It is generally the case that Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and lighting loads in commercial buildings represent the largest uses of electricity in medium-sized and large cities. As such, these end uses are often the driving force behind the need to construct new power generation, transmission and distribution facilities to meet growing electrical demands.
There are several key barriers that generally prevent the amount of energy efficiency upgrade - that would be economically rational - from taking place. Three programs have been piloted by Australian electricity utilities that aim to overcome these barriers and measure their potential success in technical, market and economic parameters.
The Commercial Energy Efficiency Program implemented by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria shows total projected energy savings of 25.5 GWh pa. and a total resource cost for the program of 3.7 c/kWh. The estimated energy savings provided by the Business Lighting Efficiency Program are 36 GWh pa and a total resource cost for the program of 5.5 c/kWh. The Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Program implemented by Sydney Electricity has only recently been launched and aims to address the lack of information and technical deficiencies of customers who wish to improved their buildings efficiency. These programs illustrate the cost effectiveness of energy efficiency resources, especially in the large or medium sized commercial buildings.
The lessons learned from the implementation of these Australian programs show that working with the trade allies from the early stages of program design will help ensure high levels of program participation. Other key success factors include flexibility of allowable program efficiency strategies and implementation approaches, simple program structure and consistency of program approaches, regular monitoring and review of program and continuos marketing to maintain awareness and obtain the support and confidence of the trade allies who are "co-marketing" the program.