Blue Sky Power

Energy Efficiency (continued)

Energy efficiency measures allow building owners to attain the same level of performance – whether the subject is lighting levels, heating or cooling equipment, pumps or other motor-driven equipment or numerous other examples – and do so using less energy. The form of energy can be fuel such as natural gas consumed in a boiler or furnace, or electricity used to drive motors or energize lighting or equipment. Efficient equipment simply uses less of that energy to perform the same level of work.

Because energy efficiency technology is always evolving and changing, buildings where those technologies can be deployed are often outdated and include building materials such as windows, doors, weather stripping and insulation that are inferior in terms of performance to materials available today. Similarly, the equipment found inside many of the buildings in existence today – and even buildings that are not very old – can be replaced with far more energy efficient equipment, such as lighting fixtures, computer monitors, air handlers, boilers and chillers.

Energy Conservation

Related to but different from energy efficiency, energy conservation is using less of a given energy source, such as natural gas or electricity. Resource conservation strategies are often very low-cost to implement and can have incredibly high rates of return in the form of energy savings. Examples of energy conservation measures that building owners can implement to reduce their energy spend include:

  • Room occupancy sensors
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Building control software and automation systems
  • Day lighting
  • Retro-commissioning of existing equipment
  • Variable frequency drives (VFDs) on motors and pumps
  • Cleaning/reconditioning existing equipment

In addition to the types of measures listed above, building owners can institute changes in behavior and use of the building that can have a large impact in the amount of energy consumed. These changes are the result of energy education, or training those who occupy and use the building to do so in a more energy-conscious manner, such as unplugging items that use energy when the building is unoccupied, operating the building controls more efficiently and optimally, and dozens of other methods that have little or no associated cost.

Financing Energy Efficiency Projects

Building owners often understand the benefits of making changes to increase the efficiency of their buildings and that these measures will pay for themselves in energy savings, but are constrained by tight and dwindling resources that make it difficult to make capital outlays that may take several months to several years to pay back. Blue Sky Power helps our clients understand their options for financing energy efficiency projects, exploring various programs and incentives available to encourage their implementation, as well as proposing structures that include third-party financing of efficiency projects that pay for themselves, as well as the return on investment for the third party investor.

More information

Blue Sky Power can help your business or organization realize the benefits of reduced energy use by implementing energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.

To learn more about energy efficiency and energy conservation, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy efficiency website.

 

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