Energy experts assembled this morning for the second annual Santa Barbara Summit on Energy Efficiency to discuss the latest developments in energy efficiency technologies, policies and implementation.

The two-day summit — organized by UCSB’s Institute for Energy Efficiency — hosts UCSB faculty and prominent world leaders in an energy efficiency symposium. Held at Santa Barbara’s Four Seasons Biltmore, the two-day conference will focus on advancements in energy efficiency, the demand for innovation and the role of the government in the application and execution of these technologies.

Chancellor Henry T. Yang will launch the summit with a welcoming address at 8:30 a.m., followed by an opening keynote from Dan Reicher, Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives for Google.

The Institute for Technology’s Program Director Whitney Wegener said the conference allows prominent figures from across the country to discuss innovations in the field.

“We host this event to bring together thought leaders in energy efficiency from all across the world to talk about the latest technology development,” Wegener said. “We’re focusing on the latest technology coming down the pipeline and finding the most efficient way to do things.”

Tickets cost $750 for students and other independent entities and $450 for government affiliates, members of relevant non-profit organizations and academics.

“Students aren’t the target audience of the Summit — we are more focused on the industry wanting to engage with the technology proposed by the researchers,” Wegener said. “We are recording all the sessions and they will be posted on the website for those who cannot attend.”

According to Amy Elvidge, Environmental Affairs Board’s Sustainable Foods Chair, a desire to promote environmentally friendly practices is growing among UCSB staff and students alike. Elvidge cited the installation of solar panels and energy-saving lighting systems as well as the elimination of trays in the dining commons as recent measures taken toward sustainability.

“When you have a tray, you put more food on your plate because there is more room,” Elvidge, a fourth-year environmental studies and Spanish major, said. “Now you can only take what your hands allow you to hold. You eat less so as a result the dining commons produce less food. Also, with fewer dishes and trays to clean, water is saved too. The campaign saves energy in every sector.”

According to Mark Rousseau, energy and environmental manager for UCSB Housing & Residential services, the results of the Trayless Dining campaign have yielded a 37 percent food waste reduction per person per meal. The average per capita waste is also down 54 percent since the implementation of this program last fall.