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 office spaces are poorly understood.
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Douglas County School District faced a challenging combination of aging equipment and buildings (most over 37 years old), rising energy costs, and limited access to taxpayer funds due to the fiscally-conservative makeup of the region’s voters. The district's leadership responded creatively by beginning with an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) that utilized a tax-exempt installment purchase agreement (IPA). This case study is excerpted from Financing Energy Upgrades for K-12 School Districts: A Guide to Tapping into Funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Improvements.
The Research Support Facility was designed with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind. Many of its innovative technologies use passive and active processes to provide energy for its operations, such as electricity, heating, and cooling. The goal of this unique office building is to reach net zero energy use by engaging staff in best energy practices.
This resource provides a detailed guide to power purchase agreements for state and local governments including financial and contractual considerations.
This resource describes the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development pilot loan program for home energy improvements launched in 2010.
This eight-page fact sheet helps employees moving to the RSF navigate NREL's changing landscape. This brochure provides getting up and running, building access, emergencies, shuttle service, RTD buses, parking locations, parking passes, exceptions to off-site parking, conference rooms and huddle rooms, balconies, elevators, lunchroom, quiet rooms, smoking, iGo Power Smart Tower, and supporting RSF's net zero energy mission.
This document lists a set of resources that can help small business owners make informed decisions about their energy use and identify opportunities for long-term financial savings from energy efficiency improvements. These resources include case studies, energy savings and investment calculators, technical guides and information on state and federal incentives programs.
This report discusses miscellaneous electrical loads, which are building loads that are not related to general lighting, heating, ventilation, cooling, and water heating, and typically do not provide comfort to the occupants. MELs in commercial buildings account for almost 5% of U.S. primary energy consumption.
There is nothing small about the impact that small commercial buildings have on energy use in the United States. In fact, the 4.6 million small buildings across the nation consume 44% of the overall energy use in buildings, presenting an enormous opportunity to cut costs, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite this potential, small building owners and operators face unique challenges that have historically impeded the adoption of widespread energy efficiency solutions. A new report developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) examines these barriers and suggests a path forward to support cost-effective energy savings for the small buildings and small portfolios sector, which typically has limited resources to pursue energy efficiency solutions.
Dollars saved through energy efficiency can directly impact your bottom line. Whether you are planning for a major renovation or upgrading individual pieces of building equipment, these improvements can help reduce operating costs, save on utility bills, and boost profits. This fact sheet provides a guide for small businesses to find the resources to increase the energy efficiency of their buildings.