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Overview of the Process of Selecting Cost-Effective Technologies

For each target end-use and strategy selected, several cost-effective technologies can be used. An effective energy management program will target several end-uses and include many energy efficient strategies.

Removing old, inefficient equipment and replacing it with newer, more energy-efficient equipment is a very common method of reducing a site's energy consumption-and costs. Using effective technologies is key in keeping energy efficient projects affordable and viable.

Selecting Technologies

When selecting cost-effective technologies, it is important to consider the appropriateness and value of each technology. Several strategies may be ruled out as inappropriate or of limited value.

  • A careful evaluation should include both economic viability (i.e., cost-effectiveness), and implementation viability (e.g., physical/space constraints, contractor expertise, and homeowner acceptance).

  • Equally important, considerations should not be limited to one particular end-use---consider all options for lighting technology, cooling, heating, ventilation, battery chargers, water heaters, etc.

  • Energy conservation agencies or weatherization programs should be utilized to assess and select the most appropriate technologies.

In rehabilitating a building, grantees goals are to produce a cost-effective, comfortable building that encourages productivity, reduces waste, and consumes as little water and conventional energy as possible. This can be done by combining passive solar design, energy efficiency measures, renewable resources, conservation techniques, and efficient, environmentally friendly materials and products, in a comprehensive, integrated plan that meets your community's needs.

The economic and technical viability of each energy upgrade measure must be quantified in detail. A qualified energy analyst must perform this analysis. The cost-effectiveness analysis requires detailed first cost and energy savings data for each energy efficient technology. Energy codes and guidelines are available to provide recommendations for selecting specific energy efficiency technologies in climate regions across the country.