How Your Business Can Save Energy This Summer

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With summer upon us, now is the time for businesses to take steps to save energy before the temperature rises. Upgrading to high-efficiency cooling equipment and lighting are two ways businesses can use less energy and improve comfort this summer. Here are some specific tips to stay cool, save energy and keep energy costs under control.

Cooling Equipment

• Upgrade air conditioning equipment with properly sized units that have a high energy efficiency ratio (EER)

• Replace old motors with properly sized premium efficiency motors that operate at a lower annual cost

• Install variable frequency drives (VFDs) on large motor loads to further reduce energy usage

• Upgrade old chillers with new, energy-efficient units

• Install an energy management system (EMS) that uses temperature set points and operating schedules to optimize climate control

Lighting & Lighting Controls

• Replace fluorescent lights that use magnetic ballasts with more efficient models using electronic ballasts

• Install automatic, occupancy sensor room-lighting controls to turn lights on or off depending on occupancy or time of day

• Change out incandescent or fluorescent exit signs with LED exit signs

• Turn off or dim electric lighting when adequate sunlight is available to illuminate interior space

If you’re planning on improving your building’s energy performance this summer, check to see what funding may be available in your area. In New York City and Westchester County, for example, commercial and industrial customers with a Con Edison electric or natural gas account may be eligible for the following incentives from Con Edison’s Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Program:

• Payment of up to 50% of costs, with a cap of $67,000, for a Level 3 energy audit

• Rebates for high-efficiency electric and gas equipment including lighting fixtures and LED exit signs, packaged heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, motors, chillers, and water and steam boilers

• Performance-based custom incentives for installing high-efficiency equipment or energy-saving solutions not eligible for equipment rebates

Article by David Pospisil, Program Manager of Con Edison’s Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Program, New York, N.Y. You can join the discussion on LinkedIn (Con-Edison-Commercial-Industrial), Facebook (ConEd Green Team C&I), Twitter (ConEd Green Team C&I) and YouTube (ConEd Green Team C&I).

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

1 Comment

  1. David – all great idea. In working with our dealers, many of whom are energy efficiency and HVAC experts, we hear a consistent pattern that a surprisingly large number of facilities can benefit from taking a few simple low / no-cost actions. It (almost) goes without saying that commercial property managers should ensure their thermostats are programmed properly, but more than half of the programmable thermostats we’ve observed in the field are not programmed properly or are stuck on a manual override that is not managed. We’ve also seen cases where the air conditioning duct work has detached above the drop ceiling, rendering the A/C system nearly useless. And the stores wonder why their electricity bills are ridiculously high in the summer…

    We hosted a webinar recently with one of our dealers and a restaurant manager that talk about some simple things they do to keep cooling costs low in the summer month. http://www.powerhousedynamics.com/resources/view-webinar-restaurants/

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