Posting in Cities
Has the record U.S. heat got your company scrutinizing electricity costs even more closely than ever? Take some tips from these recent installations and contracts.
(This post was updated Aug. 13 to remove a quote from a VA employee at his request.)
I've had energy on my mind plenty, since my air conditioner here in New Jersey has run more in the past two weeks than it did for all of last summer. I hate recycled air, plus I am dreading my July electricity bill.
If the weather likewise has your business thinking about energy efficiency measures, here are four new initiatives I've been reading about that may provide inspiration.
1. VA identifies $3.5 million in energy savings. The Department of Veteran Affairs in Washington, D.C., has installed an energy analysis application from SPARC that has already helped it surface close to $3.5 million in cuts for its buildings in the U.S. capital region. The software, SPARC520, offers real-time forecasting, planning and monitoring capabilities. The VA can run forecast and reduction scenarios for 1-year, five-year and 10-year timeframes. The technology was developed in response to the VA's Greening as a service initiative.
2. 7-Eleven stores in three states reduce electricity bill by $1.2 million. Simple things mean a lot. It took a 621 stores to get up to that savings number, but 7-Elevens in Oregon, California and Washington are now using energy-efficiency features and technologies installed by Castrovilla, a subsidiary of energy services company Blue Earth. Among things helping these stores save 9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually: anti-sweat heater controls, evaporator fan controls, door closers and strip curtains. The savings over the lifetime of the equipment is estimated at $9.5 million; the installation was funded by $1.3 million in utility company rebates. "While this project has produced the results as anticipated by the utility incentive rebate programs, there are far more potential cost savings in 7-Eleven stores," said John Pink, president of Blue Earth Energy Management Services. The company has 46,000 stores in 16 countries.
3. LED lights save $750,000 for New York real estate company. The biggest commercial property owner in New York City, SL Green Realty, is investing in LED retrofits for 21 office buildings using technology from Seesmart. The deal includes the installation of 16,000 Seesmart lamps by the end of August 2012. The project will drive an estimated $750,000 in savings and should pay for itself within three years, according to the companies. "Lighting represents 25 to 30 percent of total energy cost in the commercial real estate industry and addressing lighting efficiency is a key low-hanging front cost savings opportunity," said Jay Black, director of sustainability at SL Green.
4. Baltimore Convention Center enters 15-year energy performance contract. Approximately $18 million in electricity and water cuts are guaranteed under the convention center's energy performance contract with Constellation Energy, part of power generation company Excelon. The deal is expected to save 100 million gallons of water aside from the electricity savings. Overall, the Baltimore city government has a goal to reduce electric power usage by 20 percent by 2015. The Baltimore Convention Center manages more than 300,000 square feet of exhibition space. More in the video below:
Jul 17, 2012
Not sure if the beginning line of this article mixed some folks up, there seems to be some comments about residential energy savings but the initiatives listed are about businesses, government, and larger facilities. Residential bills won't be affected as significantly with reduced usage efforts, but does that still mean you shouldn't do it? Most industrial operations can cut power usage down by much larger numbers versus residential, and do it in a very short period of time. Which is why all of these initiatives exist. For example, installing [url=http://macroairfans.com/industries/industrial-fans/] HVLS industrial cooling fans [/url] can save a facility up to 20% on cooling and heating costs. Encouraging governmental agencies and businesses to upgrade equipment & technology in their facilities (using incentives) creates millions to billions of dollars per year in energy savings, also reducing energy usage moving forward. Which is the goal, right?
These four examples of initiatives to boost energy efficiency are a good way to see how the country is trying to adapt to the new times. Recently VER has also been approved. This new Law will promote the use of Renewable Energy and energy forecast will be a must. http://www.gnarum.com
The problems here are not energy saving initiatives. The problem is the manner the utility bills are made up. Actual power usage makes up only a very small percentage. The result being trying to conserve makes almost no impact on final bill. Mentioned in the artical was running the A/C. Same problem here with the heat this year, but in past running the A/C 24/7 only increased the bill about $20. Its the fixed cost included in the bill. Example $12.50 a month for the privilege of being a customer. $10 service charge to be sent a bill, etc Reduce your power usage to zero one will still receive a bill for $22.50 +++ a month. This is just one example a list of service charges. Here its the city that owns and operates the utility. Here like everywhere politicians under pressure not to raise property taxes. They achieve this by adding and increasing service charges to water/sewer and power bills. The end result is no incentive to conserve power or water. Go ahead run your A/C 24/7, water your lawn all you want. Why make any attempt to conserve when it makes virtually no impact on ones utility bill.
I agree that municipalities appear to be tacking on special fees on our water/sewer, phone, cable, power bills, etc. But let's remember that the variable components still make up the largest share of our bills. The number of kilowatts of electricity I use is in direct proportion to my final bill. Besides, encouraging people to "use as much as you want" flies in the face of common sense and the notion that we all live on a planet with limited resources. Do you really want to face your grandkids 20 years from now and tell them that you expended as much energy as you could in order to leave them with less?