The Cheapest Energy Is the Energy You Don’t Use: New Technologies to Reduce Energy Demand in Older Buildings
Older buildings are one of the country’s biggest sustainability challenges. Energy-hungry legacy systems cost businesses and taxpayers millions of dollars and waste valuable resources. New technologies for thermal generation, on-demand distribution, and energy recycling combined with state-of-the-art building automation and online metering can be implemented immediately to reduce building energy demand, saving money and resources.
The Dearborn HVAC Infrastructure & Energy Initiative reduced demand by ~1.3 MW and is expected to save approximately 4,000,000 KWh of electricity, 24,000 MCF of natural gas, and nearly $500,000 annually in natural gas and electric energy costs compared to the baseline use. This is a successful, real-world example of how simple, easy-to-install, and cost-efficient technologies can have exponential benefits in cost savings and energy reduction. By implementing similar strategies in the thousands of older, hydronically heated and cooled buildings, over 6,000,000 MWh of electrical energy could be saved.
Vytau Virskus, BSME, JD, is principal of Millenium Energy Company, a Michigan business that uses the most current technologies available to integrate legacy systems with the newest open protocol energy management solutions. Mr. Virskus developed the patented E~flow hydronic variable flow control and a unique new patented metering system to manage demand-based, just-in-time delivery of heating and cooling for commercial and industrial applications, with the goal of increasing energy efficiency for long-term sustainability. He began his career in 1975 as the Environmental Systems Manager and Operations Engineer for MSU, responsible for the installation and development of a campus-wide building automation and energy management system that ultimately serves more than 20 million square feet. His experience includes the design of commercial building automation systems, development, and construction of numerous power generation and energy savings performance contract (ESPC) projects, and he has served as an energy management consultant for numerous industrial, institutional, and commercial clients.