Page Share Suggested Citation: Structural Integrity of Offshore Wind Turbines: The National Academies Press.
Total electricity consumption in commercial buildings has almost doubled since CBECS began tracking it.
Electricity consumption increased from slightly more than 2, trillion Btu in to 4, trillion Btu in ; this change is statistically significant. Total natural gas consumption decreased between and but then remained close to its level through The change in total natural gas consumption from to is not statistically significant.
Electricity and natural gas have been, and continue to be, the two dominant energy sources in the commercial buildings sector. Total energy consumption by energy source, The increases in the total amount and share of electricity consumed in commercial buildings over the years is stockwatch business reporter energy summary with the adoption of new types of electronic equipment and the increased use of existing technologies such as computers and servers, office equipment printers, copiers, and fax machinestelecommunications equipment, and medical diagnostic and monitoring equipment.
The average total energy used per square foot of commercial buildings showed a statistically significant decrease since the CBECS, from The average electricity use per square foot remained about the same sincebut decreased for natural gas.
The decrease in natural gas energy intensity is likely related to federal equipment standards over that time period and warmer-than-average winter months of the survey year CBECS classifies structures by principal building activity.
For most building types, there was not a statistically significant change in the average energy use per square foot by building type.
The exception was office and education buildings, which did show a small decrease in average total energy use per square foot Figure 4. Food service, inpatient health care hospitalsand food sales buildings are the most intensive users of total energy among the building types.
Food service buildings tend to be small but use relatively large amounts of energy for cooking and refrigeration. The food sales category, which includes convenience stores, is also composed of many small buildings that are often operated for long hours and use a lot of refrigeration.
Hospital energy use is high because of around-the-clock demand for all end uses and because of a wide variety of specialized, energy intensive equipment such as medical imaging equipment. Total energy use from the CBECS data is divided into end uses through statistically-adjusted engineering models.
See Estimation of Energy End-use Consumption for more information about the modeling process. These models estimate end uses for electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and district heat.
The largest end-use share of total energy in was for space heating, followed by the other category Figure 5.
Since the CBECS, the shares of energy used for space heating and for lighting in commercial buildings have each decreased by 11 percentage points.
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Increased shares are estimated for cooking, refrigeration, computing including serversand other, each of which was up by 4 percentage points compared to Footnotes 1 Site energy is the amount of energy delivered to commercial buildings; site energy does not account for energy lost during generation, transmission, and distribution of energy sources, particularly electricity, including plant and unaccounted-for uses.
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