The amount of cooling (air conditioning) used in the United States is excessive , unwarranted and wasteful.
Central air conditioning requires about 50 times as much power as a 75-watt light bulb.
Government buildings, instead of serving as models for energy efficiency, are culprits of excessive cooling levels as are most commercial and retail establishments. The Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC and SA44 are two examples of indoor environments in which the level of cooling is excessive in relation to the comfort levels of the end-users and tenants. This disconnect has led to cases of employees bringing in heaters to offset cooling level and thus consuming even more energy!?
Facility managers at these two building have been informed over the years but the situation has not improved. Action is needed to across the US government to change the levels of energy consumption and operations of buildings and serve as a model for American society to value and conserve energy. Recommendations include:
- Periodic monitoring and calibration of building systems
- Periodic occupancy evaluations of Indoor temperature comfort levels
- Education and training of facility managers on energy efficiency principles and practices
- Upgrading of building systems to highest levels of energy efficiency, including both passive measures and renewable technologies.
- Information campaign throughout USG of the importance of energy savings for the sake of budgetary savings, quality of work environment, energy security, and climate change mitigation.
Only then can the administration's Better Building Initiative have a chance of promoting constructive change throughout the US market and lend encouragement to global societies.