Electricity prices have been increasing in the US and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight – for example, California residential electricity prices went up by 30% from 2006-2012, and are projected to increase by another 47% over the next 15 years, according to the Energy Department figures. As greener energy sources for buildings become more commonplace, it would seem that total electricity cost for these buildings would go down as they use less electricity to power them. However, that has not proven to be the case – it is possibly the federal mandates for cleaner energy through the reducing greenhouse gas and coal emissions that are thought to be driving up electricity prices, as California has one of the most aggressive emission reduction goals and is experiencing the largest electricity price increase.
(Related post: New Obama Carbon Emission Regulations: How States Can Comply)
More and more coal plants are being decommissioned rather than upgraded, which has increased reliance on natural gas as fuel – a much more volatile source in the marketplace because it is prone to price fluctuations. The energy costs of retro-commissioned buildings are a long-term investment and may take years to recoup costs, but they may be experiencing high electricity prices in the meantime that need to be handled.
What building improvements can be made to lower electricity costs?
Utilizing interior window systems with retrofit glass technology can quickly lower all-around energy usage. Thermolite’s RetroWAL™ interior curtain wall retrofit system installs on the inside of existing windows, which reduces air infiltration and the higher R-value of our glazing improves thermal performance, requiring less HVAC system usage to maintain a comfortable temperature of building. Case studies have shown 20% energy savings by upgrading single pane windows to Thermolite’s interior curtain wall retrofit system. Savings are significantly better in cold weather climates when the building is heated using electric, rather than steam.
(Related post: Case Study – Large City Building Model: Upgrading Glass from Single to Multiple Pane Using an Interior Window Retrofit)
Being proactive and making affordable, quick building renovations, like energy efficient window system upgrades, can help improve the energy performance of buildings before rising electricity costs become too much to handle. Contact Thermolite today to learn about our interior window system product options and how they can best fit with your energy efficiency improvement goals.
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The Thermolite engineering staff is an innovative structural, energy modelling, and implementation team that works to create unique window systems alternatives to traditional replacement windows. Our systems protect against blasts, hurricanes, and sound, while being energy efficient and quick and easy to install. We serve a wide range of industry buildings including government, military, historical, schools and universities, financial, health care, hospitality, and offices. Contact us today to learn how we could update your building’s window systems.