Sorting Out Energy Efficiency

DeanKredit.jpgEnergy-efficient construction is a term being used a lot in our industry today. Whether it is a facility looking to achieve Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification or providing the best return on investment for the customer, sorting out what aspects have value for you and your customers is a complicated question.

LEED certification itself is a complex and detailed process. LEED certification can be used in projects of all sizes from home building to large commercial ventures and also applies at all stages of a project from design and construction to operations to renovation or retrofits. While the LEED certification process can provide building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions, it is not without headaches. LEED certification can raise the cost of the project, lead to delays, and add administrative tasks in researching green products to qualify for certification. As with all innovations, the advantages and costs should be weighed to make the best decisions for your customers and employees.

Energy-efficient advances also include solar energy, wind power, light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, fluorescent lighting, dimming systems, light harvesting, and more. These are just a few of the product offerings today that either offer reduction in energy usage or extended life of the products. Many states also offer rebate opportunities for using energy-efficient technologies. Staying on top of what products make sense is more time consuming than ever.

Technologies are changing at a rapid pace. LED lighting, as an example, just a year ago was not dimmable in many applications; today, that is not the case. Along with the price points coming down, better availability, and numerous color options, LED lighting is one product that is changing quicker than most in our industry today.

When you consider wind or solar energy, is the investment in training and certification of your employees going to provide the return on your investment? Several areas of the country are changing rebates and incentives, which could change the requirements and profitability of projects involving wind or solar energy.

If these are questions you are struggling with or want to learn more, there is no better place than the 56th Annual IEC National Convention & Electric Expo in Portland, Oregon. The Convention takes place September 25-28. There will be educational sessions, demonstrations of innovative technologies, and opportunities to network with colleagues who are completing energy-efficient projects. You can explore these issues by attending classes and meeting with IEC’s industry partners at the Electric Expo to talk about the latest products and ideas that are coming and how they can apply to your company.

The Convention only comes around once a year, so go to and register today. See you in Portland!

Dean Kredit is IECs 2013 National President. As the principal elected officer of the association, Kredit serves as chair to the Board of Directors, House of Delegates, and Executive Committee. He is also the president of K2 Electric in Phoenix, Arizona.