In today’s AUSenergy News Update: Mandatory Benchmarking in Atlanta, EPA Backup Generator Rule Ends, and Eight D.C. Buildings to Use Energy Management Systems.
Summary: Under the Atlanta Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance, the city will collect energy benchmarking data and require periodic energy audits and potential improvements to existing building equipment and functions. Using these tools, the City projects that the ordinance will drive a 20 percent reduction in commercial energy consumption by the year 2030.
AUS Comment: Atlanta joins a growing list of U.S. cities moving to mandate benchmarking. When you consider that a city’s buildings are their largest energy users, consuming approximately 70% of all energy produced, we believe this is a necessary step in encouraging energy efficiency for commercial buildings. AUS provides benchmarking services and can help guide you through the process, identifying opportunities for savings in energy and cost.
Summary: The EPA first exempted companies from emissions standards for up to 15 hours of backup generator use annually. In 2013, the federal organization loosened these regulations in the name of “emergency demand response,” granting an additional 100 hours of uncontested use before users would be charged additional fees for carbon emissions. This week, in D.C., the EPA rule, expanding exemption, has been eliminated.
AUS Comment: AUS demand response emergency programs are activated only when a blackout is imminent. Because the 15-hour rule referenced here is not what our programs fall back on for compliance, we doubt that there will be any impact on a participant’s ability to use their backup generators. Like FERC 745, this looks like another feeble attempt to change a successful program, which truly benefits all involved parties.
Summary: The District of Columbia Department of General Services (DGS) is deploying cloud-based technology within eight of the District’s public buildings. Using BuildingIQ’s Predictive Energy Optimization platform, the energy management system will automatically create a custom thermal model for each building and predict energy consumption, cost and comfort based on building characteristics, weather forecasts, energy pricing and signals from the utility. Real-time changes will be made to each building; directly adjusting heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system parameters, to reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 25 percent.
AUS Comment: Automated energy management systems, also known as Building Automation Systems (BAS), are worth their weight in gold, offering huge energy savings, with amortized dollars that will more than pay for the system. By employing this management system in only eight buildings, the District can expect to see annual savings of $600,000. Determining what system to use, however, can be daunting. Contact AUS to help find the right energy management system for your budget and energy needs.
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