A Nod to Demand Response from the White House
Two years ago, USGBC had the crazy idea of bringing together both sides of the grid - utilities and technology solution providers AND owners and managers of LEED registered and certified buildings - with the end goal of increasing participation in Demand Response and Smart Grid programs.
And now there’s one more voice to add to the conversation: that of the Federal Government.
Yesterday, I had the honor of attending the GreenGov Dialogue on Demand Response hosted by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) at the White House. This meeting of the minds brought together leaders from government, the private sector, non-profits and academia to talk about reducing peak energy demand and promoting a more stable electric grid.
The morning kicked-off with a message from Nancy Sutley, Chair of the CEQ, who spoke about the recent challenges that have prompted this new focus and how President Obama’s energy agenda will help address these issues. Sutley’s remarks stressed the fact that what’s good for the grid is good for the economy - with new smart grid technologies come new jobs and the need for a trained work force. She went on to say, “the federal government, as the largest energy user in the U.S., has an obligation to lead by example.”
Throughout the day, speakers from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and the General Services Administration reinforced Sutley’s remarks.
The panels also included leaders from the private sector sharing strategies to implement demand response programs. Elgie Holstein, Senior Director for Strategic Planning at Environmental Defense Fund, pointed out that green house gas emissions remain a major problem, with 30% attributed to buildings and trumpeted our Demand Response Partnership as an innovative strategy for addressing that opportunity.
USGBC, through its LEED Demand Response credit and the Demand Response Partnership (Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Environmental Defense Fund, Southern California Edison, MelRok) is committed to encouraging the design and operation of smart buildings equipped to enroll in demand response programs and thus contribute to securing the energy supply while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts.