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To Cut Costs, Improve Your Building's Energy Efficiency

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 28, 2009

Buildings account for 48% of energy consumption and present the single-greatest opportunity to cut carbon emissions and lower operating costs, especially as electricity prices continue to rise. A few immediate actions include:

1. Measuring. Track energy consumption across all facilities, e.g. electricity and natural gas. Compare energy bills to identify underperforming facilities.

2. Categorizing abatement opportunities. Operational changes like adjusted temperature settings require little investment and build awareness to change employee behavior. Engineered changes such as high efficiency HVAC systems require more initial investment but deliver a higher return in the long run.

3. Deploying projects in stages. Use financial savings from basic operational changes to deploy higher-impact, engineered changes later.

4. Maintaining the low-carbon diet. Manage and reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions and continue to track progress against sustainability goals.

These approaches will yield immediate, measurable results.

George Ahn
Las Vegas

Reader Comments

Don P

July 29, 2009 2:10 PM

To assist in reducing energy costs, don't forget the professionally installed window film. Not only reduces energy costs by significant amounts, but decreases glare, eliminates UVA and UVB radiation and makes your building look great. You'll find that your employees are much more productive when they are not devising ways to eliminate these annoyances.

Sid A

August 4, 2009 3:20 PM

Radiant heating has been used in Europe for decades, not because it is the nicest form of space heating, but because it is the most energy efficient.
If your feet are warm, your body will feel warm. If your feet are cold the body will feel cold. Radiant heating creates no drafts of cool air.
The buildings heating boilers can operate at over 90% efficiency reducing a lot of CO2 emissions compared to the efficiencies of standard heating boilers.

Joe Pozak

August 7, 2009 10:24 AM

What is the film that is in a frame and actually has the ability to be reversed to take advantage of the directionality of the sunlight. This film actually used the heat of the sun during the winter and reflects the heat in the summer.

Now that is efficient!


Ken Green

August 10, 2009 12:34 PM

Regarding the window film comment by Don P above: Window film blocks solar gain in the winter as well as the summer. If you live in an environment that requires any amount of winter heating consider the loss of this free energy if a film is placed on the windows. Here in Atlanta we do not find a payback for installing window film as a post construction change. We do find a benefit to installing film on western/southern exposures for executive offices though.

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