Energy efficiency investment payback periods depend on a building’s typical use and features. Energy consumption audits are required to accurately assess a building’s energy saving potential. In some cases, energy efficiency solutions put forward by the eco-electrical sector can yield sizable energy savings with unimpaired user comfort.
- Time segmentation: adjusting energy consumption (central heating, lighting, etc.) to user attendance hours.
- Space segmentation inside a building or even inside a room.
Such fine-tuning of energy consumption can lead to significant savings which nevertheless depend on respective building characteristics.
It should be noted that commercial buidings can achieve the highest savings. With mostly closed and middle-size rooms, educational facilities and office space allow an accurate segmentation of heating and lighting consumptions. Active energy efficiency solutions could achieve energy savings up to 55 to 60%.
Conversely, malls, train stations, airports or leisure facilities (museum, gyms) are large buildings open to the public, whose energy use can therefore not be so easily segmented. Although smart consumption monitoring remains an efficient solution, potential energy savings are in the range of 30 to 35%.
Key sectors to lead the way
Sector-specific studies assess the profitability of active energy efficiency solutions for all sorts of buildings. For instance, smart consumption monitoring schemes in hotels and restaurants could represent substantial energy savings. Cafés, hotels and restaurants account for 7% of all commercial buildings in France and consume a yearly average of 241kWh/m2, that is an average annual energy bill of 21.6€/m2. With an estimated initial active energy efficiency investment of around 45€/m2, payback takes only 6 years in this sector.
Studies conducted by the eco-electrical industry showed that office buildings have the highest energy saving potential, with a 14€ initial investment required to save one MWh (that is 90€) each year. This was confirmed for instance by studies from the HOMES program on the Savoie Technolac office building.
Those active in the eco-electrical industry think that the nationwide implementation of active energy efficiency solutions in residential and commercial buildings could achieve energy savings in the range of 13 to 20 billion euros a year.
- French energy outlook, 2010, French ministry of sustainable developement
- « Competitiv technologies for a sustainable development », august 2012, Centre d’Analyse Strategique overview
- World Energy Outlook, 2012
* The eco-electric sector gathers 5 federations and trade unions which constitute a set of competences from applied research to integration, installation, utilization and maintenance of solutions for the final consumer, including industrial manufacture and specialized distribution.
- FFIE : Fédération française des entreprises de génie électrique et énergétique (French Federation of Electric & Energetic engineering companies)
- FGME : Fédération des grossistes en matériel électrique (Federation of electric supplies wholesalers), which Rexel is a member
- Gimélec : companies that provide electrical and automation solutions on the energy markets
- IGNES : Industries du génie numérique, énergétique et sécuritaire (Industries of digital, energetic and safe engineering)
- SERCE : Syndicat des entreprises de génie climatique et électrique (Unions of climatic and electric engineering)