As energy systems are evolving, with traditional users acting as both energy consumers and producers, both “prosumers” and traditional energy suppliers are employing distributed generation, energy storage, demand response and information technologies to transform these systems. Improving efficiency in buildings, district energy systems and infrastructure also provides multiple social, economic and environmental benefits to communities and businesses.
This year's forum, ‘Leveraging Innovation to Become an Energy Efficiency Superpower’, held at the National press Club in Washington D.C. on 23 June, featured influential thought leaders in the energy sector, including representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Senate and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG).
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, discussed efforts to accelerate the adoption of smart building technologies and the impact of energy bills that focus on these technologies. "The new smart building focus has enormous potential for energy savings, high-paying jobs and the stimulation of economic growth," she explained. Cantwell highlighted the ability to integrate these technologies with other systems to help insulate consumers and investors from power outages, price fluctuations and other challenges.
The forum also brought together mayors and former mayors from across the United States to discuss a variety of energy-saving measures their cities are taking, including hydro-electric power, electric bikes for transportation and LED lights to reduce light pollution.
Innovators and technology leaders rounded out the event, sharing the private sector's energy advancements, including solar power, wind power and technological advances in energy efficiency.