Energy

Your energy section of your plan can be roadmaps designed specifically to maximize your facility’s productivity while minimizing its energy use. Energy Management plans help organizations reach their goals for reducing energy consumption and achieve cost savings. They often include measures to improve energy efficiency, such as changing light fixtures, motors, production equipment, appliances, heating and cooling buildings. Consumption is tracked to calculate changes in energy use as well as cost savings.

Energy Management Plans can identify cost effective options to procure energy. Current volatility in energy prices mean that the same type and amount of energy purchased one week can be offered at a much higher price as little as seven days later. Energy plans should also examine the potential for purchasing renewable energy as well as well as on-site energy production for some buildings and tenants.

Plans outline strategies for businesses to control energy costs by reducing consumption. Another way to reduce energy costs is through demand response programs. Under this type of plan, a utility company offers a customer a reduced rate on energy usage in exchange for the customer cutting its consumption during times of the day known to be high demand periods.

The above is excerpted from:  Challenge for Sustainability and Energy.gov

Sustainability Metrics

The Roundtable’s metrics spreadsheet allows you to track your business’ energy consumption. By adopting energy-saving practices, your business will save money and increase efficiency. Metrics will help to realize these savings and understand where you might see additional savings.

Upgrades and Equipment

Your business can invest in equipment, building upgrades or renewable energy sources. There are a myriad of financing options that could assist your business in implementing your energy management plans. Please contact us if you wish to learn more. Replace or upgrade your systems and controls

For many commercial and industrial customers, opportunities exist to reduce energy costs by replacing or upgrading their equipment. Whether you are installing new equipment, replacing old equipment, or upgrading a working system, we can find  technical assistance and incentives to help you optimize your energy efficiency investment.

Combined Heat and Power: CHP systems reduce energy consumption through the coupling of onsite generation with waste heat recovery for heating, cooling, dehumidification or process applications.

Compressed Air: Improving compressed air efficiency is generally the best opportunity industrial companies have to make a significant and immediate impact on their electric bill.

Energy Management Systems: An Energy Management System automatically turns off equipment when it is not needed. Advances in technology have made these systems cost-effective for facilities of all sizes.

Food Service Equipment: Energy efficient food service equipment can result in shorter cook times, higher production rates, and a lower idle energy rate.

Heating, Ventilating, Air-conditioning (HVAC) Equipment: Improvements in heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment and systems can not only reduce energy usage and costs but can also significantly improve comfort and improve worker productivity.

Lighting and Lighting Controls:By upgrading lighting, owners can improve the economics of their buildings while enhancing the visual comfort and productivity of occupants.

Motors and Variable Speed Drives: Variable speed drives reduce energy consumption by operating at speeds that vary based on changing loads. Savings from variable speed drives increases as loads decrease.

Networked Lighting Controls; Advanced lighting controls technologies offer extraordinary flexibility so you can customize the lighting to suit your business style and needs while generating significant energy savings.

Process and Manufacturing Equipment: Energy is a significant, controllable expense for most manufacturers, and energy efficiency is a direct way to reduce costs while limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Vending Misers: Today’s vending machines incorporate more efficient compressors, fan motors, and lighting systems to keep beverages cold and the machine visible while using less energy.

Water Heaters: Today’s high-efficiency commercial gas water heaters include on-demand tankless water heaters, indirect water heaters, and gas-condensing water heaters.

NYSERDA Solar Hot Water incentives

Energy Conservation through Behavior:

Don’t forget to tap into your workers’ behavior. There are many ways in which your workforce can change behaviors that substantially reduce your energy consumption.

Behavioral Change and Building Performance: Strategies for Significant, Persistent, and Measurable Institutional Change

From the US Department of Energy, this document is specific to a governmental facility, but the same principles can be used in any industrial or business-type setting.

Guide for schools, but applicable to any commercial setting

Transportation:

Developing a comprehensive fleet management program, with environmental aspects included, can reduce costs associated with vehicle and fuel purchasing, maintenance contracts, route efficiencies and external courier services.

Environmental benefits: Effective fleet management can reduce fuel consumption and associated emissions. Alternative fueled vehicles (propane, natural gas, etc.) may also be viable options that offer reduced environmental impact over traditional gasoline vehicles. Safety and infection control for employees through following AAMI standards for infection control, DOT and OSMA standards for transportation of goods.

Social benefits: Reduced vehicle emissions equate to healthier communities. The less time drivers spend on the roads (through improved route efficiencies) will help to improve staff and community safety.

  • The Sustainable Facilities Tool offers useful sustainable guidance and tools for a variety of topics, including fleet maintenance.
  • SmartWay Transportis the US Environmental Protection Agency’s flagship program for improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution from the transportation supply chain industry.
  • The EPAs Green Vehicle Guideprovides information on vehicle emissions, advanced technologies, alternative fuels, plus tools, videos and expanded information on the SmartWay light-duty vehicle program.
  • Fuel Economy.govoffers resources on fuel efficiency, alternative fuel vehicles and information about EPA ratings.
  • S. Department of Energy’s Sustainable Federal Fleetsprogram offers access to the latest information, applications and resources related to fleet efficiency.
  • Sustainable Cities Instituteoffers resources on fleet management maintenance and repair.

Building Envelope:

From: The Whole Building Design Guide:

For the design, construction and operation of a facility, there is an especially important interface between the indoor and outdoor environments, that of the building envelope. The building envelope is comprised of the outer elements of a building—foundations, walls, roof, windows, doors and floors. The prime functions of the building envelope are to provide shelter, security, solar and thermal control, moisture control, indoor air quality control, access to daylight, and views to outside, fire resistance, acoustics, cost effectiveness and aesthetics. Because of the varied and sometimes competing functions associated with the building envelope, an integrated, synergistic approach considering all phases of the facility life cycle is warranted. This “sustainable” approach supports an increased commitment to environmental stewardship and conservation, and results in an optimal balance of cost, environmental, societal, and human benefits while meeting the mission and function of the intended facility.

Optimize Site Potential– Creating sustainable buildings starts with proper site selection, and the location, orientation, and landscaping of a building affect the local ecosystems, transportation methods and energy use. Consider reuse and retrofit of available existing buildings before deciding to build new.

Optimize Energy Use—A sustainable building should rely on efficiency and passive design measures rather than fossil fuels for its operation.

Protect and Conserve Water—A sustainable building seeks to reduce, control, and/or treat site runoff, use water efficiently, and reuse or recycle water for on-site use when feasible.

Use Greener Materials—A sustainable building should be constructed of materials that minimize life-cycle environmental impacts

Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)— Among other attributes a sustainable building should maximize daylighting, provide appropriate ventilation and moisture control, and avoid the use of materials that are high in VOC emissions.

Optimize Operational and Maintenance Practices—Designers are encouraged to specify materials and systems that simplify and reduce maintenance requirements; require less water, energy, and toxic chemicals and cleaners to maintain; and are cost-effective and reduce life-cycle costs.

Commission Envelope Elements—the building commissioning process should include commissioning of the building envelope to insure that all performance requirements are being met. Commissioning of the building envelope can identify areas of concern related to air infiltration and leakage, moisture diffusion, surface condensation, and rain water entry—all issues that can negatively impact the building’s energy performance and indoor environmental quality. Of particular importance is to begin commissioning of the building envelope during design when design modifications can be easily incorporated, rather than waiting until construction when remediation can cost significantly more.

Alternative Energy

After addressing energy-efficiency opportunities available in your facility, you may also want to consider renewable energy. Renewable energy refers to electricity supplied from energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and biomass. These energy sources are considered renewable sources because they are continuously replenished.

Of course, not every small business can install renewable energy technology at their facility. Fortunately you can buy green power for your facility directly from many utilities at a slightly higher cost than regular electricity. If your utility does not offer green power options you can still participate by purchasing renewable energy certificates. Renewable energy certificates (or green tags) document the purchase of renewable energy.

There are many resources in our partner network to get your company either purchasing or creating alternative energy at your site . Please contact our staff to get more information.

NYSERDA Resources on renewable energies