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Positive momentum towards energy efficiency, RE in the US set to continue

Senior ASHRAE official says that though the short-term future appears unclear, due to the current administration, relevant stakeholders are continuing to show strong interest in sustainability

| | Sep 20, 2017 | 9:32 am
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William P Bahnfleth, ASHRAE Presidential Member

The momentum in the United States towards further reductions in building energy use, increased use of renewable energy and reduced carbon emissions continues to build, said William P Bahnfleth, ASHRAE Presidential Member and Professor of Architectural Engineering at Penn State University. Bahnfleth said that though it is now unclear what the short-term future will look like, “given the stated goals of the President with respect to energy and environment”, relevant stakeholders will simply have to see how far it goes. “Regardless,” he said, “I think that the pendulum must swing back, as I sense a quite strong interest in the professional community and the public to continue down a sustainable path.”

In talking about external drivers affecting momentum, Bahnfleth said that societal expectations certainly matter as a driver for change, but that “government programs help to focus effort and incentivise investment”. One of the concerns under the current US government, he said, is that programmes supporting the use of renewable energy will be cut severely or shut down. “There already exists a budget proposal to zero the very successful EPA ENERGY STAR program that has been used widely throughout the US,” he pointed out.

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