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AIRPORT ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND COST REDUCTION SUMMARY This report documents energy efficiency improvements being implemented at airports across the country that are low cost and short payback by means of a survey, interviews and a literature review. It targets terminal managers of small airports, staff, consultants, and other stakeholders interested in energy efficiency. The literature review was undertaken to identify best practices for energy efficiency in commercial buildings to generate categories and questions for the survey about low-cost practices and where they may have been implemented. In addition, the review collated data from previous studies about low-cost energy efficiency improvements. Following the survey, another literature review was performed to elaborate on survey findings. The survey included questions related to energy efficiency planning and project identification, project implemen- tation and funding, and improvements to major mechanical and electrical systems. Twenty survey responses (a 100% response rate) were received from airports representing large and medium hub, small hub, non-hub, and commercial service U.S. airports. All airports responding to the survey had implemented at least one type of low/no-cost energy efficiency improvement, usually lighting retrofits. Following the survey, airports describing multiple energy efficiency projects were contacted and interviewed to provide more precise information and background about the improvements. A total of 12 airports participated in follow-up interviews. Both the literature review and interview feedback indicated that data collection is para- mount to most improvements. Without an energy audit or building automation system information determining where energy efficiency projects will have the greatest impact on energy costs is challenging. In addition, continued tracking of data will allow new and existing systems to be monitored for trends and payback information. Therefore, building automation system installation and/or upgrades may be considered high-priority projects to provide accurate, useable data. In addition, low-cost, utility-sponsored energy audits are a valuable source for data. Operations and maintenance practices such as performance monitoring and commission- ing were common among respondents and often had short payback or low cost. This feedback supports best practices that outline commissioning, maintenance scheduling, staff behavior, and intra-airport communication as keys to successful energy cost reduction. Retrofit of mechanical systems is commonly associated with high costs and potentially long payback. However, as with lighting systems and building automation, respondents found that for most mechanical systems significant advances in efficiency have been made since components were first installed at their facility. When replaced or re-commissioned with new controls, major reductions to energy expenses were found. For many respondents, funding was identified as a major barrier to implementation of energy efficiency improvements. Implementation tactics varied for those airports that have successfully reduced energy costs. Small airports may work to include energy efficiency into
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2 operations and maintenance programs but cannot maintain dedicated funding from year to year. Major airports, especially those with demonstrated energy savings, had dedicated pro- gram and Capital Improvement Program funding as well as a backlog of identified projects. Major airports have the size, budget, and staff complexity to test energy efficiency oper- ations and retrofit projects and may be used as a reference for smaller airport terminals-- information can be shared and many energy efficiency ideas are scalable. Communication within and between airports is encouraged by literature sources and survey responses. In many regions, utilities serving airports have become partners with airport operators to assist in conducting no-cost or low-cost energy audits and in providing grants or rebates for demonstration projects or energy efficiency upgrades. Many of these utility incentives, along with government incentives, can be found in one location: the Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiencies (http://www.dsireusa.org/summarytables/finee.cfm). When funding or costs have proven a challenge to implement a program, airports have leveraged energy efficiency dollars by partnering with other existing county or city projects. Airports may be distinctly positioned to use renewable energy technology owing to their high roof surface area relative to total building square footage and large areas of open land within airport campus boundaries. Major utilities and energy service companies are begin- ning to implement large-scale photovoltaic system installations on existing buildings and sites though power purchase agreements and other programs. The diversity of strategies and relative costs noted in the survey response asserts that no two airports are equal; nor will they benefit the same from any improvement. The best reference for an airport terminal can be found in baseline conditions that exist today on site. No further research is identified at this time other than monitoring airport energy effi- ciency improvements and updating synthesis of practice as new tools or regulations warrant.