SOURCE: U.S. Energy Association; Johnson Controls, Inc.

June 05, 2008 19:36 ET

2008 Energy Efficiency Forum Recognizes Youth for Awareness of Energy and Climate Change Issues

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 5, 2008) - The 19th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum, to be held at the National Press Club June 10-11, will include a special focus on youth as it explores the potential for innovative energy and climate change policies under a new presidential administration.

The event's keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, has chided what he calls "Generation Q" as being "...too quiet, too online, for its own good, and for the country's own good." This year, however, the Forum, which is sponsored by the U.S. Energy Association and Johnson Controls, Inc. will spotlight a growing number of informed and active younger voices.

Individual students from kindergarten through college will leverage the presence of the Forum's 300 top-level government, business and energy decision-makers to raise awareness of the need to provide energy efficiency solutions.

Carnegie Mellon University engineering graduate students Shazeen Attari of Dubai, UAE; Ines Margarida Lima de Azevedo of Lisbon, Portugal; Constantine Samaras of Annapolis, Md.; and Benjamin Flath of Scotch Plains, N.J. will be recognized for winning a letter-writing competition entitled "Tomorrow's Energy Ambassadors, Managers, and Scholars" (TEAMS). Their compelling letter was published in USA Today and called on the presidential candidates to clarify their positions on such topics as energy independence and climate change.

"I thought that the letter was a really good avenue to explain to people, to get our message out there that we are really passionate," said Attari. "We want people to do something about climate change and we need action now."

Students Submit Ingenious Ideas on Energy Efficiency

Additionally, students from kindergarten through high school will be recognized as winners of the "Igniting Creative Energy" (ICE) challenge. Students nationwide were challenged to submit projects that demonstrated ways of practicing sustainability at home, at school, or in the community. Winners include:

-- Tessa Hartley of St. James, Missouri, a kindergartner who won for writing and illustrating a book titled "ABC's in My Trash." Her book project demonstrated creativity in raising awareness about recycling.

-- Matthew Belz of Upper Arlington, Ohio, a middle school student, won for his documentary highlighting his journey to find an environmentally friendly alternative to the polystyrene trays used in his cafeteria.

-- Wesley Fulkerson of El Cajon, California won the high school division for writing and recording an original song entitled "It's a Beautiful World," which encourages others to make simple changes in their lives to conserve energy. Those attending the Forum will be treated to a live performance of the song by the young artist.

Additionally, as the teacher with the highest average score of qualifying student entries, Ms. Jean Kegerreis of Holland, Michigan was named the national teacher winner.

EPA Slated to Make Special Announcements

The need for a heightened awareness of energy efficiency among children is not lost on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) either. The agency selected the 19th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum as the venue where it will unveil, with the help of a well known elephant, new promotional tools from the ENERGY STAR program. There will also be updates about the National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency.

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 140,000 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/.

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