February  2008
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First Ever B2G Summit

Leighton Wolffe, Executive Director, NewEnergy Alliance

Increased Collaboration between Building Systems Industry and Grid Operators Marks First Ever B2G Summit

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With U.S. energy needs forecasted to increase by more than 20 percent over the next fifteen years and planned transmission systems anticipated to grow at a mere 3.5 percent, the need for innovative approaches to energy management is more pressing than ever.  The growing energy consumption of the nation’s existing building infrastructure is helping drive the projected increase in demand while also threatening the state of the grid.  This recognition is fostering an unprecedented level of collaboration between the building systems industry, energy providers and grid operators. 

The NewEnergy Alliance is working to introduce an innovative demand response paradigm to the systems integration model.  The focus is on integrating energy market information and building control processes and infrastructure.  The result is a complete energy picture which reveals both the supply and demand side of the energy equation and allows facilities managers to effectively manage building systems not only for efficiency or comfort but also to shape and control energy usage in response to real time price signals indicating the grid is taxed beyond capacity.  Synthesizing both internal building and external energy market information on one platform is helping define both the intelligent building and the smart grid of the future. 

Reliable Controls The growing collaboration between the building systems industry and grid operators was most recently evidenced at the first ever B2G (Buildings to Grid) Summit held in New York City on January 21, 2008.  The event was successfully organized by Clasma Events, Inc., the leading events planner for the energy, building automation and network connectivity industries, and sponsored in part by the NewEnergy Alliance, Gridwise Architecture Council, Constellation NewEnergy and LonMark International. 

The summit focused on the significant opportunity that the building automation industry has in leveraging innovations in energy management, specifically Demand Response programs and services, to increase sustainability and energy conservation efforts that can help manage energy usage and costs. 

There is an unprecedented opportunity to successfully utilize open platforms to integrate inside building demand with energy supply.  Systems Integrators are well positioned to introduce new standards and protocols for true load shaping that are increasingly viewed as critical stepping stones on the pathway to the smart grid of the future.  The B2G Summit marked a significant step in understanding the information technology and new business models emerging to help solve the challenges of our aging energy infrastructure.  The momentum continues and all eyes are now on the coming DR-Expo which will take place in Santa Clara, California from May 20 – 22, 2008 and will be held in concert with BuilConn as part of ConnectivityWeek.  The industry will gather once again to share best practices and continue charting a course forward.  More information can be found at www.dr-expo.com.

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