White House Blog Post: Leading the Effort to Cut Energy Waste

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Today at the White House, CEQ hosted a GreenGov Dialogue on Demand Response that brought together leaders from government, the private sector, non-profits and academia to identify opportunities to reduce our peak energy demand, promote a more stable electric grid, and help the Federal Government save energy and money in its operations. This important initiative is in line with the goal laid out by the President in his State of the Union Address: to cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years. The event showcased how the Federal Government is leading by example by setting aggressive energy targets, reducing its carbon pollution, and leveraging Federal purchasing power to curb waste and deliver the best value for the American taxpayer.

The event also highlighted other innovations and actions needed to cost-effectively reduce the nation’s peak demand for energy—a strategy that reduces the need to construct new sources of electricity generation. In particular, leaders discussed the important role that state and local governments play in enabling the nation’s tremendous demand response potential, a role recognized in the National Action Plan on Demand Response.

The event kicked off with remarks from White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, who stressed the themes laid out by President Obama in his State of the Union Address, followed by Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren, who announced that the cabinet-level National Science and Technology Council released a progress report outlining the Administration’s most recent achievements in electric grid modernization. The event featured additional keynote speakers including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service at the U.S. General Services Administration Dorothy Robyn, Assistant Secretary for the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman, and Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment John Conger.

GreenGov Dialogues – such as this one encouraging a conversation on broader use of demand response technology – build on progress made at Federal sustainability events such as the annual GreenGov Symposium, and continue the momentum of

Federal agencies’ efforts under the Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.

Here is what others are saying about why taking advantage of demand response technology makes sense for Federal agencies and for the private sector:

Jon Wellinghoff, Chair, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
“Demand response is a substantial and reliable resource in wholesale electric markets throughout this country. Demand response lowers greenhouse gas emissions, improves the resilience of our nation’s power grid and provides cost-savings to consumers. As the largest electricity consumer in the United States, the Federal Government has both a budgetary and environmental responsibility to maximize its participation by federal facilities in the delivery of demand response products to electric energy markets.”

Terry Boston, CEO, PJM Interconnection
“Increasingly, PJM is seeing demand response and energy efficiency becoming more competitive with traditional power supply resources. Our capacity auction last year procured a record 14,800 megawatts of demand response, a seven-fold increase over the past five years and more than 900 megawatts of energy efficiency.”

Thurman Thomas, Founder and President, Legends Energy Group
“The Demand Response industry is an example of entrepreneurial activity in the Green Economy. In an industry that did not exist ten years ago, demand response has now provided 200 well-paying jobs and continues to grow in a rust belt town like Buffalo.”

Sonal Kemkar is Senior Program Manager in the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive at the White House Council on Environmental Quality


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