By Jennifer Thorne Amann

Exciting new opportunities are emerging for commercial buildings to optimize their energy use. These include not only innovative technologies, but also new approaches to system design, building operations, and financing. ACEEE explores three of these opportunities in new topic briefs, as part of our Emerging Opportunities for Buildings series.

energy useIntegrated building systems use sensors, controls, and software to manage energy use and optimize performance. Studies show whole-building energy savings of 8-18% with introduction of smart building management systems, but more data are needed from a more diverse set of projects. Other benefits to building owners, managers, and occupants include enhanced fault detection, automation, and improved occupant comfort. Efficiency programs are pursuing demonstrations, pilots, and programs to promote these systems and expand experience with the technology and data collection on savings and benefits. These efforts can help increase adoption of these systems in more commercial building sectors and across building sizes.

Energy storage offers another opportunity for energy efficiency and enhanced energy management in buildings. Thermal energy and battery storage systems can increase peak demand savings for building owners and potentially generate additional cost savings through equipment downsizing. Owners, managers, utilities, other program administrators, and the broader community can also benefit from the added grid flexibility and resilience capabilities these technologies provide. Program administrators are implementing several approaches for energy storage, ranging from technical assistance and rebates to real-time energy storage management. Some utilities are installing energy storage systems on customer premises under ongoing utility ownership and control…

To learn more about these energy management opportunities, continue reading Amann’s blog post on the ACEEE website.

Jennifer Thorne Amann is the Buildings Program Director with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors.