The Garforth Web and the Loudoun Energy Plan
So, Loudoun County needed an energy plan pronto and went to the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) to get it done instead of going through its own contracting process. This resulted in a sole source special contract to produce the County Energy Strategy (CES) going to Garforth International, LLC for approximately $250,000, which Loudoun County will pay the NVRC for. You would think that such a renowned expert worthy of receiving such a contract would have a robust web presence, well, check out the website yourself – not much there. But there’s plenty available on Garforth’s friends in the climate change business.
I was a bit perplexed when I saw Owens Corning (huh, the people who make crockpots, serving platters and such?) listed as part of the “CES Team” (go to page 77 of the document here). Well, it turns out Garforth International is a “strategic partner” of Owings Corning, and that Peter Garforth once worked for Owens Corning. The other entity in that strategic partnership is MVV Energie, which of course is also another member of the “CES Team”. Here’s what Peter Garforth had to say about this partnership in an Owens Corning press release:
Peter Garforth, CEO of Garforth International, LLC., agreed. “We have created a team with world-class expertise, and we’re applying it on a local scale,” said Garforth “We are already making things happen, delivering major benefits at acceptable costs, and truly transforming communities.”
One of the more contentious items in the new energy plan is a future mandate recommendation for Integrated Energy Master Plans. Well, guess who provides such services? That strategic partnership, of course (see here)! Energy Star ratings are also mentioned in the county energy plan, and guess who was an advisor to that program? You guessed it, Peter Garforth.
Now all these things seem great, and as a conservation-minded conservative I agree with saving energy and money, but this whole thing is too full of cozy relationships for me and has not yet been fully vetted publicly. Loudoun citizens deserve more answers about McGimsey’s day job and the inter-relationships on the “CES Team” before moving forward with this.
UPDATE: Dug up some info on more Garforth buddies getting free advertising in an official Loudoun County report – below the fold.
John Palmisano and his company Etrios is also mentioned in the county report as part of the core team but didn’t get a place in the ring of honor. Guess who is on his advisory board? Yes indeedy – Peter Garforth. And who are some of the Etrios “strategic partners”? None other than the Garforth strategic partnership, now dubbed “The Alliance” (from the Etrios website):
Owens Corning, Garforth International, MVV decon GmbH – (“The Alliance”)
““The Alliance” is a marketing and consulting service-provider forged between experts in energy planning, managing the building energy envelope, heating, cooling and power systems. Together with eTrios, “the Alliance” provides comprehensive multi-year, community-wide energy plans, predicated, in part, on the use of tradable environmental and energy instruments.”
I couldn’t find much on the other person mentioned by name, Diane Perkin, or her company, Terra Sol, but they are also in the Garforth web, having helped him with a similar plan in a California town. Check out page 3 of this report to see the familiar ring of honor, only this time including Terra Sol.
I have no problem with this guy assembling a team to do this project, but everything I can find only mentions Garforth International getting the contract. How these other “Friends of Garforth” deserve prominent mentions in an official Loudoun County plan is beyond me. Gee, I wonder who will get the first calls to do these future mandated energy audits???