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Is Power Efficiency the New Energy Efficiency?

Linda Hardesty

Green Energy ManageA whitepaper “The Next Energy Frontier: Power Efficiency” by Green Charge Networks postulates that all the low-hanging fruit from energy efficiency measures has already been picked and that power efficiency is where the future lies.

“After four decades of replacing light bulbs, wall insulations, and inefficient appliances, most of the low-hanging fruits are gone. It is increasingly difficult to eke out more savings on the energy side, and the solutions are becoming complex and costly,” states the whitepaper.

For businesses, the price of energy (kWh) has held steady or decreased, even in traditionally expensive markets such as California, due to fracking, domestic production, and deregulated competition. Energy efficiency will continue to be a driving force, but the pace is slowing and it has reached a point of diminishing returns, states the paper. The problem is power (kW), not energy (kWh), says Green Charge Networks.

Demand charges based on the maximum throughput of energy consumed at peak during the billing period have skyrocketed for businesses, often making up 50 percent or more of the total bill. This cost could be moderated through intelligent energy storage and sophisticated software, giving rise to a new class of power efficiency solutions, says the paper.



One comment on “Is Power Efficiency the New Energy Efficiency?

  1. Suggest the author look into Evaporcool.com; it is a proven solution that redefines low hanging fruit for HVAC coincident peak demand reduction.
    The percentage of peak demand from commercial building cooling continues to increase from about 45% in the late 90′s to over 50% today. As base load energy usage from fans, blower motors and lighting has decreased the peak associated with cooling naturally increases. While there are measures to increase HVAC efficiency, most are associated with part loading conditions. During periods of extreme heat, when the peak demand for a building is likely to be set, measures like variable speed compressors and fans don’t help. That is where the Evaporcool technology kicks in, it is highly cost beneficial, 2-1 better Total Resource Cost Test, lightweight, small footprint, no integration with building controls, a fraction of the cost of Demand Response with persistent benefits and higher utilization rates.

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