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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Retailers Checking 'Nice' on Energy Savings List

The following was gleaned from a newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Retailers Checking 'Nice' on Energy Savings List
December 27, 2011

NREL's Jennifer Scheib checks lighting levels as Rois Langner records them in the grocery section of the SuperTarget in Thornton, Colo. Target is a DOE Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) Partner.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder

Residential and commercial buildings account for a staggering 40 percent of energy use in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are working with the nation's commercial building owners to discover new and innovative ways to reduce commercial building energy use.

DOE's Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) program is a public/private, cost-shared program that pairs selected commercial building owners with DOE's national laboratories and private-sector technical experts. The goal is challenging, yet simple: new commercial construction is designed to consume at least 50 percent less energy than today's code allows (ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2004), and retrofits are designed to consume at least 30 percent less energy.

The potential energy savings means a financial benefit for companies and consumers alike.

Good for the Earth and the Bottom Line

NREL Engineers Michael Deru, left, and Ian Doebber examine rooftop units at the Thornton SuperTarget. Through its CBP partnership with NREL, the store could potentially save more than 2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder

"An underlying idea with CBP is to demonstrate that energy efficiency makes good business sense," NREL Senior Engineer Greg Stark said. "We are helping the companies develop better stores that use significantly less energy than their current prototypes — and for roughly same cost as their current buildings."

Coming up with energy saving solutions that can be repeated throughout the U.S. is a key CBP goal.

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