On January 14th over 250 people convened in the 3M Auditorium at the Carlson School of Management for a Regional Competitiveness and Energy Efficiency Summit. The University of Minnesota's Center for Integrative Leadership and the Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy partnered with Senator Klobuchar and her office to host the event that highlighted Minnesota's leadership and innovation in this arena.
The day's events included a keynote address by the U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Cathy Zoi and three panels of area business leaders and policy makers. The three panels focused on:
• Everyday Actions towards Energy Efficiency
• Made in Minnesota: Energy Efficient Products
• Energy Efficiency and Policy Making
Questions from the audience for panel members covered a breadth of issues, including: energy efficiency behavior, innovation, regulation, and incentives. In order to further the discussion on energy efficiency, we are currently in the process of collecting written responses from panel participants. We will post responses in upcoming weeks and look forward to your comments, readers of the blogosphere, as we engage in this online forum.
Here's a look at some of the inquiries we gathered:
• What are some of the funding and support mechanisms in your organizations for new technology/product/service development by small entities for energy efficiency improvement? Given so many ways inefficiency occurs, how do you seek and fund ideas?
• If you give away and install measures in low-income (or other) homes, how do you guarantee they are maintained and used properly in the long term (e.g. CFL's replaced by CEL's, Programmable thermostats actually programmed, etc)? How do you increase the chance on long-term behavior change?
• What will it take to implement smart grid technology in homes and schools? How can a smart grid be implemented in MN to drive energy efficiency?
Do you have any responses to these questions? Post away!