Posts tagged ‘energy’

August 16, 2016, 9:00 am

Addressing the Growing Trend of Greenwashing

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First came the trend of going green – a good thing. Now the trend is greenwashing – not a good thing.

A company or organization greenwashes by marketing itself as green but not offering products or services that are actually green. A realtor might list a house as being “green,” for example, when none of its components were designed or installed to minimize environmental impact. Or a hotel might claim to have green practices because it washes occupants’ sheets every third day instead of every day, but its lighting, HVAC, kitchens and vehicles are all voracious energy-consumers.

The result is that consumers are now being told to be suspicious of the word “green.” A recent Washington Post article made this very suggestion, telling buyers to “be wary of houses that are marketed as energy-efficient.” There is unfortunately truth to this statement. Some organizations unfairly claim that their products are green or contribute to a greener overall building. The risk is that the field may get tainted for the rest of us; consumers may come to think of green as a gimmick – something they’ve been duped by in the past.

As is so often the case, the best thing we can do is educate. HVAC contractors sitting across the table from homeowners can discuss the importance of energy efficiency in having a green home, pointing toward our zoning systems’ industry-leading efficiencies and how they tie into a host of green technologies like solar panels. Architects meeting with clients interested in green certification can discuss how our VRF systems’ efficiencies consistently help projects earn 28 points across two LEED® categories (Energy and Atmosphere and Indoor Environment) – advancing the project further down the track toward certification. Professionals can also talk with clients about green raters, ENERGY STAR® certification and countless other resources.

As members of the building industry, we need to do our part in educating potential clients so they know what to look for when searching for “green.”

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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September 10, 2015, 9:45 am

AHRI Says We’re Heading in the Right Direction

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VRF technology is the fastest growing segment on the market. A major contributor to its growth over the past decade is the launch of the AHRI VRF Certification Program.

The certification program provides all-inclusive testing, from a full range of capacities to different temperatures to simulate annual usage. It ensures equipment is tested fairly and accurately and that manufacturers’ performance claims are true. Our division has had a 100 percent passing rate for the past three years, underscoring why we’re a leader in the VRF category.

The VRF market is expected to more than double over the next 20 years, from $22.8 billion this year to $47.5 billion in 2024. Testing and regulations will become more stringent as the industry continues to demand higher efficiency. Higher efficiency standards will demand more high-performing products. The consistent validation of our systems’ improved efficiencies tells us we’re heading in the right direction.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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August 19, 2014, 9:59 am

The Most & Least Energy Expensive States

August 19_Most and Least Expensive States For Energy Costs ImageEver wonder the energy cost differentials between state lines? Differences in energy prices can have a big impact on monthly costs for homes and businesses. ECOBUILDING Pulse recently released an interactive heat map of the U.S., which shows where each state falls in terms of total energy costs. The map ranks the states based on the monthly energy consumption averages and the electricity, natural gas and fuel costs recorded in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2012 Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price and WalletHub’s Most and Least Energy Expensive States reports.

Colorado, Washington state and Montana currently lead the nation in lowest total energy costs. New England states are some of the most expensive and Hawaii has some of the highest energy costs in the country, landing in the lists of top five states with the highest electricity and natural gas prices.

You may be surprised by the drastic differences in energy costs from state to state. The report shows that electricity costs four times more in some states than others, and natural gas costs nearly six times more in Hawaii (the most energy expensive state) than in Colorado (the state with the lowest energy costs).

To find out how your state matches up, click here.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
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July 16, 2014, 10:02 am

Study Shows Advanced Controls = Energy Savings

July 16_Advanced Controls and Energy Savings Field Study ImageBack in October, we told you about ASHRAE’s co-sponsored Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign, which encouraged commercial building owners and managers to replace packaged RTUs with energy-efficient systems or retrofit them with advanced controls. A year-long field study conducted by the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) proved commercial buildings could cut their electricity use by an average of 57 percent with advanced energy efficiency controls.

The PNNL team retrofitted a total of 66 RTUs at eight commercial buildings in Washington state, Ohio, California and Pennsylvania with advanced controls. One-minute interval data was collected from the units over a 12-month period. They compared the results to the buildings’ energy consumption pre-retrofit (without advanced controls) and found that:

  • Advanced RTUs resulted in an average of $1,489 energy savings per year.

  • Advanced RTUs reduced energy consumption by 22 to 90 percent, depending on the size of the unit.

  • Energy savings increased with size of unit.

  • Large units (e.g., greater than 15 tons) and units with long runtime (e.g., 24/7 operations) had the shortest payback periods.

  • Upfront costs of installing or retrofitting systems with advanced controls could be recovered in an average of three years.

Based on the results, PNNL concludes that approximately 285 trillion Btus of energy could be saved if just 50 percent of the packaged RTUs in the U.S. were retrofitted with advanced controls. That’s equivalent to removing more than 70 coal-powered power plants or more than 10 nuclear power plants.

Click here for the complete field study results. For a summary of the findings, read the “Improving Operating Efficiency of Packaged Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps” article in the March 2014 issue of ASHRAE Journal.

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