These days it seems that everyone is focused on energy efficiency and its pivotal role in the economic and environmental future of our state, country and world. The US Department of Energy is thankfully no exception, and Secretary Steven Chu is wisely promoting and supporting all manner of energy improvements that will help us as a nation pave the way for better, more energy efficient future. Just this week, in fact, Secretary Chu announced his plans to provide $256 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency improvements in major industrial sectors across the American economy. The funding is targeted at reducing the energy consumption of America’s manufacturing and information technology (IT) industries, while creating jobs and stimulating economic growth. These programs will help create manufacturing jobs quickly, along with jobs for technicians and experts who will be needed in the long-term to maintain and operate the new equipment.

Of course we EMerge Alliance members already know that one of the main and most effective ways to increase energy efficiency is to use low-voltage DC power in commercial building interiors. DC power distribution not only reduces energy usage and improves sustainability, but it also offers unprecedented design and space flexibility. People in the green building industry already understand the many benefits and advantages of the widespread use of DC power, and they are working hard to spread the message at different venues around the country (like at this week’s Green Building Power Forum in San Diego) so that the manufacturing and IT industries, for example, can hear about and adopt this new, better way of using and distributing energy.

What’s exciting is that Secretary Chu is going global with his message and he recently met with energy leaders from around the world to launch the International Partnership of Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). This is a high-level forum, consisting of G8 members and other interested countries, for facilitating improvements in global energy efficiency and encouraging market implementation of energy efficient technologies.

At Nextek we couldn’t be more pleased with the recent goings on at the DOE. They are taking long-awaited and important steps toward a greener and more energy efficient future that will provide us all with a better way to do more with less energy. What’s encouraging is that the “Big Guns” in Washington are finally realizing what we’ve known all along: that improving energy efficiency (and saving energy) is one of the quickest, most cost-effective ways to address energy security, climate change and ensure future economic growth here in the US and abroad.

For more information or to view the Funding Opportunity Announcements visit: www.energy.gov/recovery

Comment