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Energy Efficiency Takes Center Stage at Exploratory Meeting for an ANSI Standards Panel

Washington, DC, Apr 30, 2012

More than 120 stakeholders and another 100 webinar attendees gathered in Washington, DC, on April 25 to examine the need for a potential ANSI Energy Efficiency Standards Panel. The purpose of the meeting was to gather input from stakeholders as to areas where an ANSI standards panel would be most beneficial in coordinating a U.S. approach to energy efficiency standardization activities.

Following an open and interactive discussion period, a common theme that emerged was the call for greater coordination, participation, and harmonization of standardization efforts in the energy efficiency space.

Participants suggested that the panel should seek to produce a roadmap to help advance energy efficiency in the United States. Typically, a standardization roadmap activity captures information about the various standards initiatives and related conformance activities that are in place, identifies where there are gaps, and helps to determine priority areas for action.

Why Is Energy Efficiency Standardization Important?
According to the 2009 McKinsey Report, Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy, energy efficiency offers a vast, low-cost energy resource for the U.S. economy—but only if the nation can craft a comprehensive and innovative approach to unlock it. Significant and persistent barriers will need to be addressed at multiple levels to stimulate demand for energy efficiency and manage its delivery across more than 100 million buildings and literally billions of devices.

What Is a Standards Panel?

ANSI standards panels bring diverse stakeholders together in a neutral forum to identify consensus-based solutions for national and global priorities. This neutrality is especially key where significant cross-sectoral collaboration is required.

Traditionally, ANSI panels provide a place where stakeholders can collaborate to inventory existing standards and conformance efforts, identify gaps, determine work plans, and establish priorities for standardization. As an example, the ANSI Electric Vehicles Standards Panel recently released a standardization roadmap assessing the standards, codes, and regulations, as well as conformance and training programs, needed to facilitate the safe, mass deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the United States.

Above all, these panels are based on a strong partnership between the private and public sectors, as well as close coordination with national, regional, and international bodies to achieve convergence and mitigate duplication or overlap. Panels are not responsible for standards development; that responsibility remains with SDOs.

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“Those of us in the standards and conformity assessment community know that this is a complex, cross-cutting issue,” explained Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and CEO, in his opening remarks. “It applies to all industry sectors, impacts multiple government agencies, and hits every stage in the life cycle of a product, system, or service, and of course, every built structure, residential or commercial.”

Points of Discussion
In the first panel of the day, representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) shared their perspectives on energy efficiency priorities for the nation. From the DOE perspective, workforce skills standards and compliance programs are critical, as are standards that address upgrading and retrofitting existing housing for optimum energy efficiency. EPA discussed its well-recognized Energy Star program, which empowers consumers to make a culture change and embrace energy efficiency in electronic consumer products. And from the Defense perspective, U.S. troops are never more vulnerable than when they are transporting fuel in a convoy. To a battlefield commander, energy efficiency is not about saving money or making an eco-friendly choice, it is simply a matter of life and death.

The second panel highlighted several key initiatives underway to promote energy efficiency, with speakers representing the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing (U.S. CEEM), the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT). In addition to highlighting some of the important work that is currently be carried out in the energy efficiency space, the presentations pointed to potential areas of need that a panel activity could help to address.

During the open discussion period, attendees shared perspectives on how a standards coordinating initiative could best help to advance the nation’s clean energy agenda, and identified several potential areas of focus for panel activity. Based on input received in the April 25 meeting, ANSI will develop a proposed framework for the panel’s path forward with regard to scope, mission, and structure. This framework will be shared with meeting participants and other interested stakeholders in the coming weeks.

Get More Information
The agenda, speaker presentations and biographies, and a photo gallery from the meeting are available on the event page.

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