With a combination of digital smart grid technologies and building automation tools, a public/private partnership plans to reduce energy use in commercial buildings in Charlotte's 1.94 square mile urban core. The initiative, called Envision: Charlotte, is a joint effort by smart grid majors Duke Energy and Cisco and Charlotte Center City Partners, a local economic, cultural and residential development group. The goal is to get the owners of about 60 commercial buildings in the area to sign on. In addition to smart grid and building automation technologies, the project also will involve unique energy tracking tools and specific recommendations for office workers to help them cut their energy use. The goal: reduce energy use by up to 20% by 2016 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 220,000 metric tons.
Quick Take: Considering how much energy commercial buildings eat up, projects like this one could have a real impact on energy efficiency and conservation efforts.
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