Energy efficiency is no longer an opinion!

It saves money, the environment and elevates the stature of a company's brand

Over the weekend, more than 170 countries and territories took part in earth hour, switching off the lights for one hour to  symbolize support for the fight against climate change. Now it is time to go beyond the hour. Energy efficiency is the number one priority. By doing more with less we can make an impact.  Up until a few years ago, there was no official recommendation for how to make an installation energy efficient. The criteria were defined in agreement with the installers or the owner without reference to or assurance of a minimum standard.

But now, thanks to the introduction of IEC 60364-8-1 on November 2014, things have changed. That standard provides information about how to achieve an energy efficient installation. It delivers requirements, standards and recommendations applicable to systems and electrical installations for all types of buildings.

One of the main purposes of this standard is to minimize the energy losses in the installations. Usually those decisions are made when a building is designed or renovated and benefits are harvested during the building’s lifetime. For this reason, the standard IEC 60364-8-1 is considered during the building’s design and wiring design stages. Standards are followed regarding voltage drop, conductor sizing and the optimization of the main switchboard placement. Another important consideration is to use energy when it is needed and at the lowest cost, that means using it at the right time! To do that, circuit designs should be defined and grouped with energy efficiency in mind. Designers can, for example, reduce energy consumption by incorporating sensors and related controls in lighting, air-conditioning and other systems. Furthermore the performance of the installation can be monitored and managed with appropriate monitoring and metering equipment.

Generally, in the past, installation standards have focused on safety only, so the introduction of energy efficiency was a revolutionary step. Now there has been a shift from opinion to an absolute measure of efficiency related to adherence to a set of energy efficiency standards.

Why energy efficiency is so important?

Being energy efficient has so many advantages it is difficult to argue against it.

First of all, following the energy efficiency principles, it is possible to save money and in a broader sense improve the overall economy. In fact, when the energy efficiency standards are applied to utilities, big infrastructure and cities, there are savings to be made on a grand scale.

Energy efficiency also means saving precious resources, reducing pollution, and generally improving the environment, which includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in a reduction in global warming. In this way companies that are energy efficient gain a positive perception for their brands.

Positive effects are observed in property value too. A building that costs less to maintain and to run, while at the same time benefit from acoustic insulation are more desirable to purchasers.

Moreover, energy efficiency brings improvements to the quality of life. The energy efficiency intervention for the HVAC systems, for example, can also improve the indoor air quality and result in better health. So thanks to energy efficiency we can also benefit from reductions in health care spending.

How can we support you?

Over the years, many solutions have been developed by ABB to help customers save energy or reduce fuel consumption.

The range of solutions offered by ABB cover both residential and industrial customer’s needs.

On this page, it is possible to see some examples of ABB innovations that are helping to use energy in a more efficient ways. Now it is time to go beyond the hour and look towards energy efficiency.

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About the author

Roberto Vanetti

I am the Global Segment Marketing Manager responsible for E-mobility and Energy Efficiency within Electrification Products division based in Milan, Italy. I have a 17 years' experience at ABB in Sales and Marketing. I enjoy the E-mobility and Energy Efficiency challenges to make our world a greener and better place.
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