Mark Bernstein, visiting professor, Future Fuels and Energy Initiative, Department of Political Science, University of Southern California, makes a point about growth in the energy-efficiency industry.

Some 25 experts from the HVACR industry and the California market addressed growing concerns about the U.S. energy situation at the fifth Danfoss EnVisioneering Symposium, “Making Dollars and Sense of Energy Efficiency: A Focus on Conservation,” June 5, 2007, in Long Beach, CA.

One of the “big ideas” proposed was the concept of building performance metrics. That is, every commercial building should meet certain energy-efficiency standards. If tied to federal or state legislation (or both), such standards would give building owners the incentive to implement improvements, resulting in higher energy efficiency across the building market. Those who don’t meet the standards would face the equivalent of a gas-guzzler tax, the group suggested.

“Without question, there is a growing need for a solid assessment of the economic payback of energy efficiency,” said John Galyen, host of the symposium and president, Danfoss Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning, North America. “One of the key questions the HVACR industry needs to ask is: Can total life-cycle costing help to significantly change buying practices in energy-efficiency solutions?”

Other meeting highlights included:

  • Mark Bernstein, visiting professor, Future Fuels and Energy Initiative, University of Southern California, advanced the topic, “The Efficiency Reservoir: How Deep and How Reliable?” He suggested that the U.S. needs to take immediate action to slow electricity demand or “juice it up with efficiency.”

  • Bruce Manning, chief engineer for the Operating Engineers Trust Funds (OETF), Pasadena, CA, which owns, develops and manages U.S. commercial real estate properties as investments for future pension obligations. He is a firm believer in energy benchmarking and can cite paybacks of five years or less on numerous projects managed by the OETF. Manning said that emerging technology is a key to future energy efficiency.

  • Henry Lau, 2006-08 Emerging Technology program manager, Southern California Edison, noted that California is saving millions of dollars through energy-efficiency programs. Like Manning, he is a strong proponent of emerging technology. Lau said, “We select new technologies based on the following criteria: large energy savings, great demand reduction, large market potential and minimum market barriers.”

  • Kent Peterson, president-elect, ASHRAE, and vice president, principal and chief engineer, P2S Engineering, Long Beach, cited a recent U.S. Energy Information Administration report projecting a 71% increase in worldwide energy consumption between 2003 and 2030. Currently, buildings account for 40% of U.S. energy consumption, followed by industrial (32%) and transportation (28%).

    This was the fifth in a series of conferences sponsored by Danfoss, which is involved in research, development and production of mechanical and electronic components for applications in refrigeration and air conditioning, heating and motion control. The sixth symposium is scheduled for October 23, 2007, in Washington, DC.

    For more information, call: GSI (202) 339-6207 or visit