<img src="http://www.se-core-pipe.com/52149.png" style="display:none;" />

3 trends to save buildings millions in energy costs

Nov. 22, 2016

iStock photo

By 2050, 70 percent of the world population will live in cities, a change that will add 40 percent to the current world building stock, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Because buildings can be big polluters, urbanization is also a stark reminder that economies everywhere benefit from investments in energy-efficient structures and by retrofitting inefficient, existing buildings. There’s some good news to report in that area.

For the first time since the 1973 oil embargo and subsequent energy crisis added “energy efficiency” to our everyday vocabulary, three trends are moving the world’s largest economy in the right direction. Financial incentives are driving the fundamental shift.

1) Households save money – by saving electricity

Americans today seem to understand just how important efficiency is in their daily lives. A recent study shows that homeowners, including those in multifamily structures, now value ENERGY STAR-rated appliances – which have an efficiency stamp of approval from the U.S. Department of Energy – over luxuries such as a pool or a state-of-the-art sound system.

By placing a greater value on smart energy options, Americans have been using less electricity. This has, in turn, resulted in less pollution, improved health and greater households savings.

And adults aren’t the only ones getting in on the action.

Girl Scouts and their families participated in a recent youth-energy program that inspired home energy conservation measures, with up to 5 percent in electricity savings and 3 percent in gas savings as a result. In this case, educating kids helped their families save electricity.

2) Commercial buildings of all sizes go for retrofits

A number of recently released studies indicate that commercial buildings in the U.S. are becoming more efficient with energy use per square foot dropping 12 percent between 2003 and 2012.

Growing investments in energy efficiency – through technologies such as LED lighting, heating and air conditioning upgrades, and Building Automation Systems – are driven by passionate building managers who are promoting the twin concepts of financial and social value.

Where once only larger properties tended to invest in efficiency, the small and medium-size commercial building market is now poised to grow by more than 60 percent to $38 billion by 2025.

Smaller buildings have historically had less staff and access to funding for such projects. But now, due to a widespread emphasis on energy management and its ability to improve bottom lines, these smaller buildings are also beginning to explore simple energy efficiency upgrades and more complex retrofitting opportunities.

3) Partnerships in states push for energy savings

A number of states – including Illinois, New York and California – are working on legislation that help communities save energy. While the states’ goals vary, politicians, environmental groups, business leaders and consumer advocates are working together constructively to put in place energy efficiency standards.

A key example of policy already generating financial and efficiency gains is a 2011 Illinois law that mandated the modernization of the state’s electric grid. It’s led to unprecedented collaboration between utilities, consumers and environmental groups.

So far, the legislation has produced groundbreaking metrics to measure the clean air benefits of smart-grid investments, as well as energy savings for commercial real estate and improved grid resiliency.

 


Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Energy Saving Products, ENERGY STAR, Engineering Firms, Environmental Firms, Great Commercial Buildings, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, Multifamily / Multiunit Residential, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design


Sponsored Links:


Related Content


Latest Content

Get the latest news & insights


NEWS

RESOURCES

TRENDING

FEATURES

RESEARCH CENTERS


Agricultural and Farm Buildings
Architectural Firms
Automation and Controls
Building Owners and Managers
Certifications
Construction Firms
Data Centers - Mission Critical Information Centers
Daylighting / Skylights / Natural Lighting
DC Power & DC Applications
Educational Buildings - Colleges and Universities
Educational Buildings - K through 12
Electricity - Electrical and Energy Solutions
Energy Audit / Energy Management
Energy Recovery & Heat Recovery Ventilation
Energy Saving Products
Engineering Firms
Exteriors
Flooring
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Government Buildings - Federal / State / Local
Great Commercial Buildings
Green Roofs / Garden Roofs
Healthcare - Hospitals & Medical Facilities
Healthy & Comfortable Buildings
Highrise Residential
Hospitality
HVAC - Heating & Cooling & Ventilation
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Industrial and Manufacturing Buildings
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)
Insulation
Interior Design
Interiors
Internet of Things
Landscaping Architecture - Design & Maintenance
Lighting - Energy Efficient Lighting
Maintenance
Metal Roofs and Walls
Military Buildings
Mixed Use Communities/Developments & Buildings
Moisture and Vapor Management
Multifamily / Multiunit Residential
Office Buildings
Paint - Low & No VOC
Passive House / Passivhaus
Plumbing
Radiant Heat - Electrical & Hydronic
Renovation / Restoration / Remodeling
Restaurants
Retail
Roofing
Senior Living
Solar Energy & Solar Power
Structured Insulated Panels (SIPS)
Student Housing
Sustainable Trends and Statistics
Tankless Water Heaters
Thermal Envelope - Building Envelope
USGBC
Ventilation
Wall Systems / Curtain Walls
Wastewater Management / Wastewater Treatment
Water and Moisture Management - Waterproofing
Water Heating Strategies - Energy Efficient Water Heating / Heaters and Boilers
Water Quality / Fresh & Clean & Healthy Water / Water Filtration
Water Saving Strategies and Devices
Windows - Glass and Glazing Strategies and Systems
Wind Power