Retailer Energy Alliance Supplier Summit Webinar—Panel Discussion (Text Version)

Below is the text version of the Retailer Energy Alliance (REA) Panel Discussion from the Supplier Summit Webinar, presented on June 5, 2008. This was a question and answer session between all the presenters and members of the audience. There are no slides associated with this presentation. When possible, speakers are identified.

Doug Brookman:

The next segment of the agenda is to have a panel discussion. And I — all of you got up and moved around, I compliment you on your endurance. I'm going to lead off the questioning with one rather provocative question to see what our panelists have to say about this. In case none of you want to ask such a provocative question and that one is: To what extent or what percentage of the time do you retailers expect that suppliers will really try to understand your needs. Or are they pretty much selling what they have on the shelves, what they can, maybe reduce the price of and carry to you? What do you think? What percentage of the time are they really trying to understand your needs? And any one of you can lead off.

At your peril.

Jim McClendon:

Sure, I'll bite. I think they're all driven as — as, as the retailers are driven by their individual business case and business needs. They may recognize that they may not have identified the best application or need but there's an R&D investment in place and that has to be recouped so they're going to search, as best as possible, to try and make that fit as, as best as they can. And I'm sure they reach a point that they identify that it's an investment that — that just has to be, can no longer be salvaged but I think — I think there's —

Doug Brookman:

I think you're dodging the question.

Jim McClendon:

I think I am, too. Am I doing it? So I'm doing it pretty well then, okay.

Doug Brookman:

You think they do it pretty well. You think they are?

Jim McClendon:

I think they mean to — I think they strive to. But I think a lack of information gets in the way and that's the point, that's why we're here.

Doug Brookman:

Dwayne, you want to follow on there?

Dwayne Shmel:

Yeah, I think there's — I don't want to make a generalization because there's obviously two — more than just kind of two camps of philosophy but retail is — is inherently competitive. Your industry is inherently competitive and in, in a recessionary environment, you're looking for ways to write size, to squeeze more money out of the bottom line to do more with less. So you've got some people out there that're playing safe, keeping their head right below the radar screen, okay? So those companies are probably acting in their own self-interest most of the time because they're in a survival mode. What we're looking for — we're looking for the companies that are willing to get out there on the edge, take a risk, experiment with new technology, spend some money in R&D.

Now, there's a lot of risk but you make come out ahead. You may have a breakthrough product that all of a sudden you have a market for that you didn't understand. I mean we're in different times, now. I mean, we're, I think back in the '70s when we had the energy crisis and we still have cars that get like, 12 and 15 miles per gallon, so obviously, we didn't learn something 30 years ago. So now it takes gas at $4.00 a gallon to kind of reawaken our awareness of the fact that resources are limited and we're living in a different world now. So, I would encourage the companies that really want to make a difference, if you really want to think a five- and ten-year growth plan, get out there an innovate and spend the money in research and development. There is a market for products that save energy and provide greater levels of performance. I mean that's the bottom line.

Doug Brookman:

Okay, thank you.

Jim McClendon:
I — before you do that, you need to make sure you adequately identify the need and again, that's the point we're hitting on and where that perception of, of forced fit application comes from is, we think we've got a great idea, "Hey, this is cool, it makes sense. That's going to save Walmart 20%," and so you get those solicitations of, "Hey, we've got this thing that's going to save you — 20% of your total energy bill around air conditioning." Well, air conditioning doesn't represent 20% of my total bill to start with. So there's miscommunication and understanding of the application.

Doug Brookman:

Uh huh. And similarly, you may not know enough about their side of the business to know how this innovation might affect their manufacturing process.

Jim McClendon:

Certainly.

Doug Brookman:

Your name, please.

Grant Grabel:

I'm Grant Grabel from Synoptics. I have a question in regards to as you go through development. Many of us work with different technologies that're out there and when you're moving forward in a fast-paced market towards changes in efficiency and when you have to go to design, you're having to use modeling softwares and different city codes that are using older, even ASHRAE codes, one in specific COMcheck, still utilizing ASHRAE 90.1 — 2004 and yet we have ASHRAE 90.1 — 2007 and fast moving on. How are you adjusting to the changes that are out there? One thing specifically, daylighting, has new addendums that actually look at solar heat gain and changes, but many of the modeling softwares out there have yet to catch up. So is there from the retailers side, who has obviously more square footage and clout in going into these different markets, are you looking to be at the forefront to allow to adapt for these changes in the energy side of the business and really look to your people that are using — your engineers and whatnot that are doing the modeling — to use the newer prescriptive energy modeling softwares that are out there.

Doug Brookman:

That was rather technical. Dru, do you want to try?

Dwayne Shmel:

You want me to get that one?

Doug Brookman:

Yeah, you want to try?

Panelist:

So, did I win?

Doug Brookman:

Looks like Dwayne volunteered.

Dwayne Schmel:

So, so did I mention before that I'm an architect and not an engineer?

Doug Brookman:

Well, let's just start with Dru. Dru's very familiar with a lot of these modeling systems.

Dru Crawley:

Yeah, but the question was directed at the retailers.

Panelist:

Well, I — I guess that I can just go back in. I mean, we're all in different types of HVAC, lighting, all sorts of different efficiencies and we're — it's kind of like the PC movement, where PCs are moving fast ahead but yet, even LEED today is using ASHRAE 90.1 — 2004, so when you try to integrate, well — they're — they're moving now but the 2.2 version was still 2004. But cities, even our engineers that we work with within your different organizations trying to supply are using software such as COMcheck for your building modeling that's using 2004 energy type modeling and yet, we have the 2007, so, lot of times when we go to engineers and we're trying to fit — as Jim you brought the square peg in the round hole, we're trying to bring you up to the newest efficiencies but many times, we're hampered because of older software and whatnot, so, I guess if it's not — that — that's something to be cognizant of when you're working with your energy people and your engineers that there's definitely new modeling changes to bring you up to the highest level of efficiency that we're trying to work with your people out there.

Jim McClendon:

Yeah, I think there's two pieces that we're talking about here. One is, what is the minimum requirement to get a building entitled from a code perspective and COMcheck, as you reference. And for many of us, there's another piece that, represents the energy goals and, and the recognize economics of reduced energy — Scott, in your presentation, referenced the fact that he's already several percentage ahead of lighting requirements. So if we were to — to hold back and wait for those prescriptive code compliance softwares to catch up, we would never reach these goals that we've set that the EPA has set, the DOE has set, that Walmart has set, and so on. So, it's — there's a, kind of a parallel path going where there's a minimum requirement for entitlement but we're driving the design, we're driving our design teams and we're driving our consultant base — to push beyond simply compliance for minimum energy efficiency. And that's why we have to set our internal goals and reach the efficiency Scott referenced in his presentation.

Doug Brookman:

Dru Crawley.

Dru Crawley:

And I want to amplify what Jim was saying that the standards that we're talking about are the legal minimums that we're supposed to be doing not — and I do a lot of talking — lot of presentations and people get really excited they're doing — I'm meeting the new standard. It's a good start, you really need to be pushing it, as Jim was talking about his new store in Vegas that's 50% energy savings, or Target, with their lighting designs that are already reaching half of what the Retail Alliance is — or not — retail lighting power allowance is, is in there so it's really going beyond it and I think Jim pegged it when he talked about — when he was talking about SEER, specifically, for energy efficiency ratings in the HVAC equipment. It's no longer the single number; it's getting to the hourly performance. How does it actually perform over a whole year? And all — all the players that're doing this are already moving on to those whole building simulation tools. They have to be able to design that way.

Panelist:

I'll leave you with one last thing and I'll take a lot of time but the — many of our interdisciplines between HVAC, lighting and different things, some of the prescriptives, like on HVAC, may be offset by some of the things such as daylighting initiatives and lighting. And those are some of the things that haven't caught up yet, and that's where some of the new models and stuff that — maybe I'll grab you in conversation after.

Doug Brookman:

From a modeling perspective and design of these multiple interactive effects, yes?

Male:

Yeah.

Jeff Quillen:

My name is Jeff Quillen, I'm from Acuity Brands Lighting and I kind of want to lead off to something Seth said. When you buy the wind credits — is there an ROI on that?

Okay, and I guess my point is —

Panelist:

No comment.

Jeff Quillen:

There seems to be kind of a, a confounding set of circumstances happening here. We're working a lot on solid state lighting and I heard ROI, ROI, ROI. And I'm just curious, out of the rest of you, save Seth, who I hope will give me the right answer — how much is sustainability, ROHS and other things affecting your decision beyond just simply the math?

Doug Brookman:

Thank you. Scott?

Scott Williams:

It's — we're still fighting a lot of sustainable items that you can do with a good ROI by working with the manufacturers and looking at our designs and so I think we can do a lot and the sustainability that does have good ROI and meets our return, so I guess, there's certainly that market aspect of — of sustainability but don't — I — we, we really go with the business case that anything we do really needs to have a bottom line ROI and at this time, I don't know that anybody's developed how much the marketability of sustainability is worth. So, at this point, it's purely energy if — operations — we do have what's going to happen to energy in the future. We do project some escalations so there's things like that but it – it comes down to ROI for us and that present value of the —

Doug Brookman:

I knew Seth wasn't going to dodge this. Seth's next, yeah.

Seth Stutzman:

I just want to say that I mean — we're a seven billion dollar a year company. We're a much smaller company than, than Target or Walmart and I think that as we get larger, we have to start making more economical decisions or ROI-based decisions than what we do. Not all of our decisions are always set up that way. That's kind of — I don't know I guess that's what's kind of made me fall in love with Whole Foods Market is that — that we still get a lot of that passion and that energy around it and we're food retailers and we — we go after that side of it. But I think was we grow, we learn — I mean I've learned a lot from Jim, I've learned a lot from the presentations today, and there are definitely things that we can start implementing systems and programs because we're a — we're not a non-profit, we're a publicly-owned company, and we have to be smarter and more intelligent about the way that we do things. There's been a lot of opportunities that we've had for solar, I mean, our doors get beat down about bringing solar in but we haven't done it in some places because, quite honestly, there isn't a good ROI. It's like a seven or eight year ROI on it and we're just not doing it. So, I'd love to say yeah, no matter what, we do that because it's sustainable but it's not always that way for us, either, so.

Doug Brookman:

So at a minimum, it's a balancing act. Dru.

Dru Crawley:

I was in New York, I don't know two months ago, now, meeting with Silverstein, the owner of the World Trade Center, to talk to them about some projects and how they could work with us on some of this commercial building initiative. And one of the things they told me — it took them years to finally get to the point where they could sell a sustainable or the — in this case, it was a lead gold rating on their building for extra money — and they're getting four to five dollars a square foot more for lease on that space because the space is nicer. They know that the energy rates are not going to go up as quickly but they're in the business of leasing space, so it's different than when you're selling a product. And it's very difficult but I think we're beginning to see those cases where the business case is being made that people are saying, "This is better space, it's more comfortable, the energy costs are not going to go up as quickly, because it's already energy efficient and I know that from a occupant standpoint, it's going to be better and as we do those, people are paying the premiums because they're getting — getting the return."

Tim Speller:

Tim Speller, Speller Consulting and I really appreciate all of your presentations today and I sat on that side of the table for a number of years in and working as a consultant now, we — we think an awful lot about lighting and HVAC, which of course, are the largest part of the pies that most of you showed, but I really appreciate Best Buy, in talking about the plug load because it is a big, big part and something that maybe some of don't always think about as much as we should, it shows more at your business, but it's adding to our, our heating load in — in the businesses. It's often there 24 hours a day and may not be controlled by our control systems and so it shows up in your business but I think it's something that all businesses need to think more about plug load and what can we do about that because it is adding to our total.

Doug Brookman:

Thank you. Please step forward and while you're doing so, I want to thank all of you for so far observing the ASHRAE non-commercialization policy. You're next. Your name.

Scott Martin:

My name is Scott Martin, I'm with Hill Phoenix. We manufacture refrigeration equipment for supermarkets, so, I want to address something that three of you in the supermarket business each mentioned was about controls. And the integration of controls between refrigeration and HVAC and there's a lot of work and effort on this but there's a kind of a wild idea, Is the REA a way to standardize and reach consensus on a control standard for refrigeration and HVAC so that we can, as manufacturers can install controls in our equipment that will communicate globally?

Jim McClendon:

I think it's a way — and that's a pretty complicated issue you're talking about and it involves a lot of pieces. I think the REA certainly is a mechanism to the market to understand how to build that architecture for the needs of the retail community. There's a lot of pieces involved there and we understand the value of it for the building system to work with refrigeration system and so forth and exchange the heat and so forth and there has to be a communication between there and an integration of that control level from a standards perspective. It's difficult — involves obviously the end-user, it involves groups like ASHRAE, it involves DOE's engagement and a lot of vetting and analysis going through with labs and so forth.

Doug Brookman:

And Dru, I was going to ask you — would DOE have the authority to do such a thing if they wanted to? Do you know?

Dru Crawley:

It'd be difficult.

Doug Brookman:

It'd be difficult, he says.

Dru Crawley:

But they do.

Doug Brookman:

But ASHRAE does, yeah? You want to — you want to just chime in?

Dru Crawley:

They're part of REA.

Bill Harrison:

So that we could define those — we've already defined all the data coming out.

Doug Brookman:

Uh huh. So that — the summary — I'm going to get the name right again —

Bill Harrison:

Bill Harrison.

Doug Brookman:

From Bill Harrison, former President — or current president —

Male:

Future president.

Doug Brookman:

Future president — President-elect of ASHRAE —

Male:

[inaudible], Vice Energy. One of the topics I was hoping to just bring up is that sometimes standards that are actually a hindrance for innovation in that I'm very glad to hear that the retailers are going to an 8760 model but when are we hear about high-efficiency air conditioning? It goes back to the SEER rating which I think all of us agree is not very meaningful at this point. But making a change on the standard through ASHRAE's process is about a six-year process, whereas innovation works much faster and standards end up being a hindrance to innovation if you think about ENERGY STAR or any of those ratings. So is there a way where DOE, with the retailers and ASHRAE we can move the standards process faster so that standards keep up with innovation and energy?

Doug Brookman:

That's a big question.

Male:

It is! But —

Doug Brookman:

It's a very big question and it —

Jim McClendon:

That would be — I think it was yes, no, no, and yes.

I think collectively, yes, that is our goal, that's why it's key in strategics that ASHRAE is on the steering committee of the REA with the DOE, we do recognize that some of the attributes of the retail community is, is fast engagement because of the prototype format and the ability to close that gap quickly so in the area of retail, we do have the ability to lead innovation faster than a standard but we have to have that standard mechanism in place — that's the value of bringing ASHRAE on board with REA and the Department of Energy.

Doug Brookman:

Great. Do you want to respond? You want to step up here Bill and say — or Don? ______ Just come on, come up here, yeah, so they can hear you and we've got it on the tape?

Bill Harrison:

Don is a former President.

Doug Brookman:

Yes, a former president of ASHRAE, Don Colliver.

Don Colliver:

I think that there are a number of things besides just standards — there are several tools that are being developed by a number of various organizations and in particular, the Advanced Energy Design Guides are a series of documents that are being put together to say these are the types of things that you can use in order to conserve energy. As such, it's not standards-related because remember, standards are those bare minimums and I think that what we're trying to do here is address issues that is not something that fits all models or all buildings all at one time. What we're doing here is trying to lead the way for energy efficiency and energy conservation, not something that has to be put to the bare minimum, which is what standards typically do. There are other tools that're available that are being developed by the various groups and I think that those are some of the things that we need to be looking at. In addition to standards, we have other tools that we have available that we need to be looking at.

Doug Brookman:

Let's move to the next question. Okay? Please, come on — come on up.

Mark Baumgardner:

Hi, my name is Mark Baumgardner, I'm with the Hussmann Corporation. This is a quick question to the whole entire panel. Jim had mentioned that last year international growth exceeded domestic for the first time for Walmart, which is a pretty amazing comment — then Seth talked about going to the United Kingdom for Whole Foods. How are you working with your suppliers on a global platform — perhaps taking some of the technology that's available in Europe or Asia in here to integrate into the domestic marketplace North America or for that potential globally as well?

Seth Stutzman:

Well, I speak specifically to more of the products and stuff for the stores that we're currently going into. We've only built one store over there and that was a little bit of a challenge for us because we were basically creating brand new relationships with people. I still think there were a couple companies that we had done business with before that had international capabilities that we were able to partner with to build that store. Currently, we're still looking at expanding our growth into the U.K. market and other countries over in the European area but the products has been a little bit of a challenge for us, honestly. And what we were expecting to find was that we were going to not only find a whole bunch of new products, but it was going to be a slam dunk in bringing our products over there, which hasn't really been the case for us and it's not that we're not doing it, we've just had to learn a lot of really good lessons, so I know that's not speaking specifically to the construction side but on a retail side that's — that's —

Doug Brookman:

Let's see if there's another response from the panelists.

Jim McClendon:

I probably did a poor job in my presentation of explaining the term GIS. I threw it out several times and basically that is our purchasing department and within the last year, two years, we've renamed that to GIS or Global Indirect Sourcing. What indirect sourcing is goods not for resale. So it's all those buyouts we're talking about — it's HVAC equipment, refrigeration equipment, lighting, steel and so forth. The reason we did that was recognition of globalization and position ourselves to take advantage of the global market as our footprint expands. So that group is challenged with identifying where global opportunities are in our — in our design and construction program. So if we have technologies in, in China or in India that are developing that have opportunity here, that group pulls those together, compiles them, looks at the valuation of, of maybe the product needs to be modified a little bit to make it fit in a wider market — and then purchase it or direct that purchasing from a central location and — and it's an area that we think collectively, we talked about with REA a scale that we have similar opportunities not to do direct purchasing but to look at opportunities across all of our footprints to see where we can combine and maybe it's a product modification in order to effect a larger footprint, perhaps not, but the ability to apply our scale to purchasing or sourcing opportunities.

Ralph Pitzer:

Ralph Pitzer, GPM Engineering. I pride myself in keeping up with the changing technology as it relates to high-efficiency air conditioning, heating and lighting systems in our office. We're a former member of the Walmart collective and we still have several supermarket clients, as well as healthcare and other retail but my question I guess is — is directed most specifically to Jim, as well but I would like to see if the others have a response. As you develop — test and develop and verify new technologies that help you reach this 50% energy reduction goal, in what format would that information be made available to be shared with competitors and/or throughout the industry that might even apply to — to other industries, such as the commercial building or institutional markets? Would that be through DOE? Would that be through ASHRAE? Or have you thought that far ahead, yet?

Panelist #2:

I think there's several mechanisms that can be shared through the REA and DOE's certainly one of them. And we're working on some of those processes now where during the break, I was talking with someone regarding the radiant floor project in Las Vegas and collecting all of that information — from slab temperature and ground temperature and looking at the gradients because that's a pretty large slab and — and we've certainly never done one before and so there's a lot of great information there and — in that example in NREL was collecting that information and we'll compile that and we'll make that public to the industry, retail industry, supplier industry, the design community through publication through DOE.

Doug Brookman:

Yeah, and one of the purposes of the REA is to compile that information, have it available on a website — that's through best practices and other kinds of useable, we hope, formats. Please.

Doug May:

My name's Doug May, I'm from Walmart and my question — Scott, you talked about commissioning in your presentation, specifically with refrigeration as we know. Everything has to deliver. Bottom line, it's got to deliver if it's going to go in. And as our systems become a little more complex, can you elaborate a little bit on maybe what issues you were having and what you're looking for? And this could be across the board, too, because everybody for commissioning could be different needs from a large-scale to small-scale.

Scott Williams:

Yeah, I mean commissioning is at the concept's great. We found — we've been working on it for a while and we have an internal team that manages it. It's a real challenge in retail because we do buy a lot of packaged equipment and generally, it runs fairly well, so I think some of the initial commissioning research was done on medical facilities or labs that had really big opportunities and they might be finding 10 or 15% energy on a really big energy bill. In a retail store, we're finding maybe more like 3 to 7% energy savings, so — the challenge is how do we do a good job at commissioning — how much time does that give us to do commissioning on a retail store knowing that we can save an average of 5%? So that's what we've been working on is how to modify the commissioning process in an effective way to meet our — the return that we can expect from it.

Doug Brookman:

Are you saying that the cost might get close to the benefit at times?

Scott Williams:

Yeah, that's what we're working on. It's still a challenge.

Doug Brookman:

Let me hear from the others. Do you do commissioning? Dwayne?

Dwayne Shmel:

Again, it gets back to the fact that most of our projects are build-to-suit. We don't actually own the property. So we — I hate to — hate to play the "We're the victim" card but we are actually kind of — with respect to the operation of the system and, and getting it set up, we're kind of at the mercy of the contractors and the subcontractors and whatnot, so we don't actually — now that's going to change as we enter into this new arena of sustainability where we are going to start, implementing the quality control program and we're going to have to start understanding how our building systems are properly set up and calibrated.

Doug Brookman:

Hand that mic to Greg. Greg? So you outlined how you ask your managers to do energy profiles or doing the — do you do commissioning with new stores?

Greg Tomsick:

No, we don't. We haven't built many new stores in, in the last several years. I mean, it's one of those things as we move forward that we'll have to consider and, again as you get to that small box kind of a angle, one of the things we had hoped to do is that if EPA had a benchmark for small box, then we were going to use that benchline or that benchmark and then go back but without a viable tool, we haven't gone back to do it ourselves.

Ian Casper:

Hello, I'm Ian Casper, I'm with Johnson Controls. Excuse me. With Johnson Control. Please don't confuse me for a controls person. I come from the equipment side of the business. I bring a question that I think that's important to this alliance, which is we have in — say for package rooftops, have multiple-tiers of efficiency available for many years. And we have found, by and large, that the volume of equipment purchased never moves up until a new regulated minimum forces it. And so we talk about any manufacturer in this room the meaning of ROI to the retailer when you make a decision — we also need to work together with you to say what is the ROI of the development of the equipment? Because if we can't come together in this group and define what the opportunity is and what the cost sensitivity is to set these goals on both sides, we'll end up sort of flailing at it the way we have been for a number of years. It's — and so — I think we need to consider that this whole alliance is to consider going forward — how we going to bring that out because we're raising some great issues today, we try to innovate new products and when there's a way to do it, without any more money, yeah, we're going to go do that but I think the end goal is you've got to spend some money to get there.

Dave Hebble:

Dave Hebble from Danfoss. With the new technologies in refrigeration that're coming out — some really cool technologies and a lot of stuff is being looked at and experimented right now. So really two questions. One is — what do you think that refrigeration systems are going to look like in five years in these facilities with these new technologies that you're studying? And two, as you touch stores moving forward with legacy and your installed base of refrigeration systems, with regulations coming down with R-22 and things like that, how do you see you reacting in making decisions about replacement or upgrades to those systems?

Seth Stutzman:

I'll just — I'll just throw in that's kind of what scares the hell outta me. Is like, I — I'm not sure. I don't know those answers and that's why I'm — I'm excited about the participation and the partnership with — with all you guys because I don't have those answers. You want to go into a store and I can tell you what should be on an endcap and how it should look or whatever else or how we build it or design stores — I can totally tell ya that. But the cases and stuff, that's kind of where we need — I, I see that we need the partnership with y'all about like what's the next generation, what's the next level that we're going to be able to take that to.

Doug Brookman:

Well, before you go away, I want to ask you — so when you talked about replacing the cases and redesign, retrofit, recycle. What would your challenge to these folks be about how that gets done?

Seth Stutzman:

Well, I think a lot of times, and — and we're just as guilty as anybody else, is we get this idea that because it's a brand new case, maybe it's a wider mouth or maybe it's a sleek, new glass design or whatever else, that that's the cool part of the case or that's the cool, new, in thing. But at the end of the day, as retailers, I think we all recognize that we don't sell cases, we sell product and that that case has to show the product really well and it's got to be about the product, first. And so, for me, I don't know what the answer is on it, I just know Whole Foods Market as a company spends — or dumps boatloads of cash — boatloads of cash in retrofitting or reconditioning stores and in these cases — I know we sell them out in the open market for pennies on the dollar — there's got to be some other solutions there and maybe that's an area where we can work together as a group to figure out some good solutions so we're not throwing cases away, we're just retrofitting them for more efficiency, for better, better run times, better processes, and then also getting' away from that refrigerant, 'cause I know we're all going to have to get to that sometime.

Doug Brookman:

Yes, please.

Vicki Gardner:

I thought I'd come farther.

Doug Brookman:

Yeah, come on up.

Vicki Gardner:

Hello. My name's Vicki Gardner, I work for G.E. Greg had highlighted in his presentation that he deals with 124 electric utilities and that the current rebate process is way too cumbersome and at EEI national account workshop, this was mentioned as well. So my question is, number one, is this a concern of the REA and secondly, if it is a concern, what plans or ideas does anyone on the panel have on this?

Panelist #1:

Yeah, I think where it could be a concern of the REA is that with DOE actually doing some independent testing and showing that a given technology works, that allows the manufacturer to be able to have something then to go to the utility with and instead of having it be validated — and it's not just by utility, it's by location. If I want to do 50 stores in a given utility, I've got to do 50 validations. Well, if the question only gets to be, Has the installation occurred? As opposed to does the technology work? Yeah, I think it's very valid to do that here. And that's where DOE's bringing the table, they're saying that — that with the national labs, they're willing to step up and be that independent verification agency which then – now the utilities are going to have to take advantage of that but then that's why, personally, I've tried to — I'm on the sub-group that talked about the things that were presented to the utilities at EEI. I mean, that's kind of one of the things right now that's my kind of quest. It's a Holy Grail for me. Because I think there's so much opportunity. And so yeah, I do think it's a viable part of what can be done here in REA.

Doug Brookman:

And so do you expect that the supplier, nothing that it's a proof of installation or something and it's a proven technology that they would bring you the entire package?

Panelist #1:

Well, that's good for me.

Female:

Well I guess — well, I was — what I was hoping is this a frustration that suppliers have is how, if we're really serious about new product introduction, we're really serious about saving energy, why are we spinning our wheels and having to do the same thing, manufacturer by manufacturer, utility by utility, retailer by retailer. I mean there's got to be a way to do things better and I guess that I would really like to see this whole collective group figure that out because I think that's a huge barrier to the speed of what we're all trying to do.

Panelist:

Yeah, we've got my commitment to continue to work towards that end.

Female:

Okay, thank you.

Doug Brookman:

It's a topic that's already been under discussion by the alliance.

Neil Daggart:

Good afternoon, I'm Neil Daggart with Solartube International and Dwayne, in particular to you, for Best Buy, in the leased space and tenant situation, how do you achieve building owner support for your top lighting, daylight harvesting initiatives and the owners' need to eventually repurpose the building or space?

Dwayne Shmel:

So for us, we have not found that to be a barrier yet. The developers that we're working with are on the same page with respect to understanding that daylight harvesting has really — there aren't any downsides. I mean the ROI can either be from like two to seven years but that — that's all good. So we haven't had any push back from a developer saying, "We don't want you to cut 29 holes in the roof of a 30,000 square foot building." I mean obviously there are concerns about leakage and security and whatnot but so far, that has not been a hindrance. I mean, most of the developers are with us with respect to wanting to save energy and wanting to — because if we sign, typically 10- and 15-year leases. So I mean, they're looking ahead. They're looking at — if Best Buy does decide to relocate after — even five years. I mean, they still have a building that has built-in features, that a future tenant would find valuable. So, it's really not — it's a very positive thing, actually.

Fred Young:

My name is Fred Young. I was in the HVAC industry for years and years and years. I am now in the solar energy recovery business. With all the clout on the dais, I have one request. Coming from the oil patch originally, I was hoping that oil would go to $200.00 a barrel and gas would maybe get up to —

Panelist:

You've still got a stripper well somewhere?

Fred Young:

No, no. And maybe 20 bucks a therm for gas would be good. Our oil fields are not like the Saudi's or the Iraqi's or the Iranian or Venezuelan fields. I've been to all of them, even been to China to the oil fields. We don't get it as a people and simple things. I salute what Walmart's doing, what Target's doing, what others are doing, Ed Esberg at Raileys, Mike Malone at H. E. B., for understanding and as a father of an architect, I understand, Dwayne, sometimes that you guys get hammered a bit by substitutions and things that're going on behind the scenes that you don't get, you don't see. Can we, as a group, go to Congress and say, "Guys, why is it taking so long to renew the investment tax credit?" Guys, as a group, how can we look at docking down some of the boundaries that have already been mentioned about individual code zones where you can do this but you can't do that and it — you pay an energy penalty.

Judy Corrigan:

Only fitting that the only utility person here is the last question. Hi. I'm Judy Corrigan —

Doug Brookman:

If there's another one in the room, we'll have them step forward.

Judy Corrigan:

— really? Oh yeah, good, I hope so, I looked. But I'm with Xcel Energy here locally and I work — I'm a national account executive. I work with all you retailers' energy departments. My question is, How closely do you all — this been a great meeting and I think this alliance is going to be awesome, but I'm wondering how closely you all work with your energy management teams as you're putting all of these energy saving ideas together in that. I didn't know how closely you worked together.

Dru Crawley

It's interesting because we have a mix of people on the — on the REA and we often will have three representatives. McDonald's, for example, has the national energy manager as well as the national restaurant design, as well as the property manager. All three are participating because that doesn't represent — it's not represented in one person and I think you see that here. Greg's got responsibilities for energy, other people kind of have, peripherally, so it's just depends on the organization.

Judy Corrigan:

I was just wondering, yeah, because I do work with Walmart and we do design assistance with Walmart and with Target and those kinds of things and energy modeling. We have a commissioning program where we'll help you pay for that and I'm thinking you folks all, besides Greg, probably aren't even aware of that unless you are really tied tightly to your energy managers.

Doug Brookman:

Yeah — go ahead.

Panelist:

To answer your question, how closely do we work with our internal partners with respect, the individuals that do fuel studies and energy management — probably not as closely as we should. And I think that a wake-up call for me personally is that I need to go out and cultivate those relationships with those individuals. I mean, they've been working in silos, doing their thing. I think, the whole idea of increased energy efficiencies and sustainability, I mean that's kind of now making an awareness that, the individual that's designing the building needs to talk to the individual that is commissioning the building. The individual that's working out the utility piece — we all need to start talking together. So for us, we're looking for more cooperation amongst ourselves internally.

Panelist #1:

Yeah, I would echo that we — we certainly make that attempt but as you well know in companies of large and small, communication is always a challenge and so many things going on within team members. We work with the Energy Department, most of the people you work personally with we work personally with I — I've emailed three or four times in the course of this summit to some of the key people I'm sure you work with in the Energy Department, so they know what's going on here. We try to stay abreast of all the programs and policies but it's a challenge. It's — it's difficult and we have to understand as we drive consumption down on one end, what is that doing to us on the other side from a rate structure standpoint. So it's a balancing act. It's not always a good situation.

Judy Corrigan:

Well, and just to wrap that up, the Edison Electric Institute has a national account workshop twice a year where all of your energy managers are there and that's how we do that. I'm suggesting you'd want to probably make sure you had somebody on the alliance from EEI's national account program and then maybe even some utility reps such as our — myself. So, thank you, good job.

Doug Brookman:

Thank you. So I want to thank all the questioners that stepped forward, especially I want to thank the panelists.

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