Reporter's Notes: The Godfather of Green
Do you know what the biggest energy drain is on your house? Well, if you don’t have a hot tub, it’s heating and cooling your house. My head is swimming with energy efficiency facts after producing this week’s QUEST radio piece on efficiency guru Art Rosenfeld. Rosenfeld is retiring, stepping down after two terms on the California Energy Commission. The guy has spent the past thirty five years fighting for us, California’s energy consumers. While electricity consumption has risen, sharply, in the rest of the country, California’s electricity use, per capita, has remained nearly flat since the early 1970’s. It is not that we are any less addicted to our flat screen TVs and personal computers, it’s that the state, thanks in large part to Rosenfeld’s dogged persistence, has put in place some of the strictest energy standards in the world. His passion for saving killowatts has saved billions on utility bills and improved air quality.
As it goes with people who are driven by a cause, the 83-year-old physicist is not really retiring. Rosenfeld will be returning to Lawrence Berkeley National Labs a few days a week to continue his research on low reflective white roof tops. His work has shown white roofs can cut electricity use by 15-percent by reducing the need for air conditioning and they combat climate change at the same time. White roofs are now mandatory on commercial buildings in California, thanks, in part, to Rosenfeld. Check out our radio story on cool roofs.
And by the way, don’t forget to turn off the lights next time you leave a room. You’ll make an 83-year-old physicist, with a passion for saving kilowatts, very happy.
Listen to The Godfather of Green radio report online.