The business case for energy management in high-tech industries
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The high-technology sector – characterized by facilities such as laboratories, cleanrooms, and data centers – is often where innovation first occurs. These facilities are sometimes referred to as the “racecars” of the buildings sector because new technologies and strategies to increase performance often trickle down to other building types. Although these facilities are up to 100 times as energy-intensive as conventional buildings, highly cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities are often overlooked. Facility engineers are in the trenches identifying opportunities to improve energy productivity but often are unable to make the broader business case to financial decision makers. This article presents the technical opportunities for reducing energy costs, along with their broader strategic value for high-tech industries.
KeywordsEnergy efficiency Laboratories Cleanrooms Data centers Non-energy benefits Green buildings Decision-making
This work was supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the US Department of Energy under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231, the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER), and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Helpful review comments were provided by Jonathan Livingston, Bruce Nordman, and two anonymous referees. This article is based on an earlier report by the same authors.