impact report

25 min read

In May 2020 we introduced the new VEIC—a corporate commitment to make an impact, and a response to the pivotal social and environmental changes that are shaping how we deliver on that commitment.

This report is one way we’re putting our commitment into practice. We begin with our performance in 2019, demonstrating how we held ourselves accountable to our goals, measuring our progress, and outlining what’s to come.

Facing the climate crisis and its costs, head on

410 ppm
In 2018 the global average atmospheric concentration of CO2 was 409.8 parts per million (ppm) – nearly 40 ppm higher than 2 decades ago. Climate science states that 350 ppm of carbon in the atmosphere is the "safe" threshold for human life.
building pokes through low clouds

In each year of VEIC’s 34-year existence, the climate crisis has intensified. We need to work faster to reduce harmful GHG emissions. Our priorities are addressing the detrimental impacts of climate change at individual, business, community, and societal levels.

VEIC takes a holistic approach to finding energy solutions that can create positive change now and in the future. We connect our work to its impacts on the economy, health, and energy justice, because addressing one affects them all. Investments in clean and efficient energy make positive shifts toward greater economic stability, improved health, and more equitable communities.


forest fire

Climate change intensifies the effects of natural disasters and it comes at a big financial cost. In 2019 the United States experienced 14 natural disasters that each cost over $1 billion in losses. Advancing clean energy helps mitigate these disasters while driving economic growth through job creation and sustainable investments.


women sitting comfortably

Air pollution from burning fossil fuels knows no boundaries. Nine out of ten people breathe polluted air, killing 7 million people around the world every year. Clean energy solutions improve air quality both indoors and out.


man holds baby

Climate change disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. A cleaner energy system is an effective lever for reducing inequities, worldwide.

We conduct our work through a full-service consultancy working in energy efficiency, transportation electrification, clean and flexible grid strategies, and building decarbonization; three energy efficiency utilities (EEUs): Efficiency Vermont, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility, and Efficiency Smart; and several subsidiaries. Our operations consist of approximately 300 staff and offices in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, California, and Hawai'i.

valley with buildings

VEIC reduces GHG emissions

our vision demands it

The ongoing and increasing emissions of GHG are the biggest barrier to our achieving our vision:
Healthy Planet, Thriving People.
Our goal is to transform energy systems to reduce harmful emissions.

Our work since 2000 will reduce GHG by 107,201,574 metric tons over the lifetime of efficiency and renewable energy investments
Equivalent to the GHG avoided by running 23,114 wind turbines for one year – enough to power 18 percent of the United States

Our strategic imperatives

We live by several imperatives that guide us in how we reduce GHG emissions.

Maximizing our impact

We want to transform and improve how all customers use energy. So we need new market strategies. We design real-world pilots and programs to test technologies and models for clean-energy service delivery, ensuring they succeed, before we bring them to scale.

We don't do it alone. By collaborating with partners, we raise the bar together, reaching more clients and delivering energy solutions that help them meet their goals. For the broadest impact, we open-source the methods and models that have worked for us.

Making clean and efficient energy available to all

Low-income communities have the highest energy burdens in every society. Through our work, we reduce upfront costs, make financing available, increase regional availability of contractors, and remove other common barriers to clean energy for traditionally underserved people.

Supporting community resilience

Our work spans many regions. We design holistic solutions for entire communities, offering customized programs that meet the specific and varying needs of our customers.

A strong and growing workforce is needed to build the momentum for advancing clean energy. We support green job creation with our forward-thinking workforce development initiatives.

Transitioning to a clean and flexible grid

To build an energy system that’s more resilient to severe climate events, and affordable for all, VEIC must stay ahead of the market. So we introduce our customers and clients to new, clean-energy technologies, and work with the supply chain to ensure those technologies reach local marketplaces.

We help utilities solve their distribution, demand, and integrated resource planning challenges by offering technical support for flexible load management that works.

Growth and diversification

Diversifying our Board of Directors

Beginning with a specific corporate intention in 2018, the composition of VEIC’s Board of Directors has transitioned from being entirely white and predominately male to comprising racially diverse and equal male-female representation. We also made an intentional shift to increase the geographic diversity of the Board. In 2019 we continued the evolution by voting in four new members from growth industries, while maintaining a profile of socially conscious local and national voices.

Expanding our reach

We've continually built partnerships and expanded VEIC's geographic presence. In 2019 we built out our business development operations in New York State, and placed two full-time energy consultants in Wisconsin and one energy consultant in Delaware.


A look at 2020 and beyond

In 2019 VEIC began a process to re-envision its work, which resulted in a refinement of its commitment to providing the energy solutions the world needs. Measuring GHG impacts has been one way of establishing the baseline for the paths we can follow to fulfill that commitment. Now that it is 2020, we live in a very different world. Our strategic imperatives have not changed, but our approach continues to evolve to meet changing market conditions. Five operational planks make up our platform for the years to come.

Our work starts and ends with GHG

Our North Star continues to be the reduction of GHG emissions. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re taking a close look at our physical operations, reducing our office footprint, and supporting remote work as much as possible for the long term. We’re also improving how we choose to pursue new GHG-reducing opportunities with clients and customers. In 2021, we will revisit our historic corporate goal for GHG reduction. We plan to establish an updated carbon goal and metrics that further drive our work to mitigate climate change.

We must fight harder for energy and social justice

Reducing energy burdens for marginalized communities has always been an essential component of VEIC’s work. As we have awakened to the depth and breadth of systemic societal injustices, we know we need to do more.

We seek partners, contractors, and vendors who share our mission, vision, and core values. We make sure they represent the wide variety of communities we serve—especially within the energy efficiency utilities we operate, where local contractor engagement is core to the success of every project, study, and program.

In 2019 we committed to taking action that ensured we would continue to serve communities and businesses that have been traditionally disadvantaged, particularly in terms of receiving energy efficiency services. We also committed to effectively engaging partners that identify as small business; disadvantaged (socially or economically); women-owned; veteran-owned; BIPOC-owned; LGBTQ-owned; and serving disabled, local, and / or rural customers.

To do our best work, we must maintain our health

The health of our company culture and employee wellbeing are crucial to our organizational success. The importance of this has only been amplified by the pandemic. In the first half of 2020, we’ve taken extra care to prioritize the health and well-being of our staff, customers, and clients. We’ve established new forums and platforms that allow for strong virtual connections and open conversations. We’re committed to making VEIC a model organization that never stops listening and responding to its employees, clients, and communities.

Our impact increases when we expand geographically

Some of the biggest opportunities to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate climate change remain untouched. Our services can transform entire regions and industries. By embedding VEIC services and programs in more states, we can take on those big opportunities. In the first half of 2020, we broadened our work in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Hawai'i via strong, collaborative partnerships and the development of new business.

From necessity comes innovation

In addition to our ongoing work, we’ve had to adapt our services and adjust our operations to accommodate a remote workforce and address the most pressing needs of our clients and customers in the face of the pandemic. This work has brought unexpected challenges, but we are innovating to continue delivering energy solutions that work, built on the solid foundation of our 2019 successes. Offering new opportunities for virtual engagement, improving indoor air quality in schools, and adjusting incentives to meet the greatest need for our most vulnerable customers are some of the ways we’re showing up differently.

This Impact Report is a first for VEIC. This initiative is connected to a new brand identity that echoes our business strategy: Make an impact. So, in the years to come, we will again be sharing what we measure and noting our progress toward achieving our clean energy goals. We will continue to make services to disadvantaged communities a priority. And we will continue to expand our influence where it counts the most. This is how we will make an impact worth talking about.

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