John Hoffman Dies

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Henry Brown 9 years ago.

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  • #171207

    Henry Brown

    Washington Post Obituary :

    John S. Hoffman, a former federal environmental official whose innovative program to identify and reward energy-efficient practices became the Energy Star program, a voluntary international rating system for “green” products, died Sept. 24 at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He was 62 and a Washington resident.

    He had complications after surgery for a perforated peptic ulcer, said his wife, Lucinda McConathy.

    Mr. Hoffman was a global warming crusader in the 1980s, before the terms “climate change” and “clean energy” were part of everyday life. People looked at him as if he were a modern-day Chicken Little when he discussed ozone depletion and climate change, said Maria Vargas, a former colleague of his at the Environmental Protection Agency and current director of the Better Buildings Challenge at the Department of Energy.

    (Family Photo) – John S. Hoffman, a federal official whose innovative program designed to identify and reward energy-efficient practices ultimately became a voluntary international rating system for “green” products, died Sept. 24 at the Washington Hospital Center. He was 62.

  • #171211

    Henry Brown

    I have highlighted the primary reason that this obituary is in the “public discussion area”

    Editorial from Boston Globe:

    Twenty years ago, John S. Hoffman, a 14-year veteran of the Environmental Protection Agency, launched a deceptively simple program to address a problem that he, but not too many others, worried about incessantly: global warming. The program was called Energy Star. It ended up saving $230 billion in electrical bills and 1.7 billion metric tons in carbon emissions in the United States alone. Hoffman, whose death in late September at 62 was reported this week, proved just how much one government employee can do.

    Hoffman began devising the Energy Star program after calculating the waste of electricity by office computers left on all night and all weekend. His common-sense solution — pushing offices to turn off their hardware, and encouraging computer companies to incorporate energy-saving technology — marked “a completely different way of approaching environmental problems,” he declared in 1991.

  • #171209

    Henry Brown

    More information on Mr. Hoffman from Alliance to Save Energy

    John S. Hoffman – known to many in the energy world as the “father” of the ENERGY STAR program – passed away on Sept. 24. He is survived by his wife, Lucinda McConathy, and his daughter, Alla Hoffman.

    Hoffman led a variety of path-breaking efforts during his distinguished career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which he joined in 1978.

    In 1980, Hoffman identified climate change as a substantial environmental risk and became the first person at EPA to begin studying the issue. Across the next 15 years, Hoffman developed a series of innovative voluntary programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most prominent among these was EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, which began in 1992 to label energy-efficient computers and grew to shepherd in a “market transformation” approach to energy efficiency.

    A Snapshot of John S. Hoffman

    Legend has it that ENERGY STAR began 20 years ago after Hoffman conducted an informal walk-through of EPA offices. He wanted to see if employees remembered to turn off their computers when they left their workstations. He was not pleased with what he saw. He figured that if many of his staff members – who were well aware of the link between energy use and greenhouse gas emissions – forgot or found it too inconvenient to shut off their computers, the situation in the general population was far worse. He thought that a technical solution was needed – a way to automatically power down computers when not in use. And thus, a “star” (or at least a twinkle of a star) was born.

    This is the lasting and powerful legacy of John S. Hoffman, who cared passionately about implementing innovative approaches to making the world a better place.

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