I’ve presented my views to you on the topic of energy efficiency many times in the past. As you know, I’m a proponent of building energy performance standards, benchmarking initiatives, local/state ordinances, and national programs and standards that push this agenda. I’m convinced we can all benefit from improved energy monitoring systems and programs, as well as smart building control systems and equipment that help reduce energy use across the country. So I was pretty excited when I learned the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was joining in on the fun.

Back on April 25, ANSI hosted an exploratory meeting to examine the need for a potential energy efficiency standards panel. The meeting attracted roughly 240 attendees and was supported by a number of diverse organizations, including the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, U.S. Council for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing, National Association of State Energy Officials, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and Institute for Market Transformation. Based on the presentations and open dialogue that took place at this event, ANSI issued a news release in late September announcing the launch of an Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative (EESCC), whose mission is as follows:

“The EESCC will assess the energy efficiency standardization landscape and carry out the development of a standardization road map and compendium. The road map is intended to identify what standards, codes, and conformance programs are available or under development, what gaps exist, and what additional standardization activities are needed to advance energy efficiency in the United States; and to increase awareness of these activities to support the adoption and implementation of standards, codes, and conformance activities among the public and private sectors.”

According to ANSI, the EESCC will raise awareness of activities being advanced by individuals and organizations, but will not initiate the development of standards. Separate working groups will initially focus their efforts on five subject areas: building energy and water assessment standards; systems energy modeling, integration, and communications; building energy rating and labeling; evaluation, measurement, and verification; and workforce credentialing. Their work will cover the residential, commercial, institutional, industrial/manufacturing, data center, and water/wastewater market segments.

My hope is that the work being done by this group now and in the future will one day help shape future energy efficiency standards development and policy making in the United States. But this won’t happen unless other public agencies and interest groups, private industry, and educational institutions step up and support it.

Participation in the EESCC is open to all stakeholders; however, the collaborative effort is funded via annual participation fees to help offset the costs of administering the work being done by the group. Hopefully, these fees won’t limit participation levels and reduce input from key individuals and industry professionals whose companies choose not to participate or may not have the funds to do so. One thing is for sure. I feel it’s crucial for end-users to be engaged in this process for it to be truly successful.

The first full plenary meeting of the EESCC is scheduled for November 7-8 in Washington, D.C. I’ll be tracking this group’s work closely and reporting back to you on any developments I feel will have a direct effect on your professional directives moving forward.