Sunday, September 6, 2009

Commercial vs. Residential Building Energy Use

I've found a new favorite place for juicy green info... David Chu's Facebook Notes Page (aka Secretary of Energy or our proverbial "Energy Tsar"). He posted this little chart the other day that breaks down energy use by commercial vs. residential use. The big difference? Commercial energy use is largely driven by lighting versus heating (the more likely candidate at home). Many people ask me where to focus their attention when it comes to energy use. This little chart is a nice cheat sheet. That said, I believe that computer/office equipment creates a bit more energy proportionately (if you've got lots of servers, that number goes up more).


Sarah Bailey said...

Leigh, great find on that chart! That's really interesting to see it broken down. I have two things I wanted to mention with you.

1. What do you think of virtualization? (You mentioned the higher energy use of multiple servers)

2. I wanted to share with you a solution that I am spreading the word about for commercial buildings and households, called GreenQuest. GreenQuest is a free, online, web-based energy management software, or dashboard.

The model of GreenQuest an organization (city, county, business, school district, organization, etc) can sponsor a GreenQuest site for their community/employees/customers/etc. The sponsor gets a positive public relations and relevant direct marketing tool while the community gets a free energy efficiency tool.

But, anyone without a local sponsor can use the GreenQuest that is hosted on

I am interested in your thoughts on GreenQuest if you have time to check it out. You can email me at if you have any questions, I can point you to some press releases and brochures as well.

The majority of information is on on the home page, and the "Sponsor a Site" button at the top.

Please let me know what you think if you are interested in checking it out. GreenQuest is a really awesome tool that I think will do a lot of people a lot of good if we can get the word spread. : )

Thank you for your time!!

gary gabriel said...

With all due respect - lighting is not the main energy user in a commercial building. The HVAC system is. Just combine the graph bars end to end for heating, ventilation, and cooling for a visual confirmation of this.

Anonymous said...

That is a very helpful chart! I recently retrofitted the lights in my office. I am slowly but surely trying to gain more information on the different concepts of what can save me more money for “going green” I found this Motion Sensor Savings Calculator to be quite useful. It broke things down for me so that i could understand what would benefit me financially. Might not work for everyone, but it helped me out big time!

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