Just finished participating on a panel discussion in New Orleans at the CEE Fifth Annual Industry Partners Meeting. The discussion focused on what industry groups — CEE's partners — are doing to encourage energy efficiency. Up on stage with me were reps from ALA and AHRI, both of which have interesting programs that promote energy efficient products in their industries. AHRI has launched a "2 Degree Pledge" with AHAM, EEI and others to encourage consumers to conserve energy in their homes through some practical tips. ALA is promoting "energy-wise lighting" — how to select the most efficient lighting for your house — through its website and magazines.
For our part, I explained NEMA's success thus far in its energy efficiency and Smart Grid initiatives.
- We worked closely with allies to develop national efficiency standards for electrical products that were included in the Energy Independence and Security Act last year, and to enact tax incentives for the use of a variety of energy efficient products in the recent Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. The timing couldn't be better on the latter provisions, considering that we'll need help maintaining the momentum for energy efficiency during any economic downturn that occurs.
- We've launched a High Performance Building Council, whose mission it is to promote electrical products that lead to more energy efficient, safer buildings. In particular the Council will coordinate efforts within our membership to develop the appropropriate codes and standards for electrical products in new and retrofit buildings.
- We are participating on NIST's Smart Grid Interoperability Framework, which brings together so many of the critical stakeholders in developing a modern 21st-century electrical grid. We're also working with Congress, FERC and DOE to ensure a favorable regulatory climate for utilities and manufacturers to invest in Smart Grid. Which means, in short, ensuring they see an ROI as they undertake research, design, development, and marketing of advanced technologies.