Plug and process loads (PPLs) in commercial buildings account for almost 5% of U.S. primary energy consumption. Minimizing these loads is a primary challenge in the design and operation of an energy-efficient building. PPLs are not related to general lighting, heating, ventilation, cooling, and water heating, and typically do not provide comfort to the occupants. They use an increasingly large fraction of the building energy use pie because the number and variety of electrical devices have increased along with building system efficiency. Reducing PPLs is difficult because energy efficiency opportunities and the equipment needed to address PPL energy use in retail spaces are poorly understood.
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Regency Centers is a national owner, operator, and developer of neighborhood and community shopping centers with over 300 properties throughout the United States. Regency Centers recently upgraded the parking lot lighting at Rona Plaza in Santa Ana, California. Rona Plaza is a grocery-anchored shopping center with 52,000 square-feet of gross lettable area and 250 parking spaces across 77,000 square feet of parking area. Regency Centers retrofitted the existing parking lot and exterior wall mounted fixtures, which were high-intensity discharge (HID) fixtures, with high efficiency LED fixtures coupled with a wireless dimming system. The retrofit resulted in energy savings of nearly 88% compared to pre-existing conditions and was recognized by the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign with the Highest Percentage Energy Savings in a Retrofit at a Single Parking Area award.
The second largest gaming company in the world by revenue, MGM Resorts International (MGM) has recently installed energy efficient parking area lighting and controls at 65% of its U.S. facilities. With 20 U.S. facilities in NV, MI, and MS, MGM lighting projects have covered more than 8 million square feet of parking area. By replacing more than 4,400 existing metal halide and high-pressure sodium light fixtures in the parking facilities with a mixture of LED and induction fixtures, MGM saved 4.5 million kWh per year across their portfolio.
Most impressively, at the MGM Grand Detroit Casino–a 401-room hotel and gaming facility— the company achieved 4 million kWh of annual energy savings by replacing medium-wattage metal halide fixtures in a 2.6 million square foot parking structure with high efficiency, low- wattage LED fixtures.
Retail buildings in the U.S. are second only to office buildings in total energy consumption and represent approximately 13% of energy use in commercial buildings nationwide. The Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide for Retail Buildings presents general project planning guidance as well as more detailed descriptions and financial payback metrics for the most important and relevant energy efficiency measures to provide a practical roadmap for effectively planning and implementing performance improvements in existing buildings. This guide is primarily designed for facility managers and energy managers of existing retail buildings of all sizes.
The Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide for Grocery Stores was created to help grocery store decision makers plan, design, and implement energy improvement projects in their facilities. It was designed with energy managers in mind, and presents practical guidance for kick-starting the process and maintaining momentum throughout the project life cycle.
Miscellaneous electrical loads (MELs) are building loads that are not related to general lighting, heating, ventilation, cooling, and water heating, and typically do not provide comfort to the building occupants. MELs in commercial buildings account for almost 5% of U.S. primary energy consumption. On an individual building level, they account for approximately 25% of the total electrical load in a minimally code-compliant commercial building, and can exceed 50% in an ultra-high efficiency building such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Research Support Facility (RSF). Minimizing these loads is a primary challenge in the design and operation of an energy-efficient building. A complex array of technologies that measure and manage MELs has emerged in the marketplace. Some fall short of manufacturer performance claims, however. NREL has been actively engaged in developing an evaluation and selection process for MELs control, and is using this process to evaluate a range of technologies for active MELs management that will cap RSF plug loads. Using a control strategy to match plug load use to users' required job functions is a huge untapped potential for energy savings.