How Deep Energy Retrofits Generate More Energy Savings

The term “energy retrofit” refers to the process of bolstering a facility’s current energy systems by replacing and upgrading old or outdated mechanical systems and finding and installing systems more suited to the facility for added energy efficiency. Installing renewable energy systems like solar panels is also a big component of an energy retrofit. So what is a deep retrofit? Let’s discuss the difference, as well as how deep energy retrofits can help your organization generate more energy savings.

What is a deep energy retrofit?

A normal energy retrofit will typically involve processes such as swapping incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs with LED lights and either adding parts to HVAC units to improve their efficiency or replacing them entirely if they’re old or outdated. Deep energy retrofits differ in that they go one step further, taking a more holistic view of energy management in your facility. Some processes involved in deep energy retrofits include (but are not limited to):

  1. Replacing poorly insulated windows to reduce HVAC load.
  2. Adding a white cool roof to reduce heat absorption and lower air conditioning costs.
  3. Installing advanced building automation controls.
  4. Installing larger systems for more in-depth energy cost control, such as natural gas chillers, combined heat & power (CHP) units, geothermal heat pumps, VRF systems, and more.
  5. Adding in renewable energy products like solar panels or wind turbines to generate on-site power and lower energy demand.
  6. Incorporating smaller systems such as occupancy sensors and destratification fans to minimize use of lighting or increase heating and cooling efficiency.

The big takeaway: more energy savings

Deep energy retrofits guarantee more energy savings because greater effort is taken to holistically minimize operating costs. Going further beyond simple mechanical renovations and lighting replacement can yield huge results in terms of lowering your energy bills, as evident from the chart below.

Solar demand cost reduction chart

As you can see, the more appropriate renewable or energy efficiency products you install, the better your results are in terms of lowering energy demand and, consequently, lowering operating costs.

Benefits of deep energy retrofits

You may be wondering: why would my company need a deep retrofit? The answer is simply that, if done appropriately (where your facility is first properly assessed with an energy audit), and if engineering and construction work is done by an experienced contractor, energy savings are a guarantee. That means more dollars in your bottom line.

Sustainability is also another key justification to get a deep retrofit. More and more, customers want businesses they support to be more environmentally conscious; this means there can be huge public relations benefits for undergoing a deep retrofit and, conversely, negative PR if your organization is found to be negatively impacting the environment.

Why you should do an energy project

As technology has advanced, it’s now become possible to get the best of both worlds in terms of improving sustainability while also lowering operating costs in a cost effective manor. Now more than ever is the perfect time to get an energy project done.

Financing deep energy retrofits

Deep energy retrofits can be financed or incentivized in a variety of ways, but some of the most common ways are:

  • C-PACE financing
  • Leases or Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
  • Traditional bank loans
  • Third party capital funding
  • Rebates and grants

These are just some of the many ways a deep energy retrofit can be financed or incentivized.. If the right solutions are proposed in your retrofit, and if the right financing method(s) is selected, your retrofit could result in positive cash flow from day one with no up front costs.

The bottom line

EnergyLink has proven that retrofits of this level can be extremely beneficial economically. To see proof of the results we’ve helped clients realize, check out our case studies.

Interested in learning more about deep energy retrofits?

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