'Envision: Charlotte' program a model for urban-area energy use
Article courtesy of Charlotte Business Journal
The meter is running on the Envision: Charlotte effort to cut electricity use in uptown Charlotte 20%, but Duke Energy Carolinas says it’s too early to have any useful statistics from the program.
Vincent Davis, director of Smart Energy Now, says it will be September or October before meaningful figures can be derived from the technology designed to track and report electricity use in 64 of uptown’s largest buildings.
The technology is designed to provide hard numbers on how much power is being used and to quantify how much is saved. Duke also intends to adjust the raw figures to reflect unseasonable weather, building vacancies and other factors.
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” says Tom Shircliff, chairman of the board for the nonprofit Envision: Charlotte. The organization has expanded the project from focusing on energy efficiency to include sustainable practices for water consumption, waste disposal and air quality.
The work on the energy-savings element of the project is the farthest along. Smart Energy Now, set up by Duke to deliver the energy savings promised when the project was announced in 2010, is organized under Duke’s Save-A-Watt program. It must demonstrate energy savings to qualify for compensation from the utility’s ratepayers.
Realizing the program’s goals involves changing the behavior of office tenants and landlords. So while Davis doesn’t have firm numbers to demonstrate any achievements, the work on changing behavior is well under way.
From the Mecklenburg County jail to Johnson & Wales University and the Bank of AmericaCorporate Center, Duke has held training sessions for 600 uptown workers designated by their companies as “energy champions.” It’s their job to come up with creative ways to encourage fellow employees to save energy.
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