Energy savings versus costs of implementation for demand side management strategies within an energy-efficient tropical residence

Abstract

As renewable energy sources and net-zero energy homes become increasingly pervasive within the residential building industry, further reductions in consumption patterns will occur through demand side management (DSM). DSM can include measures such as energy-efficient system design, automated control and energy management systems, or policies and monitoring systems intended to alter user behavior. For an energy-efficient modern residence designed within a tropical context, several DSM strategies are considered for reductions in operational-phase energy consumption: a lightweight, thermally high-performing building envelope, installation of light dimmers to enhance user control of lighting, and comparison of a solar hot water system versus a point-of-use electric water heater to produce hot water for bathing demands. The energy-consumption savings associated with the three DSM strategies are simulated and normalized to an energy savings per cost of implementation basis in kWh per 1000 Thai Baht (THB) for comparison. The results show that financial investments in low-energy hot water heaters (i.e., solar water heating systems) result in relatively higher energy savings per unit financial investment than the other two strategies. Conversely, the installation of a lightweight, well-insulated envelope is highly expensive relative to its associated energy savings over a 25-year time frame. The savings associated with the insulated envelope, light dimmers, and hot water production strategies are evaluated at 80, 609 and 657 kWh/1000 THB investment, respectively.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Solar Decathlon Europe—King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi organization—as well as the School of Architecture and Design at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. Additionally, the authors would like to acknowledge the intellectual input of two anonymous reviewers in improving the clarity and readability of this article.

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Correspondence to Shabbir H. Gheewala.

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Bukoski, J.J., Chaiwiwatworakul, P. & Gheewala, S.H. Energy savings versus costs of implementation for demand side management strategies within an energy-efficient tropical residence. Energy Efficiency 9, 473–485 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12053-015-9374-y

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Keywords

  • Energy conservation
  • Operational energy
  • Green buildings
  • Tropical residences
  • Building envelope efficiency