ASHRAE’s Bob Baker is New Co-Chair: Updated Charter Provides Clarity




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Updated Charter Advances WHPA Mission and Clarifies Committee Governance

As the Western HVAC Performance Alliance continues to increase in size, activity, and stature, there have been many questions about the mechanics of the WHPA: Who is eligible to vote on a Committee?  How is a Committee Chair selected?  What is the Steering Committee?

These questions, and many more, are answered in the updated WHPA Charter.

The charter was last updated in 2011, when the WHPA had barely more than 50 member organizations and a handful of active Committees.  Since then the WHPA has grown to more than 160 member companies and has modified the top leadership structure to replace the former Steering Committee with an Executive Committee.

A major change with the updated charter is a clarified mission for the Council of Advisors (COA), which is to provide strategic guidance for the WHPA, based on the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan and the HVAC Action Plan.  With this updated charter, the Chair of the COA, currently Mark Lowry of RSES, becomes a voting member of the Executive Committee.

Another major change was to add an industry Co-Chair to the Executive Committee (see article below).

Click here for an informative page about the charter.

Bob Baker is First Industry Co-Chair of Executive Committee

 Bob Baker, ASHRAE

Bob Baker, an internationally-recognized expert on HVAC maintenance and related indoor environmental issues, has become the first industry Co-Chair of the WHPA Executive Committee (EC).  Jeremy Reefe of San Diego Gas & Electric Company, formerly the Chair of the EC, is now Co-Chair.

Since its beginning in 2009, the EC has always been chaired by a representative of one of the California Investor owned Utilities (IOUs), per the initial WHPA Charter agreed among the original WHPA Steering Committee.  At its January 29, 2013 in-person meeting, the EC decided it was time to change to a Co-Chair structure, with the eight industry members selecting one Co-Chair, and the remaining six members of the EC (California IOUs, the California Public Utility Commission, and the California Energy Commission) selecting the other Co-Chair.

Baker, who represents ASHRAE on the Executive Committee, has a long and distinguished career in HVAC engineering.  He was Chair of the ASHRAE committee that developed the ASHRAE/ACCA/ANSI Standard 180
"Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems". He is past President of the Indoor Air Quality Association and a Fellow of ASHRAE.  His current research interest is the impact of maintenance of HVAC systems on air quality, system life and energy efficiency.

Commenting on his selection to the Co-Chair position, Baker said, “ASHRAE has made a strong commitment to sustainability of buildings and their energy efficiency, and is considered a world leader in those areas.  Thus, we enthusiastically support the objectives of the Alliance and see WHPA as a model for industry, government and utility partnership that will lead to dramatic improvements in energy conservation.”


June 2013

Q & A about the Charter

The WHPA Charter includes goals, governance principles, and details about running the organization. Here are a few common questions and summary responses. Click here for the full charter.

Q1 - What is the overall goal or mission of the WHPA?

A1 - While there are many goals, the common thread is to provide expertise from HVAC, energy efficiency, facility management, utilities and government to improve energy efficiency and peak load reduction in California. See the California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan.

Q2 - What is the difference between a Committee and a Working Group?

A2 - Both are formed to produce deliverables and to address one or more of the four goals in the Strategic Plan. Committee goals tend to be mid- and long-term and broadly based. Working Groups typically work in response to a request or requirement, and usually address a focused task of limited duration.

Q3 - Who is entitled to vote on a Committee or Working Group?

A3 - The Chair of the Committee or Working Group extends the invitation. All voting members must be registered with the WHPA and represent an organization that is a WHPA member. A person must be eligible to vote at least one meeting before they can participate in the voting.

Q4 - How do I know if a company is a member, if a person has registered?

A4 - The WHPA website lists each member organization; it is updated monthly after the Executive Committee meets (second Wednesday). There is also a list with all of the WHPA registrants. With this information Committee Chairs can quickly check on voting eligibility.

Q5 - How does a vote pass?

A5 - All levels of WHPA organizations have the same rules: A quorum (50% of total voting membership of that body plus 1 person) must be present, and a supermajority (minimum of 60% of those present or represented by proxy) must vote in favor of the motion. Votes may be conducted during a meeting and/or by email.

WHPA Executive Committee Members Present at National Energy Efficiency Conference

Bob Wiseman, IHACI  Talbot Gee, HARDI
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) hosted a conference on April 24 called Building a More Energy Efficient Future: A National Perspective. The goal of the meeting was to have industry leaders from throughout the U.S. come together to make a difference in energy efficiency by thinking outside the box. A majority of the attendees were energy efficiency staff members with Investor Owned Utilities or government-sponsored agencies.

Two WHPA Executive Committee industry members spoke at the meeting on behalf of both the WHPA and their own organizations.
  • Talbot Gee, COO and EVP of Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI)
  • Bob Wiseman, Chairman of Government Affairs and past President of the Institute of Heating and Air Conditioning Industries (IHACI)
Gee and Wiseman had the unique opportunity to provide industry perspectives to an audience that appreciates hearing directly from the ground level in the market to help inform continuous improvement in IOU and government energy efficiency planning. 

Gee began his presentation by explaining the collaboration between industry and government that occurs within the WHPA. “A partnership between industry and utilities can be a powerful force in improving energy efficiency,” he said. “This collaboration can improve data transparency and help bridge the gap between market motivations and reality.”

Gee was not hesitant to discuss the barriers to progress in the quest for improved energy efficiency. First, he set his sights on the unintended consequences of codes and standards. Then he moved on to the dangers of inaccurate modeling, saying, “The anchors holding us all back are terrible baseline assumptions and cost-benefit analyses.”

Wiseman started by talking about the WHPA and its collaborative process. The audience was particularly interested in how the WHPA works with contractors. One gentleman asked, “If there is one thing that the energy industry could do to help contractors, what would it be?” Wiseman replied, “Compliance, compliance, compliance!”

A key point in Gee’s and Wiseman’s presentations was simplicity. The crowd was amused by Gee’s reference to the energy industry’s “apparent allergy to simplicity.” And Wiseman ended his presentation with a passionate statement regarding simplicity:

"The more complicated the energy code becomes, the more complicated energy policy becomes. That makes it very challenging for the trades to keep up.  The process needs to be simplified and communicated. We truly have the desire to help the State meet its goals. But in order to make that happen we have to communicate, and work towards the same result. We need a common language to effectively communicate. In return, the industry needs to clarify and simplify its expectations. We need to look at things through the energy industry’s eyes."

The audience was very active, and was truly interested in hearing these issues addressed from a different perspective. Gee and Wiseman were honored to represent the industry and spread the WHPA’s collaboration method with an audience of energy efficiency insiders.

WHPA Rankings in Google - Impact Indicator?

The WHPA is a major information source of HVAC information on the internet. is on the first page of Google search results for many important industry terms.
This chart shows where the WHPA website ranks in Google searches.  There are 10 links on page 1, which means WHPA is in the first 10 of 3.9 million Google search listings for “HVAC Quality Maintenance”.
 Search Term Google
Number of Links
for Term
 HVAC Quality Maintenance 1 3,900,000
 HVAC Performance 1 1,300,000
 HVAC Standard 180 1 1,800,000
 HVAC QM 1 250,000
 HVAC Industry 1 15,000,000
 HVAC Trade Shows 1 1,300,000

CA Energy Commission Invites WHPA Members To June Workshops on EE Program for Existing Buildings

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is poised to release a draft plan proposing key initiatives to implement a comprehensive Energy Efficiency program for existing buildings, pursuant to recently adopted California Law AB 758.

WHPA members are invited to provide comment to inform the CEC’s planning process by attending any of three workshops to be held throughout California later this month. Workshops are scheduled for 6/24 (San Francisco), 6/25 (Fresno), and 6/28 (Los Angeles).

Each workshop covers a different aspect of the topic, and each runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Attendance may be in-person or via remote phone and web connection.

Further information is available from Jeorge Tagnipes (California Public Utilities Commission's AB 758 liaison) 415-703-2451 or Christine Collopy (CEC's AB 758 project lead) 916-654-4899.

Click here for more information.

About the WHPA
The Western HVAC Performance Alliance was established in 2009. More than 162 organizations in 25 stakeholder categories are working together to help transform from the residential and small commercial HVAC industry to ensure that technology, equipment, installation and maintenance are of the highest quality to promote energy efficiency and peak load reduction. In this role the WHPA provides input to California Investor-Owned Utilities.


Copyright 2017 by Western HVAC Performance Alliance