3/29/2012 9:21 AM
A recent Greenbang article asks the question “Is efficiency becoming like the weather, in that everyone talks about it but nobody does anything about it?” The article is focused on energy efficiency in buildings in the UK, but the problem appears to be prevalent in the US also.
Depending on where you get your data, buildings account for 38 to 40% of energy consumption in the US. Eighteen to 20% of that consumption is due to commercial buildings (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Building Workgroup).
That’s a big piece of pie. So why aren’t more organizations taking active steps for energy efficiency?
The Greenbang article suggests several reasons why this is the case in the UK:
Does the US face these same obstacles?
The Obama Administration is planning to increase funding for energy efficiency by 52% in 2013 over the 2012 amounts, according to a recent article by the Alliance to Save Energy. Regardless of whether or not you support this spending and Obama’s other efficiency initiatives, you can’t really argue that the U.S. government is not acting on energy efficiency.
As for energy efficiency standards, many are already in place and more are being developed all the time. Whether or not the bar is set high enough is a matter of opinion.
Energy efficiency, conservation, and renewables are all over the news, and programs abound to educate in schools and workplaces. A simple web search reveals a plethora of lesson plans, podcasts, and videos. Yes, like the weather, efficiency gets a lot of talk.
But who will take action?
I think it’s time for facility managers to shine. Facility managers can take the lead. They can educate executives in their organizations about the cost savings that can be realized through efficiency improvements. They can become advocates for efficiency and work from within to achieve results.
Not sure how to start? Here are five steps to energy efficiency you can use to get started and some great advice on planning and implementing energy efficiency upgrades.
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