A new startup company called Honest Buildings is striving to heat up the competition between buildings to promote making more of them green. The company has created a web site which aggregates data from a variety of sources including public databases, building owners, and companies which provide green products and services to create transparency and go-to reference for green building information. Their ultimate vision is to create a site where potential building space lessors could compare buildings to find those with lower energy costs due to energy efficiency technologies used within them. They also aim to provide a system which enables building owners to distribute RFPs and contractors and service providers to respond them for energy efficiency projects such as installing building energy management systems.
Good news is out for those with small businesses in the AEP Ohio service territory. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has revoked the Electric Security Plan settlement which it had originally agreed upon in December of last year.
How much you pay for your business' electric utility bill is determined by a number of factors. Most of us are familiar with actual electric consumption being a factor, but many are unaware of an equally important factor called peak demand. Peak demand is the greatest amount of electrical consumption your building requires at any single point in time. The more electric consuming devices and systems you have running at the same time, the higher your demand. More importantly, devices containing power supplies, compressors, motors, or pumps require a higher initial amount of electric to operate until they are up to speed or capacity. An example would be an air conditioner or furnace. On the air conditioner the compressor has to power up along with a motor for the blower which pushes the cooled air through your ducts. With the furnace, even gas furnaces has blowers to push the heated air through the ducts.
When considering energy efficiency projects for your facilities it's important to ensure you're taking all the financial benefits into account. Most organizations have a firm understanding of the savings from a resulting reduction in energy consumed but often overlook or are unaware of less obvious or indirect windfalls created by these types of projects. These oversights can make a significant difference in the ROI and thus potentially cause a feasible project to look unfavorable. Here are some areas of savings to take into consideration for all energy efficiency projects:
Many Americans and American businesses have been feeling the pinch of the recession and extended economic downturn. Every increase in prices from fueling up our cars to the cost of groceries is making it that much more painful. AEP residential and commercial customers in Ohio can add their electric bills to that list. From December 2011 to January 2012 residential rates of AEP's Columbus Southern Power customers rose 4 percent and AEP's Ohio Power customers by 5 percent. Worse yet, small business (commercial) customers are seeing even higher increases.
The best ways of making our businesses and homes more energy efficient are the ones which cost little or nothing to implement and do not effect the comfort of our environment or the use of devices we rely on. One of the devices most commonly used in people's daily lives, computers, are a significant source of energy consumption. But, it's not like we're going to start using them less or stop using them altogether to save energy either. Fortunately when it comes to computers there is a painless, cost-effective solution; use laptops instead of desktops whenever possible.
The Illinois state legislature recently passed a bill requiring utilities to prove they can deliver on the promises they made regarding Smart Grid projects in the state. It will still allow the utilities to add a $3 per month charge to consumers' bills, but if they fail to meet certain benchmarks in the areas of reduced outages, energy theft, and inactive meters, the state will assess them penalties. It also places requirements on utilities to reduce estimated billing by 90 percent, and bad debt and unpaid bills by $30 million. Failure to meet the goals established in the bill will result in financial penalties, including a portion of their profits. Illinois is the first state to tie financial penalties to Smart Grid projects and their smart meter systems. To read the full article, go to http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/illinois-to-smart-grid-prove-youre-worth-it-or-pay/
I read an article this weekend discussing reasons that there has been a rising interest in cloud computing from businesses and why it will continue to do so in 2012. Of note in the article is the mention of energy efficiency being one of the drivers for the push to this technology.
It's important to install the proper type of light bulb based on the usage patterns. Compact Florescent (CFL) bulbs are not designed to be turned on and off more frequently than once every 3 hours and have the longest life when used this way. In fact, the life of a CFL bulb can be reduced by as much as 40% if they are turned on and off too often. LED bulbs by contrast can be turned on and off as frequently as needed without affecting the life of the bulb. In areas where the lighting is turned on and off more frequently an LED bulb is a better fit than a CFL, and in areas where the lighting is left on for longer durations either bulb would be appropriate. So, the next time you go to replace a bulb think about how the lighting in that area is used and with what frequency it is switched on and off. By doing this you can save yourself a lot of hassle and money.