Energy Efficiency: You Say Po-Tay-To, I Say Po-Tot-To
Regardless of how building managers define what the word ‘Green’ means to them, there is no doubt that they all want to make their buildings as energy efficient as possible.
Rising energy costs and the need to conserve natural resources have made all HVACR professionals much more focused on how they can achieve significant savings through better energy efficiency. So whether it is the environmental type of ‘green’ that helps the planet or the monetary ‘green’ that helps the pocketbook, when combined its extraordinary.
We were reminded of this recently while reviewing ASHRAE’s “Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings: The Business Case for Building Owners and Managers”. It is an excellent resource that HVACR professionals can use to improve performance strategies such as:
- Evaluating building energy performance, and setting goals that are in line with company strategies and assets
- Implementing no cost and low cost operational adjustments to improve operational efficiency.
- Measuring carbon emissions.
- Conducting an internal energy study/audit (using ASHRAE’s “Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits” as a basis) or having the facility retrocommissioned by a certified retrocommissioning firm. This activity may result in a modification to the original estimated budget amount.
- Developing a plan for, and implementing energy efficiency measures identified in the audits or retrocommissioning.
- Taking an integrated, forward thinking approach to planned replacements—staging replacements and evaluating new energy efficient technologies, on-site power generation, and available tax credits.
- Incorporating energy management into standard policies and procedures—procurement, operations and maintenance, and preventive maintenance—and ensuring ongoing energy performance tracking.
So if you are looking for ways to enhance a building’s energy efficiency, ASHRAE’s guide is a great resource.
Regardless of how we define the word, energy savings is all about being ‘green’.