A 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.