More than 850 conference attendees watched U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz deliver keynote remarks to the 2013 Energy Information Administration’s Energy Conference in Washington, DC. Even more watched him live on C-SPAN. Secretary Moniz was the opening speaker for an action-packed two-day conference full of federal officials, economists, industry experts, and energy advocates. Secretary Moniz was followed by Thomas Fanning, CEO of Southern Company, who started by noting that the electricity sector is growing five times faster than any other energy sector, and that we all should “use less [energy] when we can.” Other notable speakers at the conference included Senator Lisa Murkowski, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Aldo Flores-Quiroga, Secretary-General of the International Energy Forum, and Jason Bordoff, Director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and former Special Assistant to President Obama on the staff of the National Security Council, National Economic Council, and Council on Environmental Quality.
NEMA’s own Patrick Hughes, Policy Director for High Performance Buildings, spoke on a panel alongside Roland Risser, Director of the Building Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as Sukanya Paciorek, Senior Vice President at Vornado Realty Trust. The panel topic was “Energy Consumption and Building Efficiency,” and the group covered everything from energy efficiency policies to building automation systems to data collection and analysis. In his presentation on the current state of energy efficiency policies and regulations, Patrick Hughes spoke about the need to extend President Obama’s goal for federal agencies to enter into energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) past the end of this year. He noted that:
The President’s December 2011 memorandum committed the federal government to enter into $2 billion of ESPC projects by the end of 2013, but federal energy assessments have shown that there are at least $9 billion worth of remaining, cost-effective energy conservation measures that could be addressed using ESPCs at no cost to taxpayers. NEMA encourages President Obama to extend the federal government’s commitment to ESPCs. Especially during these times of sequestration and tight budgets, ESPCs can help the government cut energy waste while saving taxpayer’s money. In fact, since 1998, ESPCs in federal facilities have saved $7.2 billion, with a private-sector investment of just $2.7 billion.
For specific examples of how ESPCs have been implemented in federal facilities, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program website: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/financing/espcs_casestudies.html