In September, ENERGY STAR announced that it had temporarily suspended its certification process in the U.S. after
concerns were raised about the updated
scoring model. The program is under review.
Scores were expected to drop across the
board because of the increased number of
buildings participating in ENERGY STAR
and the updated metrics used to calculate
scores. According to The Wall Street Journal,
many property owners were “shocked”
and “didn’t think their scores would fall so
far they would no longer get the coveted
ENERGY STAR status.”
“The review period will help us ensure
that the models are working as intended
to deliver energy performance metrics that
empower you to make the business case
for owning and operating energy-efficient
buildings,” the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) said in a statement. “EPA will
work in conjunction with stakeholders and
technical experts to conduct this analysis
The review period will be conducted in
1. Listening and engagement
2. Analysis based on feedback
3. Communication of results
In its statement, the EPA said that this
review period will include further evaluation
of score changes for U.S. buildings of differ-
ent sizes, locations and fuel mixes. Enesta
Jones, senior press officer for the EPA, says
that the first phase (listening and engage-
ment) is complete for all property types.
During that time, ENERGY STAR solicited
and collected feedback online. Phase two
has begun for office buildings.
“We’ve completed a preliminary analysis
of office scores, based on the comments
we received, and are currently discussing
the results with stakeholders who provided
comments to us,” Jones says. “During these
discussions, we’ll be determining the next
level of analysis to be conducted.”
This August, ENERGY STAR announced
that scores – which range from 1 to 100 –
would change due to an update in its per-
formance metrics on the most recent data
available, which are based on a 2012 survey.
This survey is conducted every five years,
but the one done in 2007 had to be thrown
out because of a methodology issue. That
means scores have been based on a survey
that’s 15 years old.
It was projected that schools, office buildings and retail would experience the largest
drop in score.
Sarah Kloepple (sarah.kloepple@buildings.
com) is a staff writer for BUILDINGS.
Trim Your Escalator’s Energy Bill
MODERNIZATION OPTIONS CAN HELP CUT DOWN ON ENERGY USE
The escalator may not be the first place you look to cut energy costs, but it should be.
Though most green options involve
replacing most, if not all, of the device, there
are a few simpler options to modernize an
old escalator, says Brent Andrews, product
manager for escalators at KONE.
Replace the Drive
Replacing the drive with a smarter modern version can cut energy directly by feeding the escalator less power when it’s not in
use or by changing to a low-energy mode.
A variable voltage drive will note when the
escalator is carrying a light load (or none at
all) and drop the voltage flowing to it until
more people step on, cutting the energy consumption when full capacity isn’t needed.
Similarly, a variable frequency drive tailors
its behavior based on its load, but instead
of directly cutting energy availability, it dramatically slows down the escalator’s speed
to a crawl that requires less power. Variable
voltage-variable frequency (VVVF) drives
tackle energy consumption on both fronts.
A soft start device for certain types of
older escalators starts the escalator with
a gradually increasing level of current
instead of feeding it full power immediately,
Andrews says. This helps increase the useful life of the motor. Some soft start devices
also incorporate energy-saving features that
supply less electricity when fewer people
are riding the escalator, he adds.
If this isn't an option, try a project that
replaces the guts of the escalator.
Don’t Forget to Clean
Energy efficiency isn’t just a replacement
or renovation issue. A thorough cleaning
and realignment once a year will save a
surprising amount of energy and ensure a
smooth ride, says Alan Taylor, former senior
vice president of business development at
Power Efficiency Corporation, an energy
efficiency technology developer. B
Janelle Penny ( janelle.penny@buildings.
com) is a senior writer for BUILDINGS.