important that industry participants, particularly constituents of the conference committee members, put aside personal preferences
and cheer for the industry overall.
It’s Time to Come Together
Now that we are in the playoffs and the
energy bill is in play, rather than focus on
individual stats or batting averages, now is
the time for the IDEA community to emerge
as a team and advocate for these legislative
1. Because there are enormous quantities of
energy currently wasted that could be
recycled for heating and cooling through
district energy systems, and district energy
systems are a key infrastructure investment
to tap local energy sources.
2. By harvesting recycled heat or using more
renewable sources, district energy systems
can contribute greatly to national goals
such as increasing fuel flexibility, cutting
greenhouse gas emissions and increasing
power grid reliability.
3. District energy investments are capital-intensive, and many public entities will
need investment support from these policies
to stimulate broader market penetration.
4. Ultimately, it is likely the U.S. will develop
a carbon policy that will reward fuel efficiency. District energy systems can position
communities to capture greater economic
benefits from a cap-and-trade market for
carbon. In the final analysis, positive policies
During this playoff season, it is
very important that you step up
to the plate for the industry.
for the industry stimulate investment and
growth, and growing the market for district
energy serves the interests of the whole
So, during this playoff season, whether you,
your company or your institution see a direct
benefit of an ITC or the revolving fund, if you
are located in the congressional district of a
key energy committee member, it is very
important that you step up to the plate for
the industry. We need every constituent to
think and act as a member of the industry
team when called to bat. You might be asked
to contact your legislators to seek their support for the revolving fund legislation, even
though it isn’t a clear winner for you or your
organization. Given the lineup of conferees,
you might be the best person to make the
call in support of the CHP ITC.
In making the call to your senator or
representative, it might feel like you are hitting
a sacrifice fly or laying down a bunt for the
team. We won’t ask anyone to break the rules,
take steroids or get hit by a fastball to get on
base, but advancing to the next round may
demand commitment to winning as a team.
Although you might have made an out, if the
run crosses the plate, we will all benefit from
the score. Just like the Red Sox, you can’t take
it for granted when you might make it back
to the World Series.
Robert P. Thornton
Column and previous columns available at
In conjunction with IDEA’s Campus Energy Conference,
the IDEA Distribution Forum is pleased to sponsor the
19TH ANNUAL DISTRIBUTION WORKSHOP
FEBRUARY 11-12, 2008
The Intercontinental Hotel
The workshop features a roundtable format emphasizing peer exchange and open dialogue
on the challenges of
■ building, operating and maintaining reliable thermal networks;
■ employee and public safety and emergency response; and
■ new tools and techniques for higher efficiency, etc.
Don’t miss this opportunity to network, learn from your peers and visit the tabletop exhibits of IDEA’s business partners.
Visit www.districtenergy.org/calendar.htm for program updates and registration information or call (508) 366-9339.