Energy forum: wide range of views

This year's 18th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum, in June at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored by Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, and the U.S. Energy Assn., couldn't have been more timely. Major congressional hearings on energy convened the same day. And the forum followed immediately upon the G-8 Summit's discussions on climate change.

08/01/2007


This year's 18th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum, in June at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored by Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, and the U.S. Energy Assn., couldn't have been more timely. Major congressional hearings on energy convened the same day. And the forum followed immediately upon the G-8 Summit's discussions on climate change.

Over the nearly two decades that this event has been staged, one of its strengths is the diversity of opinions that are represented here. “I've come to the conclusion that energy policy is like the weather: Everyone has an opinion on it… but expects someone else to do something about it,” noted U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman in his keynote address.

But the secretary's remark notwithstanding, the diverse views expressed by forum speakers are tied together by a common note of activism and optimism about the ability to get serious about energy efficiency. “Market enablers will be key, under the headings of technology, policy and incentives,” said Omar Siddiqui, chief strategist for energy efficiency, EPRI.

James Rogers, chairman, president and CEO, Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, used a phrase that is increasingly being heard from U.S. energy experts: energy security. “There's a difference between energy independence and energy security,” he said. “When it comes down to it, only the latter is really possible.”

Even so, argue others, energy independence is something to work for. “The $120 billion increase in the trade deficit is from oil imports,” said speaker Kateri Callahan, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance to Save Energy. “Bills are before Congress this day. Senate bill HR 6 is being put together with significant new measures. Hopefully, the combined House and Senate bills will be a very strong bill.”

A highlight of each year's Energy Efficiency Forum is the panel discussion. This year's panel, discussing the day's theme, “Daring to Commit,” was moderated by Christine Ervin, who served as first president and CEO of the USGBC, as an assistant secretary of energy during the Clinton administration. One observation in particular from panelists seem to symbol the tenor of discussion at the forum.

“New lighting products will dramatically change energy efficiency standards,” said panelist Randall Moorhead, vice president, government affairs, Philips Electronics, North America. “We're looking for a new performance standard that will require new products that will be dimmable, give the same color as lights in use today and will be halogen type.” In other words, manufacturers and authorities must take the lead, rather than waiting for users to involuntarily adopt new technologies.





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Combined heat and power; Assessing replacement of electrical systems; Energy codes and lighting; Salary Survey; Fan efficiency
Commissioning lighting control systems; 2016 Commissioning Giants; Design high-efficiency hot water systems for hospitals; Evaluating condensation and condensate
Solving HVAC challenges; Thermal comfort criteria; Liquid-immersion cooling; Specifying VRF systems; 2016 Product of the Year winners
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me