On Friday, February 26th, the Alliance to Save Energy hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill entitled “The Role of Benchmarking,Transparency and Codes in Driving a More Efficient Built Environment”. For those who missed the briefing or want a recap, please read on.
Since 2004, the Alliance to Save Energy has provided Unsung Hero Awards for those who go “above and beyond” on a daily basis to further energy efficiency, but who have not received recognition commensurate to their contributions. Through the 2016 Unsung Hero Awards, the Alliance is delighted to bring attention to the commendable work of four outstanding awardees. The Alliance was joined by key industry leaders at the March 1 Unsung Heroes Reception at the Capitol Visitor Center to honor the 2016 awardees.

With the race to succeed President Obama in full swing, we want to reflect on all that his administration has done to advance energy efficiency: enactment of S. 535, Energy Efficiency Improvement Act Of 2015; the establishment of aggressive appliance, equipment and fuel economy standards; new requirements for federal building efficiency improvements, and a landmark emissions-reduction plan.

Looking ahead, we see three major ways the next president could build upon the current administration’s energy efficiency accomplishments and, in turn, help the country find common ground, increase national security, reduce carbon emissions and more. As we peer into our “crystal ball”, we can imagine the outcome of positive energy efficiency actions the next administration could take....

An energy efficiency spring in D.C. is popping up early this year – very early indeed! As February comes to an end, the year already has witnessed significant action impacting energy efficiency at the national level.
Kateri Callahan Alliance to Save Energy
Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan testified to the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee last Wednesday in support of efficiency standards for appliances, equipment and vehicles. The focus of the hearing was whether the trend of end-of-term increases in regulatory actions, which peaked under President George W. Bush, would continue as the Obama Administration wraps up its business and prepares for the transition. As always, the Alliance and Ms. Callahan welcomed the opportunity to talk about the importance of and benefits from standards, which have proven to be one of the most effective and cost-effective efficiency policies of all time.
green banks and financing alliance to save energy
I predicted last month that 2016 could be a big year for green banks, which are sprouting up across the U.S. A green bank is, according to the nearby Maryland Clean Energy Center, “a financial organization that uses strategic public-private partnerships to overcome market barriers and increase the amount of private capital available to finance clean energy projects.” Indeed, the green bank movement has had a pretty good start of the year. The efforts in Maryland now have the backing of key legislators, who have filed bills in the state Senate. Stay tuned for more: things happen quickly during the 90-day session of the General Assembly and hearings are already set.
In an exciting development in December, I was able to witness the Alliance to Save Energy’s Energy Hog mascot receive the Silver Award in the Smart Jobs and Consumers category during Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) Energy Smart Communities Initiatives (ESCI) Awards Ceremony, underscoring the mascot’s effectiveness in providing energy efficiency education for youth around the country.
This week, the Senate took up and began consideration of S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015. And things got off to a promising start. Some of the first action on the bill involved bipartisan votes on amendments sponsored by Republicans and Democrats alike. On Thursday, January 28, Sen. Johnny Isakson (for himself and Sens. Michael F. Bennet, Rob Portman, and Jeanne Shaheen) introduced S. Amdt. No. 3042, which would add provisions based on the SAVE Act to the bill. The SAVE Act has been an Alliance legislative priority for some time.
Building energy codes are a critical means for improving the energy performance of our homes and commercial buildings, which collectively make up our country’s largest energy-consuming sector. When a state or local government adopts an updated building energy code, a minimum level of efficiency is established for new buildings to achieve. Codes, historically, have been agnostic with respect to the generation of energy. Rather, codes have been focused exclusively on energy conservation in buildings.
The Energy Efficiency Global Forum returns to Washington D.C. on May 11-12 to celebrate the Alliance to Save Energy’s ninth year hosting the premier international energy efficiency forum. This year’s theme – Driving Productivity and Profitability through Energy Efficiency – will convene industry leaders from across borders and sectors who can speak to the energy efficiency policies, financing mechanisms and innovative new technologies that are helping companies improve the bottom line and meet sustainability goals.