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A new government study has found that auxiliary equipment in commercial-building HVAC systems uses much more energy than previously thought. The Department of Energy (DOE) report conservatively estimates that auxiliary fans and pumps use 1.5 quadrillion Btu (quads) nationwide–about 10% of all energy used in the commercial sector. This equipment has been largely overlooked in energy-efficiency research, development & deployment (RD&D) programs, which have mainly focused on improving the efficiency of primary heating and cooling equipment such as chillers, refrigerant compressors, boilers and furnaces.1 Furthermore, auxiliary energy consumption most likely is increasing, even as primary equipment is showing vast improvements in efficiency.


Citation: ASHRAE Journal, vol. 43, no. 2, February 2001