“Haven’t all the cost effective energy efficiency projects already been done?”  That was the first audience question of the day at the Environmental Business Council’s event “Latest Development in Energy Efficiency for Commercial and Industrial Buildings.”  Keynote speaker, Frank Gorke, convincingly answered, “We have only just begun,” and the event continued with example after example of how true Frank’s statement is.  And I was happy to hear that many of the examples included LED lighting.

Following an introductory kick off from Daniel Moon of the EBC and our host David O’Connor of ML Strategies, Frank Gorke provided the keynote with a review of Massachusetts’ role as a national leader in energy efficiency.  As an aside, Frank is leaving his role at the Massachusetts DOER for a new opportunity at CLEAResult — the Commonwealth will miss him and great hire by CLEAResult.

Next up was our new technology panel.  In addition to Digital Lumens, it included representatives from EnerNOC, iblogix, and Source One.  Each presentation clearly illustrated the breathtaking speed of innovation in energy efficiency.  The connecting theme was that energy efficiency was an ongoing continuous process that would return economic and functional benefit year after year.

Closing the morning was a new business models panel with presentations from MIT Energy Initiative, TRC Solutions, National Grid, and Boston Properties.  The idea of an evergreen energy efficiency model was the most compelling idea discussed.  This business model starts with a seed project — say a commercial lighting retrofit — and the energy savings from that seed lighting project is then reinvested into another project.  We are seeing some of our customers use this model to accelerate their intelligent LED lighting upgrades across all of their facilities.

The quote of the day came from Dean Larson, Director of Engineering at Boston Properties.  Dean reminded us that Boston Properties owns the two tallest buildings in Boston.  He also told us that the garage at the Prudential Center has undergone three energy saving lighting upgrades.  There is at least one more, since the garage does not yet have LED lighting.  His quote, “Just when you think all of the low-hanging energy efficiency fruit has been picked, new technology makes it grow right back.”