Enigin PLC the Energy Saving People

Upgrade to Energy Efficiency

October 25th, 2010 by Steve Hill Leave a reply »

Anissa S. Febrina has written and interesting article in the Jakarta Post about upgrading buildings so they are energy efficient.

The article, most of which appears below, states how often finding the money for the energy monitoring solutions and the load-side products can be a stumbling block, but the article explains that the money saved from reduced energy bills over a fairly short period provides a great return on investment.

What is also of interest is the article does highlight how Indonesia is now realising how important it is to become energy efficient. I know from speaking to people from Indonesia that climate change, energy efficiency and security has not been a concern – hence it is good to see they are sitting up and taking notice.

The article mentions how they need to become efficient to make the best of a strained power generation system – a situation faced by most of the world.

Part of the article:

Living in a tropical country, air conditioned high rises often serve as our oasis. Little do we realize that the comfort they provide comes at a cost.

Since the 1980s economic boom in Asia, high-rise offices, malls and residential compounds have been sprouting here and there. Most of them are more than a decade old now and seem in dire need of a makeover.

Not so much for the sake of appearance, but to curtail their use of high-priced energy, as the building sector currently the second largest consumer of energy.

Retrofitting – in this context, the changing and adding various energy-efficient features in an existing building – has thus become the new buzzword in the field of green construction.

Sucking up between 31 and 40 percent of the total energy produced globally, buildings, especially existing ones, are places where energy can be saved, experts at a recent International Green Building Conference in Singapore say.

“We can potentially save two thirds of the energy consumed in existing buildings by retrofitting them,” World Business Council Energy Efficiency in Buildings co-chairman Constant Van Aerschot said.

“The amount of carbon dioxide emissions originating from buildings, through their use of energy, has been underestimated. While most of us thought the rate stood at around 19 percent, it has actually reached 38 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions,” Aerschot added.

Buildings set to be retrofitted are first audited to identify key inefficient areas, then upgraded with newer and more energy-efficient equipment and monitored to ensure they are run in an energy–efficient manner, Singapore minister for national development Mah Bow Tan added at the launch of the Singapore Green Building Week.

Sounds like three simple steps, but how does one retrofit existing buildings then?

Well, companies in recent years have been busy developing an array of technologies to assist with this process, ranging from energy measurement devices for the auditing process, adjustable glaze on glaze walls to reduce heat absorption, to automated building operation systems.

Even a simple coating of acrylic on the roof of a house can potentially help reduce the energy consumption required for air conditioning.

But, then comes the one thing that often hampers the process. Money, money, and yes, money.
But, guess what, despite the extra investment required, retrofitting a building with energy-efficient features only costs around 5 to 11 percent more than business as usual operational costs.

“We initially had to invest an extra 8 percent into [retrofitting] our headquarters, but quickly recovered our expenses in just a couple of years,” India-based hotel developer ITC Limited technical general manager H. C. Vinayaka said.

Through annual savings in energy consumption, the costs incurred retrofitting buildings are recovered in two to four years time, green building practitioners say.

But, still, additional investment is required. And it’s not always available.

“This is where monetization through carbon trading for buildings can come into play,” said Maria Atkinson, global head of sustainability for Australia’s Lend Lease Corporation.

Buildings can make use of the existing clean development mechanism scheme to finance retrofitting initiatives.

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3 comments

  1. Ian says:

    When energy saving priorities are being recommended most decisions are driven by cost considerations, namely “pay-back” as the above article shows, to quote; “We initially had to invest an extra 8 percent into [retrofitting] our headquarters, but quickly recovered our expenses in just a couple of years,” India-based hotel developer ITC Limited technical general manager H. C. Vinayaka said.

    This retrofit installation provided an exceptional return on investment of circa 50%!!!

    At a time of significant economic uncertainty and massive pressure to reduce one’s Carbon Footprint is there anywhere else better to invest?

    Installing a Real Time Energy Management System like the Eniscope from Enigin PLC can enable companies to measure, control and eliminate unnecessary waste with laser-like precision providing pay-back on investments often within two years.

  2. You know, my new home was actually build int 1964 and at that time they did not add in the insulation. So we did this and saved a lot of money, and the best of all, we could actually keep the rooms warm.

  3. park hampers says:

    There are a lot of great points made int his article. I really feel like putting a little money into improvements that will make your home more energy efficient is really worth it.

    I live in an incredibly drafy apartment and am getting ready to invest in cellular shades and things of that nature to try and insulate our home better… If everyone did things like that, the savings (both monetary and energy wise) would be amazing.

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