Energy efficiency must be a central component to every energy strategy as it addresses energy security by reducing fuel and power consumption and enhances economic performance by reducing operating costs. Energy efficiency has saved consumers and businesses billions of dollars in the past three decades, and new technologies and best practices are being introduced that will enable more productive use of the energy consumed by buildings and industry. Liebman & Associates (L&A) can help you change the way you power your business by leveraging the resources, partnerships and technologies available from both the federal government and the private sector.
Buildings account for more than two-thirds of the electric energy consumed in the U.S. today. New and improved building components and equipment coupled with integrated design and construction techniques can significantly reduce the energy consumption and peak electrical demands of residential and commercial buildings, both in retrofits and new construction. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) predicts a 70% reduction in a building's energy use by 2025 with advances in building envelopes, equipment and systems integration and estimates that building controls and sensors have the potential to reduce U.S. commercial building HVAC and lighting energy consumption by about one quad of primary energy annually, or roughly 6% of current total use. Home energy management (HEM) systems enable two-way communications between utilities and consumers and provide control over home conveniences (including thermostats and smart appliances) to reduce consumption, especially during periods of peak demand.
DOE is investing in many new energy efficient building technologies including: solid state lighting (SSL) systems, such as inorganic light emitting diodes (LED) based on compound semiconductors such as GaN and organic light emitting diodes (OLED) based on both small and large molecule phosphorescent and fluorescent emitters; heating and cooling systems, including HVAC, dehumidification and water heating; and building envelope components, such as advanced thermal insulation, windows with dynamic solar control, solar thermal technologies and advanced building materials. These technologies require innovations at both the component and system level to continue to improve performance and bring down cost. When such technologies are deployed together, buildings can become net-zero greenhouse gas emitters and net energy producers (also known as zero energy buildings), when augmented by on-site energy generation.
Analysis shows that the cheapest and most available source of new energy for the industrial sector is the energy that is wasted, and that industrial energy efficiency is the quickest and most reliable way to reduce future carbon emissions in the U.S. The International Energy Agency estimates that industries throughout the world can reduce carbon emissions by 19% to 32% simply by using proven technologies and best practices. Advances are being pursued for energy-intensive industries such as data centers and telecommunications and high carbon-emitting processes such as chemicals, steel, aluminum, pulp and paper, and cement production, as well as for technologies that can impact all industries, such as advanced materials, energy conversion, nano-manufacturing, and fuel and feedstock substitutions, including the capture and use of waste heat.
According to DOE, U. S. industry consumes approximately 30 quadrillion Btu (quads) of energy per year, which is almost one third of all energy used in the United States. Much of this energy is expended through direct thermal processes. Solutions that increase energy productivity (output per unit of energy used) within industry are needed to ensure that U.S. producers lead the world in modern production technologies. New manufacturing technologies and materials can help reinvigorate existing manufacturing industries while supporting the growth and development of clean energy technologies and new industries in the United States. To this end, DOE's Innovative Manufacturing Initiative is focused on developing transformational manufacturing and materials technologies to provide pathways that enable a doubling of energy productivity in U.S. industry.
Energy efficiency is an important tool for reducing operating costs and energy consumption in your business operations. Technical and financial resources from the federal government can help support research, development, demonstration and deployment of your technology to serve the buildings and industrial sectors. Ask L&A to show you how.