Does Your Facility Need a Deep Energy Retrofit?

January 15, 2016


Does Your Facility Need a Deep Energy Retrofit?

True energy savings is a complicated process. Thanks to the New Buildings Institute’s free tool, you can save it in negawatts to justify the savings involved with an energy retrofit.

To make their tool work for you, feeding it specific, detailed information about your facility is critical. For example, knowing the age of your facility’s roof and how much insulation is already there may make a real difference in the quality of data you get from an online tool.

But, how do you know whether to make simple changes in your facility’s energy footprint or choose a more comprehensive deep energy retrofit?

If your goal is to cut energy consumption by more than 50 percent — beyond simple replacements — a deep energy retrofit may be your best bet.

But, that’s not all the variables you should be considering…

A deep energy retrofit may provide overlooked benefits apart from energy savings, according to How to Calculate and Present Deep Retrofit Value, a free guide published in 2014 by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

In fact, the RMI guide lists quite a few benefits that can generate real opportunities for significant, quantifiable business value. Among them:

  • Retrofit development costs: If retrofit projects can be timed properly with other capital projects, cost overruns could be avoided.
  • Health costs: Smartly retrofitted facilities have been shown to reduce health costs, for example, through better ventilation, temperature controls and access to the environment.
  • Non-energy property operating costs: Adding more occupied space and cutting costs on utilities, maintenance and insurance may be available.
  • Retrofit risk mitigation: By using the best practices outlined in the RMI guide and stating the real risks upfront, true risk mitigation is possible.

The big picture theme here is to look beyond the facility and the simple payback of an energy retrofit, according to Mike Bendewald, a senior associate on RMI’s Buildings Team, as told to Buildings.

“A total deep retrofit payback will likely not be within seven years on a simple payback basis, but when you’re just limiting your perspective to a simple payback, you’re doing yourself and your organization a disservice.

“What you really need to think about is what is this deep retrofit doing? Is it supporting the work that needs to take place and the people within this building?”

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For more guidance on reducing energy costs at your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.