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Energy Efficiency

What is energy efficiency? 

By definition, energy efficiency is the ratio between the amount of energy used and that expected to be used in carrying out an activity.

In this sense, energy efficiency is obtaining energy goods and services with the lowest possible energy consumption, the same or higher quality of comfort, and less pollution, extending the life of resources at lower operating costs. Energy efficiency initiatives aim to achieve the highest possible performance with the least energy consumption.

What is the energy efficiency certificate? 

An energy efficiency certificate is a document that determines how much a building consumes and the level of CO2 emissions it emits into the atmosphere.

The content of the energy certificate is summarized in the energy label. This is similar to the energy label on electrical appliances: it indicates the emission and consumption ratings that the property has obtained with a scale of colors and letters going from A (green), the most efficient, to G (red), the least efficient.

The energy certificate is a report that consists of several pages. It contains a wealth of information on the property’s orientation, location, envelope, lighting, and energy production systems. A certificate from a good professional will also include improvements that can be made to the infrastructure for energy savings.

The first page of the energy certificate contains general information on the property, as well as information on the certifying technician. Below is the global energy rating of the property in terms of carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere. It is given on a scale from A to G. The report also has four appendices containing the relevant information:

Appendix I: describes the thermal characteristics of the property.

Appendix II: breaks down the energy rating of the property in different ratings for energy demands and consumption.

Appendix III: includes recommendations for improvement.

Appendix IV: the technician describes the tests, checks, and inspections carried out during the data collection process.

How to get the energy efficiency certificate 

In Spain, energy efficiency certification is mandatory for the sale and rental of real estate as of June 1, 2013, both for new and existing buildings. It also is mandatory at the time of offering or advertising a sale or rental.

The obligation to show the energy certificate is regulated by Royal Decree 235/2013 in Spain. The regulation on the energy certificate comes from a European Directive that all member states have already complied with.

It is the responsibility of the owner of the property to obtain this energy certificate. The energy efficiency certificate is issued by a technician with the qualifying academic and professional qualifications (architect, technical architect, engineer, technical engineer) to carry out building projects or thermal installations as required by current regulations.

Once the technician makes the report, the certificate must be registered.

What is the value of energy efficiency?

The Rosenfeld Effect constitutes one of the paradoxes of energy efficiency in urban settings. This effect is named after physicist Arthur H. Rosenfeld, who was born in Alabama in 1927 and worked out of California. Dr. Rosenfeld was a strong advocate for energy efficiency. Among the various developments he proposed was the first electronic ballast for fluorescent lighting, which led to compact energy-saving bulbs.

Since 1973, the per capita demand for energy has remained practically constant in California, while it has grown more than 50% in the rest of the United States. This is due partly to the state’s energy-saving culture and constant technological innovation, and its acceptance in society.

A unit of measure for energy efficiency was created in honor of Dr. Rosenfeld (1 Rosenfeld = consumption of 250,000 inhabitants) and serves as a measure of comparison between cities.

What energy efficiency benchmarks exist in Spain?

Energy efficiency is a lever for the sustainable development of society, both environmentally and economically. This is because efficient energy management significantly reduces the environmental impact of companies, governments, and citizens while also contributing to the long-term economic viability of society as a whole. 

To maximize their energy efficiency levels and that of the companies, public administrations, and institutions that trust Ferrovial Services, projects have been developed using the following levers:

  • Innovation.
  • Big data.
  • Reusing resources and waste for energy generation.
  • Renewable energy generation.
  • Cost reduction, sustainable financing, and budget stability.
  • Results-oriented and lowering operational risks.
  • Equipment maintenance.
  • Working with companies and institutions.

Energy efficiency is a cross-cutting pillar in all of Ferrovial Services’ business areas, ranging from public lighting contracts with local administrations to energy management in hospitals, energy use in landfills and facility management. 

Due to their extensive experience as Energy Service Companies (ESCO), Ferrovial Services has the capacity and experience to design and implement highly complex energy efficiency projects, including the development of technologies for improving efficiency for both public and private clients. Innovation is the central axis around which Ferrovial Services carries out its energy efficiency measures.

The main sectors in which Ferrovial Services carries out its activity as an ESCO are:

  • Public lighting installations.
  • Municipal buildings and facilities.
  • District Heating.
  • Energy services in hospitals.
  • Producing renewable energies.
  • Industrial facilities.

Ferrovial Services carries out energy efficiency projects for public and private clients in the different countries where it operates. It also works within the European Union’s framework of regional development in projects financed by the ERDF program. In terms of innovation, Ferrovial Services works with local, regional, and state administrations, with technology companies, and in an open innovation ecosystem.

Managing over one million points of light around the world (four times the total number of lights in a city like New York), extensive experience as an energy services company, and the possibility of moving towards generating renewable energies are milestones that help make Ferrovial Services a leader in energy efficiency.

Fun facts about energy efficiency

  • In just 15 minutes, the Sun radiates the amount of energy that humanity uses in a year.
  • There are two fundamental types of energy: potential and kinetic. All other manifestations of energy are derived from these. According to the law of conservation of matter, potential energy is transformed into kinetic energy and vice versa.
  • Energy-saving bulbs use 80% less energy and last about 8 times longer than a standard light bulb.
  • Wind energy is the most efficient form because it doesn’t pollute or erode the environment, and its environmental impact is almost zero. It can produce about as much energy as 1,000 kg of oil; unlike oil, though, thousands of liters of fuel don’t have to be burned.
  • According to data from the World Bank, more than 1 billion people live without electricity today.
  • In Spain, renewable energy sources generate approximately 35% of the electricity the country consumes.

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