Civil society entities formalized the inclusion of energy efficiency actions in the Preliminary Procedure of an Expression of Interest (PPMI) for distributed generation, established by the Local Government of São Paulo. The objective of the Local Government is that several locations under its administration, including schools, hospitals, health centers, and libraries, are capable of generating their own energy. Civil society entities argue that energy efficient equipment uses less energy to perform operations. According to them, the inclusion of energy efficiency in the project could further reduce the energy bill in public buildings and also reduce the cost of the investment in the project. According to the Local Government, the information collected via the PPMI can serve as a basis for the establishment of the invitation for bids.
According to data disclosed by the Local Government of São Paulo, the buildings with educational and health uses are responsible for over 68% of the energy consumption of the municipality. An estimation by Procel Edifica demonstrates that the inclusion of energy efficiency in the project, based on previous experience, could reduce the energy bill of the schools by over 30%, in addition to the gains indicated with photovoltaic solar generation.
Furthermore, a study conducted by Mitsidi Projetos – in partnership with the Institute for Climate and Society (iCS) – indicates that energy efficiency could reduce expenses with the acquisition of equipment for the generation of solar energy. In the study about efficient buildings, taking into consideration the consumption of a standard government building in the capital of São Paulo, the inclusion of efficiency strategies could reduce the need for the installation of up to 200 photovoltaic panels. The adoption of energy efficiency strategies would also allow the Local Government to take better advantage of the generated electricity, by increasing the service percentage of the demand of the municipal public buildings from renewable sources.
The civil society entities – including the NGO International Energy Initiative – IEI Brasil, the Brazilian Association of Companies of Energy Conservation Services – Abesco, and the Institute for Climate and Society – iCS – consider the project an important initiative to promote savings of energy and budgetary resources for the municipality, as well as an example for other Brazilian cities, by encouraging the expansion of photovoltaic solar energy in the country. Consequently, they believe the inclusion of measures of energy efficiency is fundamental as a guideline for the project of the Local Government to optimize the impacts of the distributed generation.
In addition to the energy and budgetary savings, the entities also emphasize that the project for the implementation of generating centers of photovoltaic solar energy is an effective and specific initiative of mitigation to climate change and to the compliance with the targets established in the Paris Agreement, which include the reduction of greenhouse gases. The Brazilian electric sector is responsible for part of these emissions in the production electricity from fossil fuels. The solution is the replacement of these sources of generation by other clean sources, such as photovoltaic solar energy.