U.S. corporations join energy efficiency push

June 14, 2012

As corporations around the world are looking to cut operating costs as a means of increasing revenue, companies in the U.S. are gravitating toward energy efficient practices as a way to green their image and limit electricity bills.

Energy efficient buildings are on the rise around the world, and companies like Starbucks and Staples are aiming to upgrade and retrofit their structures in order to cut long-term operating costs, USA Today reported.

These companies are looking to align their energy efficiency goals with the standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and their consumption and conservation projects may eventually serve as a model for other businesses.

According to the news outlet, more than 50 other partners across the country have signed on to the DOE's Better Building Challenge, an effort that President Obama noted would help firms save money and reduce pollution in the country.

"Our goal is to have leaders step up to showcase solutions," says Kathleen Hogan, DOE's deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency. She noted that organizations like Marriott Hotels and Hilton Hotels have used smart meters and dashboards to monitor energy use for buildings, as this can help to measure the rate of usage and cut consumption.

Environmental Protection reported that Honeywell has joined the energy efficiency effort, as the company has created a new building management system and is relying on smart grid systems to monitor and manage consumption levels on all properties associated with the company.

The company created a special program, the ComfortPoint Open Building Management System, to control heating and cooling for equipment in buildings.

"This system was built from the ground up specifically for HVAC management," said Greg Turner, vice president of global offerings for Honeywell Building Solutions. "We focused on delivering a simple, effective platform that gives operators maximum control of facility comfort. And even though it's easy to use and navigate, there are powerful applications running in the background to uncover potential efficiency improvements and bottom-line savings."

These types of advances in building energy management systems are part of what the DOE's Energy Efficient Buildings Hub is trying to promote. This effort is looking to transform the commercial real estate market in order to cut overall costs and consumption for structures across the U.S., and specifically in the Greater Philadelphia region.