The existing stock of commercial roof-top HVAC equipment, or Rooftop Units (RTUs), in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region is old and inefficient. Not only do the majority of these systems waste significant amounts of energy, but they are a key strain on the regional grid during peak demand hours, an increasing concern for utilities, policy makers and energy regulators in the region. Next generation, highly efficient RTU technologies exist on the market today and promise to save up to 50% of energy consumption compared to the standard unit. These High Performance RTUs can dramatically reduce electric demand during peak hours, however their uptake has been slow due to a number of stubborn market barriers.
According to the findings of recent NEEP studies, the latent energy savings and demand reduction potential associated with RTUs is particularly significant in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. NEEP’s 2010 Potential Study, From Potential to Action, found that commercial HVAC represented 24% of potential electricity savings in the region, second only to lighting. These energy savings figures are almost entirely related to cooling in the summer months.
To inform and build stakeholder support for a regional strategy that is intended to help accelerate market deployment and adoption of High Performance RTUs, NEEP works in alignment with the US DOE’s Better Buildings Program. NEEP proposes to fill this strategic void through a series of activities, capped off by the development of a regional Market Strategy Report with program and public policy recommendations to accelerate market adoption of High Performance RTUs focusing on the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region.