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Buildings consume more energy than any other sector of the U.S. economy – including transportation and industry. Using applied building science, we assist the construction industry, code officials, facility managers and homeowners to improve building efficiency.

Current Projects

Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction

WSU Energy Program has worked to support USDOE Building America Program building science research for over 20 years.

Code Support for 2015 Washington State Energy Code (Residential Sections)

Our code experts provide support to those who use the residential sections of the Washington State Energy Code (WSEC). Please visit our resources at 2015 Washington State Energy Code.

Community Energy Efficiency Program

This statewide program created by the Washington State Legislature provides a community-based approach to residential and small commercial energy efficiency retrofits and upgrades. Details are provided on the Community Energy Efficiency Program webpage.

Home Energy Raters (HERS)

This list provides contact information for certified home energy raters in Washington who meet the minimum requirements as defined by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Mortgage Industry National Home Rating Standards, and operate under the rating providership of the WSU Energy Program.

Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes

We manage the Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes regional initiative and have staff certified in quality assurance for the program.

Research

Our building science professionals research energy-efficient technologies and practices. For example, we operate a facility for conducting wall system moisture and thermal-performance research.

The building science team, with funding from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, examined energy efficiency issues in military housing, manufactured housing, and Habitat for Humanity homes in Western Washington. This extensive research is documented in Building and Equipment Efficiency Publications.

Training

Our training webpage lists opportunities to learn about code compliance, duct testing, and becoming a certified professional (ENERGY STAR, Performance Comfort Tested System, Home Energy Raters).

Video on Sealing Ducts

The video Duct Sealing for Comfort, Energy and IAQ (16:45 minutes) is for building professionals or do-it-yourself homeowners. It shows how ducts move air, where leaks commonly occur, and how to fix them.

Past Projects

Building Performance Rating Project

A market transformation pilot project created a rating system for scoring the actual performance of commercial buildings.

RePower

RePower was a county-wide program funded by the DOE Better Buildings Neighborhood Program dedicated to helping homeowners save money through energy efficiency. RePower was the product of a partnership of the WSU Energy Program and the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Todd Currier

Todd Currier assumed the role of Interim Director of the WSU Energy Program on January 1, 2019.

Currier served as Assistant Director of the WSU Energy Program since 2002, and he has considerable experience with project and program leadership, strategic planning, and business development. The WSU Energy Program will benefit from his leadership skills and his regional and national reputation as he provides oversight, leadership and management of all functions of the organization.

Currier has over 30 years of supervisory and management experience in energy efficiency program development, implementation, and evaluation. Currier has represented the WSU Energy Program in a variety of forums at the state, regional, national, and international levels. He has provided leadership to staff members engaged in building science research, building code development and implementation, indoor air quality improvement, workforce development issues and trends, resource conservation programs, industrial energy efficiency, renewable energy programs, and energy efficiency upgrades for homes and businesses. He currently serves as co-chair of the Industrial and Combined Heat and Power Work Group of the State Energy Efficiency Action Network, and is a member of the Pacific Northwest’s Regional Emerging Technologies Advisory Committee. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Puget Sound School of Law.

Sheila Riggs

Sheila Riggs is Assistant Director of the WSU Energy Program. She has served in this role since 2002. She has considerable communication, legislative, administrative, strategic planning, project management, and team development experience.

Riggs serves as the liaison for the WSU Energy Program to the Washington State Legislature, University leadership, and in various other forums. She has provided leadership to staff members engaged in client software and web development, information systems, bioenergy programs, alternative fuels and electric vehicle programs, farm energy, communications, library services, internal operations and administration, facilities management, and human resources.

Prior to her time with the organization, Riggs worked for the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems as the member communications and seminars manager and as the School Employees’ Retirement System communications manager. She was also a public information officer for the Washington State Department of Information Services. Prior to her state service, Riggs was a press secretary for a U.S. congressman and deputy press secretary for a U.S. senator in Washington, D.C. She also worked for the U.S. Department of State. Riggs holds two M.A. degrees – one from Washington State University in communications and the other from The George Washington University in international affairs.

Tanya Beavers

Tanya Beavers is an energy professional who works closely with the Building Science Division and is coordinating the annual Energy/Facilities Connections Conference hosted by the Plant Operations Support Consortium. She also provides executive support for other areas of the organization, writes communication material, and assists in coordinating building science trainings. Her professional background includes experience in marketing, financial services, and technical writing. She holds a B.A. in public relations with minors in business communication and Japanese from Central Washington University.

Leslie Carman

Leslie Carman is an energy analyst with the WSU Energy Program, where she provides data management, manipulation, and visualization support. She also assists in analyzing, interpreting, and reporting data for research-based projects and energy efficiency programs; and provides friendly public outreach and assistance to clients and the public. Carman has several years of experience in data collection, verification, evaluation, and mapping of natural resources using GIS. She also brings a distinctive perspective to her work in natural resources preservation as the founder of an organic seed-saving operation and as an advocate of sustainable organic farming practices with the Sustainable Business Center, Knox College Farm, and Prairie Community Kitchen. She is completing her Master of Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College and holds a B.A. in environmental studies with a minor in ethnobotany/horticulture sciences from Knox College, IL.

Nels Christianson

Nels Christianson serves as a senior software engineer and has worked for the organization since 1996. Christianson has also been a computer analyst and programmer for the Washington State Energy Office, a self-employed computer analyst and programmer, a college instructor at Northern Marianas College, a regional engineer for Africare, Inc., and a service technician for S.C.A. Corporation. He served several times as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer – as an instructor, a district engineer, and a computer system programmer. In 2006, Christianson served as an on-site engineer in Sri Lanka in rebuilding efforts after the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia. He has two B.S. degrees, one in computer science/management from The Evergreen State College and one in civil engineering from the University of Washington.

James L. Colombo

Jim Colombo has served as the Information Systems Department Manager and IT specialist for the WSU Energy Program and the Washington State Energy Office since 1987. Colombo has over 30 years of experience providing technical service, support, and training to citizens, management, and employees at state agencies and universities. Prior to his time with the WSU Energy Program, he worked for South Puget Sound Community College and the King County Library System.

Donna Cowsert

Donna Cowsert serves as our management analyst/fiscal officer. With 30 years of experience in the accounting field, she provides financial/grants management services, and reviews and submits proposals. Cowsert assists with subcontract setup, submitting match documentation, and resolving grant issues with the sponsor, principal investigator, and university. Her prior experience includes serving as accounts receivable manager, responsible for building and coaching a team to effectively implement grants, contracts, and interagency agreements.

Alan J. Hardcastle

Alan Hardcastle is a Senior Research Associate at the WSU Energy Program. He has 30 years of experience providing leadership for quantitative and qualitative research and consulting projects with public/private-sector clients and stakeholders in industry, education, workforce and economic development. Hardcastle holds a Ph.D. in higher education and organizational change from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is an adjunct faculty member at The Evergreen State College, where he teaches a graduate course on clean energy.

Karen Janowitz

Karen Janowitz is a program coordinator at the WSU Energy Program. She has over 20 years of experience in project leadership and management; implementing, marketing, and managing energy efficiency and environmental programs; group facilitation; environmental education; communications; and administration. Janowitz holds a B.A. in geology from the University of Colorado and a Master of Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College.

Jim Jensen

Jim Jensen is our senior bioenergy and alternative fuels specialist. He conducts research and provides up-to-date information and technical assistance about bioenergy and alternative fuels and vehicles. Jensen supports federal and state agencies, local governments, and private clients. His current research activities include biogas/biomethane, biodiesel, electric vehicles, and green fleets. He serves on the state’s multi-agency bioenergy team, the anaerobic digestion task force, the Alt Fuel/Vehicle Technical Assistance Group, and the Western Washington Clean Cities Steering Committee. During 20+ years of work in the private and nonprofit sectors, Jensen has provided technical assistance to businesses in dozens of industries, assisted corporate social responsibility programs, and supported new green technologies and products. His technical knowledge and experience encompass research, development, and implementation of projects in the voluntary carbon market, renewable energy, recycling, waste prevention, anaerobic digestion, and composting. Jensen holds a B.A. from Grinnell College, Iowa.

Gary Kaufman

Gary Kaufman is a technical support specialist for the WSU Energy Program. With over 30 years of cross-functional experience in business strategy, operations, and product and project management in the private and public sectors, Kaufman currently works with the U.S. Department of Energy Northwest Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership, the Bioenergy Coordination Team, and other collaborative energy efficiency improvement efforts in the WSU Energy Program portfolio. He holds a B.A. from The Evergreen State College.

Phil Lou

Phil Lou is our solar energy specialist. He has over 20 years of experience in the building industry, culminating in designing and installing modern photovoltaic systems. Lou holds a B.S. from the University of Oregon and certifications in photovoltaic design and application, solar thermal design and application, and energy audit and weatherization. He developed curricula for and taught courses in the clean energy technologies program at a local community college.

Michael Lubliner

Michael Lubliner has worked in the energy conservation and renewable energy field for over 35 years, starting his career as the Pacific Northwest regional distributor for Grumman, Bio-Energy Systems and other renewable energy products. In 1983, Lubliner began working for the Washington State Energy Office, where he helped develop, implement, evaluate, and refine the Northwest Power Planning Council’s Model Conservation Standards, state energy codes, and Super Good Cents site-built and manufactured housing programs. He works in support of the U.S. DOE Building America Program and the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Program. Lubliner has a B.S. in energy engineering from The Evergreen State College.

Gilbert McCoy, P.E.

Gil McCoy, a registered Professional Engineer, is a senior energy systems engineer with the WSU Energy Program. He provides technical assistance and energy auditing services to industrial and public sector clients. McCoy’s areas of expertise include optimization of industrial systems (motor/drive, compressed air, steam, combined heat and power, and pumping). He served as lead engineer for development of software products including MotorMaster+ (motor energy management), International Motor Selection and Savings Analysis, AirMaster+ (compressed air system assessment), and BallastMaster (lighting system/ballast selection) software. McCoy is a U.S. DOE Qualified AIRMaster+ Specialist and a Qualified Steam Tools and Process Heating Specialist. He holds a B.S. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Washington and a M.S. in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Anneka McDonald

Anneka McDonald is a performance and accountability specialist, leveraging skills in fiscal management, customer service, and database management. With training in various software applications and a focus on public agency issues, McDonald identifies and works to resolve accounting issues.

Rob Penney, P.E.

Rob Penney, a registered Professional Engineer and Certified Energy Manager, is a senior energy engineer at the WSU Energy Program. He oversees a team of engineers and energy specialists to provide comprehensive technical responses, research, training, and publication development on a variety of building energy systems topics for the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors. Penney also served as lead engineer for the organization’s Clearinghouse Services programs. Previously, Penney was the director of engineering services for Southface Energy Institute, where he managed projects such as energy auditing, building science research, and training. He was also a mechanical engineer for Rosser Fabrap International, where he performed HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection design calculation, layout, and specification writing for commercial and industrial facilities.

Michael Pierson

Michael Pierson is an information technology support specialist. He is the primary contact for technical support for all outside client networks contracted by the WSU Energy Program. Pierson also supports the Energy Program’s day-to-day operations and works with the network administrator to upgrade network architecture and servers.

Gerry Rasmussen

Gerry Rasmussen has served as the graphic designer for the WSU Energy Program since 2004, where he has been instrumental in keeping the program’s publications and presentations looking consistent and professional. He holds a B.A. in fine arts/graphic design from Washington State University. Rasmussen worked for 33 years as a graphic designer in Washington state government, ending his tenure as the manager of the graphics unit at the Washington State Department of Transportation. Rasmussen continues to freelance – now for over 50 years – lending his graphic design expertise to clients in both government and private industry.

Carolyn Roos, Ph.D.

Dr. Carolyn Roos is a mechanical engineer with over 25 years of experience improving energy efficiency in industrial and building systems, specializing in developing Excel-based applications for engineers and contractors. She provides technical assistance on commercial and industrial energy system efficiency and renewable energy projects. She also provides technical support to the U.S. DOE Northwest Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership, focusing on CHP, biopower, and waste heat to power applications. Roos previously worked as an energy management engineer at Puget Sound Energy, where she performed energy efficiency analyses for commercial and industrial customers, and at the Army Corps of Engineers Hydroelectric Design Center. For her doctorate in systems science and mechanical engineering, she developed software to simulate simultaneous heat and moisture transfer in building environments. For her M.S. in mechanical engineering, Roos developed software to aid in the design of high-temperature solar concentrating furnaces.

Vince Schueler

Vince Schueler is a program and system analyst with over 30 years of experience providing customer research, performance management, process improvement program evaluation, policy analysis, and strategic planning in state government and the private sector. He has a practical, result-oriented focus on energy efficiency and resource conservation. Schueler holds an M.B.A. in quantitative methods from the University of Washington and a B.A. in urban studies from the University of Maryland. He also earned a Lean Six Sigma Certificate of Achievement from Villanova University in 2008 and completed training at the Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute.

Melinda Thiessen Spencer

As our communications specialist, Melinda Spencer has produced technical, educational, and promotional materials for all program areas. She is currently part of the Renewable Energy System Incentive Program management team, responsible for training our application review team, supporting the rulemaking process, and providing public outreach. Emphasizing plain language and user-centered design, Spencer has worked since 1984 as a university writing instructor, instructional designer, web content developer, textbook co-author, and community involvement specialist at Superfund sites. She holds an M.A. in technical and scientific communication from Miami University, Ohio; an M.Phil. in international peace studies from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; and a B.S. in biology/pre-med from the University of California, Davis.

Mike Steele

Mike Steele is an information technology specialist responsible for maintaining day-to-day operations of the computer network, assisting staff with technical issues, offering training on new technologies and tools, and serving as a primary network support for several of the WSU Energy Program’s outside clients. Steele has a B.S. in computer engineering technology from DeVry University.

Lisa Terefenko

Lisa Terefenko is a software engineer with the WSU Energy Program. With a solid background in application/web development, management, and customer service, Terefenko plays a key role in launching and maintaining major websites and works with the WSU Energy Program’s industrial services team to develop and distribute the International Motors Selection and Savings Analysis software tool. As a private consultant, she worked with clients such as Microsoft, Chevron, and the University of Washington. Terefenko attended Pennsylvania State University and holds a B.S. in computer science from The Evergreen State College.

David Van Holde, P.E.

David Van Holde, a registered Professional Engineer and Certified Energy Manager, is Director of the U.S. DOE’s Northwest Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership and a Senior Energy Systems Engineer with the WSU Energy Program. David leverages more than 27 years’ experience working with utilities, government agencies, and consulting firms to implement innovative supply and demand-side energy solutions, and lead organizational change in support of advancing sustainable energy systems. His areas of expertise include combined heat and power and other distributed energy systems; government/utility energy policy, energy efficiency technology development, and utility program design. Before joining WSU, he served in leadership positions with Seattle City Light, King County Dept. of Natural Resources and Parks, E Source, EMI Consulting ,and SBW Consulting. In an earlier career, David was a mechanical CAD systems researcher for Tektronix and taught mechanical engineering courses at Oregon State University and Portland State University. David holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Engineering from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., both with concentration in Energy Systems.

Anne L. Whitney

Anne Whitney is a librarian with over 30 years of experience in the library field, including positions as cataloger, indexer, library information specialist, head of a cataloging service, cataloging instructor, and art college librarian. Currently, Anne researches and writes materials for the Solar Plus program, produces the weekly Solar Newsbriefs publication, and applies her eye for detail to support the renewable energy incentive program. Whitney holds an M.A. in art history and an M.S. in information and library science from Case Western Reserve University.

Laurie Wingate

Laurie Wingate has been the information systems coordinator for the WSU Energy Program since 1997. She purchases and inventories computer hardware, software, and supplies for the organization, and provides technical support for office printers.


Building Diagnostic Tools Available for Loan

The Smart Buildings Center (SBC) Tool Lending Library has an extensive inventory of building diagnostic tools available for loan to building operators and energy service providers in Washington.

The first step in achieving operational excellence is learning how systems in the building are actually operating. The SBC can help by loaning data loggers, power meters, lighting loggers, infrared cameras, liquid and air flow measurement devices, and much more. Users can uses these tools free of charge for prescribed time periods to capture data on system performance.

For more information or to reserve a tool, visit http://www.smartbuildingscenter.org/tool-library/  or contact Duane Lewellen at duane.lewellen@smartbuildingscenter.org.