April 7, 2010
Austin Energy Green Building Publishes 2009 Energy, Demand Results in First Annual Report
Austin Energy Green Building reported 2009 energy consumption savings of 30.7 million kilowatt hours and electrical demand savings of 13,355 kilowatts, preventing nearly 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The program, established in 1991, published these achievements in its first annual report, released Tuesday.
“This report and this data confirm that Austin Energy Green Building measurably leads our community toward better value in the buildings where we live and work,” said Karl Ràbago, vice president of Distributed Energy Services at Austin Energy. “These are great results, especially in the context of the economic crisis.”
A nationally recognized leader in green building, AEGB is responsible for implementing the City of Austin energy code and rating buildings for sustainability on a one to five star scale. These activities address conservation in new construction, so program results depend on activity in the local building sector. Despite the construction slowdown, AEGB’s 2009 energy savings are its second highest to date.
“The private sector is demanding better buildings,” said AEGB manager Richard Morgan. “They want lower operating costs. There are new incentives and standards from the government, too.”
While the publication of these results is a way to celebrate Austin’s green building achievements, it is also a signal that AEGB intends to lead the sustainable building community to greater transparency in reporting. The 28-page annual report presents seven years of data on energy and demand savings and three years of natural gas, water and construction waste savings.
“We’ve been tracking energy and demand savings for years,” said Morgan. “But with carbon constraints on the horizon, we have to develop better metrics and more clearly communicate our results.”
In addition to critical quantitative results, the report showcases case studies of high-performing Austin single family, multifamily and commercial buildings, a preview of projects under construction and a timeline of AEGB’s history. Readers will also find a number of articles on the program’s education activities, as well as partnerships with local, state, national and international organizations to encourage green building outside the Austin Energy service area.
“The report clearly shows AEGB is coming at the problems with a suite of tools,” said Ràbago. “They’re doing training and education. They offer incentives for voluntary action while working to continuously improve building codes in a cost effective way. They’re really helping Austin’s green building community meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.”