Statement on the death of Art Rosenfeld, long-time Berkeley resident, former California Energy Commissioner and LBNL Distinguished Scientist Emeritus
Today we lost the single most important architect of California's energy leadership: Art Rosenfeld, who died peacefully today at his home in Berkeley. Dr. Rosenfeld, who was also my dear friend and mentor, created the field of energy efficiency. His pioneering work put energy efficiency front and center and charted the path for the scientific, technological, engineering and building science advancements, as well as the public policy innovations, that California, the US, and much of the world now almost take for granted.
California has Art Rosenfeld to thank for our energy efficiency building code, appliance standards, and more - all of which resulted in the “Rosenfeld Effect,” a term coined to describe how California’s per capita energy use stayed flat over the last 40 years while the rest of the US’s grew by over 50%.
I first met Art when I was an undergrad at Cal. Our collaboration began when I served as a Berkeley Energy Commissioner in the 70’s and continued through my time in the State Legislature. Throughout, he was a trusted friend, mentor and advisor. Art was a genuinely wonderful and kind person, while at the same time a forceful and tenacious advocate.
Honored by numerous national and international awards, Dr. Rosenfeld succeeded in making a difference in each of our lives through his dedication to science and advocacy. I will miss him dearly, and as a State Senator, I commit to honoring his legacy by continuing and expanding California’s leadership in energy efficiency and climate protection.