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"There is one sure winner that government can pick. That, as you all know, is energy efficiency. Dollar for dollar, it is still the best strategy, That's why Connecticut is firmly committed to energy efficiency and prepared to double down its investment." Governor Dannel Malloy
On June 13 & 14 NEEP and the Summit's Co-Chairs, David McHale and Bobbi Kates-Garnick, welcomed over 300 people to Stamford, CT for the 2012 Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit. The two day event brought together a wide variety of business interests, policy makers, utility partners, manufacturers and other efficiency stakeholders to discuss the Summit's theme, The Business Case for Efficiency.
On day one, nearly 200 people gathered as we dug into two important topics: concurrent workshops that focused on residential lighting and energy rating for commercial buildings spurred lively discussion and offered opportunities for networking. NEEP also hosted the monthly meeting of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board, inviting friends from other states to watch a stakeholder board in action.
In spite of the rain a large group hopped aboard Harbor Point's trolleys and headed down to Stamford's most dynamic mixed-use neighborhood where Ted Ferrarone of Building and Land Technology gave a comprehensive overview of BLT's mission to make make Stamford a healthier, more livable and more environmentally friendly city. Harbor Point's neighborhoods are intended to foster a strong sense of community and inter-connectivity. All of the streets are designed to be pedestrian-friendly with wide sidewalks, calmed traffic, tree-lined streets, ground-floor retail, accessible building entrances and bike lanes. The buildings are designed to reduce water use, save energy, incorporate structured parking, reduce their heat island, and employ green construction practices.
Tuesday evening's opening reception gave Summit attendees an opportunity to visit 30 exhibits that highlight the latest and greatest in lighting technology, energy monitoring software, utility programs and other innovative initiatives that are accelerating efficiency across the Northeast and around the country. Judging from the crowds gathered around all of the exhibits on Tuesday and throughout the day on Wednesday there is a lot of great work that's being done!
On day two Kathleen Hogan from the U.S. Department of Energy kicked off the Summit with an overview of the efficiency initiatives being implemented at the federal level and stressed the important role that the Northeast has in leading the country towards a clean energy future. The morning panel, The Business Case for Energy Efficiency in the Northeast - A Business-Policy Dialogue, brought together policy makers and business interests from New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont to discuss the key programs and policies in place across the region that enable businesses to make investments in efficiency that decrease costs, increase the bottom line and generally make American business more competitive.
We were thrilled to be joined by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, who NEEP had previously honored in 2006 for his leadership on energy efficiency when he was mayor of Stamford. The governor and Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, have been two of the leading drivers of the state's aggressive clean energy and efficiency agenda. "Cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable. That has to be our energy mantra," extolled Malloy, as he listed off policy and program priorities for the state, including deep energy retrofits, solutions for oil heat customers, new financing products, and the state's goal to reduce energy consumption in state buildings 10 percent by 2013, with further targets to follow.
The afternoon panel tackled Energy Wellness - Efficiency in the Healthcare Industry. Healthcare is an energy intensive industry and as medical technology becomes more sophisticated the need for a reliable power system becomes even more important. Bimal Patel (Hartford Hospital), David Burson (Partners HealthCare) and Matt Enstice (Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus) joined moderator David McHale for a discussion about the measures hospitals are taking to reduce their energy usage and costs in existing facilities and what is taken into consideration when designing new facilities. An interesting topic that is sure to be a prominent topic of conversation in the years to come.
Dr. Jane Snowdon from IBM's Industry Solutions and Emerging Business Department rounded out the day with an overview of IBM's contribution to developing strategies and driving research efforts worldwide to create innovative solutions for smarter buildings IBM's technologies are helping city planners, developers and jurisdictions across the world analyze their energy consumption data and use that information to make smarter energy choices.
Sprinkled throughout the day were awards presentations for the 2012 Northeast Business Leaders for Energy Efficiency. NEEP honored 14 businesses from around the Northeast and Washington, D.C. that demonstrate outstanding acts of leadership and best practices of energy efficiency. The diversity of this year's awardees—from the airline industry to pharmaceuticals to car dealerships and retail interests—shows that efficiency measures can be deployed across myriad industries with positive effects on the environment, the community and the bottom line. Take some time to watch the inspiring State Champion videos and read the compelling case studies for each of our Business Leaders.
Thanks to all of the 2012 Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit Sponsors for another great year!