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Buildings’ energy efficiency

Many countries around the world depend on imported energy. The EU already imports over 50 % of energy. Due to the climate changes, which we are daily surprised by, and generally increasing scarcity of resources, this number might grew to 70 % of imported energy by 2030.

In our previous blog we already wrote that the buildings are the largest consumer of energy. At a global level buildings and facilities are responsible for 60 % of electricity consumption, 12 % of water consumption, 40 % of waste and 40 % of the material consumption. These numbers are not negligible, so the shift to smart surveillance and improvement of energy efficiency in buildings is a logical next step. With constant regulation of heating, cooling and lighting of commercial and residential buildings, we would be able to assess the ratio between actual costs and savings that would result from improved energy efficiency.

Traditional energy companies, which in the past only offered fossil fuels, are aware of this and are already expanding their solutions in the field of energy efficiency in buildings. One of the leaders in this field is the Slovenian company Petrol, which offers innovative solutions in the field of smart cities in partnership with SmartIScity Ltd.

For residents saving energy and investing in improving energy efficiency not only brings cost benefits but also environmental benefits. From corporate and government point of view, energy efficiency is also important from an additional reason – the economy. Such investments bring a significant boost to the economy.

However, if the city wants to know where it can achieve the best improvement, it has to have information about which buildings in the city are the most energy-intensive. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the five largest energy consumers in the real estate category that consume about half the power used by all commercial buildings are:

  • Shops and Services (shopping centers, car shops, dry cleaners, gas stations) consume 15 % of the total energy,

  • Offices (Professional and government offices, banks) consume 14 % of energy,

  • Education (primary, secondary and high schools, universities) consumes 10 % of energy,

  • Healthcare (hospitals, medical clinics) consumes 8 % of the energy and

  • Accommodations (hotels, apartments, retirement homes) consume 6 % of energy.

Excess consumption is not only spoken about and actual savings are possible in this sector, proves the study “Energy saving potential using modern electrical installations”, in the execution of the Institute for Building and Energy Systems of the German University of Applied Sciences Biberach, with its calculations and measurements. With building automation and by establishing communication between the different systems in the buildings, very significant energy savings can be achieved:

  • Depending on the results of studies, using a variety of automation solutions, energy savings are possible up to 40 % in commercial buildings.

  • The necessary investments in building automation are relatively low compared to the energy savings and lower operating costs of the building, which they bring.

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