National Academies Press: OpenBook

Airport Energy Efficiency and Cost Reduction (2010)

Chapter: Chapter Nine - Conclusions

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Page 42
Suggested Citation:"Chapter Nine - Conclusions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2010. Airport Energy Efficiency and Cost Reduction. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14413.
Page 42

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42 The survey responses revealed that all airport terminals had implemented at least one type of low/no-cost energy effi- ciency improvement, usually focused on operations or lighting retrofits. Planning for energy efficiency improvements can be a com- plex task, especially for terminal managers at smaller airports. By embedding energy efficiency goals within long-range plans or creating efficiency programs within operations or devel- opment departments, airport stakeholders can ensure that all projects consider energy efficiency. Other practices cited for planning energy efficiency improvements include: • Searching out other airport managers, consultants, local ordinances, and utility programs, as well as national stan- dards as knowledge resources for planning energy effi- ciency projects. • Utilizing utility grants and consultant contracts to perform audits and feasibility analysis. • Focusing limited budgets with phased implementation or departmental prioritization. • Testing small-scale projects for larger-scale imple- mentation. • Enforcing efficiency with tenant and airport design standards. • Grouping projects with short- and long-term payback to use early cost savings as support for other investments. • Considering airport terminal energy efficiency projects in a holistic manner and seeking out synergies between improvements. Data collection is paramount to most improvements and without an energy audit, or other building baseline information, determining where energy efficiency projects will have the greatest impact on energy costs is challenging. Automation systems provide an invaluable mechanism to monitor trends and payback information for use in additional energy effi- ciency projects. Operations and maintenance (O&M) practices have received considerable attention in many reports and best practices manuals. These data reinforce both the rapid sav- ings benefit and ease of implementation that have previously been attributed to O&M energy efficiency practices and out- lines practices such as commissioning, maintenance sched- uling, staff behavior, and intra-airport communication as keys to successful energy cost reduction. Major reductions to energy expenses were found through retrofit of mechanical and lighting systems when these criti- cal functions were replaced, upgraded, or re-commissioned with new controls and building automation. Funding was identified as the major barrier to implemen- tation of energy efficiency improvements for all respondents. Tactics for funding and implementation for those airports that have successfully reduced energy costs varied. With their limited funding resources, small airports may first work to include energy efficiency into O&M programs and lighting systems. Another way to leverage energy efficiency dollars is by partnering with other existing county or city projects and utility companies. Major airports have the scale, budget, and staff complexity to test energy efficiency operations and retrofit projects and may be used as a reference for smaller airports. Communica- tion within and between airports is strongly encouraged. Local utility companies have assisted airport operators in reducing energy costs by conducting no-cost or low-cost energy audits and by providing grants or rebates for demon- stration projects or energy efficiency upgrades. Positive part- nerships with utility companies were noted by many respon- dents as an important part of an energy efficiency plan. Many of these utility incentives along with government incentives can be found in one location—The Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiencies ( summarytables/finee.cfm). Airports are positioned to utilize renewable energy technol- ogy as a result of their high roof surface area and relationship with utility companies as major users of energy. An important observation that must be understood con- cerning the entirety of this report is that 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 mon- itoring airport energy efficiency improvements and updating synthesis of practice as new tools or regulations warrant. CHAPTER NINE CONCLUSIONS

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 21: Airport Energy Efficiency and Cost Reduction explores energy efficiency improvements being implemented at airports across the country that are low cost and short payback.

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