clean energy for office buildings
The average office building is 14,900 square feet and office buildings represent 18 percent of the total commercial floor space in the US. Typical subcategories under the classification of office building include:
- Banks or other Financial Institutions
- Doctors' or Dentists' Offices
- Government Offices
- Administrative or Professional Offices
- Research and Development Buildings
Although office buildings represent the second largest amount of buildings and floor space, they consume the most energy of all building types, accounting for 19 percent of all commercial energy consumption. They use a total of 1.0 quadrillion Btu of electricity (66%), natural gas (23%), fuel oil (3%), and district heat (7%) combined. The cost intensity for typical small and large office buildings in California is in the range $2.5-3/square foot-year when no DG is integrated. The average use of this energy is as follows:
Technical Fit for Clean Energy
The US average electricity demand to thermal demand ratio (E/T) for an office building is 2.30. However, if only domestic hot water thermal load is considered (removing the seasonal space heating load, which is not always met by centralized hot water or steam), the E/T achieves 8.72. Available DG-CHP technologies have electric to thermal ratios in the range of 0.5 to 2.5. Therefore, office buildings can only be target applications when space heating needs are incorporated and/or when traditional electric cooling systems are replaced by advanced absorption cooling systems that can be thermally activated by the DG waste heat. The estimated DG-CHP technical potential (no economics considered) for all the office building applications in the US is about 18 GW and the market potential (based on achievable economics) is 10 GW.
Market Potential for the Region
In California approximately 1.9 GW of CHP has been deployed in commercial offices. However, the remaining technical potential is 3.7 GW in existing (1.3GW) offices or in projected new construction through 2020.
Some examples of clean energy systems at office buildings in the Pacific Region include the following:
Relevant Region-Specific Information on this Market Sector
- California Commercial End Use Survey, CEC Report 400-2006-005, March 2006
- Assessment of California CHP Market and Policy Options for Increased Penetration, CEC Report 500-2005-060.