Book Helps You Implement Energy Savings Plan

ASHRAEA new book from ASHRAE provides guidance on increasing energy efficiency in existing buildings through measuring and tracking efficiency and implementing an efficiency plan.

Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings: Technical Implementation provides clear and easily understood technical guidance for energy upgrades, retrofits and renovations by which building engineers and managers can achieve at least a 30 percent improvement in energy performance relative to a range of benchmark energy utilization indexes. It features practical means and methods for planning, executing and monitoring an effective program, based on widely available techniques and technologies.

The book recommends some tips on how to begin the energy savings process:

  1. Calculate energy use and cost.
  2. Set energy performance goals.
  3. Measure and analyze current energy use.
  4. Select and implement energy efficiency measures.
  5. Measure and report improvements.
  6. Continue to track performance and reassess goals.

Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings: Technical Implementation is the second energy efficient guide for existing commercial buildings developed by the same group developing at the Advanced Energy Design Guide series for new buildings – ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and the U.S. Green Building Council and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, the Building Owners and Managers Association and the U.S. General Services Administration were involved in its development. The first, Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings: The Business Case for Building Owners and Managers, provides the rationale for making economic decisions related to improving and sustaining energy efficiency in existing buildings.

The cost of Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings – Technical Implementation is $75 ($64, ASHRAE members). To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Contact Center at 1-800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide), fax 404-321-5478, or visit

DOE Consortium Publishes LED Roadway Lighting Guidelines

Department of EnergyThe U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium recently published guidelines for converting to LED roadway lighting. The Model Specification for LED Roadway Luminaires is for cities, utilities, and other local agencies interested in saving money and energy by switching from traditional lighting technologies to solid-state lighting (SSL), which uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) instead of filaments or gases.

Ranking among the biggest fixed costs for cities, streetlights are on all night long, 365 days a year. The estimated 35 million streetlights in the U.S. consume as much electricity each year as 3.9 million households, and generate greenhouse gas emissions equal to that produced by 8 million cars.

“Converting our nation’s streetlights to LED technology could make a substantial dent in our energy consumption while also improving quality of illumination – but only if the right choices are made,” said Consortium Director Edward Smalley of Seattle City Light. “The new specification will help cities, utilities, and others make better choices.”

The model specification is designed specifically for LED lighting products, which have the added benefit of reducing maintenance costs while improving visibility and customer service. The flexible format allows guideline users to modify default values to fit their local design criteria – which can vary from city to city, and even from application to application within a given city.

Consortium members and nonmembers will be able to use the new specification to put together effective bid documents for LED street lighting products. It also will help guide the industry and provide a common basis for manufacturers to design products that meet their customers’ needs.

DOE created the Consortium last year to inform and harmonize the efforts of the many cities that are pursuing evaluations of LED street lighting products, often spurred on by block grants and energy mandates. The model specification was developed by Consortium members, with feedback from a manufacturers’ working group that included Acuity Brands, BetaLED/Ruud Lighting, Cooper, GE Lighting Solutions, Hubbell, LED Roadway Lighting, Leotek, Lighting Science Group, OSRAM Sylvania, Philips Roadway Lighting, and Philips Lumileds. Their input helps ensure that RFPs based on the specification will result in submissions from multiple manufacturers.

The specification is available with two different user-selectable options to accommodate the different preferences commonly found between municipalities and utilities. The System Specification option is designed to maximize application efficiency, and characterizes luminaire performance by incorporating site characteristics such as mounting height, pole spacing, and number of lanes. The Material Specification option emphasizes luminaire efficiency, which characterizes luminaire performance without consideration of site characteristics.

A “living document” that will be adapted as needed, the model specification will be followed by a supplemental design guide at a later date, and is expected to have a wide national impact for end users looking for best practices in specifying LED streetlights.

To learn more about the Consortium, visit the consortium website.

DOE updates national reference standard for commercial buildings

ASHRAEThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a ruling that establishes the ASHRAE/IES’s 2010 energy efficiency standard standard as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes. In an announcement in the Oct. 19 edition of The Federal Register, DOE notes that ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, offers significant energy savings over the 2007 standard – 18.2 percent source energy savings and 18.5 site energy savings.

With the Oct. 19 ruling, Standard 90.1-2010 serves as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes under the federal Energy Conservation and Production Act. As a result, states are required to certify by Oct. 18, 2013, that they have updated the provisions of their commercial building code regarding energy efficiency to meet or exceed 90.1-2010.

The DOE noted that the newer version of the standard contains 19 positive impacts on energy efficiency. These impacts included changes made through the public review process in which users of the standard comment and offer guidance on proposed requirements. Specifically the positive impacts include:

  • Requirements for daylighting controls under skylights and commissioning of daylighting controls; increased use of heat recovery; cool roofs in hot climates; lower illuminance in certain exterior zones; skylights and daylighting in some building types; reduced ventilation energy; supply air temperature reset for non-peak conditions; efficiency requirements for data centers; lower lighting power densities; control of exterior lighting; occupancy sensor for many specific applications; daylighting control requirements for side-lighted spaces; and daylighting controls in more spaces.
  • Updated chiller efficiency requirements.
  • Extension of VAV fan control requirements.
  • Expansion of new lighting power densities to more retrofits and automatic damper requirements and use of economizers.
  • Minimizes exceptions to switched receptacle requirement.

The ruling comes on the heels of a July announcement that established the 2007 standard as the as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes. The DOE noted that because the 2010 determination was published prior to the two-year deadline states have to demonstrate that their energy code meets or exceeds the stringency of the 2007 standard, states are allowed to file just one certification to address both determinations.

Since being developed in response to the energy crisis in the 1970s, Standard 90.1 now influences building designs worldwide. It has become the basis for building codes, and the standard for building design and construction throughout the United States. ASHRAE and IES publish a revised version of the standard every three years.

Survey Shows Interest in Energy Efficiency High, but Barriers Remain

Inst. for Building EfficiencyThe 2011 Energy Efficiency Indicator survey showed a global increase in interest in energy efficiency, motivated by incentives and public image concerns in addition to energy cost savings. While interest is strong and savings targets are common, barriers still remain.

Seven in 10 executives said energy management was extremely important or very important to their organizations. The top three drivers for pursuing energy efficiency include energy cost savings, incentives and rebates, and enhanced brand or public image.

Although executives recognized the importance of energy efficiency, and many believed there were cost
savings opportunities, they reported significant barriers to pursuing investment. Barriers ranged from organizational structure, to technical capacity, to financial considerations. The 2011 EEI survey identified five key barriers to energy efficiency investments:

  • Lack of awareness of opportunities for energy savings.
  • Lack of technical expertise to design and complete projects.
  • Lack of certainty that promised savings will be achieved.
  • inability of projects to meet the organization’s financial payback criteria.
  • Lack of available capital for investment in project

The survey was administered by the Institute for Building Efficiency in partnership with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and 30 strategic partners around the world.

The Institute for Building Efficiency is an initiative of Johnson controls providing information and analysis of technologies, policies, and practices for efficient, high performance buildings and smart energy systems around the world. The International Facility Management association (IFMA) is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for professional facility managers. The Urban Land institute (ULI) is a research and education organization with members in 95 countries, representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines working in private enterprise and public service.