Efficient energy use can be a challenge for many households and organizations, but its financial and environmental benefits are worth the undertaking. Some families may be forced to reduce budgets for basic necessities like food and medicine so they can pay for high energy bills. Businesses can reduce energy insecurities by employing efficient energy use strategies or by considering companies like NorthWest Engineering Service, Inc. for energy assessment.
The government and other public and private organizations can consider creating energy policies with higher and stronger standards. This will encourage manufacturers and business owners to create and provide products with much higher efficiency levels.
Smart Energy Use
Businesses need to get smart about energy use and consider efficiency in all decisions including those of operations, leasing, and valuation. This can involve, for instance, tracking the energy use of individual tenants and pieces of equipment to better understand how energy is distributed and to know whether or not it is being used efficiently.
Some cities have passed energy standards and building tune-up policies to allow building owners and tenants to see, in real time, how buildings are using energy and how they compare to others. Having this data triggers a virtuous cycle of healthy competition, as it drives continuous improvements and lowers overall operating expenses, air pollutants, and carbon emissions.
Businesses can also benefit from committing to stronger baselines and using them as a way to encourage further improvement. Business owners can ensure that all their buildings are built and optimized to their highest performance levels.
In the same way, states and cities need to adopt stronger building energy codes and be able to support and enforce them better. Strong incentives and programs can increase energy savings and provide health and environmental benefits for years to come.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s energy star program, for instance, gives businesses and consumers the necessary information for them to make informed investments and favor options that are more efficient. Essentially, these kinds of public and private initiatives can prompt manufacturers and buildings to compete for product efficiency.
An improvement in equipment standards can also increase energy efficiency. U.S. standards on energy efficiency have been successful and have allowed households to save money on energy bills. The continued development and progress of these standards is important not only for local energy consumers, but also because the U.S. holds influence over international markets. Energy efficiency ensures that demand for HVAC equipment does not contribute to further disastrous climate effects.
Expanding the Research
Research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy supports the development of key energy efficiency technologies. Further research can work to expand already invested research on efficient technology and solutions. This can contribute to improving energy performance of buildings and equipment. Research investments establish a critical foundation of best practices, technical expertise, and public-private partnerships that can drive economic efficiency and inspire innovation.
Energy efficiency is an economic opportunity we can use to reduce energy bills and improve environmental conditions for the future. Both public and private initiatives should strive to make building and energy efficiency the norm instead of the exception.