SOURCE: Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls

June 17, 2010 18:11 ET

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Locke and Representative Israel Address "Innovative Approaches, Proven Solutions" During 21st Annual Energy Efficiency Forum

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 17, 2010) -  U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and other leading policymakers and business executives provided insights into "Energy Efficiency: Innovative Approaches, Proven Solutions" during the 21st Annual Energy Efficiency Forum. The event, co-sponsored by Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) and the U.S. Energy Association (USEA), was held this week at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and webcast online through the Virtual Energy Forum.

Outlining the Forum's discussion by tying technology to policy and economy, Sec. Locke warned, "The United States currently consumes more than 20 percent of the world's oil, and yet we only have two percent of the world's reserves. If we fail to develop new sources of clean energy, and transform the way we use energy across our economy, we know the future waiting for us."

"Our challenge is to write a different story. Our challenge is to convince people that the development of clean energy and energy efficiency technologies could spur one of the greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century."

Thousands of attendees around the globe listened as David Sandalow, assistant secretary for policy and international affairs, U.S. Department of Energy; Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.); and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm provided insights. Influence author and OPOWER Chief Scientist Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.; Mason Emnett, associate director of the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); and Timothy E. Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund, continued the discussion.

Rep. Israel summarized the need for energy efficiency by saying, "This is our new Sputnik moment. And we will be judged by how we respond. We've got to make the case to the American people that energy efficiency is about our environmental security. It's about our economic security. It's also about our national security."

"Our purchase of overseas oil is the biggest component of our foreign trade shortfall," Sen. Merkley elaborated. "It's a real national security problem, but there are several other ideas passing around that I think are well worth pursuing. I would like to see a 10 percent Energy Efficiency Resource Standard separate from the Renewable Energy Standard so that one is not being traded off against the other. I'd like to see that a third of the pre-allowances allocated to natural gas and electric utilities go to invest in energy efficiency. I'd like to see us fund industrial energy efficiency more effectively. And I'd like to see more funds for state energy efficiency programs. All of those are things that can be done within the framework of the conversation we're having right now."

Granholm, who used the state of Michigan as a point of reference in highlighting the successful ability to create jobs and bring overseas manufacturing home to the United States, said: "We create a weak nation if we don't focus on energy independence like a laser. This issue of energy independence is an issue of American patriotism."

Attendees gained additional insight as two panels discussed business and energy efficiency. Stephen Stokes, vice president of research at AMR Research, moderated a panel discussion on the "Innovative Solutions at the Intersection of Technology and Efficiency." Panelists included: Richard Lechner, vice president, energy and environment, IBM Corporation; Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist, Microsoft; and Neil McPhail, senior vice president and general manager, New Business Solutions Group, Best Buy Company, Inc.

All three panelists focused on the efficiency of America's buildings and homes, the ability to advance the technologies and, most importantly, the issue of changing behaviors. Lechner addressed IBM's top-down approach stating, "To improve the sustainability of an organization, a society, a country, a planet requires taking a systemic approach [...] and it does mean approaching a public-private partnership." Microsoft's Bernard furthered one of the Forum's key points, commenting, "The tools that we need are here today, and they will get better, but we have the information that we need to go and address this problem right now." 

A second panel, "Taking Charge of the Clean Transportation Industry," was moderated by Mary Ann Wright, vice president, global technology and innovation accelerator for Johnson Controls Power Solutions. Panelists included: Scott Harrison, chief executive officer, Azure Dynamics; Robbie Diamond, founder and president, Securing America's Future Energy; Thomas Reddoch, Ph.D., executive director, Energy Utilization, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI); and Richard Lowenthal, founder and CEO, Coulomb Technologies.

While this panel changed the focus from energy-efficient buildings to energy-efficient transportation, it continued to emphasize the idea that the U.S. is in need of a behavioral change. "Because we're revolutionizing the transportation industry and, any time we have a major turnover like that, as human beings we're desperate to see examples -- examples from people that we're familiar with, I think the notion of funding projects that demonstrate the effectiveness of this new technology could be really very vital in the whole mix," Reddoch said.

Additionally, the winners of the 2010 Igniting Creative Energy (ICE) Challenge were recognized at the Forum for innovative energy efficiency ideas. ICE, a partnership program developed by Johnson Controls and the National Energy Foundation, is a national student challenge to motivate learning, ignite the imagination and fuel the creative potential in youth. The winners were:

  • Elementary School Grand Prize -- Cheyenne Martinek, a fifth-grader from Poulsbo, Washington
  • Middle School Grand Prize -- Alexander Miller Jr., a sixth-grader from Salt Lake City, Utah
  • High School Grand Prize -- Anne Spence, a sophomore in Holland, Michigan
  • Teacher Division -- Brian Mulcahy, sixth grade teacher in Massapequa Park, New York

To learn more about their award entries, visit: http://www.ignitingcreativeenergy.org/.

Energy Leadership Awards were also presented during the Forum. Read more: "Representative Israel, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Hamilton Health Sciences Receive Energy Leadership Awards During 21st Annual Energy Efficiency Forum."

To view the archived version of the webcast, and for additional transcripts and images, please visit http://www.eeforum.net

About The 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 over 150 countries. Our 130,000 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.

About Johnson Controls Building Efficiency
Johnson Controls Building Efficiency is a leading provider of equipment, controls and services for heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigeration and security systems for buildings. Operating from 500 branch offices in 150 countries, we deliver products, services and solutions that increase energy efficiency and lower operating costs for over one million customers. We are involved in more than 500 renewable energy projects including solar, wind and geothermal technologies. Our solutions have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 13.6 million metric tons and generated savings of $7.5 billion since 2000. Many of the world's largest companies rely on us to manage 1.5 billion square feet of their commercial real estate. For more information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com.

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