The Idaho Falls-based Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) and the State of Idaho are launching a new institute aimed at helping Idaho residents and businesses conserve power and save money.
The Energy Efficiency Research Institute will involve all the CAES partners -- the Idaho National Laboratory, University of Idaho, Boise State University and Idaho State University -- as well as Idaho Power, the J.R. Simplot Co., Micron Technology and other Idaho-based companies; the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Idaho Office of Energy Resources.
Some of the institute's goals include developing energy efficiency training for architects, engineers and energy efficiency professionals, and assembling a team of experts that can evaluate the energy-saving technologies and systems on the market to see which work best. The public-private partnership was memorialized in a proclamation signed today by Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter and a host of other major supporters. A copy of the proclamation can be found here: CAES Proclamation
"My administration has demonstrated a strong commitment to providing a comprehensive and clear approach to Idaho energy's future," Governor Otter said. "The Energy Efficiency Research Institute will focus on science, implementation and policy at the intersection of energy generation and use, sustainability, environmental science, design, measurement and materials. This collaborative venture will help speed up the transfer of innovative concepts from the institute to the marketplace -- resulting in more Idaho career opportunities and keeping us on the cutting edge of this growing field."
The institute will be managed by CAES, which has a proven track record of bringing government agencies, research institutions and industry from across Idaho together to solve real-world energy challenges.
Harold Blackman, director of CAES, sees the institute as having a major impact on Idaho, the region, and even the nation. "The cheapest energy is that which you don't use, and if we can better understand how to either not use, or use less energy, it's a savings to ratepayers across the board."
Supporters of the effort will work with CAES officials to identify specific initiatives and funding opportunities over the next few months.