WASHINGTON, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Public and private sector leaders at the 23rd annual Energy Efficiency Forum outlined legislation, policies and business strategies aimed at reducing energy use and operating costs in buildings. Buildings account for 40 percent of global energy use, according to the Department of Energy. The event was co-sponsored by Johnson Controls, a global leader in delivering solutions that increase energy efficiency in buildings, and the United States Energy Association.
Richard Kauffman, senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, kicked off the forum asking the 300 attendees at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to consider what motivates customers to implement energy efficiency capabilities.
"If we hope to solve the problem of energy efficiency, we must first understand the unique motivating factors of individual buyers because individuals make decisions," said Kauffman. "We then must develop financing models that meet their needs."
Carlos Pascual, U.S. State Department special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, told attendees that energy efficiency is an important part of building the global economy and protecting national security interests.
"Energy efficiency is not only a good thing to do from an environmental perspective, it's also big business," said Pascual. "It can help grow economies and is fundamental to how we achieve national security goals."
Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to President Obama for energy and climate change, talked about the multiple benefits of energy efficiency.
"Improving energy efficiency – whether in the transportation or the built environment – is truly the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way to decrease dependence on oil, reduce pollution, and save families and businesses money on energy bills," said Zichal.
Dave Myers, president, Johnson Controls, Building Efficiency, shared highlights of the sixth annual Energy Efficiency Indicator survey. This year's survey indicated that interest in energy efficiency is at all-time high.
"Building owners are investing in energy efficiency because they recognize the financial payback," said Myers. "This year's survey demonstrates there's a change underway. The mantra for commercial real estate owners used to be location, location, location – now it's becoming location, efficiency, location."
The Energy Efficiency Indicator is led by Johnson Controls' Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association and the Urban Land Institute.
Three past and present public officials received Energy Leadership Awards for their efforts in instituting and advancing energy efficiency in North America. Recipients of the 2012 Energy Leadership Awards are:
Congressional Award — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, (D-N.H). Since her 2008 election, Sen. Shaheen has promoted energy efficiency, including co-sponsoring the 2011 Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act to create a national energy-efficiency strategy estimated to save consumers $60 billion by 2030 and add 159,000 jobs to the economy.
Mayor's Award — David Miller, former mayor of Toronto (2003-2010). As mayor, Miller pioneered innovations such as reducing energy usage by piping water from Lake Ontario to cool downtown towers in the summer and Live Green Toronto, providing ways for city residents to contribute to the city's sustainability.
Public Service Award — Robert M. Simon, staff director, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Senate. Since 1999, Simon has played a central coordinating role among Senate staff in developing and facilitating passage of legislation by the committee, including the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence Act of 2007.
The Forum also honored three past winners of the Igniting Creative Energy (ICE) Challenge on the 10th anniversary of the competition. ICE recognizes K-12 students for their entries about energy, water and the environment in a creative way. Each was awarded a $2,500 college scholarship. ICE is administered by the National Energy Foundation through a grant from Johnson Controls.
About United States Energy Association
The United States Energy Association is the U.S. Member Committee of the World Energy Council. USEA is an association of public and private energy-related organizations, corporations, and government agencies. It represents the broad interests of the U.S. energy sector by increasing the understanding of energy issues, both domestically and internationally. In conjunction with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of Energy, USEA sponsors our nation's Energy Partnership Program. Membership in USEA is open to all organizations having an interest in the energy sector of the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.usea.org/.
About Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 162,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2012, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #5 company in its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. For additional information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com.
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