"We aspire to be a company of ideas and to do that we must look outward and work with utilities to meet the energy demand of the consumer," Doug Young, president and COO, Lennox International Inc. Residential Heating & Cooling, told the group of energy-efficiency experts, utility company executives, and government agency representatives. "We want to understand where you want to be in the future so we can get there together."
Several Lennox product development and marketing personnel were also in attendance.
ENERGY FUTURES DISCUSSEDMultiple speakers shared information concerning the increasing demand for energy and the increasing need to deal with the peak demands placed on energy grids during prolonged periods of extreme weather.
Dr. Mark Hogan, vice president of Engineering & Research, Lennox Worldwide Heating & Cooling, told the group that although the energy consumption of today's air conditioning systems has progressed significantly in recent years, this does not solve the demand issues that increase with the number of households in a market. He cautioned that even "perfect" products approaching 100 percent energy efficiency would do little to curb the overall demand for energy.
Dr. Ahmad Faruqui, principal of the Brattle Group, proposed the concept of dynamic pricing be implemented to motivate consumers to curb energy use during peak periods during his lecture, "The Economics of Demand Response, Smart Metering, and Dynamic Pricing."
Faruqui explained three dynamic pricing models that could be applied to consumer billing: time of use (TOU), rate/real time pricing (RTP), and critical peak pricing (CPP). He cited a California experiment involving 2,500 homes that produced significant decreases in demand during critical periods based on the impact of dynamic pricing. The decrease was due to pricing concessions based on less consumption and the utility's use of a smart thermostat in the home.
Faruqui believes that, "Five percent of U.S. peak demand could be eliminated" through optional dynamic pricing programs.
Phill Consiglio from Southern California Edison felt that an empowered customer was the answer to demand and load issues. How to deal with last year's 10 percent load increase was the center of his presentation, "The Power of Space Conditioning." According to Steve Cowell, CEO, Conservations Services Group, "Everyone should become a time of use customer, however, products like low voltage thermostats, two-way communicating thermostats, and a universal protocol among manufacturers were needed."
Cowell later turned the attention towards the contractor by urging an increased education and emphasis on proper sizing of equipment, proper design, installation and sealing of ductwork, correct refrigerant charge, and proper airflow.
The summit was moderated by Paul Berkowitz, vice president of Conservation Services Group, and also included a series of breakout sessions enabling the group to come up with specific ideas and courses of action. Terry Johnston, vice president of Marketing, Lennox International, felt the presentations and the sessions were extremely helpful because Lennox is "looking to include all stakeholders in our industry to ensure we develop the right products at the right time for our dealers."
For more information, visit www.lennox.com.
- by John Conrad of The NEWS Staff
Publication date: 11/20/2006