Concentrating solely on manufacturing, you miss out on an area which with low investment can realize significant savings. Office building energy bills are the highest of any commercial building type. While heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting are still the big power consumers, office equipment now accounts for almost 16% of an office building’s energy use. Less than 20 percent of existing buildings have been upgraded with energy-efficient electrical technologies. Using energy efficient technologies in buildings can cut energy costs by as much as 50%. In existing buildings renovations that replace older systems this can yield savings up to 30%. Although targets for energy efficiency in buildings are not yet in place, governments will soon be setting goals and eventually targets, as they have done with green house gas emissions. U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a national goal of improving new building efficiency by 50% and existing building efficiency by 25% over the next decade with the goal, with respect to energy efficiency, that new buildings would be carbon neutral by 2030.
- Source: energybiz Volume 5 Issue 2 March 08 / April 08
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
Much can be done today to improve energy efficiency in buildings. A 40-story, 1 million square-foot skyscraper in Miami undertook a multi-technology upgrade, updating the building’s windows and insulation and installing energy-efficient motors and adjustable frequency drives as well as more efficient lamps, ballasts, and reflectors. The result was a 22 percent reduction in energy consumed and a $25,000 monthly (or $300,000 annual) drop in energy costs. With those savings, coupled with incentives offered by the local utility, Florida Power & Light, the payback on the investment was less than one year.
- Source: He just turned $1 in energy savings into $1Million Energy Cost Savings Council Buildings Operating Management / Energy Decisions – Special Supplement
Most people do not know the impact that they can have on energy reduction. Some of the more successful energy reduction projects included in the administration staff in the project. By showing daily the energy consumption for their area (floor, building, etc.) every one became involved and was encouraged to do their part in the project, e.g. ensuring the lights where turned off, coffee machine and other small heating devices where off at the end of the day, using natural light where possible, using task specific lighting instead of lighting the entire office. Every little bit helps.