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Fine-tuning buildings' energy systems urged
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, September 06, 2009
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PACEworx™ News Article Recap:
What if there were a way to save the nation $30 billion a year in energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 300 million tons a year and create thousands of new jobs - using existing technologies and at a price so cheap that it would pay for itself in the first year?

Evan Mills, a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, says there already is one: building commissioning, the art and science of maximizing the energy efficiency of commercial buildings.

"Approximately 40 percent of all humanity's greenhouse gas emissions from energy come from the building sector," Mills said.

Mills' work was supported by the Public Interest Energy Research Program at the California Energy Commission, which along with utilities and private firms supports research into new tools for calculating and verifying energy savings from building commissioning, increasing the number of commissioning workers and training programs and removing obstacles to the growth of the practice.

Bridging the interests

Those obstacles are daunting, said Norm Bourassa, an energy commission specialist, such as bridging the interests of building owners who generally pay for commissioning and of tenants who reap the rewards in the form of lower utility bills.

California has supported commissioning research for years, Bourassa said, particularly since 2004, when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called for 20 percent energy savings in all state-owned buildings by 2015.

Business is booming at firms such as Quantum Energy Services & Technologies, or QuEST, an energy-efficiency firm in Berkeley, CA, that conducts free energy assessments of municipal buildings under a program supported by Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Denny recalled a building where an air intake system routed fresh air past two sets of pipes - one to heat air on cool days, the other to cool air on hot days.

Carbon Offsets:No
Green Building:No
Energy Technology:
    HVAC Technologies
   Energy Conservation


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Arnold Schwarzenegger
California Governor

Evan Mills

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Matthew Denny
Senior Engineer

Quantum Energy Services & Technologies

Norm Bourassa
An Energy Commission Specialist

PACEworx News Published Date: September 08, 2009
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