About - Energy Shrink

 

Energy Shrink is a small-sized private consulting practice focused on sustainability in the built environment with a specialization in energy and resource efficiency in buildings, otherwise known as high-performance buildings or green buildings. Energy Shrink provides technical advice, modeling and analysis, and research and knowledge dissemination.

Energy Shrink is located in Northern Virginia (NoVa) in the Washington D.C. Metro area in the US, and is a registered LLC in the state of Virginia.

Energy Shrink is a certified minority woman-owned small business.

  • Registered 8(m) minority woman-owned small business (WOSB) with the US Small Business Administration.
  • Third-party certified WOSB by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
    • WOSB WBENC Certification  # W130137 
  • Certified as a Minority Business Enterprise by the Maryland Department of Transportation
    • MD MDOT MBE Certification # 17-117
  • Certified as Small, Woman-owned and Minority-owned business in Virginia
    • VA SWaM Certification # 721063
Sketch by Smita C. Thomas. Digitized by betapixel/envato

Advisor

JULIEANN SUMMERFORD

Vice President

Ms. Summerford has 17 years of experience in energy-efficiency program design and implementation. As Vice President at TRC Energy Services, she manages the residential programs business line and provides senior-level oversight of and support to a multi-office, multi-disciplined team throughout the U.S. Ms. Summerford has contributed to the design and launch of several pioneering programs, including California’s first multifamily new construction and whole-house retrofit programs, which have expanded and continue to operate statewide.

Her body of work includes single and multifamily new construction and retrofit programs that all focus on whole-building design. For Southern California Edison, she developed the Affordable Housing Energy Efficiency Alliance, which served to bring technical support and resources to affordable housing. In this capacity, Ms. Summerford developed the Utility Allowance Options for Investments in Energy Efficiency: Resource Guide for Enterprise Community Partners. Before joining TRC, she served as ENERGY STAR® new homes and products liaison, and developed a residential new construction campaign for Flex Your Power, benchmarked the country’s first suite of museums in Balboa Park. Ms. Summerford holds a B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from the University of California, Davis. She has served as Chair of the California Association of Building Energy earned their Hall of Fame Award in 2009.

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Staff

SMITA CHANDRA THOMAS

Principal

The principal Smita Chandra Thomas is a subject matter expert in energy efficiency in buildings at the cutting-edge of green technology and energy management strategy. Dedicated to enabling energy efficiency in buildings through building science, Ms. Thomas has nearly two decades of professional experience performing and managing techno-economic analyses in support of demand-side management (passive strategies, conservation, energy efficiency, demand response, and renewable resources) for path-breaking green buildings, programs and policy development. Ms. Thomas has also led and written several winning proposals. Ms. Thomas is a published author with publications at the ACEEE Summer Study and the China Business Review among others.

Starting as a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in 1997, Ms Thomas has since worked at leading private consulting firms in the US including Booz Allen Hamilton, ICF International, the Heschong Mahone Group (now TRC) and Steven Winter Associates (now Vidaris). Clients have included US Federal entities such as DOE and EPA; regional entities such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; major investor-owned utilities in US and Canada such as PG&E, Pepco, Entergy, National Grid, and Ontario Power Authority; and design firms such as Fox & Fowle, Perkins+Will, and Mogavero Notestine. Projects have included Demand Side Management portfolio planning, policy analyses, technical support for efficiency programs, and modeling and consulting for individual buildings such as the Manhattan headquarters for the New York Times and Bank of America.

A lifelong learner, Ms. Thomas has an undergraduate degree in architecture with a Master’s in Building Science and is a LEED Accredited Professional. She continues to stay active in professional associations, as well as mentoring and volunteering.

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Publications

Authors: Smita Chandra Thomas, M. Esteban Muñoz H. Reviewers: Samira Elkhamlichi, Laurent Granier, and Ommid Saberi of the World Bank

This white paper explains the environmental impact of conventional refrigerants (coolants) in terms of ozone depletion and global warming, and presents alternatives that have minimal impact on the environment in accordance with the Montreal Protocol. The paper was published as a resource for users of the EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) green buildings program, an innovation of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, and is available on the EDGE website. Read Paper

Shattering Glass Myths: Design for Climate Action (2016)

This article published in the sustainable business blog Triple Pundit discusses five myths surrounding glass skins that explain why this is cause for concern. The first opportunity to reduce energy use in buildings lies in the building skin, which can impact the total energy use of a building by 10 to 50 percent. And yet we continue to see buildings being encased in glass.  Full article

Sustainability Benefits Small Businesses in China (2015)

This article published in the China Business Review magazine of the US-China Business Council outlines the business case for going green in China, including the environmental and economic context unique to businesses operating in China. The article highlights the experience of a Beijing-based retail food chain and includes excerpts from an interview conducted with the co-owner, Jade Gray, in which Jade shares his thoughts on the benefits his business has experienced from the commitment to sustainability. As Jade explains, the benefits are not just environmental and economic but there are other ‘soft’ benefits as well. Full article

Why a Chinese pizza chain is hot for sustainability (2015)

This article published in the sustainable business blog Triple Pundit outlines the business case for going green in China, including the environmental and economic context unique to businesses operating in China. The article highlights the experience of a Beijing-based retail food chain and includes excerpts from an interview conducted with the co-owner, Jade Gray, in which Jade shares his thoughts on the benefits his business has experienced from the commitment to sustainability. As Jade explains, the benefits are not just environmental and economic but there are other ‘soft’ benefits as well. Full article

 

‘Go! Green’ Environmental Action Report on the Greening of Gung Ho! Pizza Stores, Beijing (2015)

The report describes the context of the project, the sustainability framework designed for the retail chain, and the recommended path forward to advance the sustainability initiative specifically as it relates to energy efficiency. (Contact us if you are interested in a copy.)

ACEEE Summer Study: Energy Efficiency in the Forward Capacity Market: Evaluating the business case for building energy efficiency as a resource for the electric grid (2012)

Authors: Joel Fetter, Smita Chandra Thomas, Andres Potes, Gary Rahl

Two regional electricity grid operators – Independent System Operator-New England (ISO-NE) and PJM Interconnection Regional Transmission Organization (PJM) – use Forward Capacity Markets (FCMs) to induce the construction and maintenance of resources needed to satisfy future electricity demand. Increasingly, the meaning of ‘capacity’ has expanded from traditional wires-and-generators solutions to include greater levels of customer-sited resources, including energy efficiency. As with conventional merchant generators, the success of FCM rests on whether it can send price signals to end-users powerful enough to mobilize investments in energy efficiency activities that otherwise would not take place. This paper uses a cash flow analysis to assess the revenue opportunities that these markets offer to owners and operators of commercial buildings. The analysis investigates whether the costs and revenues associated with supplying energy efficiency capacity in the newest EE FCM, operated by PJM, are likely to support a compelling value proposition for large commercial buildings. The results show that the overall revenues an owner or operator might expect increase only slightly. It finds that the market players best positioned to compete in it are those that are able to aggregate large portfolios of efficiency measures which can be bid into the market in a cost-efficient manner. Read paper

Green Options (blog): Electric Cars: More Hype, Not So Clean (2010)

The excitement around electric cars seems like a lot of hype. The current version and use of electric cars does not seem to be a step forward in the right direction. Discussed are two main reasons for this point of view, and possible alternatives. Complete blog post

Environmental Design and Construction Magazine: Charging the Battery (2002)

Authors: Michael Crosbie, Adrian Tuluca, Ian Graham, Dave Lahiri, Jon Tham, Smita Chandra Thomas

Reducing energy use is at the heart of sustainable design in New York’s Battery Park City project – The Solaire – the first certified “green” high-rise multifamily in New York City. The article discusses the strategies used to assist the design team in achieving energy efficiency goals. (The EDC magazine is no longer in publication. Contact us if you would like a copy of the article.)

Master’s Thesis: Passive Strategies for Residential Construction in New Delhi (1999)

The thesis explores passive climate-responsive design strategies for a typical residence in New Delhi, India to minimize the use of electricity. Energy-10 software was used a tool to quantify the energy savings. Strategies included non-conventional building materials, optimal layout and window sizing and placement, and whole-house fan among others. (Contact us for more information)

B.Arch. Thesis: Sustainable Rehabilitation of Wildflower Hall, Shimla, India (1994)

Wildflower Hall was a historic hotel in the Himalayan region near Shimla, a favorite retreat of Presidents and senior officials, which burned to the ground in 1993. At the time of writing the design thesis, the site was being considered for development as a 5-star hotel. The thesis explored options to redevelop the site sustainably — using traditional climate-responsive building techniques and incorporating the use of the site to include areas for local vendors to work and live on site, adding a vibrant, traditional living experience for hotel guests. (Contact us if you would like more information.)

Vision & Mission

Energy Shrink envisions a world where human ingenuity is deployed towards meeting the basic human needs for shelter and thermal comfort without destroying the natural eco-system it depends on; where the path of economic progress is paved with an eye on sustaining the environment for future generations.

The mission of Energy Shrink is to help realize this vision by facilitating the market adoption of energy efficiency in the buildings sector; to bridge the space between the body of knowledge pertaining to green buildings on one side and the decision makers on the other. The end goal is lesser waste, greater economy, better health, and greater sustainability in the buildings sector.