At the 2015 Energy Efficiency Forum, government and private industry officials began to determine the policies, business models and technologies the country will be pursuing. The event, which was sponsored by the US Energy Association and Johnson Controls, focused on several areas of interest to green technology interests around the world. All of this impacts lighting retrofit projects and commercial lighting in general.
Boosting Free Market Industries
From the innovation, development and manufacturing capabilities in the US to current favorable government policies, energy-saving performance contracts and tax credits, the US is a great place to continue creating new opportunities in energy-efficient technologies. Simplifying the tax code is one options put forward by leadership to give the average American more money to invest in these industries. Federal initiatives pushing increased energy efficiency in new products and improving energy efficiency in existing products are being pushed to the benefit of the average American business owner. As a business owner, if you replace your current lighting system with energy-efficient LED lighting retrofits, you’ll see an immediate change on your utility bill and fast payoff of the technology These savings mean there are more funds available to put into expanding your business, which in turn expands the American economy while still protecting the environment because there is no related increase in energy consumption.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things provides ample opportunity to improve energy efficiency by combining network technologies with physical machines. An estimate by the Gartner Group projects over 25 billion machines will be connected through smart technologies by 2020. With over 400 million smart meters installed in 2014 alone, it’s likely that projection will come to pass. Whether it’s applied to smart grid equipment, homes or business applications, there are significant inroads being made. As more connections are created and smart technologies are incorporated, more data is provided to energy suppliers, allowing them to operate at higher efficiencies based on past performance and faster response to severe weather events. It’s estimated these improvements will reduce energy usage between 3-8%.
An Energy Efficient System
The goals of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are ensuring reliability, security, cost and environmental impact, all of which energy efficiency helps provide. It helps meet additional needs in the market without creating demand for more power generation. By making energy efficiency more affordable, technological advances help balance the current cost of technology against future operational costs. LED lighting retrofits are a great example of this, where there is a fast payback of the technology on top of amazing utility savings down the road. At the same time, utilities can use rate regulation to pay for smart meters while federal appliance standards, building codes, tax incentives and policies encourage more energy-efficient systems.
Reducing Government Energy Use
Beyond private industry, governments are taking the initiative to reduce their utility usage. As the economy continues recovering, state, local and federal governments are looking at ways to take care of items left untended during the financial crisis without neglecting current needs. One way this is accomplished is through the use of energy-efficient technologies that have a fast payback rate and continued energy efficiency in the future. For example, current federal goals are to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses by 40% in the next ten years. Not only does it reduce the potential effect of those gasses on the earth, it also saves up to $18 million in energy costs.
Department of Energy Initiatives
But what are the current DOE programs that help reduce energy consumption?
- Energy Star is saving consumers over $50 billion annually, with $20 billion additional expected by 2030 as the standards evolve with technological advances.
- Building America has worked with builders and building engineers to develop over 100 innovations that reduce water heating, HVAC, weatherization and other areas.
- Better Buildings initiative demonstrates energy-efficient building solutions with over 250 partners and average yearly savings of over 2%.
- Clean Energy Trust is supported by the DOE and over 70 corporations to create a bridge from innovation to end sales for clean technologies.
- Race to Zero Student Design Competition challenges student designers to develop a zero-impact home design.
Our world is changing to promote environmental stewardship through innovation that reduces energy use while still providing significant technological advancements. LED lighting retrofits are one of many excellent ways to improve a business’ energy consumption. Contact Retro-Tech today to improve your business’ bottom line.