Deep Savings and Net Zero Energy: Market and Opportunity Assessment
In the fall of 2012, NYSERDA and ERS collaborated on a market and opportunity assessment of deep savings projects and net zero energy buildings. The study, sponsored by NYSERDA, examined these concepts in nonresidential applications for both new construction and existing buildings. The research focused, in particular, on offices and retail and educational facilities. Drawing on the capabilities and experience of both organizations, NYSERDA and ERS developed a conceptual and definitional framework that served as a foundation for subsequent research and analysis, provided a summary of available market intelligence including costs, potential, and target markets and participants, identified and examined barriers to implementation including market skepticism, technical potential, economic issues, and design process constraints, and finally created a road map for net zero and deep savings program development in light of all that we had found. The intention is to leverage these findings and apply them to the projects of interested clients including one of the world’s largest retailers and a major educational institution that is constructing a new campus.
While the research included an examination of existing literature and studies, it was primarily composed of original analyses on topics such as measure mix, empirical project costs, and existing and achievable EUIs across segments, vintage, climate, and so on. An in-depth qualitative assessment of the measures most commonly associated with deep savings and net zero highlighted the design tradeoffs necessary to achieve extremely high levels of energy performance (≤50 kBtu/sf/yr and savings ≥50% relative to peer buildings). An understanding of the necessary design tradeoffs helped to explain the observed cost trends associated with newly constructed net zero buildings, which tend to exhibit low or no incremental costs compared to code-compliant peers. Furthermore, by examining the design elements common to high performance buildings, the technical and economic challenges unique to retrofits and major renovations became clear. Through the combination of these understandings, we were able to identify pockets of opportunity for deep savings and net zero in existing buildings while illuminating the process that can unlock extremely low levels of energy consumption in new construction, major renovation, and existing buildings. While the analyses were New York specific and focused primarily on the three segments noted above, they offer conclusions that appear universally relevant to deep savings and net zero across climates and building types. Additionally, the analytical techniques developed can be applied to new data to glean climate- and segment-specific insight.
Are you looking for more Deep Energy information? Read the Deep Energy Savings in Commercial Buildings article co-authored by ERS's Stephen Achilles and Mike Rovito and NEEA's Phill Guay that was published in Western Energy's WE publication.