Mary Ann Piette, Berkeley Lab expert in building technology and energy efficiency, recently took part in an interview with “The Hill” on the “Sustainability Imperative” during a multi-day virtual event.
Host Steve Clemons, editor-at-large for The Hill, pointed out that energy consumption in buildings is of primary importance because buildings account for more than 40% of energy use in the U.S.
Piette, senior scientist at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) joined Clemons and Donnel Baird, founder of BlocPower, in an engaging 20-minute discussion. BlocPower works with community leaders and institutions to identify and improve local buildings with high energy usage in financially underserved communities.
Topics included why U.S. building stock is not as efficient as in some other countries; working with building owners and utilities to shift, shed and share energy use in buildings; partnering with industry; infrastructure investments; and developing new technologies to enable buildings to become more energy efficient.
Piette mentioned the success of the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign, a Berkeley Lab-led four-year research project that uncovered deep energy and cost savings for building owners, and DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative, which partners with leaders in the public and private sectors to make the nation’s homes, commercial buildings and industrial plants more energy efficient.
“We know that with the urgency, speed and scale of climate change it is very important to make investments in research and to have a pipeline of technology options that bridge the building science agenda with the deployment agenda,” said Piette, who is also division director of Berkeley Lab’s Building Technology & Urban Systems division.
Clemons pointed out that with the global population slated to grow to nine billion, leading nations of the world are prioritizing conservation of water and other precious resources, the greening of energy sources to establish a new equilibrium between safe and sensible growth on one side and responsible environmental stewardship on the other. He emphasized that energy-efficient buildings must be part of the equation when it comes to solving the Climate Crisis.