The DOE Efficiency Standards Stakeholder Process: An Approach to Resolving Conflicting Interests in the Making of Public Policy

April 12, 2001 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90
Seminar Host/Point of Contact: 

(5th speaker was Stephen Brown, also with EAD in EETD.) According to the US Department of Energy, Office of Codes and Standards,  "U.S. homeowners spend $110 billion each year to power such home appliances as refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, and lights. These uses account for about 70% of all the primary energy consumed in homes."  Since 1975 DOE and staff here at LBNL have been working on federal efficiency standards for various residential and commercial appliances. Over time the often-years-long process by which standards for a particular appliance are developed has been altered and refined to meet changing technology and political contexts.    This process was significantly enhanced in 1996 to be less adversarial and more consensual, with participation by any interested stakeholders throughout the process, via face-to-face workshops and lively, ongoing discussions and data exchange. Included in these workshops and discussions were manufacturers, trade associations, efficiency and environmental advocates, states utilities, and retailers.    The goal of this seminar is to describe this process in some detail, and give some insight through personal experience and anecdotes from panel members to how it works, and sometimes doesn't.   At the end we'll also discuss briefly how this process might work in other contexts, such as the current energy/regulatory crisis here in California. Please visit the Energy Efficiency Standards Group's website at for more information.

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