Message from the Chair

I am delighted to write this column for the inaugural issue of Energy Informatics Review. Let me begin by thanking S. Keshav and the entire EIR team for all the hard work in making the newsletter go from an idea to reality in record time.

As you may know, our SIG was approved by the ACM a year ago, after functioning as an Emerging Interest Group (EIG) for two years. Our transition to a permanent full-fledged SIG enables us to create a vibrant community of researchers, educators and practitioners in the field of Energy Informatics. Our motivation for forming the SIG is to address the much felt need to bring together the computing community to deal with the critical issues of climate change and the transition of the energy system to a carbon-free future. Computing and data science techniques will be key drivers of this transformation!

Since its inception, the volunteer group in charge of running the SIG has been hard at work. The SIG is responsible for the organization of two ACM conferences—e-Energy and Buildsys—and associated workshops. We have worked closely with the organization and steering committees of both conferences to navigate conference organization in the face of pandemic uncertainties. ACM e-Energy was successfully held earlier this summer in a virtual format, and ACM Buildsys will be held in November in a hybrid format. An important goal for the SIG to build a diverse and inclusive community. We are supporting a travel grant program to enable students to attend Buildsys, especially in the light of pandemic travel challenges. Online attendance at Buildsys is free this year for all attendees, and we look forward to your participation.

Workshops are an important part of our conference program. Both e-Energy and Buildsys have organized numerous workshops on cutting-edge topics this year. These workshops span topics such as Climate Change and Sustainability, Machine Learning for Energy, Fairness Accountability and Ethics in Energy systems, and Accessibility of Buildings and Cities.

ACM e-Energy has instituted a new paper process this year which will enable authors to revise and resubmit paper to address reviewer feedback during the review cycle. We hope that this new process will enable the conference to accept more paper while maintaining the high quality of the program.

Finally, we are instituting an awards program to recognize junior, and senior, members of our community and to recognize past papers that have had a strong impact. More information on the awards program will be announced soon. We also established a social media presence for the SIG. Please visit us at https://energy.acm.org or follow us on social media for up-to-date information about the SIG’s activities. We also look forward to your ideas on how the SIG can serve you better.

Prashant Shenoy
Chair, ACM SIGEnergy