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Engineers' Club of Philadelphia


President's Message

October is at the doorstep and we've had some very successful programs over the last few weeks and some exciting times ahead. On September 5th we held another sold out tour of the south Schuylkill River Banks lead by former ECP President Joe Syrnick, CEO of the Schuylkill River Development Corp. On September 16th we had a fantastic tour of Veolia Energy's Grays Ferry Cogeneration Plant at 2600 Christian Street with over 40 attendees.  Veolia was a gracious host and the tour included an informative presentation on the green steam plant, Veolia's Philadelphia operations and their overall organization.  We are lining up tours of other Philadelphia and surrounding area projects and facilities so keep up to date with the ECP newsletter or check out our website.

October has even more in the offing. First up is the Philadelphia Engineering Foundation Golf FUNdraising at the Blue Bell Country Club on October 7th. The golf outing supports the Delaware Valley Engineers Week student awards and other student outreach activities.

October also brings us to nominations for Engineer of the Year; Nominations are due on October 11; more info can be found at http://www.dvewc.org/awards/eoy/eoy-nominations/.  If you have someone that you think would be an ideal candidate nominate him or her for the 2014 Delaware Valley Engineer of the Year. Contact Mark Kinnee, the EOY Coordinator to let us know if you are planning to nominate a candidate.  The election will be Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at 5:30 pm at the PECO Energy Company Main Office, 2301 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, in Energy Hall (lower level).  Nominations must be submitted by one or more of the many engineering and technical societies in the Delaware Valley.
October 31st will bring another momentous event.  Under the City of Philadelphia’s 2012 Commercial Building Energy Benchmarking Law, as of October 31st commercial buildings of 50,000 square feet and larger must comply with the mandatory energy and water use reporting provisions.  The Benchmarking Law requires building owner/operators to disclose their annual energy usage and water consumption to the City of Philadelphia.  The information will then be posted on-line for access by potential investors, lessees and tenants to aid in their commercial space decision making.  This is a major step for the City with regard to Mayor Nutter’s goal to make Philadelphia the “greenest city in America”.
Now before you think that Philadelphia is a madcap land of overzealous energy czars, it is among an ever growing group of major metropolitan areas to enact such legislation.  Philly is joined by Washington D.C., New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Austin, TX, Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN and Boston, MA.  The EU has had a similar reporting and disclosure requirement since 2007 under its Building Energy Labeling program.  In the US, ASHRAE has developed its bEQ (building Energy Quotient) labeling system which is slowly working its way into the marketplace.  While New York has reported energy savings in excess of 20%, I suspect there are some quarters who challenge the rationale.  However, energy efficiency can become a competitive advantage and a hedge against future energy cost increases or carbon legislation.  
Suffice to say, as reporting becomes mandatory and more transparent, there will be some more objective measurements to compare Building A to Building B and Operator X to Operator Y which should serve to bring a heightened value in good operating programs and well trained operating personnel.  And that’s a void the ECP can help to fill.