The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power heard recently about industry’s successes and challenges in making the industrial sector more energy efficient. At a hearing entitled “American Energy Security and Innovation: An Assessment of Private-Sector Successes and Opportunities in Energy Efficient Technologies,” Kevin Kosisko, VP of ABB North America, testified on behalf of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the NEMA-administered Industrial Energy Efficiency Coalition (IEEC).

“America’s competitive edge is the high level of productivity of our workers and the technologies and processes we deploy to provide greater output from fewer resources — including energy,” said Kosisko in his testimony. 

Kosisko made the case to the subcommittee that there is a need for further education on available technologies, their return on investment, and access to funding or financing to enable investments, especially for small- and medium-sized manufacturers and other industrial end-users. Industry must continue to educate on available technologies, provide reliable cost-benefit analyses, and provide financing.

There is a role for government too, according to Kosisko. Government can provide visibility, encourage energy efficiency investment through tax policy and other incentives, support basic science and energy research, and establish electric grid investment expensing policies and incentives to enable deployment of more efficient and reliability-enhancing technologies.

Other witnesses included Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) who recently offered an energy policy blueprint entitled Energy 20/20 and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a sponsor of bipartisan energy efficiency legislation which passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last Congress.

“Energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest alternative fuel,” Kosisko said. “It has long been touted as a win-win, yielding benefits in the form of both lower costs and reduced environmental impact. But those benefits are just the beginning.”