Did you know that in Europe, approximately 40% of the final energy is consumed in buildings, namely lighting systems, air conditioning systems, hot water production and electrical equipment? It is therefore essential to adopt energy efficiency measures that allow Portugal and the European Union to fulfill the commitment made under the Paris Agreement.
For these commitments to be achieved, it is essential that there is a reduction in energy consumption in buildings, either by improving maintenance and operation actions or by adopting energy efficiency measures.
How to reduce energy consumption in your company (commerce and services)?
The identification of energy efficiency measures can be carried out by the company owner, if he is sensitive to the effect, and by identifying the systems that consume more energy. You can replace your equipment with more efficient solutions, as well as adopt behavioral change actions, which greatly influence energy consumption.
If the owner is not yet aware of energy efficiency issues, or wants a more detailed analysis or an energy audit, it is advisable to contact accredited and experienced technicians who, in addition to suggesting improvement measures, may also issue a certificate attesting to the energy class of the property.
The building’s energy classification follows a scale composed of 8 classes (A +, A, B, B-, C, D, E and F), in which class A + corresponds to a building with better energy performance, and class F corresponds to to a building with worse energy performance. The certificate may also contain information on the proposed return period for the suggested measures.
RESULTS OF THE ENERGY AUDIT
The energy audit aims to analyze the thermal behavior of the building or fraction, considering the constructive solutions (insulation, wall thickness, types of windows and frames, among others), to analyze the air conditioning and ventilation solutions, to evaluate the equipment’s operating status and lighting and its state of maintenance. Other variables such as the occupancy and functioning profile of the facilities and equipment are also taken into account. This analysis results in energy efficiency measures for implementation in the building or fraction that reduce energy consumption and the respective costs and that, in parallel, improve the comfort of its occupants.
The energy efficiency measures to be implemented, in general, focus on:
The measures of which focus on insulations, glazing and window frames (eg replacement of single glass with double glazing and wooden frames with PVC, installation of sunscreens);
The measures of which focus essentially on replacing less efficient luminaires and / or lamps with more efficient solutions (eg using LED technology), installation of presence sensors, installation of systems that allow the regulation of the luminous flux favoring natural lighting;
These measures normally involve replacing systems that use the R22 refrigerant with more efficient units with a higher energy rating “A”. The operating conditions of these systems can also be adjusted according to the characteristics of each space and the needs and external conditions. Whenever possible, it is recommended to install centralized systems to the detriment of local / individual systems. Avoid obstruction of the insufflation diffusers and equipment, guaranteeing a uniform distribution of the air conditioning throughout the spaces; it can also only go through the regulation and optimization of air conditioning temperatures and set points;
AQS production systems
Measures related to hot water production systems (AQS) focus on optimizing the way in which the current systems work and operate, as well as renewing and replacing them with more efficient technologies (eg installation of condensing boilers; installation of boilers) biomass; installation of solar thermal systems);
Renewable energy systems
In order to take advantage of natural resources for energy production, whenever possible, and a consequent reduction in the energy bill. The options essentially concern the following systems:
- Solar thermal systems: hot water production for DHW and air conditioning;
- Photovoltaic solar systems: production of electric energy.
Awareness raising actions for employees and users of buildings, whose measures focus on changing behaviors that lead to energy savings, allocation of responsibilities and objectives by departments;
The measures focus on the implementation of automatic routines that make it possible to reduce the energy consumption of the equipment in periods when they are not used, eliminate the standby periods, (eg installation of time controllers in monitors, copy centers, faxes, scanners and multifunction equipment);
Monitor energy consumption through periodic analysis of energy bills (electricity, natural gas, others).
The operations and maintenance actions of buildings and their equipment can also allow a reduction in energy consumption, if implemented, suggesting:
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