As many as fourteen Chicago buildings are about to install new energy efficiency measures as the result of a $25 million investment by South Korea, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.
According to the report, the technology will significantly lower the buildings energy bills by lowering water temperature and turning lights off when they are not be used.
The technology will also allow the buildings to communicate with power suppliers, allowing them to reduce power demand during peak hours.
The projects themselves will cost $10 – $20 million, with the balance of the investment being directed toward research at Illinois universities.
The Tribune cited the Buildings Owners and Managers Association of Chicago as saying that if the technology were expanded to include all of downtown, the city would save enough electricity to be able to shut down a coal-fired power plant.
The project will also potentially include large residential buildings as well, according to the report. The Aon Center, an 83-floor skyscraper, is the only building who’s participation has been announced so far. According to the report, buildings will be chosen with an eye toward how much retrofitting they would need to make the new efficiency measures work.
Commercial buildings generate up to 40 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. A report by Pike Research released this week said that retrofitting the country’s commercial building supply could save building owners and operators as much as a combined $41.1 billion.
One skyscraper in Los Angeles recently announced it is saving $160,000 annually after retrofitting its light fixtures to more efficient models.