Why safe, reliable electrical construction is critical for energy future

Warrenville-based PowerForward DuPage recognizes that safe and reliable green electrical construction is critical for our nation’s energy future.

The following energy solutions and practices can power buildings and communities forward, with less waste and more efficiency — energy conservation, energy efficiency, and responsible energy production.

Energy conservation

Energy conservation uses less energy while allowing the individual to continue with everyday activities without interruption. Advanced controls on both the utility and the customer sides of the electric meter significantly help energy conservation. For example, electrical systems that automatically adjust lighting and environmental controls as daylighting and occupancy change are called “energy management systems.” EMS helps reduce building operating and maintenance costs, as well as energy waste.

Energy efficiency

Reducing the power and reducing a building’s environmental impact is one of the first steps an owner can take to lessen building operating costs and lower a building’s environmental footprint. Energy efficiency also involves using more efficient materials and equipment to generate, transfer and use energy. Because conservation can only save so much, a systematic approach to cutting energy use is necessary to be truly green.

You will want to partner with a qualified electrical contractor who can perform an “energy audit” to determine how much power is being used and what systems are requiring the most. The contractor then can offer a list of options for reducing power use or improving energy efficiency.

If you do decide to move forward with improvement, upgrades or retrofits, C-PACE is a tremendous financial tool for commercial property owners and developers as it provides low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects for commercial properties. The financing is repaid as an assessment on a commercial property’s tax bill over a set number of years not exceeding the useful life of the project.

The program provides a win-win for the area’s commercial property and building owners, as well as for local government, as it incentivizes property renovation and reinvestment in aging commercial structures.

Responsible energy production

Alternative energy sources, like solar photovoltaic panels and distributed generation, are best used when the technology and equipment necessary for alternative power is designed and installed correctly. Safety and performance considerations apply for powering a building using alternative energy sources in the same manner used for traditional electrical transmission and distribution.

Going green

In closing, going green is friendly to the environment and is more cost effective in the long run. Buildings account for almost half of all greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing these emissions requires the design and construction of green buildings be planned accordingly.

Representing more than 350 of DuPage County’s most highly sought-after electrical contractors, PowerForward DuPage is uniquely positioned to connect property and building owners to the most highly skilled and trained electrical talent in the region — electrical contractors who can safely transform buildings to be environmentally responsible as well as healthy places to live and work.

•Karyn M. Charvat is executive director of PowerForward DuPage in Warrenville.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.