Marc Ledbetter, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Aimee McKane, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
ACEEE hosted its 13th biennial Summer Study August 22-27, 2004 at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California. In what is widely considered to be the preeminent gathering of energy efficiency professionals from around the world, the conference brought together 694 participants representing 39 states and 19 countries (including the U.S.).
"Breaking Out of the Box" served as the conference theme, which inspired a new breadth of topics and creative new formats for sessions. New topics ranged from community-wide approaches, to energy efficiency, to discussing whether efficiency alone is sufficient to meet global energy and environmental challenges. New formats included debates and roundtables, which encouraged creative dialogues on the key challenges in our field.
The Summer Study opened with a plenary talk by Professor Vivian Loftness, former head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, who talked about six major areas where attention to design can save a substantial amount of energy, ranging from land use to heating, cooling, lighting, and power systems to choice of building materials. She also discussed work she has done to document the key benefits of some specific energy efficiency measures and practices, such as improved worker health and productivity as a result of better lighting or improved user-control over temperatures and lighting in their workspace.
Also featured were four other plenary talks by Alison Silverstein, former senior Advisor to the Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Brian Silverstein, Acting Vice President, Transmission Planning, at the Bonneville Power Administration; Marilyn Brown, Director of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Joel Levin, Vice President of the California Climate Action Registry. Alison Silverstein discussed the 2001 blackout, its causes, and steps that can be taken to prevent further blackouts, such as actions to bring peak power demand down to ease pressure on the power-supply system. Brian Silverstein discussed how BPA is using strategies to reduce customer peak demand to postpone major transmission line projects, saving capital and controversy. Marilyn Brown discussed opportunities for substantially reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from residential and commercial buildings. Joel Levin talked about working with businesses to encourage actions and investments to reduce emissions that contribute to global climate change.