The Energy Chronicles

Energy-Efficiency & Building Energy Usage

Why is energy efficiency important?

There are many benefits to having a building that operates efficiently; the most obvious being reduced energy and operational costs. Other benefits include: Increased comfort and air quality, lower maintenance costs, a reduced carbon footprint, and increased capital which stimulates economic growth.

Why should I care about energy efficiency?

Knowing how your building is performing will allow you to be able to make informed decisions about how the building’s energy usage should be managed. It is also good for the environment and for the economy.

Why should I be concerned with my building’s energy usage?

The building may be using significantly more energy than it needs to be.

How is a building’s performance assessed?

A walk-through energy audit is performed to gather information on a building’s existing equipment and conditions, to identify opportunities for improvement, and to analyze the building’s most recent energy usage.

How does my building’s energy usage compare to other buildings of a similar size and type?

Bench-marking is a valuable tool that is used to compare the energy usage of similar buildings. The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), compiled by the US Department of Energy, is a “national sample survey that collects information on the stock of US commercial buildings, their energy-related building characteristics, and their energy consumption and expenditures”. Data collected through CBECS provides a “benchmark” that displays the energy use and performance of a similar building.

Should I invest in energy-saving measures?

An energy audit report will provide descriptions of recommended energy-saving measures and what the estimated implementation costs and annual savings, and potential rebate amounts are for each. While many measures provide energy savings, some may not be cost-effective. Having this information can help people to determine whether to invest in energy-efficiency measures.

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