ACHRNEWS

Symposium Shows Role in Energy Efficiency

January 29, 2007
Diane Shea, executive director of the National Association of State Energy Officials, speaks at an energy symposium sponsored by Danfoss.

Diane Shea, executive director of the National Association of State Energy Officials, was among speakers who engaged a group of about 25 HVACR and allied industry leaders during a symposium titled, “The Future of Energy Efficiency Policy: The Role of States.”

The symposium was sponsored by Danfoss and marked the second event in the EnVisioneeringSM Symposium series, which Danfoss launched in August.

The second symposium, held in October in Chicago, focused on how states are developing energy-efficiency policies that will help America meet the energy challenges of the 21st century. In particular, the symposium explored the drivers and problems of state action.

In addition to Shea’s comments, there was an address by Craig Kneeland, senior project manager for the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority.

Following presentations by Shea and Kneeland, the symposium featured a roundtable discussion led by Robert Cavey, president of Global Strategy Initiative, and John Suzukida, president of Lanex Consulting.

The roundtable discussion explored such questions as:

• What are the available alternative state strategies especially on energy-efficient processes and comfort systems?

• Will current efforts be enough to create a critical mass for energy efficiency?

• What tools exist to help end users accept higher first costs?

• Is lifecycle costing a reality of the marketplace, and if not, what will it take?

• What new technologies are capable of making a significant difference, and what is being done to ease their entry into the market?

“States know that energy efficiency is critical to helping energy suppliers address demand and lessen our economic vulnerability,” said Shea. “To run today’s economy without the energy-efficiency improvements that have taken place since the early 1970s, when the state energy offices were organized, we would need 43 percent more energy supplied than we use right now.”

Shea explained that many states are now offering incentive programs - from tax credits to direct rebates, among others-to help businesses and consumers use energy-efficient equipment. She encouraged the private sector to work even more closely with states to advance energy-efficiency initiatives.

Kneeland also noted that in New York state, a new building construction program, initiated in 1999, has helped save $27 million in energy costs per year and reduced peak energy demand by 39 percent.

John Galyen, president of Danfoss North America Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning, stressed that while federal and state regulations are expanding, so are innovative programs to promote energy efficiency.

“In some areas, states have led the way and made important and lasting contributions,” Galyen noted. “It has long been said that the states are the incubators of experimentation in the policy world, and we are seeing a great many initiatives in energy at the state level.

“But it is not without risk,” he said. “I hear frequently about fears among manufacturers and others of creating a patchwork of regulatory systems that will drive up production costs, make energy efficiency harder to afford, and make American business less competitive as a result.”

THIRD ONE BEING PLANNED

Plans are currently under way for the third conference in the EnVisioneering Symposium series. Each symposium focuses on a dimension of the emerging energy nexus, providing access to advanced ideas, information, analysis, networks, and opportunities for leadership in this initiative.

The symposium series brings together decision-makers from business and government, end users and power generators, and equipment manufacturers, architects, engineers, financiers, regulators, scientists, and strategists.

In January, at the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigerating Exposition in Dallas, Danfoss will release an industry report detailing the discussions and ideas presented during the conferences.

For more information, visit www.envisioneering.danfoss.com/symposium.

Publication date: 01/29/2007