Innovator Article

Energy Efficiency: The First Line of Defense

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To enhance U.S. energy security, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and strengthen the economy, the Obama administration has made clean and renewable energy a top priority. But most of the payoff for that investment will be over the long term. Energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest and cleanest solution to implement now.

Professor Nicole Woolsey Biggart, director of the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, shared her insights on energy efficiency at the 14th annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles in May. She joined Geoff Chapin, founder and CEO of Next Step Living Inc.; James Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions; and David Arfin, CEO of First Energy Finance, to address ways to accelerate energy efficiency technologies, practices and behavioral changes.

Established in 1998 by the non-partisan think tank, the Milken Institute Global Conference explores the most pressing social, political and economic challenges. Among the participants are hundreds of CEOs from the world’s top-tier companies; senior foreign and U.S. government officials; forward-thinking academic experts; journalists; and leaders in global capital markets, education, health care and philanthropy.

Biggart continues to travel to top business schools and international conferences to present her research on how commercial construction industry practices thwart the use of more efficient, innovative and greener technologies. Most recently, she shared this research, co-authored with Professor Thomas D. Beamish of the UC Davis Sociology Department, at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, and at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

In November, Biggart served as a biennial advisory board member at one of Germany’s most prestigious and successful research organizations, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. The institute’s interests include economic sociology and political economy with a specific focus on the European Union. rays08_1.eps

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