Energy Efficiency Alone is Not Enough

Energy Efficiency Alone is Not Enough

40 years ago, in response to energy crises, energy efficiency (EE) measures were introduced to mitigate petroleum production shortages and associated skyrocketing fuel costs.

When the crises ended, the perceived value of EE declined.

Fast-forward to the 21st century where climate change and resource depletion can no longer be ignored.

Consequently, the magnitude and scale of EE techniques and measures applied in various industries has soared. Everybody has jumped on the EE bandwagon because they see it as a means to cut costs and emissions, and to build a profitable business.

Today, in the midst of catastrophic weather events and dwindling energy supplies more issues arise, such as energy security and resilience.

Energy Efficiency is extremely important but it’s only part of the solution. Why? Energy Efficiency saves money but employing EE alone is like cutting your monthly budget without adding to your paycheck.

Example: San Pedro ports estimate their energy demand will triple or even quadruple in the next few years (shore power, automation, etc.). The local utilities will not be able to guarantee the supply. The ports are seeking alternative solutions to meet growing demands, e.g. POLB’s “Energy Island”.

In addition, sustainable practices have been incorporated into the ports’ planning, designing, construction, purchasing, and operations. Since 2005, the Green Ports have cut emissions substantially, i.e. DPM by 80%, NOx by 50%, SOx by 80%.

To address issues of energy security we need a holistic energy strategy that includes energy efficiency, availability, reliability, independence, resilience, and innovations.

Rating systems like LEED and ENVISION exemplify this concept. While LEED has become a globally recognized green building program, infrastructure projects remained unaddressed until the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure developed Envision. Envision provides a holistic framework for evaluating and rating the community, environmental, and economic benefits of all types and sizes of infrastructure projects. Envision introduces a climate and risk category in which one of the objectives is to ensure projects are resilient to short- and long-term risks. In the near future the infrastructure that is not resilient may be in a subject to litigations. Find out why Lack of Plan for Resilience and Climate Change Can Be Costly And Deadly

The first transportation project to receive ISI Envision Platinum Award is Port Metro Vancouver’s Low Level Road. Read more at


This article was submitted and subsequently selected for the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE’s) annual meeting, the 34th West Coast Energy Management Congress (EMC). Kat Janowicz, Principal of 3COTECH, will be speaking at EMC which will be held May 25-26, 2016 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA.

EMC is where top professionals from throughout the West Coast and other western U.S. states will come to get up to speed on the latest energy marketplace developments, explore promising new technologies for their facilities, compare energy supply options, and learn about innovative project implementation strategies. Decision makers from business, industry and government must now seek integrated energy solutions — solutions which assure both a secure and affordable power supply, and effective management of energy-related costs.

Let’s connect at EMC.