What happens to energy efficiency when people desert the CBDs because of the COVID-19 pandemic to work from home, and then send energy consumption through the roof with their domestic consumption?
In a stark reminder that we need to keep focused on this area that we rely on to bring down global greenhouse gas emissions, the Energy Efficiency Council on Thursday issued a call out to Australian governments to not forget this crucial sector. In a program called Protect, Pivot and Rebound, the council outlined ways that the downturn and its recovery can be harnessed for better long-term outcomes in all sectors.
Even now, with the crisis in full flight, empty or near empty buildings do not necessarily lead to zero energy consumption. Buildings need to be kept fully functioning and in good condition for the return of occupants when the crisis is over.
But even with an empty floor or empty building, various building systems still need to be maintained for safety and compliance requirements, including cooling tower treatment.
According to Craig Roussac, chief executive officer of Buildings Alive, most of his clients are aware of the need for vigilance, but at a broader level there’s the danger that some people will be too distracted by the crisis to stay focused on energy efficiency.
With tenants still paying the rent and the looming prospect of financial pain ahead, the last thing they will want is to end up footing a massive bill at the end of the quarter for energy they didn’t use, he says.
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