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5 Ways to Boost Energy Performance of Industrial Buildings

Jul 29th 2015 at 2:03 AM

The energy consumption of industrial buildings is unarguably mammoth-sized as compared to residential buildings. And proportionately, there is more investment to be made if such buildings are to be made energy efficient.

However, energy efficiency eventually leads to energy savings which means any investment made will be offset in the future. The challenge remains to initiate such undertakings. In this direction, these measures can help:

Architecture: According to eminent architectural bodies, efficient architecture has tremendous potential to minimize the energy required by a building for heating and cooling, or other purposes. This is specifically applicable for new buildings.

Energy certification: Energy certificates provided by an authorized specialist are the only real way to gauge a building’s energy performance objectively. These energy certificates can be made mandatory by the state governments or a proposal of incentives with regards to tax rebates or accelerated depreciation can be approved so that industrialist show enthusiasm towards making the necessary retrofits or installations that will make the building energy efficient. A system of rankings for accelerated incentives can also be included to encouraged maintenance and betterment of existing systems.

ESPCs: Energy Saving Performance Contracts are contracts that are provided to an Energy Service Company (ESCO) that takes up an investment-grade energy audit and provides a turnkey solution for the building that is guaranteed to decrease its energy consumption by a given degree. The ESCO is in turn paid by the future energy savings that the solution facilitates. This kind of arrangement results in little or no upfront cost for the building owner – which may be the government or a private entity – and is thus a favorable option that can be easily accepted.

Zero-energy buildings and their financing: Zero-energy or nearly zero-energy buildings are those who net energy consumption (i.e., consumption and production) is zero or almost aero. These buildings have facilities for energy production such as solar panels or wind turbines and the power produced is fed into the grid. Thus, the energy consumed by the building is offset by the energy it produces. Financing of such buildings by the government will lead to more people opting for them.

Awareness: The most effective approach, however, has to be at the grassroots level. Energy efficiency needs to be made a part of school and college curriculums so that individuals are ingrained with the possibilities and dangers associated with accepting energy-efficient measures and ignoring them, respectively.

Ultimately, the onus lies on both the government and the industries to implement policies and lead by example. The argument that one energy-efficient building will lead to others also holds value since reduced investment in energy will lead to profits, a trend that any competitive market would follow. A revolutionary change in the pattern will ultimately benefit the country’s ambitions of low-carbon growth planning.

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