Smart technologies can reduce a building’s energy use by nearly a fifth and yield additional benefits, such as increased worker productivity, according to our new report, Smart Buildings: a Deeper Dive into Market Segments. This report documents how many types of buildings — not just the biggest and ritziest — can benefit from the latest interconnected technologies, from simple occupancy sensors to complex energy management and information systems.
Five years ago, ACEEE found that energy efficiency could reduce projected 2050 US energy use by 40–60%. As a result, ACEEE established a strategic goal to reduce projected 2050 energy use by 50%. We thought it was time to check on our progress and ask whether our goal still seems reasonable. We find that energy use has been stable in recent years, reversing historical growth, a very positive development that is due in significant part to increasing our energy efficiency.
Given the importance of small businesses to our national economy, ACEEE has examined successful utility program practices in the small commercial segment. We find there are still significant energy efficiency opportunities. Our new paper describes effective program strategies.
US Moves Up to #8 Spot Behind Spain and China, Rising From #13 Ranking in 2014; 3rdInternational Scorecard Evaluates 23 Largest Energy-Consuming Countries on 35 Categories.
The 2016 International Scorecard is almost here. Tune in next week to see the Olympics of energy efficiency
As world-class athletes descend on Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games, twenty-three countries are vying in a very different arena to become leaders in energy efficiency.
Commercial-sector energy use in the US increased by 63% from 1979 to 2012, rising from total source energy use of 10.6 quads in 1979 to a peak of 18.4 quads in 2008 before declining to 17.4 quads in 2012. This growth can largely be attributed to a corresponding increase in commercial building floor area, which grew by 70% over the same period. But that is only part of the story. As the graph below illustrates, as floor area has trended upward over time, energy use per square foot has gone up and down, peaking in the 1999-2003 period but declining since then.
Bill Gates, billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, marked several items off his 2015 to-do list when he announced the creation of two coalitions (one of international governments, the other of billionaire investors) for investing money in developing renewable energy innovations, while pledging one billion dollars of his own money to the effort.
The past year included many successes, including quite a few that we can build on in the new year. Among the notable developments in 2015:
The Department of Energy (DOE) issued new efficiency standards today for commercial and industrial pumps that are based on efficiency levels negotiated by manufacturers, efficiency advocates, and other stakeholders. In addition to establishing the first-ever national efficiency standards for pumps, the final rule also provides a mechanism for energy efficiency programs to incentivize high-efficiency pump packages.
Energy efficiency improvements provide value over and above utility bill savings. ACEEE’s new report Recognizing the Value of Energy Efficiency’s Multiple Benefits describes the gains outside of energy savings created by energy efficiency improvements. Many of these benefits accrue to residential and business energy consumers. Additional benefits accrue in the form of cost reductions to the utility system, resulting in lower costs for all customers.