The Importance of Energy Efficiency to US Industry

U.S. industrial sector companies recognize the importance of energy efficiency as a cost-savings method at their energy-intense sites, according to Jones Lang LaSalle white paper “Manufactured Energy Savings.”

More than ever, these companies rely on sustainability for value-driven and innovative solutions to reduce consumption and, in turn, operational expenses.

In its Annual Energy Outlook 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that the industrial sector consumes one-third of the nation’s total delivered energy, and projects that the sector will report the second-largest increase in total primary energy use between 2010 and 2035.

That said, identifying and implementing effective solutions to reduce energy will remain a priority for the industry for years to come. According to Bob Best, Executive Vice President of Chicago Operations and Product Lead for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Energy and Sustainability Solutions Group, industrial tenants and investors can cut costs and enhance property values by taking the following measures:

  • HVAC: Making basic improvements to HVAC operating practices and systems can reduce energy expenses by 11 percent, on average.
  • Lighting: Re-lamping, de-lamping and integrating bi-level lighting, LED lights and daylighting have proven to drastically reduce energy expenses.
  • Renewable Energy: Installing rooftop solar panels and ground source heat pumps reduces existing greenhouse gases, supports corporate/tenant sustainability goals and enables building owners to earn roof rent, reduce energy costs and offset building improvement costs.
  • Building Envelope: Configuring air control systems at loading docks, reconfiguring loading areas to block air flows with insulated walls and using simple “venting strategies” can minimize air leaking through a building’s roof, walls, windows or doors.
  • Process Controls: Auditing air systems, motor controls and water systems to determine efficiency and identify areas for adjustments can lead to savings.

In addition to taking the above steps to increase energy-efficiency, industrial property managers are also leveraging “constant or continual commissioning.” This measure involves predictive analytical software that measures, tracks and adjusts systems and equipment to increase optimization levels.

Jones Lang LeSalle state that technology alone can’t improve the efficiency of industrial buildings, though. Professionals, well-versed in energy efficiency must guide industrial sites to high performance. 

Picture of Allegheny Ludlum Steel Furnace by Alfred T. Palmer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday 13th September 2012

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