Mounting concerns over climate change and fossil fuels have led to many standout innovations in alternative energy. These include the advanced use of wind, solar, battery storage and even experimental sources such as ocean waves and tides. These technologies garner the most interest in the press and in government circles, but energy efficiency should always be the first step when considering alternative energy sources.
A “negawatt” generated through energy efficiency is just as important as a megawatt generated by any other source, including alternative energy. This is why when considering the implementation of alternative energy solutions, it’s important to make certain that the location you’re improving is as energy-efficient as possible and can support the improvement. Otherwise, unnecessary money, time and resources can be incurred.
Wasted energy can be obvious, such as lights left on throughout the night or air conditioning that fully runs when a building is unoccupied. Unfortunately, often these power drains aren’t apparent until they show up in the power bill.
Lighting can certainly be a source of waste when it remains on whether or not a space is in use. But another power drain from lighting occurs with the use of traditional incandescent bulbs or fluorescent tubes, which are power-inefficient. Also, spaces that don’t make effective use of daylight require power-draining artificial light during times when it wouldn’t otherwise be needed.
Heating and Air Conditioning
The heating and cooling systems of an energy-inefficient building are another cause of tremendous waste. Aside from heating and cooling systems running when not actually needed, there are often hidden “leaks” where cool or warm air escapes the building. Improper insulation makes it more difficult for a building to maintain a constant temperature. Inefficient windows cause a loss of heat or cooling, or heat or cold to negatively affect the building from the outside. A roof that doesn’t properly reflect heat from the sun raises the building temperature unnecessarily.
Solving such issues begins with engaging Envocore to perform a detailed analysis of your building’s energy consumption, in areas of lighting, heating and cooling. From this analysis, plans for making your building truly energy-efficient can begin.
For lighting, we perform a full audit of the building to discover the way lighting is used, how efficient space lighting is, and how the use of LED instead of traditional bulbs and tubes can help. From this audit, we evolve a complete plan and design for energy-efficient lighting.
The solutions which can then be implemented include automation-controlled smart lighting and sensors that dim lights in unused spaces. Daylight harvesting can be employed so that lights aren’t unnecessarily used when daylight adequately illuminates a space. Lighting controls can even be interconnected to an HVAC system, providing occupancy information that can trigger temperature setbacks automatically. Many more energy efficiency options are also available, depending on client needs.
Our unique building envelope solutions make it possible, as we state it, to keep the outside climate outside and keep the inside climate inside. When a building is properly sealed, its HVAC system does not have to work nearly as hard. Your natural gas and electric bills are positively impacted as a result.
To begin with, we go through the entire building with thermal imaging equipment. It detects areas where heat or cold is leaking out of the building, such as cracks in wall-to-ceiling joints. It additionally isolates areas that aren’t adequately insulated. Cracks found can then be appropriately sealed, and adequate insulation can then be installed where needed.
Windows are also a significant area through which heat and cold negatively affect the interior of a building. If detected as a problem, windows can be made more efficient by adding an extra pane or by replacement with more modern glazing.
If a roof is found to be an issue, it can be replaced with one that more adequately reflects heat.
Envocore’s services are bundled with those of an Energy Service Company (ESCO) that deals directly with you in making your building completely energy efficient. If you are in the market for an alternative solution such as solar or wind, the ESCO providing you this solution can bundle our services with theirs. An ESCO can also provide you with all needed upgrades to mechanical systems, such as HVAC and building automation.
Let’s get started. Begin your energy-efficient project here.