Diane Shea, executive director of the National Association of State Energy Officials, was among the keynote speakers who engaged a group of about 25 HVACR and allied industry leaders October 25 during a special symposium entitled, “The Future of Energy Efficiency Policy: The Role of States.”
The symposium was sponsored by Danfoss and marked the second event in the EnVisioneering Symposium series, which Danfoss launched in August.
The second symposium, held at the Chicago O’Hare Hilton, focused on how states are developing energy efficiency policy 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, the role of states was discussed by Craig Kneeland, senior project manager for the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority. Roundtable discussion topics included: - What are the available alternative state strategies, especially on energy-efficient processes and comfort systems? - Will current efforts by 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," says 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 says 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 encourages the private sector to work even more closely with states to advance energy-efficiency initiatives. John Galyen, president of Danfoss North America Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning, says federal and state regulations are expanding, as are innovative programs to promote energy efficiency. "In some areas, states have led the way and made important and lasting contributions," Galyen notes. "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. 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." Plans are currently under way for the third conference in the EnVisioneering Symposium series sponsored by Danfoss. Each symposium focuses on an important dimension of the emerging energy nexus, providing access to advanced ideas, information, analysis, networks and opportunities for leadership in this global transformation initiative. The symposium series brings together decision makers from business and government, end-users and power generators, equipment manufacturers and architects, engineers, financiers, regulators, scientists and strategists – the expansive group required to envision the novel approaches, new technologies and creative applications needed for a secure energy future. In January 2007, at the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Expo in Dallas, Danfoss will release a comprehensive industry report, detailing the discussions and ideas set forth during the conferences. For more information about the Danfoss EnVisioneering Symposium, visit www.envisioneering.danfoss.com/symposium.