Public Goals, Collaboration Key to Driving Efficiency By Ben Evans
Just as people are more likely to live up to a New Year’s Resolution by sharing it with friends and family, companies that make public goals for investing in energy efficiency are far more likely to follow through, Johnson Controls Vice President Clay Nesler said at an EE Global Forum Tech Talk on “Doubling Down on Energy Efficiency.
Data collected through surveys of Johnson Controls customers show that 95 percent of companies that set energy efficiency goals and made them public had invested in energy efficiency versus 55 percent of companies that didn’t set goals, said Nesler.
“If you set a public goal – you track it, you measure and report it – you are much more likely to invest,” Nesler said.
Nesler was joined on stage for the Tech Talk by California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who agreed that transparency and public information are key tools for advancing efficiency. McAllister cited a new California law requiring disclosure of energy consumption data from buildings larger than 50,000 square feet.
“We have so many more tools at our fingertips today than we ever have,” he said. “We need to take advantage of those and use them for good and also use them for transparency and accountability.”
The two cited public information as an example of how public and private sectors can collaborate to drive efficiency gains. McCallister said California – while it doesn’t have all the answers – is working aggressively to implement a mix of voluntary programs, public-private partnerships, regulation and incentives.
“All of this stuff works together,” he said. “The California model has all of these elements working together as much as we can.”
He highlighted a recent study by NRDC linking California’s economic expansion with its success in strengthening efficiency. “There’s a really compelling economic growth argument here for efficiency,” he said. “It’s a driver. It’s a causal relationship.”