Legend Power’s PM Expo 2009 experience has come and gone. I am walking away from this show utterly blown away by the number of technologies and good building maintenance practices available to buildings owners, facility manages and energy engineers to help reduce energy consumption.
In major urban centres, Toronto being a prime example, up to 60% of green house gas emissions comes from buildings. At first this may seem like bad news, but after visiting PM Expo I realized that this bad news could quickly become good news. We all have the ability to make buildings more efficient, including our homes and offices. If every building in the Greater Toronto Area was retrofitted with energy efficient technologies, within a few years total GHG emissions from buildings would quickly decline. Many energy efficient building retrofits are cost effective and will generate positive cash flow by reducing utility costs. We do not have to wait for wind and solar farms to come online to reduce GHG emissions; we have the ability to do that right now.
Here is a list of a few energy efficient technologies that were represented by a large number of companies at PM Expo:
- Building Envelope. Buildings that are poorly insulated are inefficient users of energy. I won’t name names, but the hotel I stayed at has a terrible building envelope. I could feel the cold Toronto air coming in through the closed windows forcing the heating system to work harder than it should have to in order to keep the paying guests happy. Installing a proper building envelope can reduce energy consumption by up to 25% — that’s a lot of energy!
- Energy Management Software. The old adage that “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” rings true in the world of energy conservation. Energy Management software, such as Vancouver’s own Pulse Energy, can help point out inefficiencies in a building’s energy use, which can then be easily corrected. Energy consumption can be reduce 5-25% by properly managing energy use.
- Voltage Optimization. Although Legend Power wasn’t an exhibitor at the show, I believe voltage optimization is well worth mentioning. Simply by regulating a building’s incoming voltage, energy consumption can drop by as much as 10%.If used correctly, these technologies could help reduce energy consumption and GHG emission from commercial buildings by up to 40%. PM Expo had over 1,000 exhibitors, many offering energy-efficient products and solutions. If these three solutions can reduce energy consumption by 40%, the potential to save even more is tremendous.