Energy, Benchmarking and Sustainability

EES is working with several energy experts so that we may better serve our clients as they cope with rising energy costs. This post was written by David J. Smith of Princeton Energy Systems. David works with EES to provide comprehensive energy assessments to our industrial and commercial clients.

To start reducing your energy use, call Tom Petersen of EES at 215-881-9401.

Whether you oversee a factory, manage office buildings or direct the operations and facilities of a college, you are faced with challenge of reducing increasing energy costs. And it’s not just gasoline and oil, which currently hovers at $130 per barrel. Electric prices are climbing as well, and in certain states like Pennsylvania, where price caps are set to come off, the jump can be sudden and dramatic.

Responding to already high and steadily rising energy costs calls for a broader, more comprehensive strategy than simply performing an audit and upgrading some light fixtures or motors. Conducting a benchmark comparison to other similar buildings and facilities in your region is a good beginning and can be done using the EPA’s ENERGY STAR rating system. Based on that information, you’ll at least know on a watts or btus per square foot basis, how your building stacks up and what might be possible in terms of improved energy performance.

A good next step is to have a comprehensive energy assessment performed that goes beyond basic conservation measures and looks at advanced efficiency technologies as well as on-site energy generation including cogeneration and renewable forms of power (e.g., solar and small wind). In a growing number of states and utility areas, incentives and rebates are available for both efficiency and on-site power. Secondly, depending on your volume, consider alternative electric providers, fuel hedges and other purchasing strategies to lower costs and reduce exposure to volatile prices. Third, examine your time horizons. A sustainable approach to energy requires more patience where simple paybacks can be greater than two or three years but where the long-term rates of return can be very attractive, especially as prices rise. Lastly, commit to examining your energy opportunities on a periodic basis – increasing energy prices, expanding incentives and technology innovation make for a dynamic landscape where savings opportunities will continue to emerge over time.

To start reducing your energy use, callĀ Tom Petersen of EES at 215-881-9401.

Number 49 part 1

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