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June 15, 2006: Energy-Efficiency Expert Wins Fermi Award

June 15, 2006
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BERKELEY, Calif. - Arthur Rosenfeld, an acclaimed high-energy physicist turned energy-efficiency expert, veteran researcher/educator for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley, and two-time appointee to the California Energy Commission, has won the Enrico Fermi Award, one of the nation's most prestigious awards for scientific achievement. Administered by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on behalf of the White House, this presidential award carries an honorarium of $375,000 and a gold medal.

"Art Rosenfeld is our 'poster child' of a scientist who moved from a thriving career in basic research in order to address a problem of immediate national need," said Berkeley Lab director Steven Chu. "He embodies the finest spirit of scientific inquiry applied to solving real-world problems. Besides being the founder of Berkeley Lab's highly regarded environmental energy technologies program, he moved on to become a senior advisor at the Department of Energy and, today, a member of the California Energy Commission. He was personally responsible for saving this country billions of dollars in energy costs since the 1970s through his work on the frontiers of energy analysis, standards, and technologies. In Sacramento, he has led the transformation of this state's policy framework to energy efficiency, with dramatic results."

In his announcement of the award, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said, "Dr. Rosenfeld's career provides an example of the breadth of science - from the fundamental to the practical - that the Department of Energy supports. Dr. Rosenfeld is one of the founding fathers of energy efficiency, and the legacy of his research and policy work is an entire new energy efficiency sector of our economy, which now yields an astounding annual savings of around $100 billion, and growing."

In 1975, Rosenfeld founded the Center for Building Science at Berkeley Lab, where over the next 20 years a broad range of energy efficiency technologies were developed, including electronic ballasts that led to compact fluorescent lamps, and low-emissivity "Smart windows," a coating for glass that allows light in but blocks heat from either entering (summer) or escaping (winter).

As an energy scientist, Rosenfeld is perhaps best known for his role in developing the DOE-2 whole building simulation program, which continues to serve as a benchmark for energy-efficiency simulation codes; and for his start-up of the cool surfaces and heat islands research programs, which are credited with yielding an energy savings of 40 percent while reducing air pollution by 12 percent.

Unlike many scientists who do their research and leave the applications to others, Rosenfeld has successfully championed his energy-conservation beliefs in the public arena. In 1994, he left Berkeley to become the senior advisor to DOE's assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. He also served on President Clinton's National Science and Technology Council. In 2000, he was appointed to the California Energy Commission by Governor Gray Davis, and reappointed in 2005 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. As a commissioner, Rosenfeld has worked with the California Public Utilities Commission to institute time-dependent prices for electricity and "smart meters" to record electric use hour-by-hour.

Rosenfeld received the Szilard Award for Physics in the Public Interest in 1986, and the Carnot Award for Energy Efficiency from the U.S. Department of Energy in 1993. He is the co-founder of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the University of California's Institute for Energy Efficiency (CIEE), and the Washington-based Center for Energy and Climate Solutions (CECS).

Publication date: 06/12/2006

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