The Energy Efficiency Forum (EEF) co-sponsors the United States Energy Association (USEA) and Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE: JCI) hosted “Live from Copenhagen,” the second in a series of webcasts designed to promote a year-round dialogue about energy efficiency initiatives. Global experts from CoreNet Global, International Energy Agency (IEA), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Johnson Controls and USEA discussed the unfolding events at COP15 and the results of CoreNet Global’s “Energy and Climate Outlook” survey.
COP15 outcomes still unknown
The webcast was moderated by Barry Worthington, executive director, USEA. Providing insights live from Copenhagen were Roger Platt, senior vice president of Global Policy and Law, USGBC; Dr. Nigel Jollands, head, Energy Efficiency Unit, IEA; and Clay Nesler, vice president of Global Energy and Sustainability, Johnson Controls.
The panelists discussed what will come out of COP15. Jollands stated the outcome of COP15 will be “less than perfect,” while commenting that the headlines will read “COP15 over, but not out,” in reference to the number of issues that won’t be addressed in Copenhagen. Platt echoed his sentiment, identifying “a gap” between “what people are willing to do and what people are willing to agree to do.”
“Energy and Climate Outlook” Survey Results
Michael Anderson, manager, Research and Knowledge Center for CoreNet Global, participating in the webcast from Atlanta, presented survey results which highlighted corporate real estate and workplace executives’ thoughts on the impact energy and climate issues have on their facilities.
About 100 corporate real estate leaders responded to the survey, which was launched in October 2009. In part, the survey results
— Despite the economic downturn, 60 percent of respondents have not delayed carbon reduction projects within their organizations.
— 38 percent of respondents see greenhouse gas legislation as an opportunity as opposed to a risk for their organization.
— 87 percent believe smart building technology will have the greatest price/performance improvement in the next ten years compared to other clean energy technologies.
— 90 percent of respondents indicated that their companies are likely to reduce carbon emissions without legislation.
“Among the top strategies for reducing a carbon footprint are improving building efficiency, portfolio consolidation, promoting alternative work strategies and renewable energy purchasing,” Anderson noted.
Importance of energy efficiency in buildings
“Energy efficiency is a sweet spot for addressing climate change. Buildings are the sweet spot in energy efficiency. The retrofitting of existing buildings is the sweet spot for green buildings,” said Platt. “In developed countries, where 90 percent of all of the increased carbon emissions will come from over the next 30 years, new buildings are an incredibly important piece of the puzzle. For the real estate industry, we have opportunities in the new building sector, as well as the existing building sector to be part of the solution.”
Jollands added, “When we are dealing with climate change issues, time is not on our side. The problem is the stuff we are building now — the buildings, the roads, etc. — will exist and be in place in 2030. Changing that is too financially and politically expensive to do in a hurry. We’re not going to be able to retrofit and rebuild all of our buildings. So the only strategy we’ve really got is to use energy efficiency. Energy efficiency essentially buys us time.”
Importance of measurement, verification and reporting
The panelists agreed the key to retrofit success will be the quality of the technology installed and how effectively it is monitored.
“Countries are bragging about a lot of the things they are doing and that’s great, and maybe they are doing a lot of great things, but those things need to be verified,” said Platt. “We’ve tried to highlight those areas, particularly in the operation of a building, that can be distilled down to a common carbon metric in a way to talk a common language across all of these different standards, so that we really know how much carbon we are reducing when we do green buildings.”
Compliance, monitoring, enforcement and evaluation of energy efficiency measures also are addressed in the IEA’s 25 energy efficiency recommendations, referenced by Jollands. These recommendations are a set of energy efficiency policies that IEA believes every country should implement. After IEA developed the recommendations, it evaluated several countries’ participation. IEA concluded countries are headed in the right direction, but are “only in second gear… and a whole heap of energy efficiency potential is still not being captured. The two big areas countries are not doing the most implementation are transport and buildings.”
For more information
To join the discussion and to view an archived version of the entire webcast, including the Q&A session, visit http://www.eeforum.net.
Throughout COP15, Johnson Controls is blogging about conference happenings and perspectives on the Energy Efficiency Forum website, on www.GreenBiz.com and on www.YourEnergyForum.com. Short updates also are available on Twitter.
Future Energy Efficiency Forum webcasts will provide timely information about energy efficiency initiatives, technologies and best practices. The next webcast is slated for the spring. Save the date for the 2010 Energy Efficiency Forum — June 15-16 in Washington, D.C.
About the Energy Efficiency Forum
The Energy Efficiency Forum, co-sponsored by Johnson Controls and USEA, is the premier event that promotes an energy efficiency ethic through the presentation of national and worldwide views on energy efficiency and the resulting impact on the environment, national security and economic growth. The 21st annual Energy Efficiency Forum will be held June 15-16, 2010 in Washington, D.C.
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 (NYSE: JCI) is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of 130,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. Our commitment to sustainability drives our environmental stewardship, good corporate citizenship in our workplaces and communities, and the products and services we provide to customers. For additional information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com/.