Engaging Champions: How do we drive effective policy and regulation through stakeholder engagement and education?
Governor Bill Ritter, Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, opened up the session by introducing a tool created by the Center, called the Advanced Energy Legislative Tracker. Governor Ritter identified building data disclosure bills and bills seeking to modify the cost benefit analyses used by state public utility commissions as emerging policy trends to watch, and bills relating to utility decoupling.

Susan Stratton, the Executive Director of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, highlighted the success that the Alliance has had in its role as a regional energy efficiency marketing agent acting to educate stakeholders on eliminating barriers to the implementation of promising emerging technologies.

Lisa Jacobson, the President of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, discussed some of the top line findings of a tool created in collaboration with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which tracks renewable energy sectors and the natural gas sector. Jacobson explained that this collaboration intended to provide policy makers and decision makers with the basic facts on these sectors.

Mark Brunner, the Senior Advisor for National Security and Energy, for the Office of Senator Mark Warner, discussed connections between energy efficiency advocates and congress. Senator Mark Warner is the co-chairman of the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy set up by the Alliance to Save Energy, and Mark Brunner discussed this commission’s bipartisan efforts and its consensus on how to move forward.

Budget Battles: How do you increase focus on energy efficiency during investment decision-making processes?
Panelists for this session shared their experiences in public and private sector efforts to incorporate energy efficiency considerations in their investment decisions. Emphasizing that energy efficiency is often a win-win proposition with potential to foster compromise; panelists discussed the importance of developing regulatory, legal, financial, and technological frameworks to support implementation of energy efficient initiatives and projects.

Developing Interest: How do you make emerging markets in the developing world a profitable option for companies, big and small?
Moderator, David Rodgers (Global Environment Facility), stated in this introduction that “If we are going to make energy efficiency a success, we need to ensure that the investment climate in the developing world is hospitable, so as to incentivize greater private sector investment.” The session’s first panelist, Sam Tumiwa (Asian Development Bank) described the market and policy environment for energy efficiency in Asia, as well as ADB’s work in the region. Dr. Robert Ichord (U.S. Department of State) stressed the need to develop both institutional and implementation capacities for energy efficiency, as well as increased partnership at the national and global level. Eric Antwi-Agyei (Ghanaian Energy Efficiency Commission) described Ghana’s energy landscape, and highlighted the country’s efforts to push for energy efficiency, including the 2008 prohibition on incandescent lights. Finally, Barry Bredenkamp (South African National Development Institute) described the opportunities for energy efficiency in South Africa, and the need to better understand the African energy market given the continent’s diverse customer landscape and energy needs.

Outsmarting Outages: In the face of growing demand and a changing climate, what is efficiency’s role in ensuring grid reliability?
Thought-leaders in this session highlighted the interplay between energy efficiency and creating a more flexible, resilient and connected grid. Speakers noted the growing need for partnerships to create demand response systems that can respond to peak loads and critical system disruptions. The session also shed light on the potential barriers to creating a network of distributed generation. Finally, speakers discussed the opportunities and potential challenges to create a more dynamic, durable, and efficient smart grid of the future.

Striking a Chord: What are the best examples of standard harmonization for nations to emulate and at what point is one needed?
The panel focused on efforts for governments to collaborate internationally on issues involving appliance and equipment testing, labeling, and/or minimum performance standards. The participants emphasized that “harmonization” does not mean that everyone should be required to do the same thing, and they pointed out that climate differences and other factors drive legitimate differences in performance standards. However, they agreed that harmonization at various sublevels, such as product definition and testing standards, could provide significant benefits.

Panel members also emphasized that two product categories should receive a high priority in harmonization efforts: air conditioners and LEDs. Finally, the panel highlighted the importance of the work of the Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment Initiative (SEAD) of the 16 countries involved in the Clean Energy Ministerial.

Jevons’ Boomerang: Is the rebound effect real? If so, is the effect negative or positive?
Jevon’s Paradox, a mid-century postulate stating that an increase in energy efficiency paradoxically increase resource consumption was discussed by a panel of experts at EEGlobal. The panel worked through several concepts around the idea, arriving at a similar message, that the rebound effect of energy efficiency is positive, but most probably very small.

The Key to EE: How do we unlock capital to overcome first cost barriers?
This session focused on ways to encourage growth in energy efficiency markets. Notwithstanding the common perception that energy efficiency is a tremendous opportunity that is yet untapped, panelists emphasized that with the right market conditions and frameworks in place, financing has been successfully used to achieve energy efficiency objectives. Moving forward, a key challenge includes creating bankable energy efficiency projects with a predictable rate of return. Potential solutions to this challenge include approaching energy efficiency investments as bond investments, rolling the cost of energy efficiency retrofits and new construction into utility payments, and bundling smaller projects into a larger investment vehicle with common financing mechanisms.

H2O-ptimize: What policies and programs are needed to improve the efficiency of water infrastructure and optimize functionality across sectors?
Water scarcity is a very big issue in both the developing and the developed world. Current estimates are that the problem will increase by 50% in the developing world by 2030. Furthermore, 53% of private sector companies are already experiencing the effects of water scarcity. Additionally, the relationship between energy and water supply is very close. Half of the water withdrawals in the US are for thermal-electric power plants. Of all of the energy that the country uses, 12% goes to the delivery of water. This means that we should be guiding energy policy to conserve water and the water supply chain to conserve energy. Improving water infrastructure and water efficiency will improve energy efficiency. As recently as last summer, 667 million people went without power for 2 days in India because of water scarcity and the results strains on the energy supply.

Community resiliency and planning is part of the infrastructure working group that the federal government envisions as a platform to work with local groups and decision-makers. At the local level, Washington, DC has adopted a number of regulations in order to promote and improve water efficiency. Ultimately, we must approach our solutions holistically and in a manner that is sustainable. This is why discussions of water and energy necessarily must include discussions of each other.

Defining Success: Is the UNs “Year of Sustainable Energy for All” campaign effectively driving towards its goals for 2030?
The Sustainable Energy for All initiative was and remains a relatively new type of United Nations effort. This is because the ambitions objectives are beyond the scope of the 193 Member States, and they require intense involvement and engagement of the private sector. As a result, Sustainable Energy for All is a unique, global platform for public-private partnerships, which has mobilized governments, large multinational organizations, and individual entrepreneurs across the globe.

In support of the second pillar of Sustainable Energy for All, the doubling of the rate of energy efficiency by 2030, the Danish government has created a global energy efficiency hub in Copenhagen. The goal of this hub won’t be to give advice on what sort of technology works in energy efficiency and what doesn’t, because there are already a number of institutions that do this. Rather, the goal will be to provide advice to interested parties on what works in energy efficiency within the realm of international cooperation.

Additionally, the World Bank has created a Global Tracking Framework to help define the level of achievement of the three objectives of Sustainable Energy for All. The Bank has also created a document of unprecedented scope, which breaks down renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy access by sector, national level, and regional level. This report was a massive effort by over 150 people, 20 partner agencies, and covering 180 countries. Since Sustainable Energy for All is heavily focused on public-private partnerships, we will need the data from this report in order to advise the private sector on where the most efficacious projects and investments are in the developing world.

Elevating Standards: How do you make voluntary programs that are effective in driving new and better technology?
Thought-leaders in this session highlighted the importance of voluntary programs in driving innovation in the market. Voluntary programs must be simple to be effective, but also must be based in metrics and data that offer credibility. Speakers highlighted that voluntary programs are particularly effective when they create a value proposition that provides cost-savings, a strong business case, and measurable energy reduction. Voluntary programs are most effective when adopted by strong leaders and trendsetters.

Getting Big Enough to Matter: How much aggregation is needed to best attract equity and investments?
This panel discussed the extent to which aggregation of smaller scale energy efficiency projects could facilitate larger scale investments in energy efficiency. To facilitate aggregation, panelists emphasized the necessity of reducing uncertainty for investors through selecting simple projects using existing technologies, as well as creating standardized contracts and underwriting criteria, educating key members of the finance industry, and creating reliable performance data.

Seeing Beyond the Now: What are the interrelationships among utility investment in energy efficiency programs, demand response programs, utility rates, emerging technologies, and renewable energy?
This session focused on several trends that are coming together to reshape the future of the electric utility industry, including increased distributed generation (DG) and demand response, the growth of renewable energy and emerging technologies. Panel members emphasized that the convergence of energy efficiency, information technology and DG is changing the game for the entire electric utility industry. Also, this convergence is changing the way many energy consumers think about energy efficiency (EE) because EE is now becoming an asset. The panelists agreed that there is a need for reforms in the electric utility regulatory structure and utility business models to adapt to this new reality.