Profiles in Energy Efficiency

Throughout the region, schools, local governments, businesses, and residents are realizing considerable financial benefits by integrating energy efficiency into their operations and decision making. DVRPC's series of case studies profile cost-effective and replicable energy-efficiency projects in the Greater Philadelphia region.

These profiles not only highlight the projects in large, commercial buildings, but also include work done by homeowners, and by government municipalities in schools, libraries, and for street lights and traffic signals. In the DVRPC region, emissions from stationary commercial and industrial buildings account for 34.7% of total emissions, while residences account for 25.4% of total emissions.

Resources

There are a wide-range of sources of information on best practices, sources of funding, and technical assistance available for improving energy performance in buildings and outdoor lighting in the Greater Philadelphia Region:

EnergyWorks: The EnergyWorks program, funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy, connects home and business owners with available rebates, tax credits and very low-interest loans. Energy Works is a program of the Metropolitan Caucus comprising the five counties of southeastern Pennsylvania (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia, and Montgomery).

PECO Smart Ideas: PECO's Smart Ideas program is devoted to helping PECO residential and business customers save energy. Their website provides a do-it-yourself Smart Home E-Audit, resources for how to realize energy and cost savings, and information on PECO Smart Ideas rebates and cash incentives.

PGW EnergySense: PGW's EnergySense programs offer a range of energy efficiency rebates and grants to help residential and business customers save energy and save money, from single equipment rebates up to comprehensive building audits and efficiency project grants. More information on PGW's EnergySense programs, including rebate applications, can be found at www.PGWEnergySense.com.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager: Portfolio Manager is a free, secure, online tool for benchmarking building energy performance. Portfolio Manager allows you to evaluate energy use across a portfolio of buildings, assess energy management goals over time, and identify strategic opportunities for savings. Buildings that perform particularly well when compared to their peers may be eligible to receive the ENERGY STAR certification. Portfolio Manager generates an energy use intensity (energy demand per square foot) for each building benchmarked. Portfolio Manager also normalizes for weather and several other important building and operational characteristics, assuring comparisons are made on a level playing field.

Profiles

Commercial

ING Building: [0.2 MB pdf] ING is a financial services company. Their building in West Chester, PA implemented several low- or no-cost energy efficiency improvements, including retro-commissioning, HVAC scheduling, better management of the thermostat set point, installation of building control systems, revised lighting layout, upgraded of lighting control technology, and installation of compact fluorescent bulbs. ING saved $104,000 in energy costs from 2006-2010 as a result of the improvements, and will emit 648 fewer tons of carbon dioxide.

Center City Office: [0.2 MB pdf] A retro-commissioning study for this Center City Philadelphia office building identified several low-cost improvements, including a software program that monitors and controls the building's energy usage, a building automation system, strategic scheduling of HVAC start ups, variable frequency drives for condenser water pumps, a revised lighting layout, parking garage lighting upgrade, motion sensing switches for lighting, and removal of unnecessary emergency lighting fixtures. The building is expected to save $64,000 per year as a result of these improvements.

Institutional

Abington Free Library: [0.2 MB pdf] The Abington Free Library central facility and Roslyn Branch in Abington Township, PA, have instituted several energy efficiency measures, including HVAC controls, HVAC and lighting scheduling, an energy management system, air flow management, and upgrades of the lighting from incandescent to LED lamps. As a result of these improvements, the library achieved $4,200 a year in savings from natural gas usage reductions alone. The library is now emitting 28 tons fewer carbon dioxide, a savings of $127,000 per year and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 512 tons.

Abington Traffic Signals: [0.1 MB pdf] In addition, Abington Township, PA, has reduced government energy consumption and lowered their energy bills by replacing 104 incandescent traffic signals with highly efficient LED lights. The township saw a 90% reduction in its energy costs for traffic signals after all lamps had been replaced.

Candlebrook Elementary School: [0.2 MB pdf] As part of a district-wide commitment to reduce energy use in the Upper Merion School District, Candlebrook Elementary School located in King of Prussia, PA, identified easy and cost-effective measures to reduce energy. These measures including implementing a centralized Building Control System, in-house retro commissioning, upgrades to the lighting system and hiring a full-time energy management staff person. As a result, the school is projected to save $105,000 from 2005-2010, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 503 tons of carbon dioxide over this same period.

Residential

Blau-Thompson Residence: [0.2 MB pdf] This South Philadelphia home installed several innovative energy efficiency measures: a solar hot water heating system, radiant heating, ENERGY STAR windows, roof sheathing, ceiling fans, increased natural floor lighting, and a reflective white roof.

Jones Nestor Residence: [0.3 MB pdf] This Fairmount Park neighborhood home installed efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, a new energy efficient heating system, a programmable thermostat, replaced ductwork, installed ceiling fans and energy efficient windows, and conducted yearly upgrades and system adjustments. These improvements will save the family an expected $3,917 from 2002- 2010, and the home is emitting 4.3 fewer tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Homeowner from Paoli: [0.5 MB pdf] The installation of air sealing and insulation greatly improved the comfort of this Paoli home by reducing its draftiness by 24%. The energy improvements resulted in an estimated annual energy savings of $140. Additional ventilation also helped to improve the home's indoor air quality. This homeowner participated in the residential portion of the EnergyWorks program.

Price-Rome Residence: [0.6 MB pdf] The Price-Romes insulated, air sealed and installed measures that reduced draftiness, and remediated mold issues in their Wayne home. This work reduced air leaks in the home by 34%.The Price-Romes reported marked improvements indoor thermal comfort and air quality and energy cost savings of $496 per year. The Price-Romes participated in the residential portion of the EnergyWorks program.

Morris Residence: [0.5 MB pdf] The application of insulation, weather stripping, and air sealing reduced the amount of draftiness in Morris' Philadelphia home by 20%. This reduction in air infiltration together with the installation of a reflective white roof coating and programmable thermostat is expected to help Morris save $215 per year in natural gas and electricity usage reductions. Morris participated in the residential portion of the EnergyWorks program.

Martin Residence: [0.5 MB pdf] The Martins air sealed and insulated their Yardley home, resulting in a 25% reduction in air infiltration. This work greatly improved the home's indoor thermal comfort and humidity levels and resulted in an estimated annual energy savings of $212 per year. The Martins participated in the residential portion of the EnergyWorks program.

Homeowner from Merion: [0.5 MB pdf] This Merion-based homeowner had air sealing, insulation and weather stripping installed throughout the home. This work resulted in a 38% improvement in air infiltration and an estimated energy cost savings of $883 per year, achieving a return on investment in less than 5 years. This homeowner participated in the residential portion of the EnergyWorks program.