Often overlooked in the scheme of energy efficiency, natural gas has improved considerably through recent efficiency efforts, according to a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
In Natural Gas Efficiency: Progress and Opportunities, the organization outlines how new technologies, price effects, building codes, appliance and equipment efficiency standards, and utility-funded energy efficiency programs have made natural gas a more viable energy source for commercial buildings.
Some states and utilities have experienced annual energy savings increases of more than 1% of commercial and residential sales annually, and the states that achieve the highest savings are those with energy efficiency resource standards and incentives for utilities that are more energy-efficient for their customers.
The report also addresses how these incremental improvements by 1% each year can be achievable over the next 10-20 years, and that there are additional ways to find ways to improve the cost-effectiveness of already inexpensive natural gas. It highlights commercial building retrofits and advanced controls as just two of the many ways to capitalize on natural gas for your facility.
Opportunities identified in the report include combined heat and power (CHP), coordination with electric and water utilities, and fuel switching. Of these, the report lists multiple opportunities for CHP deployment with other utilities.
“Natural gas makes up a significant portion of our energy mix, and there are still many opportunities to increase our efficiency, keep energy bills in check and reduce our emissions,” explains Steven Nadel, Executive Director of ACEEE. “By doing so, we can improve the U.S. economy and environment.”
Visit www.aceee.org to read the report.