How to Electrify a Commercial Building in Chicagoland
Aug 29 2023
What is Commercial Electrification?
Commercial electrification is the process of replacing fossil-fuel burning equipment in a commercial building with electric equipment. This includes replacing boilers, furnaces, water heaters, and other appliances with electric equivalents like VRF and ERV systems. Electrification can also include installing electric vehicle charging stations and other renewable energy technologies.
Why Electrify a Commercial Building in Chicago?
There are many reasons why commercial building owners in Chicago should consider electrifying their buildings. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Reduced emissions: Electrification can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), commercial buildings account for about 17% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. By electrifying their buildings, commercial building owners can help to reduce their environmental impact.
- Energy efficiency: Electric appliances are typically more energy-efficient than their fossil fuel-burning counterparts. This means that electrifying a commercial building can help to reduce energy costs. According to the EPA, commercial buildings spend about $120 billion per year on energy. By electrifying their buildings, commercial building owners can save money on their energy bills.
- Improved air quality: Electric appliances produce fewer emissions than fossil fuel-burning appliances. This can help to improve air quality, which can benefit the health of building occupants and the surrounding community. According to the EPA, air pollution is responsible for about 200,000 premature deaths in the United States each year. By electrifying their buildings, commercial building owners can help to improve air quality and reduce the number of premature deaths.
- Increased comfort: Electric appliances can provide a more comfortable environment for building occupants. For example, electric heat pumps can provide more precise temperature control than traditional furnaces. This can be especially beneficial in buildings with large temperature swings.
- New opportunities for renewable energy: Electrification can create new opportunities for commercial building owners to use renewable energy. For example, commercial buildings can install solar panels to generate their own electricity. This can help to reduce their reliance on the grid and save money on their energy bills.
How to Electrify a Commercial Building in Chicago
There are a few different ways to electrify a commercial building in Chicago. The best approach will vary depending on the specific building and its needs. Here are some of the options:
- Retrofit: This involves replacing existing fossil fuel-burning equipment with electric equipment. This can be a cost-effective option for buildings that are already well-insulated and have a good electrical infrastructure. Verde recently help convert a boiler based and water cooled system in Oak Park IL to heat pump based systems. On the -10 degree day in December, the building was warm and toasty.
- New construction: This involves designing and building a new building that is fully electric. This can be a more expensive option, but it can also be more efficient and sustainable.
- Hybrid approach: This involves a combination of retrofit and new construction. This can be a good option for buildings that are not yet ready for a full retrofit.
The Cost of Electrifying a Commercial Building in Chicago
The cost of electrifying a commercial building in Chicago will vary depending on the size and type of building, the equipment that is being replaced, and the cost of labor. However, in general, electrification can be a cost-effective investment. According to a study by the Rocky Mountain Institute, the average payback period for electrifying a commercial building is about 10 years.
Incentives for Electrifying Commercial Buildings in Chicago
There are a number of incentives available to commercial building owners who electrify their buildings. These incentives can include tax breaks, rebates, and grants. The specific incentives available will vary depending on the city and state.
Electrification is a promising way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and save money on energy costs. Commercial building owners in Chicago who are considering electrifying their buildings should carefully evaluate their options and take advantage of the available incentives.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, electrification can also help commercial building owners to improve their energy security and resilience. By reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, commercial building owners can better withstand disruptions to the energy supply. This is especially important in a city like Chicago, which is prone to extreme weather events.
If you are a commercial building owner in Chicago and you are interested in learning mhttps://www.verde.expert/contact/free-energy-assessment/ore about electrification, I encourage you to contact your local utility company or a qualified energy advisor.
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