The U.S. Department of Energy says that facilities that install renewable energy systems are reaping considerable savings.
• Retailer Best Buy installed solar panels and upgraded energy conservation to realize a cost savings of 25% over the course of four years at a site in Richfield, Minnesota.
• A rooftop solar unit at a Super 8 motel in Ukiah, California provides 60% of the electric power and 100% of the hotel’s hot water production for guestrooms and the hot tub.
• Discovery Elementary School, in Arlington County, Virginia, reports that the 97,588 sf facility operates at a 66% lower energy use intensity (EUI) compared to the district’s average.
• Suncoast Credit Union in Bushnell, Florida, upgraded its service center with solar electric systems. After its first year, the facility delivered more than 31 megawatt-hours (MWh) to the grid and used 25 MWh to become a zero-energy building.
The payback on renewables for public and institutional clients is usually 15 years or shorter. In the private sector, typical paybacks are five to seven years.