How to Retrofit Americas

RENEWABLE ENERGY The business case for powering your building with renewable energy is becoming stronger. On-site and off-site options may be available, depending on your building design, and may include solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. Installing solar cells can reduce demand-based utility costs and provide additional financial incentives in the form of tax credits and revenue from Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). Understanding the potential capacity of the building roof and the entire site is the first step to a preliminary solar evaluation and savings analysis. In cases where on-site generation of renewable energy may not be practical, organizations may choose to purchase green power, which allow organizations to use renewable electricity and meet their corporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets.

ELECTRIFICATION As clean energy is mostly generated in the form of electricity, electrifying traditional fossil-fuel-powered systems is necessary for the built environment to truly become zero operational carbon. Typically, this means replacing the existing oil or gas boilers with an electrically powered alternative, most commonly air- or ground-source heat pumps. While gas-fired boilers can produce water at relatively high temperatures, up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, current heat pump technology has a limited range of 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit under optimal conditions. This can present an issue where heating systems are designed for boilers. However, heating systems are commonly oversized, and existing coils may be able to sufficiently heat a building with the lower water temperatures. It is therefore recommended that a feasibility study and engineering assessment are performed to determine the limitations of the existing equipment and the most appropriate heat pump technology to replace the existing boilers.


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