Glen Silva | Chief Operating Officer, Lone Star PACE

Summary

Lone Star PACE presents on the economic impacts the program can have to a group of economic development representatives from the region. The presentation highlights what the PACE program is and the economic benefits it provides communities who adopt it. A roundtable discussion followed the presentation in which event attendees discussed lessons learned from helping their community adopt PACE and best practices for getting other communities to adopt the program.

ROUNDTABLE

An Introduction to the WCTCOG Regional Energy Management Assistance Project

Date: March 2, 2023

Presenter: Jason Kelton | Homeland Security Planner, West Central Texas Council of Governments

Summary

The West Central Texas Council of Governments Homeland Security Department (WCTCOGHSD) presented an overview of the SECO program, shared objectives of the program, and provided opportunities for open discussion and questions. Discussion revealed the capability gaps in the planning and implementation process surrounding energy resiliency. Several topics were discussed regarding the approach to integrating energy resiliency into the hazard mitigation process, including building code updates and review, infrastructure improvements and what that would intel, grants and programs that could assist counties or cities in improving their energy regency posture, and integrating energy resiliency and conservation into local hazard mitigation planning. The discussion ended with explanation of the regional survey and the need for participation throughout the program objectives. 

Contact Us

Jason Kelton

Homeland Secuirty Planner
325-672-8544

Terra New

Community & Economic Development Director
325-672-0495