22nd Annual Energy Efficiency Forum Promotes Energy Security and Economic Growth
Availability of financing and incentives are among the key elements to driving increased energy efficiency in buildings, according to leaders who attended the North America Energy Efficiency Forum. The June 2011 forum in Washington, D.C. was co-sponsored by Johnson Controls and the U.S. Energy Association and examined how advanced efficiency technologies, energy policies and consumer education can improve energy security, global competitiveness and accelerate economic growth.
Energy security was the highlight of the keynote speech by U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
“Energy is an area that we are vulnerable in terms of war fighting capabilities. We buy energy from either potentially or actually volatile places on earth. We would never give the countries that we buy a lot of our energy from the power to build our warships, or our airplanes or our ground vehicles but we give them a say in whether those ships I own, whether those aircrafts fly and whether those ground vehicles operate,” he said.
“We’re reaching a tipping point where it’s just going to change and one of the things that the military can do is help lead the way.”
Energy Efficiency Makes Sense
Charles O. Holliday, Jr., Bank of America chairman and former chairman of DuPont, encouraged energy efficiency no matter what people think about its impact on climate change.
“Do those energy efficiency projects right now they make sense. It's proven. Start making the adaptation assuming there are going to be more energy swings. You will not have made a big mistake if that's the case. Stay informed because the information is going to change. It is not settled with time. And do a little bit of work on the science,” he said.
In addition to Mabus and Holliday, speakers included Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Rep. Charles Bass, R-N.H., member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is very interested in advancing opportunities for the federal government to serve as a model for the increased utilization of energy efficiency and clean energy technologies. Such policies and measures can save significant taxpayer dollars, create private sector jobs, and greatly enhance energy markets. Two specific and highly effective ways for the federal government to achieve this goal have been through energy savings performance contracts and federal power purchase agreements,” Bingaman said.
Energy Efficiency Indicator Released
Financing and incentives were identified as key drivers of energy efficiency projects by public- and private-sector building owners and operators, according to the results of Johnson Controls' 5th annual Global Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI), which were announced at the forum. Nearly 4,000 survey respondents cited energy cost savings and government incentives as the top motivators for energy-efficiency investments, while access to funding was the top barrier for improving energy consumption.
“Successful organizations are setting goals, analyzing data, adding resources and using external capital to facilitate improvements and to take action within the organizations,” said Dave Myers, Johnson Controls president, Building Efficiency, noting the need to continue to drive energy efficiency and unlock a variety of solutions to overcome the barriers.
Myers participated in a panel discussion on the EEI survey that included Ken Hubbard, executive VP, Hines and Trustee, Urban Land Institute; Tony Keane, President and CEO, International Facility Management Association; and Barry Worthington, executive director, U.S. Energy Association. Click here for more on the panel, including video highlights.
Also at the event, the Douglas Decker Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jonathan Lash, president, World Resources Institute (WRI), and one of the Institute for Building Efficiency’s Network of Experts. Since 1993, Lash has led the WRI and its research, analysis and policy recommendations that provide practical solutions to global challenges of environment and sustainability.
See video highlights of the Forum in the Resources and Tools tab above or go to www.eeforum.net and subscribe to watch all of the various speakers’ videos.