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ALTERNATIVE SHELTER

New Energy Standards Apply to Stores

December 08, 1985|Terence M. Green

Laying one's hands on enough energy to serve 66,000 homes for a year is a nice piece of work. The state Energy Commission thinks it has done it with the adoption of new energy standards for retail buildings that it believes will save that much.

The new standards, covering all retail and wholesale store buildings except groceries, are expected to save 260 megawatts over the next 20 years by reducing their use of energy, the commission said, and are designed to be simpler, more flexible, more energy efficient and more cost-effective than the existing standards.

Furthermore, the commission said (with what seems like a twinkle of pride showing between the lines of its announcement--and if that's so, it's warranted) the new standards are comparable in form and approach to the 1984 rules adopted by the commission for office buildings.

Thus, the new standards are presented as a consistent set of rules for the design of new office and retail buildings--particularly important in the case of the many commercial buildings that combine office and retail space.

Another factor in the new standards was cited by Commissioner Geoffrey Commons, the presiding member of the New Building Efficiency Committee, who said:

"The critical problem for electric utilities today is meeting the needs of their customers during peak periods in the least expensive way possible. These new standards affect peak usage in two ways. First, energy efficient lighting systems directly reduce peak usage and, second, they provide an incentive for energy storage systems.

"Also, the commission placed particular emphasis on making sure that these new standards are fair to small businesses. We were very careful to set reasonable requirements, not only for the very large department store, but also for the small mall shop."

On another front, the commission announced that it has $6.8 million to lend at 7% interest for energy conservation in buildings and facilities owned by local government entities, schools, hospitals and special districts.

The funds are from the Energy Conservation Assistance Account established in 1979 and as loans are repaid additional funds will be available each fiscal year through December, 1990.

The loan program is divided into three categories, each with its own due-date for applications. The first due-date is Feb. 28, 1986.

Full details of the new standards and of the loan program are available from the commission at 1516 9th St., Sacramento, 95814.

The week of June 8, 1986, will be sunny in Boulder, Colo. No, that's not a weather prediction; it's the week two major solar energy gatherings will be held in that mountain city.

The first half of the week will see the 11th annual Passive Solar Conference of the American Solar Energy Society Inc. (the U. S. Section of the International Solar Energy Society) and that organization's annual general conference will fill out the week.

Calls for papers have been issued for each event and both have set the deadline for abstracts as Feb. 15, 1986. Details are available from the society at 2030 17th St., Boulder, Colo. 80302.

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