October 2001

Volume 10, Number 10

Green Topics

Cambria Energy Use Update

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When we reported in EBN Vol. 10, No. 4 that annual energy use in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s recently constructed Cambria office building was coming in at 62,300 kWh, or $0.18/ft2 ($1.94/m2), we noted that this seemed too good to be true. Alas, this suspicion has been borne out. The incorrect energy data occurred because the utility company had mixed up two addresses and was billing the DEP for Cambria based on energy use at another building!

The corrected data, based on nine months of actual energy bills, indicates a much more reasonable, if disappointing, annual energy use of 283,800 kWh, or $0.82/ft2 ($8.85/m2). This performance includes the contribution of the building’s photovoltaic system to date. While this number is substantially higher than the $0.52/ft2 that was modeled for the building, it is still more than 50% better than a typical office building in the Northeast. Analysis and testing by engineers from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has revealed a number of fixable problems that should make it possible to bring the building’s performance closer to that projected by the model, according to consultant Marcus Sheffer of Energy Opportunities. NREL’s report is due out shortly.

– NM

For more information:

Marcus Sheffer

Energy Opportunities



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October 1, 2001