Since the 1970s, annual per capita electricity consumption in the United States – the amount of electricity that we each consume over the course of a year - has more than doubled. But, in California, per capita electricity demand has been almost constant. This fact – dubbed the “Rosenfeld Effect” – is named in honor of energy efficiency godfather, Dr. Arthur H. Rosenfeld who passed away earlier this year at the age of 90.
Arthur Hinton Rosenfeld was born in 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama. After achieving a PhD in physics from the University of Chicago - where he studied under Enrico Fermi - Rosenfeld became a physics Professor at UC Berkeley and a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Throughout his career, Rosenfeld's work to curb energy waste would help lay the foundation for state and federal energy efficiency regulations. He was even honored for his work in energy efficiency by his own unit – a single Rosenfeld is defined as an electricity savings of 3 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, or the amount of efficiency savings needed to replace a 500 Megawatt coal-fired power plant.
Over his career, Dr. Rosenfeld served as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy (1994-1999) and Commissioner of the California Energy Commission (2000-2010). In 2011, he received a Medal for Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama.