WASHINGTON - The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) announced that it has launched its "Online Guide to Energy-Efficient Commercial Equipment," to help businesses control costs by reducing energy consumption through efficiency, says the organization.

"By cataloging the continuous wave of new equipment aimed at making commercial buildings more efficient," said Harvey Sachs, ACEEE's buildings program director, "we developed an online resource that can stay abreast of all of the new developments coming to market." He added, "We plan to update the information periodically and to provide other enhancements in order to make life easier for commercial equipment decision-makers who are overloaded with information and competing claims about performance."

The guide addresses three areas common to commercial buildings: lighting, HVAC systems, and energy-efficient motors.

  • Lighting accounts for more than 40 percent of commercial sector electricity consumption in the United States, says ACEEE. Its byproduct, heat, has a great effect on air conditioning loads. Best practice lighting provides equal or greater lighting quality while cutting energy use by up to 50 percent, even for buildings with fluorescent lamps throughout, ACEEE says. Side benefits include improved building appearance and aesthetics, and also increased building asset value (for both owner-occupied and owner-leased revenue-producing space).

  • HVAC systems have improved due to significant advances in the past decade, says ACEEE. For small buildings, performance far better than building code requirements is widely available, often with integrated ventilation and economizer sections that improve air quality and control costs.

  • Energy-efficient motors to handle building needs are more easily chosen now because of new programs to certify premium motor performance, notes the organization.

    The online guide also covers office equipment, packaged refrigeration, and ice makers. The guide is available at http://aceee.org/buildings/coml_equp/index.htm.

    Publication date: 11/29/2004