At the height of Congressional debate over energy and climate change policy in June, Johnson Controls proudly co-sponsored the 20th meeting of the Energy Efficiency Forum.

JCI kicked off the event by inducting the first honorees into the Energy Efficiency Forum Hall of Fame -- two dozen leaders who have made phenomenal contributions to energy efficiency policy over the past two decades from their positions in government, private industry and non-profit organizations and the news media.

 “It truly was a privilege to see these pioneers be recognized – as well as have a chance to talk with them about how energy efficiency has changed over the past two decades,” says Barry Worthington, executive director , United States Energy Association and co-chair of the Energy Efficiency Forum.

The following day, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson keynoted the Forum, calling energy efficiency critical to our nation’s future. “We know that we will not reach that future with a business-as-usual approach,” said Jackson. “One of the best things we can do for our economy and our environment is to focus on energy efficiency.”

Jackson came to the Forum after a Capitol Hill appearance with the Secretaries of Transportation and Housing to announce a joint government initiative called the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which will work to provide communities across the country with more safe, reliable and economical transportation options, while promoting affordable housing, protecting the environment and addressing climate change.

Under Secretary of Energy Kristina Johnson made her first public appearance at the Forum and said the Department of Energy believes energy use in buildings can ultimately be reduced by up to 70 percent, with renewable resources such as solar and wind power providing the balance of electricity needed. “It’s a very exciting time at DOE,” said Johnson. “It’s a very exciting time for the country.”

Lending an international perspective to the Forum, Christoph W. Frei, Ph.D, secretary general of the of the World Energy Council and former senior director of energy, industries and policy at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, discussed the significance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Copenhagen later this year.

A packed Forum agenda also included remarks from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), ranking Republican member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, who split her time between the Energy Efficiency Forum and Capitol Hill where the energy bill was undergoing an intense mark-up session; Dan W. Reicher, director of climate change and energy initiatives,; Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert; and Steven R. Specker, president and CEO, Electric Power Research Institute.

Summaries, photos and a video re-cap of the Forum are all available at Next year’s event is scheduled for June 15-16, 2010.