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One on One


Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (right) and others walk to Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, before departure with President Barack Obama en route to North Caro- lina in January 2014.


and you have a 25,000-hour lifetime, versus 1,000 hours. The costs have been dropping incredibly rapidly below $10 and in fact approaching a one-year payback period. We are respon- sible for efficiency standards for appliances. Cooling, heating, electric motors and the like. They all are subject to cost-benefit analysis, to make sure there is a good payback from those increased standards. And yet another very different example is implementing the weatherization program where we go out and help less affluent people improve efficiency of their homes, save on heating bills. Those are just a few of the ways that we address efficiency.


HE&IT: Are people initially excited by these ideas, or do they have to think about them first to understand their impact?


Secretary Moniz: I think it is a mix. But when you take some- thing like the weatherization program I think people see the impact immediately, not only in reduced bills but also in com- fort. I think on something like appliance standards, that tends to be not as visible to many consumers but nevertheless im-


10 HISPANIC ENGINEER & Information Technology | Fall 2014


portant. I think these appliances are saving money. Something like the LED, I get pretty excited about it, at least. One of the things with LED people notice is that they are actually a light bulb, rather than a heat bulb. In vehicles, people notice very much when they are going to the pump a lot less frequently.


HE&IT: In the early days of the Obama administration, there was a strong emphasis on renewable energy. Now the national conversation has shifted to the shale energy boom. Is the embrace of renewables being complicated by the shale energy boom?


Secretary Moniz: First of all, shale gas has been a major boom and boon, for sure. The shale gas revolution has had an enormous impact in enhancing our manufacturing capac- ity in the United States and creating lots of good jobs there. One of the estimates is that somewhere between $100 and $150 billion have been invested in new manufacturing capac- ity because of the shale gas boom. Now, those lower prices certainly have impacted other parts of the energy sector. They have had an impact on coal. We’ve seen a lot of market-based


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