Did the nuclear powered six-million dollar man take into account energy efficiency?
“How can I be spending all this money, using all this energy, and not have any energy savings?”
Don’t think of it as: Expensive Project + Massive Energy Consumption = Savings
Think of it as: Efficient Alternative – Expensive Project = Savings
When some people look at a new project, they see the energy and costs involved and assume that the energy savings will just have to be there. If they put in the bare minimum, it takes a while to convince someone that their multi-million dollar project does not have any legitimate identifiable energy savings.
When installing any energy intensive technology, other options should be considered. Assuming that the price tag is equivalent to the energy savings may stop someone from looking for the more efficient alternatives. Knowing what alternatives are available in the market or the most efficient design will help to determine if someone is able to achieve the best bang-for-their-buck.
When people see the price tag for most large projects, their first reaction is most likely to ask what they can do to make it less expensive. Because of the initial sticker shock, some energy efficient additions are shelved to install the “bare minimum” model.
From the Ground Up
Starting from the ground up can offer more opportunities for energy savings than retrofitting an existing system. Ask the question, “Do I want to install this now, because if I wait and try later I will make it a more costly and complicated project?” If someone has taken a look at the project with some knowledge of energy, they will most likely be able to determine if it is worth it to go with a more efficient technology and provide at least a ballpark incremental cost.
Gather Information about the Alternatives
Don’t get taken in by sticker shock and immediately commence with the corner cutting, starting with energy efficiency. People often get something working and go off to the next project, which could leave them with an energy hog for the foreseeable future. In order to have an efficient project, it will take better initial investment. Research will show that these investments should pay for themselves over the life of the process.