|Utility Audits & Energy Services|
Production tax refund
Energy Management & Energy Efficiency
Whatever the size of your organisation, everyone stands to gain from being more energy efficient. Our range of services endeavour to identify, evaluate, and implement measures to save energy, with financial savings for the client being the priority.
We perform energy and water audits for commercial & office buildings, schools, hotels, apartment properties, hospitals, and industrial / manufacturing facilities
"Demand Dollars fuel our New Economy”
Our Building Automation Industry can now demand dollars for giving back kW of electrical peak demand to the grid. This new reality is changing everything, while creating a new and very demanding Demand Response Industry. This new industry comes with new dollars for our industry which were previously spent on providing electrical generation and distribution.
Energy Efficiency Services
Our energy saving services include:
Sustainable Energy has a team of registered energy consultants on the government's 'Carbon Trust' energy saving scheme, which offers f
- Quantifying your energy consumption and cost
- Benchmarking your energy use against similar organisations
- Identifying specific energy saving measures with the best financial case
- Reducing energy costs
Windows have a significant impact on the cooling and heating requirements of a home. Undesirable solar heat gains through windows in summer increase cooling energy usage, while useful solar heat gains in winter can decrease heating energy usage. Natural ventilation aids cooling, while unwanted infiltration increasesheating and cooling requirements.
HEATING AND COOLING
In comparison to opaque building elements, windows have a disproportionate effect on the heating and cooling requirements of a home. For example:
- Solar transmission through windows can account for 30% of the cooling load. Ordinary interior shading devices reduce this to 20%.
- Solar heat gains during the heating season have the reverse effect and are beneficial in reducing heating bills 10 to 30%. Houses designed to optimize passive solar performance can utilize even more solar gain.
- Infiltration around windows may account for the loss of 10% of the heated or cooled air in a home.
- Natural ventilation through windows can, in some instances, substantially decrease or even eliminate the need for mechanical cooling.
ENERGY SMART HOME
Energy plays a vital role in our everyday lives. We use it for many purposes including keeping warm in winter and cool in summer, providing light to our homes, refrigerating and cooking our food and heating our water.
As beneficial as energy is to our lives, its use can have undesirable effects on the environment. Just about every time we switch on the light or turn on an appliance, we're contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. On average each United States household produces around 6 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year (excluding energy used for personal vehicles and public transport).
It is important that we all realise the implications of our energy use. Not only can it have an adverse effect on the environment - it also costs us money.
There are many easy and inexpensive ways to reduce energy use at home, most of which simply require a change in behaviour. Some others require a modest investment but will pay for themselves through lower energy bills.
So before you buy it, install it, turn it on or plug it in, take a look at the Sustainable Energy Development Office's Energy Smart information provided in this site.
Reducing energy consumption is one way to a sustainable energy future, another involves the uptake of renewable energy. All households and community organisations connected to the United States electricity grid have access to Green Power. There is also Government financial assistance available to assist you install a renewable energy power system or solar hot water system.
Energy Smart Directory
For suppliers of energy efficient and renewable energy products and services, visit the
SMALL SCALE APPLICATIONS
Renewable energy is used in one form or another by U.S. Consumers. Solar energy is the most commonly used type of renewable energy with everyone who uses a clothes line using the free energy of the sun and wind. Solar energy is also used to heat water and if buildings are designed correctly, to provide heat to homes and other buildings in winter.
Renewable energy can be a cost effective alternative to traditional fuel sources in remote locations and has been utilised more and more over recent years in remote area power systems. There are also a number of homes and community buildings in the Western metropolitan area using renewable energy for power generation. The growth in the use of renewable energy for these purposes has been in part attributable to funding assistance from the State Government initially and more recently the U.S. Government DOE.
Remote area power supply systems
In many remote areas of the U.S. the availability, reliability and cost of electricity supplies are major issues. The standard solution is typically to use diesel or petrol generators to meet power requirements in areas distant from established electricity grids.
There can be a number of problems with running stand-alone diesel or petrol generation including noise, pollution and high running and maintenance costs. Generators can also be inconvenient to use. Due to the high running and maintenance costs, continuous operation of a generator may not be financially viable.
Remote area power supply (RAPS) systems, incorporating renewable energy sources, inverters and batteries, can overcome or at least limit some of the problems associated with generator-only systems. Renewable based systems convert energy from the sun and/or wind to electrical energy. When combined with battery storage and back-up from a diesel or petrol generator, renewable based RAPS can provide a reliable, low running cost and environmentally-friendly solution to the energy needs for people in remote areas.
Information about renewable energy RAPS, operating and maintaining RAPS systems and estimating your electricity needs is provided in the following brochures:
Technical information and advice about household sized renewable energy systems is available from the U.S. Gas & Tel. Energy Research Division RAPS display
and advisory service or by telephoning (847) 274-3100. The physical display can be found at your local utility company.
General information about renewable energy, and reducing energy use is available from the Energy Smart Line at 847-274-3100.
Further information, including what type of system may be suitable for your situation, is available by contacting suppliers (26kB PDF)
of renewable energy based RAPS systems.
Grid-connected power systems
Where a property is connected to the U.S. power network or grid, electricity from renewable sources can be generated using photovoltaic (solar) arrays, wind turbines, micro-hydro systems and other renewable generation equipment, and connected to the grid through a grid-interactive inverter (subject to appropriate approvals).
In most cases, renewable energy systems will produce varying amounts of electricity depending on the available resources. For example, solar arrays typically produce the most electricity during the middle of the day. Grid interactive systems allow excess electricity generated to be exported to the grid. Electricity can also be imported from the grid, when the output of the renewable energy generating equipment is insufficient.
The installation of a grid-interactive renewable energy system will have a number of direct economic and environmental benefits, including the reduction of energy bills, the ability to sell excess electricity back to U.S. Power and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
U.s. Power's Residential Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme supports households and community groups that want to install environmentally friendly renewable energy systems to generate their own electricity by allowing them to sell any excess renewable energy back to U.S. Power.
The scheme applies to renewable energy systems from 500 to 5000 Watts (0.5 to 5 kW) in generating capacity connected to the southwest electricity grid. For further information on the scheme, visit U.S. Power's
The Sustainable Energy Development Office is developing a program to help grow the sustainable energy industry in the U.S.. It currently provides support for the industry through a range of financial incentive programs and through the provision of information to both industry and end users of sustainable energy products and services.
Energy EfficiencyPeople today are using energy like never before. Such items as dishwashers, microwaves, washers and dryers, personal computers, fax machines, and modems have allowed us to save valuable time, but it doesn't come without a cost. It is increasingly important to manage the amount of electricity we use, not only to save money, but also to be kinder to the environment Summer Energy Saving Tips
Funds are available through the:
The first three programs provide funding to users of sustainable energy technologies, while the last also provides seed funding and other support for the research, development and commercialisation of locally produced sustainable energy technologies. Further details on each of these programs is available under the Sustainable Energy Development Office Funding and Grants.
Sustainable Energy Links (U.S. Gas 847-274-3100)
The Sustainable Energy Development Office has established an on-line database for the sustainable energy industry for ease in access to sustainable energy products and services. See the Energy Smart Directory.
There are a number of organisations throughout the U.S. which also seek to develop the sustainable energy industry and industry more generally. The Sustainable Energy Development Office provides access to these organisations through its Energy Smart Links. unded consultancy to eligible companies.
This summer save electricity. Save money. And save the environment.
Even with the current price freeze on the price of electricity, there is a strong need to conserve energy this summer.
Our system has been designed to meet normal customer demand for electricity. However in the summer there is a much higher use of electricity and more possibilities of outages.
What can you do to help?
- Clean or replace your air conditioner filter regularly.
- Turn the air conditioner off when you're not home.
- If you have central air, raise the thermostat setting on your air conditioner.
- Turn on ceiling fans, rather than air conditioners, to circulate air.
- Close blinds and curtains during the day to keep the heat out.
- Replace incandescent with fluorescent lights
- Cook outdoors.
- Create natural cooling with shade trees on the west and south sides of your house.
- Shower and run your dishwasher, washer and dryer early in morning or late at night.
- Dry clothes outdoors. They smell wonderful!.
- Don't use heat-producing small appliances (toasters, hairdryers) at peak times.
- Vacuum the coils of your refrigerator and keep other appliances in good working order. Or consider buying new enerGuide appliances.
- Don't heat your pool at night and let hot daytime temperatures warm it during the day.
- Use manual skimmers rather than pool vacuums daily. Vacuum once a week.
- Turn off lights, computers, stereos and TVs when you're not using them.
- Keep those fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
EcoLEDs.com launches energy efficient replacement bulb for 40 watt light bulbs; uses only 5 watts of electricity, lasts 50,000 hours
(NewsTarget) EcoLEDs.com, the newly-launched lighting company offering high-brightness, energy-efficient LED lights for home and office use, has announced the availability of an LED replacement for 40-watt light bulbs. Its "E27 3W LED" light uses only 5.2 watts of electricity and produces 135.2 foot-candles of light on a desk surface from a distance of 24 inches (a typical 40-watt incandescent light bulb produces only 10 foot-candles of light on the same surface).
The light bulb exploits new technology in the area of LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) to deliver a high-brightness, energy efficient light bulb that contains only three LEDs. It fits into any standard light bulb socket and lasts 50,000 hours before needing to be replaced (more than a decade of normal use). Because of its extreme energy efficiency, the light reduces CO2 emissions by 3,570 pounds over its life, compared to a typical 40-watt light bulb. It also saves consumers $178.50 in electricity over its life, more than paying for itself in savings on the electric bill.
"This small, simple light can help consumers greatly reduce their environmental footprint while helping prevent global warming," said EcoLEDs founder Mike Adams, an outspoken advocate of natural health and environmental protection. "They represent a new era in environmentally friendly lighting, and they make incandescent lights and fluorescent lights virtually obsolete."
Currently, about twenty percent of the electricity used in the United States is used to power lights. About ninety percent of that electricity is wasted by the extremely inefficient lighting technology still used today in homes, businesses and schools across the country. Switching to LED lighting could save America billions of dollars each year in electricity costs while dramatically reducing CO2 emissions and helping the country meet its energy independence goals by 2020.
|Smart Energy Living is dedicated to helping you make educated decisions about home energy efficiency. With energy costs continuing to rise, it is becoming more important to contain monthly bills and conserve energy supplies.
As the nation focuses more and more on renewable energy options, it is crucial to realize that to maximize your return, you need to begin with an energy efficient structure. To help you, we've developed an energy efficiency online tool kit that includes reliable information, energy savings and benefits, lists of equipment & services available, and downloadable forms to help you evaluate contractors.
Tax Credits & Rebates
|Beginning in 2006, homeowners can take advantage of incentives to make their homes energy efficient.
Tax credits are available for home energy efficiency, solar energy, passenger vehicles and fuel cells. The federal tax credits were origanlly in effect for work done between Jan. 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2007. On December 20th President Bush approved a bill on December 20th that will extend federal tax credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The wide-ranging Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 extends the production tax credit through 2008 for electricity produced from wind power, geothermal power, biomass, landfill gas, small irrigation power, and trash combustion facilities. It provides a similar one-year tax credit extension for new properties that produce geothermal power or make use of solar energy; for homeowners that purchase solar water heating, solar photovoltaic, or fuel cell systems; for businesses that purchase fiber-optic lighting systems, solar energy systems, or fuel cell power plants; for new energy efficient homes; and for energy efficiency improvements to commercial buildings.
The act extends the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds program through 2008, and increases the total annual amount of tax-credit bonds to $1.2 billion. It extends special tax allowances for cellulosic ethanol facilities to include plants placed in service by 2012. It also extends the research and development tax credit, which encourages businesses to invest in new innovations.
According to the IRS, on the 1040 form, line 52 is the residential energy credit.
There's information on the 1040-ES about how to enter the proper info on the tax forms http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040ese.pdf
IRS Form 5695 should be used in conjunction with the 1040. Form 5695,
Other links that you may find helpful for general tax credit information include:
A new effort has been launched by our education partner, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), in collaboration with other groups to provide a quick reference tool for how these tax credits can benefit you. Visit the Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP), website at EnergyTaxIncentives.org.
Efficiency Rebates. Check with your utility to see if they offer rebates for upgrading equipment, appliances, lighting or sealing air leaks in your home.
Solar Energy Rebates. Due to the passage of Amendment 37 in Colorado (2004), some utilities are offering significant rebates for solar electric (PV) systems. To learn what rebates are available in your area, visit your utility's website.
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Energy Efficiency Tips
You can save energy dollars by following these simple tips. Many of them are common sense suggestions that require no tools or out of pocket expense. Ov
Clean or replace filters at least once a month.
Dirty filters make your system work harder and run longer than necessary.
They also encourage the buildup of mold and mildew, making cleaning more difficult.
er time, you will see your energy efficiency increase and your energy savings multiply.
Shade outside air conditioning units (condensers).
A/C units shaded by trees or other means work more efficiently and use up to 10% less electricity.
Clean your AC's condenser/evaporator coils at the beginning of the season.
Clean coils lower your energy costs, extend the unit's life and provide cleaner air for you to breathe.
The fin coils on the outside AC unit can be washed with a hose.
Coils on inside units may be difficult to get to and may require a trained technician.
Keep debris and high grass away from the condenser.
These obstacles block the airflow to the unit.
Blockage makes the condenser work harder and run longer.
Set your thermostat at 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter.
Each degree cooler or warmer will increase your energy use by 6 to 8%. For instance, setting your thermostat at 72 in the summer could increase energy use by up to 40%. The same is true if you set your thermostat for higher energy use in the winter.
One of the best ways to save energy dollars is to use less air conditioning and heating.
If you have central air conditioning, do not close vents in unused rooms.
This could increase pressure and cause leaks in your ducts. This does not apply to homes or apartments with window units where closing off unused rooms will reduce cooling costs and increase comfort.
Consider new high efficiency air conditioners and heat pumps.
Cash Rebates and Low-Interest Loans Available
They use up to 40% less electricity than older models for the same amount of running time.
Energy offers one of the most comprehensive residential energy efficiency programs in the nation. Each year over 6,000 Energy customers use our rebates or low-interest loans to improve the energy efficiency of their homes or multi-family complexes.
Our energy efficiency programs operate in partnership with a large selection of local businesses that provide free energy audits and install the energy efficiency improvements needed. All work performed is inspected by our energy efficiency technical staff.
We have a variety of programs to meet every need. Take advantage of the best residential energy efficiency program in America. You will save money and improve your comfort.
Demand management can be defined as “utility activities designed to influence customer use of electricity in ways that will produce desired changes in the utility’s load shape – i.e. changes in the time pattern and magnitude of the utility’s load.” This can include load management, strategic energy-efficiency, and on-site generation distributed generation (DG). Load management is traditionally associated with peak-clipping, load curtailment (dimming of lights or changing temperature set points), load shifting (shifting use of water pumps to off-peak periods during emergencies), duty cycling (cycling of air conditioners during peak periods), demand limiting (throttling back on consumption to maintain a pre-determined maximum). Strategic energy efficiency refers to energy efficiency measures that reduce peak demand, such as office lighting retrofits. On-site generation includes cogeneration, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, and standby/emergency generators.
10 cooler ideas for refrigeration system efficiency
Keywords: "hvac", "refrigeration" and "efficiency"
Just as plant refrigeration processes are demanding more energy, plant operations professionals are pushing to reduce overall energy consumption in their manufacturing operations. Why? Because indications are that the future cost of energy will continue to rise. Follow these 10 ideas to improve your refrigeration system efficiency.
Refrigeration is one of the more energy-intensive technologies used in domestic manufacturing operations – primarily food plants. From an energy perspective, the trend in many food plants is toward processes that require more, not less, refrigeration, thereby escalating overall energy requirements. For example, food companies are responding to consumer demand by increasing the supply of frozen ready-to-cook entrees and sides. These products often require quick-freezing unit operations to maintain high product quality. Quick freezing unit operations are among the most energy-intensive in food plants, which increases the total energy required to produce a unit of finished product.
Noise curtains for noisy equipment
Just as plant refrigeration processes are demanding more energy, plant operations professionals are pushing to reduce overall energy consumption in their manufacturing operations. Why? Because indications are that the future cost of energy will continue to rise. So it’s increasingly important for plants to improve operational efficiency to maintain a competitive marketplace advantage. These trends put pressure on plant operations staff to identify effective measures to level or reduce the energy consumption in manufacturing.
dB Engineering's Acoustical Curtain Systems offer an effective, economic method of noise reduction in industrial, architectural, community and OEM noise control applications. Choose options to create total enclosures, partial enclosures, hoods or shrouds, barrier walls and divider partitions.
Strategies for improving the efficiency of industrial refrigeration systems are available for all to adopt. Seemingly a simple order, improving energy efficiency in these systems is difficult for a number of reasons:
1. Floating head pressure control
- Industrial refrigeration systems are custom-engineered to meet a plant’s specific process needs. This makes prescriptive energy conservation measures difficult to identify because each system is “one-of-a-kind.”
- Food production facilities often require continuous refrigeration. Energy efficiency improvement measures that require shutdown are difficult to implement.
- Because refrigeration uptime is crucial, plants’ operations staff are often risk-averse concerning any changes that might undermine their ability to provide “cold” to the production floor.
Consider these 10 ideas aimed at improving industrial refrigeration system efficiency. Each is proven to work. You just need to evaluate them for implementation in your plant’s context.
Many plants operate their refrigeration systems with higher than necessary head (condensing) pressures. Although the ability to reduce a system’s head pressure is limited by ambient conditions, many plants can operate with considerably lower minimum head pressures. If your ammonia-based refrigeration system’s head pressure never falls below 125 psig, you might have an opportunity to improve system efficiency. A useful guideline says you can expect the efficiency of your system’s compressors to improve by 1.3% for each degree F in lower saturated condensing temperature (1°F is about 3 psig for ammonia).
2. Raise suction pressure/temperature
If your plant uses evaporator pressure regulators on all of its loads, it might make sense to raise your system’s suction pressure setpoint. You can expect your system’s compressor capacity to improve by 2.5% for each degree F increase in saturated suction temperature. Efficiency increases depend on the starting point of your suction pressure increase, but improvements in the range of 2% for each degree F increase in saturated suction temperature are possible.
3. Variable-frequency drives for evaporator fans
Because most evaporators don’t operate at their design load 100% of the time, their capacity needs to be varied to meet instantaneous thermal loads. Evaporator efficiency at part-load conditions can be improved in most systems by using variable-frequency drives (VFD) on evaporator fans. The savings attributable to this technology depends on a number of factors including system suction pressure, evaporator part-load ratio, evaporator fan type, and face velocity of air over the evaporator coil.
4. Variable-speed compressors
Approach variable–speed refrigeration compressors with caution. Compressors in these systems tend to be driven by a large-frame motor, which makes the VFD option expensive. At most, consider having only one variable-speed compressor per suction pressure level in the plant. Use the VFD compressor as a trim machine for capacity modulation.
5. Variable-speed condenser fans
In many cases, VFD condenser fans can yield operating costs savings of 2% to 3%, depending on a number of factors including: relationship of heat rejection capacity available to that required, minimum head-pressure setpoint, condenser fan type, and others. If you pursue a VFD project for condenser fans, install VFDs on every condenser fan and modulate their capacity equally to maximize energy savings and avoid liquid management problems on the system’s high side.
6. Heat recovery at oil coolers
It’s possible to recover heat from the discharge gas on high-stage compressors. However, a more effective option is to recover heat from oil-cooling heat exchangers on screw compressor packages. The heat available from oil cooling heat exchangers is available in reasonable quantities and at a higher temperature when compared to the heat available for recovery from the discharge gas stream.
7. Compressor sequencing and control
Controls are required to match compressor capacity to system demand. The most widely used compressor technology in industrial refrigeration systems is the screw compressor. Unfortunately, screw compressor efficiency decreases as it unloads in response to decreasing demand. For example, a typical screw compressor operating at -20°F suction and 90°F condensing will have a full-load efficiency of about 2.2 BHP/ton. When unloaded to its minimum capacity (10% in this case), the horsepower per ton requirement increases to about 8.8 BHP/ton. Review your sequence of operation and minimize the time intervals at which individual machines operate at part-load ratios less than 70%.
8. Improve defrost sequences
Air-cooling evaporators that operate at low temperatures will accumulate frost. As the coil ices up, its capacity decreases, which decreases system efficiency. Manske (2000) estimated that poor hot-gas defrost sequences and controls accounted for 13% of the electrical energy consumption in a cold storage warehouse. Establish a defrost sequence that avoids hot gas dwell times in excess of 15 minutes duration and defrost individual evaporators only on an as-needed basis rather than defrosting on the basis of a time-clock.
9. Convert from liquid-injected oil cooling to external cooling
Screw compressors require some means of oil cooling. Using high-pressure liquid refrigerant for oil cooling is common in a number of systems. Liquid-injection oil cooling conspires to reduce the system’s efficiency because it increases compressor power requirements and reduces capacity. Converting from liquid injection to external (thermosiphon or fluid-cooled) oil coolers can yield savings in the range of 3% to 10%.
10. Reduce parasitic loads
Look for opportunities to eliminate the heat leaks into your system. Attending to failed insulation, inadequate door seals, open doors and oversized conveyor openings are examples of easy fixes that reduce the heat gains that rob your system of both capacity and efficiency. Visual inspections and more sophisticated thermal imaging can pinpoint these hot spots. Find and fix them.
Of course, you’ll need to evaluate each of these suggestions in the context of an individual system. Table 1 rates the 10 opportunities qualitatively (low-medium-high) and by their capital cost (both new and retrofit), operational risk and overall value.
Get more information
In 2004, the Industrial Refrigeration Consortium (IRC) published the Industrial Refrigeration Energy Efficiency Guidebook that covers these and other energy-efficiency improvement strategies for industrial refrigeration systems. In addition, the IRC has published several energy-efficiency improvement-related articles in its quarterly newsletter, Cold Front.. Seeking out, evaluating and implementing energy efficiency improvements at your plant isn’t only enjoyable, it’s rewarding.
Green Living Guidelines features
- Programmable thermostat
- Compact fluorescent lighting
- Adequate insulation and home sealing
- Energy Star appliances
- Energy-saving home electronics
- Solar water heater
- Tankless water heater
- Energy-efficient windows and doors
- High-efficiency heating and cooling
- Photovoltaic solar cells
- Engineered structural wood products are manufactured from fast-growing trees and recycled wood chips, thus helping to safeguard old-growth forests.
- Rapidly renewing wood flooring also protects old-growth forests. Examples include lyptus (a fast-growing eucalyptus that looks like cherry or mahogany), cork, and bamboo.
- Recycled content carpet, commonly known as "pop bottle carpet," uses plastic and recovered textiles and is more resilient and colorfast than conventional carpet.
- Cellulose attic insulation is made from recycled newspaper and sprayed in for superior sealing.
- Low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints
- Central dehumidification to reduce mold and mildew
- Central air purification and ventilation systems
- Central-vacuum system
- Flooring that doesn't harbor dust
Water-Smart Products and Techniques
- Drought-tolerant plants reduce the amount of time and money you'll spend on irrigation.
- Xeriscaping challenges the assumption that grass should always be the dominant design element of a yard and lets the climate determine what makes the most sense.
- Water-efficient appliances such as front-loading washing machines have attracted great consumer interest, and low-flow showerheads and toilets have been mandated by law.
- Water purification devices that use carbon to remove contaminants and reverse osmosis systems are effective in the home.
- Permeable pavement lets rainwater seep through, which reduces runoff and allows the soil underneath to act as a natural filter.
SNF Management and its Windsor Healthcare Facilities Adopts Comprehensive Sustainability Plan
April 22, 2008
(West Hollywood, CA.) On the eve of Earth Day, SNF Management, West Hollywood is announcing its adoption of a comprehensive Corporate Sustainability Plan designed to make significant contributions to energy conservation, resource management, and environmental awareness – as well as to education and research – in the Winsor Healthcare Facilities and beyond.
The plan has been formally approved by the COO Lawrence Feigen, who, in an e-mail message to the SNF community issued today, said the SNF Sustainability Plan "will serve as both the long-term vision and a blueprint for our company's sustainability efforts." The plan's mission statement says that SNF "is committed to global leadership for sustainability through education, research, and action."
Developed as a "living document" that will be updated on a regular basis, the plan was drafted by the Green Team Committee's on Sustainability, chaired by Aruna Poddatoori, Sr. VP of Operations. The group worked in consultation with a broad-based coalition of some Energy experts. "Our staff has made an enormous contribution in raising awareness of the importance of sustainability in our own Windsor Healthcare Facilities as well as in the entire corporate structure and the broader community,"
SNF has adopted a Green Building Policy and committed to constructing and operating both new and existing buildings to meet very high sustainability standards. In addition, the Windsor's healthcare proposed new Long Range Development Plan embraces sustainability, incorporating green building practices, the use of sustainable materials, reduce energy consumption, water reuse, alternative transportation, energy efficiency, and other actions (implement the 4 R's - reduce, reuse, recycle, and renew).
Illustrating how the SNF is committed to being a living example of the principles of sustainability, the Windsor Healthcare Sustainability Plan provides a roadmap for major steps toward achieving sustainability over the next 20 years. It identifies nine functional areas and proposes recommendations, goals, objectives, and benchmarks for each at varying points over the next two decades. The plan's vision includes the development and utilization of emerging technologies while balancing economics with social and environmental impacts.
The goals articulated in the SNF plan are interconnected and consistent with the State of California system wide sustainability goals as stated in the SNF Green Building and Clean Energy Policy. According to the plan's Executive Summary, SNF is positioned both within the Healthcare system and nationally to take a leadership role in the integration of sustainability into better environment via implementation of conservation, discovery, and operations. In addition to the "greening" of Windsor Healthcare structures, SNF already has made significant strides in adopting sustainable practices in several other areas, including purchasing, facility maintenance, and accountability for overall greenhouse gas emissions.
The sustainability plan provides a clear linkage between SNF operations and the experience of Windsor Healthcare tradition, as well as corporate research and community stewardship.
The sustainability plan's stated goals and objectives over the next 20 years, by area of activity, are as follows:
Research and Developments: Promote education and research on the social, economic, and environmental impacts of sustainability by building community, corporate structure, and staff awareness.
Built Environment: Create superior places to work and live that enhance the health and performance of building occupants through sustainable planning, design, construction, operations, retrofits and efficiency implementation.
Energy: Strive to be a climate neutral healthcare facility through energy efficiency, conservation, on-site generation and strategic procurement of clean and renewable energy.
Food: Strive to develop a local and organic closed-loop food system by observing sustainability criteria for all food purchasing, preparation and service, cleaning, waste disposal, and purchase of equipment and supplies.
Landscape/Biotic Environment: Protect and maintain the natural healthcare environment through restoration, preservation, and education while enhancing the facility as a model of healthcare. This includes recreational areas, building landscapes and native habitat.
Procurement: Employ efficient procurement strategies, processes, and systems for the acquisition and responsible use of resources in a manner that supports a "triple bottom line" of economy, society, and environment.
Transportation: Develop transportation strategies that reduce fuel use, air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions while providing opportunities for alternative transportation including bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
Waste: Reduce and ultimately eliminate waste streams in the healthcare facilities with the ultimate goal of a net zero waste healthcare structures through implementation of "cradle to cradle" processes and practices.
Water: Reduce potable water use while protecting and conserving all water resources within the healthcare facilities watershed through implementation of efficiency measures, collection technologies, re-processing and re-use.
Implementation of the plan is the responsibility of Jay Draiman, Director of Utilities & Sustainability an Energy efficiency leader.
The Green Team Committee for Sustainability – will advise and make recommendations on sustainability initiatives, help prioritize and monitor SNF sustainability goals, set funding priorities, and provide guidance on sustainability issues and questions, among other things.
"The SNF Sustainability Plan is a truly collaborative endeavor," said Jay Draiman, "and an exciting milestone in our continuing efforts to create a more sustainable future for the Windsor Healthcare Facilities."
24/DIE CASTING ENGINEER Dec. 1997
Deregulation Brings Competition, Opportunities, to Natural Gas- Dec 1997
Jay Draiman, Director of Marketing
In the mid 1980s the Federal Government deregulated the Natural Gas Industry in a similar manner to the deregulation of the telephone industry twenty years prior.
Subsequently, many independent companies started marketing and transporting natural gas. At the onset, many end-users were skeptical. As time went on many large and small end-users subscribed to a transportation gas program. With such a program the Supplier delivers gas to the local distributing company (LDC) who in turn delivers the gas to the end-user with charges for the meter and deliveries only. Many end-users saved 20-30% on the cost of natural gas and in many cases were able to eliminate the payment of tax on their purchase.
In the late 1980s the local public utility commission granted some LDC's the right to charge special tariffs to end-users who subscribe to gas transportation. Thereafter some small end-users had to withdraw from the program because the new tariffs made the program less beneficial economically for end-users with low annual gas consumption.
As new tariffs went into effect, end-users had to choose which program would be appropriate for them: full backup or zero to variable back-up which saved more money but had the risk of penalty for non-delivery or under-deliv-ery of gas during winter periods. End-users also had the choice of additional storage offered by the LDC's which,
when used wisely, could save more money. Also, grouping meters with the same LDC saved on administrative tariffs charged by the LDC and reduced the risk of penalty by allowing all meters to draw from one pool of deliveries.
In many cases recommendations were made to eliminate multiple meters within the same facility and save on meter and delivery charges by the LDC. While, these actions could save money even if the end-user was not on transportation program, if the end-user is on a certain transportation program, the savings is enhanced even further.
In the mid 1990s certain LDC's programs started requiring the end-user to provide a phone jack by the meter. The gas company then installed a remote reading device to report the gas usage on a daily basis. This device was required for end-users who elected to be on zero or variable back-up. It cost an additional fee to the end-user and it also required the supplier to provide daily uninterrupted deliveries. It also posed an additional risk that, if the supplier did not ship all the necessary gas daily, the LDC would charge a daily penalty for any shortage in deliveries.
Thereafter, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) completely deregulated the interstate gas pipeline industry (also known as FERC Order 636). This allowed the Gas Utility Companies to renegotiate their long term contracts and reduce the cost to reflect current market conditions.
Energy Conservation Methods:
1. Lighting retrofit
a. watt stoppers, occupancy sensors, timers, photocells, low resistance wires, low heat circuit breakers
2. Energy efficient motors
3. Energy management system (building automation) a. Electric demand meters with recording device
4. Gas air-conditioning
a. Solar energy (Wind energy Wave energy) b. Compressed Natural Gas for vehicles
c. The use of compressed gas for alternate supply and/or back-up
6. Thermal windows (caulking & tuckpointing) a. preventing and reducing wind effect
7. Thermal roofing (reflecting paint)
8. Energy efficient boilers
a. proper venting for flames, preventive maintenance, constant calibration of controls, proper sensors, clean air ducts and verify the appropriate size of flow and return ducts
9. HVAC systems, fresh air intake and exhaust systems
10. Humidifiers and De-humidifiers
11. Utilizing the run-off of rain-water for watering lawns, water-cooled air-conditioning, toilets and laundry
a. checking leaking pipes (water, faucets, toilet tanks, steam and return pipes
12. The auditing of utility bills for electric, gas, telephone (local, interstate, international, and cellular) and water (sewer, and the use of rainwater)
Some Utility Companies will give incentives or rebates
to end-users or participate in the cost for energy sav
ings components and methods. ^
24/DIE CASTING ENGINEER Dec. 1997
Again, after the mid 1990s, additional tariffs went into effect which reduced the amount of storage permitted by the LDC to the end-users. Pools were set up and bulletin boards were provided to end-users for a fee. Many end-users had to look for other options for additional storage such as pipeline storage and/or gas futures in order to assure a reasonable price for transportation gas.
Turning now to the "cost" and related costs aspects of gas transportation. There are various ways suppliers charge end-users for the gas: index plus, futures plus, fixed price for twelve months or ten years, management fee or percentage of savings or a combination of the above. Some suppliers do not guarantee reimbursement to the end-user for penalties charged by LDC for non-delivery, under delivery or over delivery of gas. The majority of companies that do guarantee reimbursement for penalties insert a force ma-jeur clause in their agreement with the end-user which many suppliers use arbitrarily for any reason whatsoever and eventually the end-user pays the penalty price.
The cost of gas is not everything. It is imperative that an end-user selects the supplier that can provide a guaranteed uninterruptible supply of gas, strong supply sources, program management, utility management and other varied energy savings services.
Many end-users fail to compute the various charges the LDC's add to their gas bill for deliveries. They assume that the cost of the gas by the supplier is the sole cost, while if you add the various charges by the LDC associated with transportation gas, you'll find out that the cost is higher than originally perceived.
In setting up the account on the transportation gas program, it is important to analyze the best and most economic way to install the phone lines for the meters and to effectuate economic pooling charges and to group accounts in order to minimize costs.
In selecting your gas supply company you should verify the supplier's past performance, financial capabilities, and determine if your supplier will confront the local LDC and/ or the utility commission on your behalf in case of unjustified fees or charges, delays in implementations of programs,MDQ (maximum daily quantity allowed to be delivered daily) errors, unauthorized use, excess use penalty, wrong program billing, errors in delivery credits, etc. Check if the supplier is currently operating on the cutting edge of the latest technology available to the industry and can respond promptly to tariff changes and new innovations.
Pipeline capacity throughout the United States varies substantially. It is of utmost importance for the end-user to determine whether his supplier, or proposed supplier, has had any curtailments of gas deliveries in order to assess how to handle the deliveries of gas and what program to select with the local LDC. In order for the end-user to assure an uninterrupted supply of transportation gas, the end-user may elect to procure from its' supplier firm transportation gas which increases the cost but guarantees the flow of gas.
In recent years various electric generating plants have converted or built new generators that use natural gas as their energy source. This has affected the cost of natural gas during the summer months when additional electric generating capacity is needed.
In 1997 new tariffs were implemented by the LDC's to allow small volume commercial customers to procure gas on the spot market. Some tariffs have been set to start flowing spot market gas to private residences as early as the Spring of the year 2000. The trend is to eventually eliminate your local gas utility company to procure gas on the consumers behalf, but only serve as a gas delivery company.
Currently, additional pipelines are being constructed
which will bring additional capacity. ^j
World leaders when it is a matter of
Your Stake in the Gas Crisis:
An Interview with Yehuda Jay Draiman,
U.S. Gas, Electric & Telecommunications
With natural gas prices reaching epic proportions in
recent months, the Builder spoke with Jay Draiman, a
leading broker of natural gas and utilities, to see what
landlords, developers and property owners can do to
lessen the impact of a rapidly worsening gas situation.
The Builder: As far as gas is concerned, can you briefly
review what gas prices have been in recent months –
specifically in December, January and February?
Draiman: Well, prices peaked in January. And December
prices were somewhere in the upper $.60s, $.70s per
therm and in January they went anywhere from
between $1 to $1.20 per therm. So that by January gas
prices had tripled over the previous year.
The Builder: And how does it look as far as February
and March are concerned?
Draiman: February was down by about 25 percent.
March has seen a further decline of approximately 15
percent. I estimate that the price of natural gas will settle
somewhere between $.58 to $.62 per therm, roughly
double the cost of gas last year, for the near future.
The Builder: We understand that Peoples Gas Co. was
agreeable to setting the price of gas at around $.34 per
therm and they were rejected by the Commerce Commission,
is that right?
Draiman: The problem was due to several factors – it
was not just the city or Peoples Gas. Peoples Gas wanted
to set a price that it felt was reasonable so that they
could buy gas at a fixed price for the next year or so
about 18 months ago. This was a tariff item which had
to be filed with the Commerce Commission, and there
was a lot of discussion back and forth about setting a
price for gas. At that time Peoples Gas was asking for a
fixed price of about $.34 a therm. But the market was
going for about $.25 or $.26 a therm. So many people
were against setting a price which they felt was 40 percent
too high.As a result, they were unable to fix a price
and the deal fell through.
Peoples Gas was actually willing to guarantee the consumers
gas at the price of $.34 a therm, which as we
know today would have been terrific, but hindsight is
always easy to come by when you are dealing with such
The Builder: What are some of your suggestions for
helping to keep gas costs as low as possible?
Draiman: Number one, make sure that your boilers are
firing properly.Make sure that the insulation is proper,
which does not necessarily mean that you will pay less
for gas, but it does make for greater comfort for the tenant.
This could mean physical insulation or storm windows
or replacement windows that help to block the
wind from coming in.
While this will not necessarily save the building
owner more money, it will give the tenant more of a
comfort level so that they do not have winds coming
through the windows.
When you figure the cost of installing the insulation
against the total income, you won’t save any money,
but if your tenant is comfortable, you won’t get
Also, they are saying that you may not see a dollar per
therm next winter, but you may see another $.80 per
them for next winter. So some are talking about the
possibility of trying to lock in prices now for at least
the next 12 months at anywhere between $.50 and
$.60 a therm. And this can be done very simply
through our office.
This would be for one year only. You don’t want to do
that for any longer a period, because we are hoping
that production will catch up with demand by the
Spring of 2002 and by then prices should be winding
The Builder: You also mentioned that in the East many
buildings have dual gas and oil heating systems. Can
you explain the advantages of that, please?
Draiman: Yes, that’s true. On the East Coast, there are
a lot of buildings that have boilers which work on
both natural gas and oil. If natural gas is cheaper than
oil, they use natural gas and vice versa. As a result of
lower natural gas prices at the time, they were all using
natural gas. This put a greater strain and demand on
natural gas prices. And of course, you have to realize
that the electric company is using more than a third of
the natural gas production in the United States. So if
we have another very hot summer, you are going to
see another big increase in the cost of natural gas
because the electric companies are using so much natural
gas to make electricity.
The Builder: Do you have any further suggestions as
to how landlords can help to control the escalating
prices of natural gas?
Draiman: For one thing, you should make sure that
all radiators are properly vented and the pipes leading
to the radiators – those with number 5 vents on the
pipelines – are also properly vented. Also make sure
that every one of the radiators is very slightly tilted to
the valve so that when the steam evaporates, the
water drains right back down into the system That
way you don’t get that banging noise on the radiators,
which is caused by improper drainage – caused when
the steam is hitting the water and it is coming back
down in the system.
The most efficient heating that you can have is hot
water heating. And it’s the most economical of all
forms of heating.
Finally, make sure that you have good control of your
boiler – so that they do not get off calibration. If the
boiler controls are out of calibration, you could wind up
wasting between 15 to 20 percent of your gas.
Jay Draiman can be reached at (847)847-3100.