Berkeley Lab



“We lost a long-time and well-respected champion of forward-thinking energy policy today who led the state’s push for energy efficiency. His work and influence will continue, especially in California where we are committed to finding new opportunities to incorporate his vision and expertise.”
– Robert B. Weisenmiller, Chairman, California Energy Commission

A video tribute by the California Energy Commission:

For more from the California Energy Commission, please click here.

“Without doubt, Dr. Arthur Rosenfeld knew more and did more about energy conservation and efficiency than anyone else in the country. […] His work will live on in homes, businesses, public buildings and everywhere else where fuel is used.”
– Ralph Nader, consumer advocate, excerpted from here

“When I took over as director of the Berkeley Lab division that he started and involved people that he inspired, it was for me the singular moment in my life to learn about energy broadly, and energy efficiency specifically, from him and his former students. It changed my life forever. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for all he has done for energy efficiency for California, for the United States and for the world.”
– Arun Majumdar, Stanford professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy

“Over the past four decades, Art worked tirelessly to advance energy efficiency in the U.S. and more recently, around the world. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that the work Art pioneered is now indispensable in how the world transitions to a sustainable future. On a more personal note, Art was one of the most decent, generous, engaging, passionate and thoughtful people that I have known. His engaging persistence in asking interesting, important questions, while being completely open to new ideas, made him a compelling colleague. He has inspired over two generations of researchers in the field of energy efficiency; I include myself among those inspired.”
– Steven Chu, Stanford professor of physics and of molecular & cellular biology, former director of Berkeley Lab 

Read more remembrances from Stanford University.

“[Art] was a master at dispelling myths and misinformation.  Chief among these was that energy (rather than wise use of energy) was what truly powered economic growth.  Thus, each dollar spent on more energy efficient light bulbs provided more benefit at a lower cost than a dollar spent on new power plants.  He set a great example of those of us under his tutelage.”
-Evan Mills, Berkeley Lab senior scientist, excerpted from here

“Thank you Art so much for giving so unselfishly, teaching so many things, and for shaping my thinking and beliefs in a fundamental way. I’ll miss you enormously but cherish your wonderful attitude towards life, young professionals, openness to new ideas and pursuit of learning.”
-Satish Kumar, Executive Chairman, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy, and Senior Advisor, Berkeley Lab, excerpted from here

Your personal tribute may be added below.


  1. Art has always been an inspiration for both of my personal and career growth. I am very sad to hear the news, but Art’s spirit will continue to inspire future generations to take on what he left out and make the field grow and prosper.

  2. Art was one of the most creative thinkers of an era. Working with him on the SERI study Building a New Prosperity, was an honor and experience never to be forgotten. He was dedicated to energy efficiency and passionate about his work. A life force was at work within him of immense proportions.

  3. This guy was a great inspiration to my PhD research.
    I am very thankful to him and hopeful that governments will face to energy efficiency as part of survival of nations on this era.
    Thanks, Art.

  4. Thank you Art for leading me to the art of energy efficiency and cool surfaces. It was an honor working with him. My deepest gratitute to a great scientist, teacher and friend.

  5. Being one out of hundred european scientists having had the great honor and huge privilege to spend a sabbatical leave at LBL’s Center of Building Science under his direction, I keep in mind his smily welcome, great comprehensiveness, easy access, open mind, … permitting the (temporary) immigrant I was then to get important lessons. Having been yet continuously inspired during these late 3 decades, I owe him the best of my scientific life

    Art, dans la mémoire ds milliers et de milliers de chercheurs, vous resterez à jamais un grand Maître

  6. Working with Art was always a challenge. From trying to figure out how he could possibly drink so much sugar with his coffee to fielding phone calls on the ‘problem d’jour’ which almost always occured on Saturday nights, holidays, and vacations. My first contact with Art came when I was asked by a major utility to review a proposal for time-of-use rates by Art in 1981. I still have that document. He never found out that I was the one who determined that proposal was premature. Art kept at it and 20 years later we found the opportunity to jointly craft a state level effort. Unlike many ‘experts’ Art was open to new ideas and he would entertain challenges to his own initiatives. He drove too fast and drank too much coffee but fate was kind by letting me cross his path and actually work with a true champion of energy.

  7. Dear Art, thank you for the all the inspiration and support you provide to me and to many others, outside the US borders. I feel very privileged to first have been one of your student at UC Berkeley, then one of your staff and LBNL, then a colleague and partner when you were representing the US DOE at the International Energy Agency Energy Efficiency Working Party. Be sure that your passion for energy efficiency and your tireless advocacy of EE solutions and EE policies have been contagious. You are and will always remain a source of admiration for me. I miss you. Rest in peace.

  8. In addition to being Mr. Energy Efficiency for LBNL, California, the U.S. and the World, Art was a kind and gentle person, and was always willing to listen to his fellow man. He always had time for others with a kind and joyful smile. We miss him and his beautiful spirit. God Bless You Art. May your family live in peace, joy, and love.

  9. Everyone working to advance more efficient energy use is indebted to Art Rosenfeld. As much as anyone he founded the energy efficiency as a resource movement, and inspired so many of us to dedicate ourselves to this cause. Plus he was a dear friend and mentor who will be missed but never forgotten.

  10. Art recruited me from the Department of Architecture in 1974—a former applied physicist turned architect—and introduced me to the early ideas of energy efficient buildings. It was an eye-opening experience that strongly affected my career path. I learned SO much from him.

    I would regularly get phone calls at home on nights or weekends from Art, who would always start the conversation with “Am I getting you from your favorite TV program?” It would sometimes mean coming into his office right away to work on something—I didn’t hesitate to go because I knew it would be important work.

    I am in awe with what his work meant for California and the world.

  11. Art lives in on all the thousands of us whom he inspired, informed, and energized for decades. Such a wonderful spirit and remarkable intellect, melded with humor and humanity. Many of us aspire to emulate him as scholar, leader, and mensch.

  12. Art was an inspiration to me and countless other researchers at LBNL and around the world. In 1981, he hired me to work on this “crazy idea” to measure and track the performance of energy efficiency technologies and programs in residential (and multi-family) buildings (called Building Energy Use Compilation and Analysis — BECA for short). Art (and the project) were ahead of their time but we did advance the science and practice and credibility of energy efficiency as a resource. Plus, working with Art over the years, allowed me to witness (and learn from) his intellect, questioning mind, persuasive powers (with calls late at night), compassion and willingness to be challenged on his ideas. His leadership style was different and inspirational. And he made a huge difference in the lives of all those he touched and influenced.

  13. Art was a consistently kind, curious, thoughtful, provocative, persistent and, most importantly, effective supporter of California, national and international energy efficiency policies. His humor, insights and kindness always overshadowed any annoyance at his dogged persistence. Art was one of the many joys of my long career working on energy efficiency – and his spirit and ideas will undoubtedly live on in all those who he touched.

  14. Before Art took on energy efficiency he was a high energy physicist trying to find the best values of the masses and widths of particle resonances so that everyone would be working on the same page. He founded the Particle Data Group and the Review of Particle Properties. As a result he saved an enormous amount of time, energy and money for the field. Equally important was his kindness, generosity, liveliness and sense of humor. His contribution to those who he mentored, including me, cannot be overstated. Art, we will never forget the gifts that you have given us. (Tom Trippe is a retired physicist and ex. Particle Data Group Leader)