Developments such as smart grids, new product standards and building energy codes are changing the landscape for energy efficiency in the Midwest. While energy efficiency programs have exponentially increased in the last four years – with more than $1.45 billion spent on 2012 efficiency programs in the Midwest alone – factors such as the incandescent bulb “phase out” and increased furnace and other equipment standards may threaten future gains. Smart grids, building energy codes, new energy saving products and increased energy use data could drive the market to meeting future goals.
This week’s Midwest Energy Solutions Conference in Chicago will address these emerging trends, taking on critical questions such as:
- Will smart grid technology promote energy efficiency? (Jan. 16)
- Are energy efficiency goals for utilities achievable? (Jan. 16)
- How can utilities partner with industrials for increased energy savings? (Jan. 17)
- How effective are behavior change programs? (Jan. 17)
- What amount of energy savings can come from building energy codes? (Jan. 18)
- What is the future of energy efficiency in the Midwest? (Jan. 18)
Nearly 600 energy leaders from across the nation will gather Jan. 16-18 at the Fairmont Hotel Millennium Park (200 North Columbus Drive, Chicago) to explore the latest energy issues at the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (MEEA) 11th annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference.
Immediately prior to the start of the conference at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, MEEA and the University of Missouri’s Lighting Research Center will co-host a Solid State Lighting Solutions Summit at which industry experts will discuss applications, pricing and energy savings of the latest solid state lighting (LED) technology.
Other conference highlights include:
Wednesday, Jan. 16
- Keynote address by Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd president and CEO. 1:15 – 2 p.m.
- Are Energy Efficiency Goals Achievable: While energy efficiency programs have been meeting early targets, panelists will discuss whether increasing efficiency goals with pressure from lower energy prices and looming standards, codes and market transformation means utilities are doomed to failure. 2 – 3:30 p.m.
- Will Smart Grid Promote Energy Efficiency? Panelists including Tim Melloch of ComEd will discuss the deployment of “smart grid” technologies, and whether they will lead to greater savings from energy efficiency or just shift demand. 4 – 5:15 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 17
- Keynote address by Dr. Kathleen Hogan, U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary. 9:15 – 9:45 a.m.
- Behavior Change Programs and Energy Efficiency: Are savings from behavior change programs “real?” Panelists will discuss whether more can and should be done to affect consumer behavior. 2 – 3:15 p.m.
- Making Commercial Buildings Green: Panelists will discuss the latest tools and strategies that commercial building owners should be using to save money and energy. 3:45 – 5 p.m.
- 2012 Inspiring Efficiency Awards Dinner and Gala. MEEA presents awards in Education, Innovation, Impact, Marketing and Leadership and announces the 2013 Chairman’s Award winner. 7 – 9 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 18
- The Future of Energy Efficiency in the Midwest: Considering the current political climate in the Midwest, is there support for new mandated energy policies? Panelists will discuss possible strategies to achieve energy savings through mandated and voluntary programs and policies. 9 – 10:15 a.m.
- Effective Financing and Marketing for Energy Efficiency: Panelists will discuss successful financing and marketing campaigns to increase awareness and demand for energy efficiency. 10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.