Public and private sector leaders exchanged ideas yesterday to address the importance of energy efficiency in a changing economy at the 24th annual Energy Efficiency Forum, co-hosted by Johnson Controls and the United States Energy Association, held in Washington, D.C.
Energy experts, legislators and business leaders outlined the importance of keeping energy efficiency at the forefront of national research and policy making to make communities and the world more secure, resilient and sustainable.
Representatives discuss new bipartisan energy efficiency efforts
U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who sit on the Energy and Commerce Committee, discussed forthcoming bipartisan energy efficiency efforts at the forum. The new bipartisan efforts will focus on encouraging more energy efficiency in government and businesses to save money, create local jobs and sustain energy resources.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair delivers afternoon keynote
Keynote speaker Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) addressed the more than 300 forum attendees.
"Energy efficiency is a good investment – it saves households and business owners money, creates jobs and moves our country toward a more competitive, low-carbon economy," Wyden said. "But passing an energy efficiency bill through Congress will take more than common sense and bipartisan support. It's going to take the businesses, efficiency advocates, consumers and government officials who are backing this issue to send a message that now is the time to bring an efficiency bill to a vote."
Pulitzer Prize winning author focuses on energy efficiency
Daniel Yergin provided insight on his recent book, The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World. Yergin is one of America's most influential energy experts, vice chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates and a Pulitzer Prize winning author.
"Energy efficiency is one of our nation's greatest energy resources. It is also embedded throughout our economy. Capturing it requires technology, mindset, commitment, and plain old street smarts. But the payback can be huge," said Yergin. "The reason I focused on energy efficiency at the conclusion of The Quest is because of its strategic importance to our country's energy future."
New energy efficiency research released by Johnson Controls President
Dave Myers, president, Johnson Controls, Building Efficiency, shared highlights of the seventh annual Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey, which gauges the perceptions of more than 3,000 building owners and operators around the world on issues related to energy management practices, energy efficiency and renewable energy investment plans, clean technology integration and project financing approaches.
This year's survey indicated public goals and private financing continue to push global momentum for energy efficiency. In fact, energy efficiency interest increased 116 percent globally since 2010, with those who set goals making the greatest strides in reducing energy use.
"We need public officials and private investors to work together to reduce the market's uncertainty and capture momentum toward a more energy efficient global economy," said Myers.
The Energy Efficiency Indicator survey is led by Johnson Controls' Institute for Building Efficiency in partnership with the International Facility Management Association and the Urban Land Institute.
Public Officials Recognized with Energy Leadership Awards
Three public officials received Energy Leadership Awards for their efforts in instituting and advancing energy efficiency in North America. The awards and their recipients are:
- Governor's Award — Jack Markell, governor of Delaware. Markell has established statewide energy efficiency standards to retrofit homes and businesses and to encourage combined heat, power and cogeneration projects in the industrial sector. He has promoted vehicle efficiency through an electric vehicle-to-grid technology project, which sells electricity from vehicles to the wholesale market, and is promoting legislation that requires Delaware utilities to procure energy efficiency when it is cheaper than buying energy from the grid.
- Public Service Award — Madeline Rogero, mayor of Knoxville, Tenn. Elected three years ago, she has distinguished herself by implementing urban development policies and programs aimed at enhancing the quality of life and environmental attractiveness of Knoxville, including working to bring $10 million in financing for energy efficiency projects to businesses in Knoxville and Knox County.
- Public Service Award — Marla Graff Decker, secretary of the Virginia Office of Public Safety. Under the leadership of Secretary Decker, the Virginia Department of Corrections made a measurable commitment to energy, water and operational efficiency through a multi-phased program expected to reduce the department's electricity use by more than 276 million kWH and water use by over 3.6 billion gallons over 15 years.
A webcast of the 24th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum will be available for six months at http://www.visualwebcaster.com/2013EEF
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