Energy efficiency is growing in importance to the business community for reducing operating costs and to air regulators for providing cost-effective air emissions reduction strategies. Implementation of energy efficiency, however, relies on the voluntary actions of decision makers who are often non-technical and have limited capital to invest. Therefore, providing education, direct interaction with energy experts, and site-specific recommendations can be effective approaches to driving action on energy efficiency and improving North Carolina’s air quality.
In 2011, the NC Division of Air Quality (NC DAQ) received a grant from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to educate and assist North Carolina facilities on the benefits of implementing energy efficiency. The primary goal of the grant was to encourage facilities to take voluntary actions to reduce energy use through implementing energy efficiency measures with short payback periods.
To realize these goals, the NC DAQ partnered with two organizations that have expertise in energy efficiency; 1) professors and students from North Carolina State University’s Mechanical Engineering Department, and 2) Waste Reduction Partners. Our partners provided reduced-cost energy assessments and energy efficiency workshops for facilities of all types and sizes over a period of four years (2011-2015).
A total of 77 assessments were conducted at manufacturing and institutional facilities throughout North Carolina, including case studies for facility-wide assessments, landfill gas assessments and wood-fired boiler assessments. The assessments resulted in more than 500 individual recommendations, an ECOs Award, a final recognition ceremony, and a white paper for AWMA.
For more information, contact Robin Barrows.