The Godfather of Efficiency Could Get His Own Unit of Energy Savings

arthur rosenfeld lightbulb photo

Image: LA Times

Seen by many as the godfather of energy efficiency, an international group of scientists has proposed that Arthur Rosenfeld deserves his own unit of electricity savings. The 54 authors of an article, published in Environmental Research Letters, suggest that one "Rosenfeld" equal the saving of 3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year. This is roughly equivalent to turning off a 500-megawatt coal power plant for a year.Starting at UC Berkeley's particle physics group in 50s, Rosenfeld broke off to found the Center for Building Science at Berkeley Lab. Rosenfeld has spend the last ten years serving on the California Energy Commission, where he's been involved in efforts to ban power-hungry plasma and LCD televisions, control California's thermostats, and spread the energy efficient benefits of white roofs. "The Godfather" is now headed back to Berkeley to continue his work. (See our ode to Dr. Efficiency here)

Rosenfeld himself estimates that the research and developed done by him and his colleagues through Berkeley Lab has saved some $800 billion over the decades.

Fellow physicist Richard Muller disagrees with the minting of "the Rosenfeld," saying there is already a perplexity of units out there for power and energy. Another honor, says Muller, would be more fitting for Rosenfeld: the Nobel Peace Prize.

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