In cities, the services sector is responsible for 30-40% of energy consumption and 25- 35% of direct and indirect emissions. This sector includes buildings with extremely varied uses: offices, shopping centres, small shops, hospitals, sports centres, hotels, cafeterias, educational centres, etc.
Despite the wide variety of uses for buildings in the tertiary sector, offices and businesses account for 65% of energy consumption. In turn, the largest consumption in these buildings is produced by air conditioning (40-60%) and lighting (20-45%), similar to that of the residential sector. Therefore, energy efficiency objectives in the services sector must be focused on reducing the consumption and emissions of these two systems.
Priority actions in the services sector
The report The Future of Sustainable Cities: Urban energy transition to 2030 developed by Deloitte identifies a number of priority measures to be implemented in the tertiary sector, taking into account the main uses of energy in the services mentioned above.
According to this study, the most urgent action required is the replacement of air conditioning equipment with heat pump technology, which is a much more competitive option for large surface areas and can result in a saving of up to 30%.
Lighting is another area with a significant potential for reduction. Switching from traditional lighting to LED systems would result in a unit saving of 70-80% of lighting energy consumption, while smart lighting control systems could achieve a reduction of between 15-30%.
Likewise, self-consumption in the services sector faces fewer barriers as the roofs of many facilities (commercial buildings, offices, car parks, leisure centres, etc.) are usually large and accessible enough to achieve substantial energy savings. A large services building, for example, could produce up to 15-25% of its electrical consumption through self-consumption systems.
Furthermore, the refurbishment of buildings would also generate some reduction in consumption and emissions, although this would be lower than in the residential sector due to the reduced age of the buildings.