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Deep Energy Retrofits – Chicago’s Energy Efficiency Opportunity

19 August 2011 | Posted By John Jennings 3,084 views No Comment

Retrofitting our existing building stock to achieve substantial energy savings is quickly becoming a major theme for city governments across the nation in an effort to cut energy consumption – and save taxpayers money.  In a recent GreenBiz article written by Rocky Mountain Institute’s Michael Bendwald, the author looks at the City of Chicago’s new commitment to retrofit 6.5 million square feet of city-owned space as an indicator of the uptick in demand for these services.  As Bendwald points out, this is one example, among many across the nation that’s bolstering the retrofit industry.

However, Bendwald goes on to explain that retrofit projects such as what’s slated for Chicago should aim to achieve 30 to 80 percent savings rather than the 15 to 20 percent that’s typically captured in “shallow” retrofit projects.  A  recent report issued by NEEA’s BetterBricks initiative, which the author references, demonstrates how 50 recent existing building retrofits have achieved significant energy savings by undergoing Deep Energy Retrofits – a whole-system approach that bundles efficiency measures to form one integrated building design.  Read Bendwald’s GreenBiz article to learn how existing buildings – and the City of Chicago – can go beyond conventional retrofits to achieve serious energy savings at a comparable ROI.  Also, NEEA is in the process of developing a Deep retrofit program for the region, so stay tuned to the BetterBricks website as tools and resources become available in early 2012.

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