Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Studies show that in spite of past progress, there is still potential for large energy savings in buildings; ENERGY STAR estimates that the average commercial building wastes 30 percent of the energy it uses. This waste can be reduced at a cost of less than 3 cents per kWh and $2.50 per million Btu saved. We’ve compiled the following resources and information to explain:
- The benefits of energy efficiency
- How to improve building energy efficiency
- Building energy code
- Financing options
- How OED supports building energy efficiency
- How to contact us
The benefits of energy efficiency
Energy efficiency is good for buildings because it achieves the triple bottom line –
Profit – reducing waste and cutting energy consumption means more revenue to grow your business
People – reducing waste and cutting energy consumption means a cleaner, healthier air, which means healthier and more productive people
Planet – reducing waste and cutting energy consumption means fewer greenhouse gases being emitted, helping create a cleaner environment
And the triple bottom line matters because this management approach has been shown to make companies more efficient, competitive, and it will spark innovation – which are all drivers of profitability.
How to make your building more energy efficient
We’ve developed a quick guide to describe a few free, low cost, and higher cost options to get you started. In addition, there are a number of tools and resources to help you reduce wasted energy and cut your energy use overall.
- Rocky Mountain Power’s wattsmart program for businesses offers incentives and technical assistance to encourage businesses to adopt energy efficiency improvements.
- Questar Gas’ THERMWISE program for businesses offers rebates for energy efficiency improvements.
- U.S. Department of Energy develops and deploys cost-effective solutions that help increase efficiency and reduce the cost of powering commercial buildings.
- Building America Solution Center provides access to expert information on hundreds of high-performance construction topics, including air sealing and insulation, HVAC components, windows, and indoor air quality.
- ENERGY STAR resources help you build an energy program that saves you money from day one. High achieving buildings can also earn recognition for their energy savings by applying for ENERGY STAR certification.
- LEED is an international standard that recognizes a building’s energy efficiency and sustainability.
Building energy code
With the adoption of H.B. 316 on July 1, 2016, all new buildings in Utah are required to meet the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) commercial standard. The new standard can be found here. A short educational video produced by the International Code Council detailing building codes can be found here.
In support of the Governor’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) analyzed the cost effectiveness of adopting updated energy codes in Utah. The analysis confirms that updating Utah’s commercial and residential codes to the 2015 standard is cost effective. The analysis concludes that any costs borne in meeting the 2015 commercial energy code would be fully recovered through energy savings in one year; residential costs would be recovered through savings in only seven years.
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency is a national database that monitors funding opportunities in Utah. A few financing options that are worth noting include:
- Utah’s statewide Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program (state and local financing)
- U-Save Energy Efficiency Fund (state financing)
- Rocky Mountain Power wattSmart program (utility incentive)
- Questar Gas thermwise program (utility incentive)
OED and building energy efficiency
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE)
C-PACE offers $0 down, 100% financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects on commercial buildings. OED administers Utah’s statewide C-PACE program to help streamline and standardize C-PACE projects for a more navigable experience. The statewide C-PACE program is available to all municipalities, those that opt-in receive technical assistance, information and resources, and outreach and education.
U-Save Energy Efficiency Fund (U-Save)
OED administers U-Save, a revolving loan fund to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in city, county, and school district buildings. Loans are available for up to 12 years at a low interest rate.
OED provides training to general contractors, developers, engineers, architects, building inspectors, code enforcement officials, and other interested professionals on the current residential and commercial energy codes. These trainings include presentations from industry experts to talk about high performance building practices. Continuing education credits are available. Please email email@example.com if you would like to be notified about future trainings.
ENERGY STAR Task Force
Utah has teamed up with Colorado, Indiana, Tennessee, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to raise awareness of the successful, voluntary, ENERGY STAR program and related tools available to increase energy efficiency. Read a press release here.
Better Buildings Initiative
This initiative aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade.
Energy Services Coalition (ESC) Utah Chapter
OED has partnered with the Energy Services Coalition (ESC) to re-establish the Utah Chapter. The ESC Utah Chapter provides education and outreach on energy performance contracting in the state. Information and resources about the Utah Chapter can be found on the dedicated website.
Military Installations Energy Collaborative
OED arranges quarterly meetings between the energy managers of the multiple military installations throughout Utah. This group allows each installation to share their current projects, experiences with energy efficiency and renewable energy, and best practices for achieving their mission.
Please direct inquiries to Shawna Cuan, Energy Efficiency Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-538-8724