Building Efficiency


ENERGY STAR™ qualified windows, doors, and skylights can reduce your energy bills up to 15% while helping protect the environment. Source: Energy Star

Energy use in commercial and industrial buildings in the United States contribute 45 percent of national emissions of the greenhouse gases linked to global climate change. Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) are the principal greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels to produce heat and power for buildings. Source: Energy Star (PDF)   

leaf Compressed Air

In the U.S. industrial sector, compressed air systems account for an estimated $5 billion per year in energy costs. Many industries use compressed air systems as power sources for tools and equipment used for pressurizing, atomizing, agitating, and mixing applications. Optimization of compressed air systems can provide energy efficiency improvements of 20%-50%. Source: US Department of Energy
Useful resources for compressed air

Analyzing Your Compressed Air System (PDF)

This fact sheet can get you started with a seven-step action plan to analyze and improve your compressed air system. Source: North Carolina Department of Enviroment and Natural Resources

Improving Compressed Air System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry (PDF)

The U.S. Department of Energy's sourcebook is designed to provide compressed air system users with a reference that outlines opportunities for system performance improvements.  Source: North Carolina Department of Enviroment and Natural Resources

Minimize Compressed Air Leaks (PDF)

Leaks are a significant source of wasted energy in a compressed air system, often wasting as much as 20-30 percent of the compressor’s output. This fact sheet highlights leak detection problem areas. Source: North Carolina Department of Enviroment and Natural Resources

Energy Efficiency in Air Compressors (PDF)

In addition to having a great impact on energy use, improvements in a compressed air system are also often relatively cheap and have immediate results. This fact sheet outlines areas for compressed air energy savings. Source: North Carolina Department of Enviroment and Natural Resources

Success Story

Fuji Film (PDF)

In an attempt to eliminate equipment failures and downtime issues associated with the plant’s compressed air system, FUJIFILM Hunt Chemicals U.S.A.’s in-house maintenance team worked with a team of faculty and students from the Tennessee Technology University Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) to conduct an assessment at its Dayton,Tennessee, facility to identify opportunities for improvement. Following the assessment, the team formulated an implementation plan that would increase the system’s reliability, reduce system maintenance costs, reduce the facility’s overall energy use, and eliminate the use of nitrogen when compressed air systems are down. Source: Department of Energy

leaf Electrical Motors

Motor-driven equipment accounts for 64 percent of the electricity consumed in the U.S. industrial sector. Within the nation's most energy-intensive industries—which are the focus of ITP's Industries of the Future strategy—motor systems consume approximately 290 billion kWh per year. A motor management program (PDF) may bring significant payoffs in reduced electricity bills. Source:North Carolina Department of Natural Resources 

Useful resources for electrical motors

Buying an Energy-efficient Electric Motor (PDF)

Efficiency is an important factor to consider when buying. This fact sheet shows you how to obtain the most efficient motor at the lowest price and avoid common problems.

Determining Electric Motor Load and Efficiency (PDF)

Far too often motors are mismatched for the load they are intended to serve. This fact sheet briefly discusses several load estimation techniques to help in comparing costs of an existing standard motor with an appropriately-sized energy efficient replacement.

Replacing an Oversized and Under- loaded Electric Motor (PDF)

This fact sheet will assist in decisions regarding replacement of oversized and under loaded motors.  

Western Area Power Administration

Over half of all electrical energy consumed in the United States is used by electric motors. Improving the efficiency of electric motors and the equipment they drive can save energy and reduce operating costs.

US Department of Energy

On this page, you will find best practices resources that are specific to motor systems. These include publications, software tools, and training information.

Success Story

Broward County installs energy efficient electric motors in air handlers and elevators

Installed energy efficient electric motors in chillers under the energy performance contract in the Main Courthouse and other facilities.


leaf Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Heating and cooling systems are the single largest consumers of energy in buildings with cooling occupying as much as one third of that electricity consumption.  Have your system inspected by a heating and cooling contractor before heating and cooling seasons. Making smart decisions about your business’s HVAC system can have a big effect on your utility bills. When replacing your heating and cooling equipment, look for the Energy Star.

Useful resources for heating, ventilation and air conditioning

Criteria for ENERGY STAR Qualified Light Commercial HVAC

For the purposes of Energy Star, light commercial HVAC equipment includes the following: air-source air conditioners, air-source heat pumps, and gas/electric package units. As mentioned above, both split system and single package units rated at 65,000 Btu/h or up to 250,000 Btu/h are eligible for the Energy Star label. As it is used primarily in commercial settings, three-phase equipment rated below 65,000 Btu/h may also qualify for the label. Source: Energy Star.

Easy saving tips: Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Whether you own or lease your building, you typically need lighting, heating, air conditioning, power for office equipment, and other services to stay in business. This guide will help you to maximize energy efficiency, which will save you money while helping the environment. Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.

Improving the performance of your heating and cooling system (PDF)

Heating and Cooling System Upgrades chapter will help you identify the opportunities for improving the performance of your heating and cooling system based on the type of system that you have in place. “Best Ways to Save” and “Take Action” provide checklists for cooling and heating upgrade opportunities and benefits. The Heating and Cooling Survey Appendix will assist you with evaluating the current condition of your systems and opportunities for improvement. Source: Energy Star.

Success Story

FLL Airport Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning Upgrades

The Broward County Aviation Division completed the implementation of several improvements to increase the efficiency of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system at FLL by installing high efficiency equipment including watercooled centrifugal chillers and towers in Terminals 2, 3, and 4.

Improved HVAC efficiency and use of environmentally‐friendly refrigerant (R134A) will benefit FLL through increased energy efficiency and the reduction of unnecessary use of hazardous
substances which may be harmful to the environment.


leaf Roofs

Americans spend about $40 billion annually to air condition buildings - sixth of all electricity generated in this country.  Energy Star qualified roof products reflect more of the sun's rays. This can lower roof surface temperature by up to 100F, decreasing the amount of heat transferred into a building. Energy Star qualified roof products can help reduce the amount of air conditioning needed in buildings, and can reduce peak cooling demand by 10-15 percent. During building design and when your existing roof needs replacement are both excellent times to consider reflective roofing. Source: Energy Star

Useful Resources for roofs

Green Roofs: A green roof is a vegetative layer grown on the rooftop. Green roofs have many benefits including reduced energy use, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, enhanced storm water management, and improved quality of life. For more information on green roofs, please visit the EPA’s Reducing Urban Heat Islands: Compendium of Strategies.  

Chicago Green Roofs

Provides links and resources along with best management practices of green roof projects in the city of Chicago.

Green Roofs

Provides information of the green roof industry along with updates in upcoming seminars and the latest in green roof technology.

Roof Savings Calculator

The roof saving calculator was developed as an industry-consesus roof savings calculator for commercial and residential buildgings using whole-building energy simulations.

Success Story

Broward County Installs Highly Reflective Roofs

A total of 27,900 square-feet of highly reflective roof surface was installed on Broward County buildings to reduce solar heat gain in the air-conditioned space, increasing reflectivity from 12% to 78%. FPL's Building Envelope incentive is in process. The estimated environmental benefits include lower energy usage and GHG emission reductions.  The energy reduction for the installation of highly reflective roof and insulation is 73,336 kWh which is equal to a cost savings of $6,600.  This results in a reduction of 44 tonnes GHG emissions, which is equivalent to the annual GHG emissions from 9 passenger vehicles.  Source: Broward County Government Operations Group 

leaf Windows, doors, skylighting

Installing ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors, and skylights shrinks energy bills — and carbon footprints — by about 7-15 percent compared to non-qualified products. Source: Energy Star

Useful resources regarding windows, doors, skylighting

Energy Star qualified windows, doors, and skylights can reduce your energy bills up to 15% while helping protect the environment. View Energy Start windows and doors for Consumers section. 

Benefits Include:

  1. Save money and more!  Installing Energy Star qualified windows, doors, and skylights lowers energy bills and saves you money. With more efficient windows, you also use less energy, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
  2. Get Comfortable!  Do some of your rooms feel like a sauna in the summer? Put an end to overheated spaces. Energy Star qualified windows, doors, and skylights keep your home’s temperature consistently comfortable. A standard double-pane window allows approximately 75 percent of the sun’s heat into your home. With Energy Star qualified windows you can stay cool all summer long. Most Energy Star qualified windows reduce the “heat gain” into your home more than typical windows do, without reducing the visible light. You get the light you need without the uncomfortable heat
  3. Protect Your Valuables!  Many Energy Star qualified windows, doors, and skylights have a special coating on the glass that is like sunscreen for your house.

Energy Star window savings estimates

Here you can compare the annual savings by city of the energy star and the tax credit windows replaces.

Benefits of energy star windows & doors

Installing Energy Star qualified windows, doors, and skylights lowers energy bills and saves you money. With more efficient windows, you also use less energy, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Success Story

Install window film on western-exposed glass at W. Regional Courthouse to reduce heat gain from afternoon sun (PDF)

Installed solar reflective film covering 10,000 square feet of tempered glass windows at the West Regional Courthouse, keeping 2,000,000 Btu/Hr (200 Btu/Hr/sq. ft.) of heat from the sun from entering the building.

Insulation improvements in selected County buildings (PDF)

Several facilities improved insulating values in ceilings and walls resulting in energy savings and rebates from our utility. The reduced amount of heat penetrating the spaces lowers the air conditioning bills every year, provides for a more comfortable environment for employees and patrons, and extends the life of business equipment and furnishings. 

leaf Lighting

Useful resources for Lighting

Energy Efficiency in Industrial Lighting (PDF)

This fact sheet provides descriptions of common lamp types along with basic advantages and disadvantages of each for help determining the best energy efficient lamp to meet the needs of a facility. Source: North Carolina Department of Environment Natural Resources

Common Industrial Lighting Upgrade Technologies (PDF)

Due to the phase-out of the incandescent bulb and magnetic ballasts combined with companies’ need to find new ways to cut costs, many are reviewing their current lighting arrangements in search of easily replaceable and money-saving opportunities. This fact sheet will provide information on the following lighting types and upgrade options: Fluorescent Lighting and High-Bay Lighting. Source: Department of Energy

LED Lighting

Energy Star qualified LED lighting holds numerous benefits in industrial lighting.  They reduce energy costs, reduce maintenance costs, reduce cooling costs, offer convenient features, and is durable because they don’t break like incandescent bulbs.  Source: North Carolina Department of Environment Natural Resources

CFL Retrofits in Commercial Lighting (PDF)

High efficiency screw-in compact fluorescent lamps are an important cost saving technology that can be retrofitted in a number of commercial lighting applications. Source: Energy Star

Fluorescent Light Disposal

Mercury is an essential ingredient for most energy-efficient lamps. Typical fluorescent lamps contain mercury, of which only a very small amount is in vapor form. EPA’s Recycling Mercury-Containing Light Bulbs web site contains important information about fluorescent lamp disposal. Source: Environmental Protection Agency

Success Story

Fort Lauderdale Hollywood-International Airport High Efficiency Lighting (PDF)

Installation of high efficiency lighting in FLL terminals and other buildings. Upgrading the standard T12 fluorescent lamps and ballasts to T8 fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts. Incandescent luminaries/lamps have been replaced or retrofitted with compact fluorescent lamps.

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