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Improving The Energy Efficiency Of A Business

With the constant rise in energy prices it is becoming more important for businesses to focus on improving their energy efficiency. There are many ways to improve your business energy efficiency some of which I’ll explain in this article.

Before digging any deeper it is important to have a clear understanding of what energy efficiency is. Energy efficiency in plain English is the efficient use of energy by business or households. Improving business energy efficiency is the goal to reduce the energy consumption within all areas of a business, be it in the production line or in the offices.

Simple examples of energy efficiency improvements are when you reduce by one degree the water temperature of your boiler or insulate the premises so the building uses less heating and cooling. But improving business energy efficiency goes far beyond that.

First of all any commercial building with over 50m2 must have an Energy Performance Certificate to determine its energy efficiency grade. The EPC classify buildings in two distinct categories: Simple Building and Complex Building, this will affect the type of EPC assessor you will need. (For detailed information see resources box link Energy Performance Certificate).

Install smart meters to gain more control over your energy consumption and expenditures. This next generation of electricity meters were developed to put an end to estimated utility bills and meter readings, and provide customers and energy suppliers with accurate information on the amount of electricity and gas being used.

According to a survey conducted by the Carbon Trust, businesses that installed smart energy meters reported savings of 12% a year when combined with consumption data and energy-saving advice. Hence the importance of hiring an energy consultancy company.

Back in the mid 90s the energy industry was revolutionised by the introduction of compact fluorescent lamps (energy saving lights). CFL lamps consume less energy and have a lifespan 15 times longer than ordinary incandescent light bulbs. Nowadays a new lighting revolution is taking place with the introduction of LED Lights.

LED lighting can save up to 90% on lighting bills, since lighting accounts for 40% of your business electricity bill; led lights can not only improve your business energy efficiency considerably but also reduce its carbon footprint.

Fact: Eco Solutions LED lights last on average 50,000 hours thats 42,000 hours more than the traditional tubes.

Replace old machinery with newer and more energy efficient. Modern machinery uses significantly less energy. With that mindset the UK Government is working on a multi-billion pound scheme help more than 4m businesses replace energy hungry equipment with more energy efficient ones improving their overall business energy efficiency.

As you can see improving your overall business energy can be strenuous job and it is best if left to the professionals. So my final advice here is hire an energy consultancy firm and let their energy consultants find the best ways for your business to save money on energy bills.

Julianconstruction.com Increasing Energy Efficiency With Solar Panels

Solar panels make homes more energy efficient. The electricity that is generated by the panels is not only good for the environment, it can reduce your energy costs. The amount of money you can save by installing solar electrical systems is determined by how much electricity is used in your home.

Another benefit of installing solar panels is net metering, a term used to describe the policy of contributing any unused electricity back to the utility grid. Net metering was implemented to promote private investment in renewable energy. In California, it is a special billing arrangement that provides credits to customers with solar PV systems. How does net metering work? Solar panel systems generate most of their electricity during the middle of the day when the sun is shining. If your home produces more electricity than what is required, it goes back to the main utility grid. Homeowners receive credits at full retail rates for this excess electricity.

In addition to energy savings, installing a solar electric system helps reduce CO2, NOX and SO2 emissions. In a poll conducted by USA Today, 91% of survey respondents preferred solar power compared to other sources of power.

Solar panels do not make any noise and require very little maintenance. They can be installed when a home is being re-roofed and will add significant value to the property. The state and federal government also offers homeowners special tax benefits and rebates for using clean energy solutions. For example, California residents (and business owners) will receive cash back incentives under the states Go Solar program.

Do you want to know more about your current energy usage? The EPA has several tools that can help homeowners evaluate their energy usage and find out the best way to become more energy efficient. These EPA tools include the Home Energy Yardstick:
https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=home_energy_yardstick.showgetstarted

and Home Energy Advisor:
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=home_energy_advisor.showGetInput&__utma=172919287.1213405742.1380054400.1380054400.1380054400.1&__utmb=172919287.8.9.1380055517445&__utmc=172919287&__utmx=-&__utmz=172919287.1380054400.1.1.utmcsr=google|utmccn

The Home Energy Yardstick is an assessment of how much energy your home used during the past 12 months compared to similar types of homes. The data that is used to conduct the assessment comes from your utility bill. The tool uses an algorithm based on the size of your home, number of occupants and the weather in your area. Scoring is on a 1 to 10 scale. A home that scores 10 is performing well compared to other similar homes, while a home that scores 1 is performing poorly when compared to similar types of residences. To use the tool, you will need to provide your zip code, the square footage of your house, the number of occupants and utility bill data for the past 12 months.

The Home Energy Advisor is an online service that gives you free advice on improvements that can increase the energy efficiency of your home. To receive your recommendations, you will need to provide your zip code, data on how your home is cooled and heated, and information on the type of water heater that you use.

If you want to decrease energy costs and are considering installing solar panels, general contractors with experience in solar panel installations should be contacted to discuss your specific needs and options.

Ways To Improve Energy Efficiency In Your Home

Heating and cooling bills account for over half of the monthly expenditure of American homeowners, when talking simply about fees associated with home ownership. This stems from a variety of causes, from the windows to poor insulation. The result is a home with an overactive HVAC system, drafts and other similar issues. Additionally, homeowners increase their carbon footprint due to the abundant use of energy to heat their home. Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane are expended with your HVAC system, which are attributed to global warming. Insulation can block some of these emissions, while reducing your electrical use can lower the rate of greenhouse gases as well. There are many ways that home owners can combat their energy use, so its important to create a budget to determine what you can afford and what will help your energy use the most in the long term. It can be expensive to make these changes to your home, but improving the energy efficiency in your home will not only reduce monthly expenditures, but increase the resale value of your home.

Windows and Doors

One of the biggest places that energy escapes is from the windows and doors, so its important to verify their status. If you live in an older house, chances are that the materials used during the building process are out of date and may simply require an upgrade. Look around the jamb and windowsill to determine whether the caulking may need a repair or inspect wooden frames for any warping, chips or other, more significant damage. Caulking is easy to repair, but more serious signs like condensation, frost on the inside of the windows and chips in the wood are more serious physical signs that you need new windows. Doors have a clearer cut sign; when you close the door if you can see any light coming from the outside into your home, its time to replace the door. Its either become damaged during its years of use or it was uninstalled properly. Lastly, if these items seem visually alright, you may simply want to feel the temperature near the questionable windows. For example, a window that feels frigid to stand in front of during the winter months is not energy efficient. And when that happens, an abundance of your homes energy is lost through these spaces.

Electronics

Every appliance that you own should be equipped with an energy-efficient tag or it needs to be replaced. Older models may be sturdy and reliable, but without the certification you may be spending too much on your energy bill. Its also important to unplug items like the toaster or your computer, when they are not in use. These items can increase your bills for no reason when they are plugged intot the wall. Its also important to not leave the refrigerator open for long periods of time, which make the air escape and the appliance work harder. Lastly, dont run the dishwasher until it is full, instead of just doing it one load at a time.

Insulation

One of the biggest places to lose energy is inefficient insulation. When properly installed, installation acts like a barrier between your home and the sun, keeping it cool in the summer. And during the winter months, it safely keeps the warmth inside your home. The result is a home with a constant, comfortable temperature. Talk with a professional insulation team to determine whether your home qualifies for an upgrade.

How to Improve Energy Efficiency in Houston, TX Homes

The best time of year to make home improvements on home efficiency is before cold weather arrives, especially in Houston, Texas. Doing an inspection for checks to find drafty areas of the home is beneficial in making the home more comfortable and in saving money. Determine what do-it-yourself and professional repairs need to be done to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from invading.

Radiant Heat Barriers
Call reliable local insulation contractors in Houston, TX to determine what type of protection the attic needs. They may make several recommendations to prevent energy inefficiency in what is typically the least efficient room in the home. Foil radiant heat barriers placed in the attic further prevent heat from leaving the home. This means the heating system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the house at a pleasant temperature level, leading to further energy savings. These can be installed quickly and, once again, saved money may make it pay for itself in the long run. Foil sheeting costs a little bit more than the typical spray-on Houston radiant barrier, but it is worth the extra investment for those who can afford it. It blocks about 97 percent of the Houston sun’s heat from entering the home in the hot summer.

Chimney
Keep the flue closed in the chimney when it is not in use. Not only does this prevent cold, blustery air from blowing in, it also prevents animals seeking shelter from roosting in the attic for the wintertime. Invest in glass or metal doors in front of the fireplace. Keep them closed when the fireplace is dormant. Use fireproof mortar as needed to fill in chinks in the bricks.

Doors
Add storm windows to exterior screen doors. If they already have them, be sure to lower or raise the windows as winter rolls in. The less chance cold air has to sneak into the home, the less warm air must be generated to combat it. Add a draft blocker in front of doors with gaps beneath them. This is not only useful for the exterior, but interior doors as well. A chilly room that is seldom used harbors cold air which escapes into the warm house.

Crawlspaces
Like attics, Houston crawlspaces can harbor cold air and allow warm air from the rooms above it to escape below. Add insulation to prevent air from escaping to unused portions of the home, such as the crawlspace and attic.

Saving Money With Energy Efficiency

A home should be an environment that is comfortable in both the hot, summer months and the frigid, cold temperatures of winter. However, heating and cooling your home so that it is comfortable during these extreme temperature periods can get to be quite expensive. If you aren’t careful, you can rack up a huge energy bill during the winter or summer months without even realizing it. Heating and cooling a home requires so much energy, so sometimes consumers can become devastated at the amount they pay at the end of the month.

However, there are ways to save money on heating and cooling your home. These ways often have a less harmful impact on the environment and a less harmful impact on your pocketbook. While these methods may require an initial investment to make them operational, the money you save over time in heating and cooling your home will be worth the initial investment.

Insulate Your Home

The first and easiest way to make heating and cooling your home more energy efficient is to ensure that air is not escaping from your home or seeping in from the outdoor environment. Poor insulation is often the number one culprit in homes that use energy inefficiently.

You can improve the insulation in your home by installing energy efficient windows that are double paned, or you can have the cracks and gaps sealed around the windows with insulating material. You can also add insulation to your attic and prevent warm air from seeping out through your roof. These small home improvement fixes can help you save a lot of money on your energy bill at the end of each month.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Another great way to make your home more energy efficient is to install a geothermal heating and cooling system in your home. Geothermal systems rely on the heat that is generated from the ground in order to make your home more comfortable.

The earth is a wealth of energy, but many consumers don’t know how to tap into the energy that is right below their feet. A geothermal heating and cooling system taps into the heat sources and uses them to power an HVAC system. This type of system is expensive initially, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the course of a lifetime.

Solar Heating and Cooling

Solar power is another great way to save money on your energy bills each month. The energy from the sun is completely free and is abundant almost all year round. If you live in an area of the world that does not have a lot of rainfall, solar heating and cooling systems may be perfect for your area.

A solar heating and cooling system uses huge solar panels to absorb the energy from the sun and convert that energy into a usable energy that can help to power an HVAC system. With the energy from the sun powering the heating and cooling system in your home, you won’t have to shell out so much money each month to an energy company.

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Energy Efficiency In Power Generation

With natural gas prices being steadily on the rise, EIA reports indicate an expected decline in the usage of natural gas for power generation. The increasing costs of fossilized fuel resources, their limited availability and steady demand now make it mandatory for countries to consider energy saving means to utilise these resources for power generation.

Energy efficiency in power generation enables countries to harness precious natural resources in a sustainable manner. It has been observed and reported that conventional power plants generating electricity from natural resources tend to lose a major part of it during different stages of the process itself. For example, just 1% of the electricity generated at a conventional power plant is available for end use, in the case of domestic lighting. There are consistent energy losses at each stage of power generation, apart from losses during transmission and conversion at the end-user point.

Fossilized fuel sources theoretically offer high electricity generation efficiencies when compared to renewable or clean energy sources, except for water, as large scale hydro-electric power generation facilities tend to efficiently harness the power of water. The energy harnessed, however, should be fully utilised to justify the costs and efforts put into the process. Steam turbine-based power production results in approximately 65 % wastage in terms of heat generated during the process, while the type of fuel used also influences the energy efficiency of the system.

Cogeneration is an energy saving, sustainable alternative to conventional power production. The concept or technique involves an efficient power generation system that also utilises the heat or thermal energy generated from the system to heat spaces or water, or even to power adsorption chillers used for refrigeration purposes. This heat is otherwise rendered waste, resulting inefficient fuel usage. Gas turbines are extremely efficient in reclaiming heat lost in power production and are widely used in combined heat and power plants, and combined cycle power plants that are based on the concept of cogeneration.

With countries, such as Japan, set to decommission their ageing nuclear reactors to comply with standard safety protocols, demand for fossil fuels is certainly expected to be on the rise, making them even more costly. Efficient utilisation of these fuels, especially for power generation, is the only way to make the process sustainable and cost-efficient.

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Global Energy Efficiency Challenge Is Spearheaded By The Us

Forward thinking companies have immediately taken steps towards initiatives in response to the Global energy Efficiency Challenge that was recently launched by the U.S. government. While some initiatives are very diverse and also niche related, others are focused on the promotion of education and awareness towards taking action in the mainstream market. Most of such initiatives were already launched at the Clean Energy Ministerial that recently took place in Washington DC. The United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) points out that there are recently significant investments made on energy efficiency across the board. Most of such initiatives are focused on building efficiency, that are estimated to account for about 60% of the GHG emissions worldwide in every year. Seeing such as a priority, the DOE has already invested funds for the certification of inspectors, operators, technicians, auditors while allocating grants for research as it is pushing energy efficient initiatives.

A variety of forward thinking initiatives have been created as a result of the Global Energy Efficiency Challenge, which was launched recently by the United States government. There would be diverse initiatives which could also be niche related, with the other aiming towards the promotion of education and taking action in the mainstream. The Clean Energy Ministerial has launched many of such initiatives in Washington DC.

The Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (GSEP) is among the most significant initiatives out of the Clean Energy Ministerial. This partnership involves a three-pronged approach to efficiency improvements in commercial buildings and industrial facilities. Some countries that have participated in the Copenhagen energy Summit have thrown criticisms at the United States, and the United States government’s initiative on the Global Energy Efficiency Challenge could concoct a very welcome buzz. There are some other countries which have signified support to the project to become part of such partnerships, with such countries combined would represent over 80% of the total worldwide energy consumption.

One of the primary goals of the GSEP is to develop a certification process to make sure that energy efficiency improvements are meaningful and sustainable. The companies that are participating in the pilot program will need to adopt an energy management system and establish baseline energy performance. There is also a need to undergo a process that ensures the improvements of efficiency in the future, which are to be done according to approved protocols that have been subjected to unbiased validation. Large companies like Target and Wal-Mart, which comprise the largest retail outlets across the globe, have signified commitment to have a dedicated staff implement partnerships which are created under the Global Energy Efficiency Challenge. The staff will in turn ensure that employees within the organization are trained on the program. Participating companies will upload their findings to a centralized database, where the data will be made available as generic sector benchmarks.

The companies selected to take part in the GSEP represent commercial buildings, retail operations, industrial facilities, public buildings and educational settings and the information collected from their operations will be made available as application specific case studies. As soon as the feedback is achieved, the actual process of certification shall be deemed final which will be released to be adopted across the board. Companies are in a waiting list, ready to participate, which is also an indicator that the GSEP pilot project is very popular. The GSEP partnership and the Global Energy Efficiency Challenge are further reminders that every organization needs to be fully aware of its relative efficiency. This program is so popular, which becomes a very strong indicator of its consequent impacts to energy efficiency that would bring gains in any company’s reputation and improving an organization’s proactive stance in such direction.

Solar Contractors Solare Energy Helping Californians Increase Energy Efficiency

In spite of all available information on the subject, achieving energy efficiency through solar powered systems can still be difficult to achieve without experts who can offer practical advice based on cutting-edge knowledge and years of experience in the field. That’s why many people are now turning to solar power equipment installation contractors such as the experts at Solare Energy, when they require high efficiency solutions that are designed for seamless integration within their home or business.

Headquartered in San Diego County, Solare Energy provides residential, commercial and governmental customers with smart energy solutions that integrate both solar and energy efficiency systems. These solutions help to ensure that clients receive cost-effective, environmentally-friendly and highly efficient energy production systems that provide them with the ideal energy production capacity for their long-term future.

Many of the company’s most prominent customers are governmental contractors. Federal agencies including military facilities and others must meet strict energy management requirements that are outlined within federal statutory laws and regulations. This is outlined by recent policy documents such as the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the National Energy Conservation Policy Act which has set in place a concrete set of energy goals that federal facilities are mandated to follow. The goals included with this legislation include: a 30% reduction in energy intensity by 2015, 7.5% of the electricity consumed by the Federal government must come from renewable energy by 2013, and the introduction of a policy whereby federal agencies can only lease space in buildings that have earned the Energy Star label.

Solare Energy now works to help federal agencies to meet these government set mandates by helping specific agencies identify problematic areas and helping them to carry out energy efficient project opportunities. In addition, solar contractors Solare Energy also work with federal agencies to analyze the various financing options that are available to them as a government workforce, including utility service contracts, power purchase agreements and government specific energy incentive programs.

As specialist solar contractors, Solare Energy is also now working with state agencies to ensure that they comply with the recently introduced Green Building Action Plan, which mandates that state buildings in California must be 20% more energy efficient by 2015. The precursor to the Green Building Action Plan, the Green Building Initiative also mandates that state agencies review the benefits of using clean and renewable on-site energy generation technologies in all new buildings or large renovation projects. Solare Energy has been involved, working directly with the California state legislators on a number of key projects, to identify and carry out solar and energy efficiency opportunities within the state. In addition, because of the company’s role as a promoter as well as a pioneer of solar technology, Solare Energy also helps to finance solar projects through the use of third-party solar PPAs [Power Purchase Agreements].

Working to make America a more cost-efficiency energy producing nation, one building at a time, Solare Energy are one of the country’s leaders when it comes to innovative solar energy efficiency technology. Contact the organization today to find out how these industry specialists can help to cut down your energy bills.

Improve Your Business Energy Efficiency By Hiring An Energy Broker

As the energy market grows more complex with new regulations, extra fees, and penalties for exceeding energy usage, carbon commitment reductions and prices going up and down all the time. It has never been so hard to keep control of our business energy expenditures which brings to the spotlight the need of hiring an independent energy broker.

Energy brokers are highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals trained to help businesses of all sizes reduce their energy costs by improving their energy efficiency and consequently reducing their carbon footprint.

It is important to notice how energy saving, efficiency and CO2 footprint reduction are all tied up and as afore mentioned an energy broker can help businesses alike improve in all three areas.

Energy brokers can help companies make significant savings in their energy bills, through well informed procurement decisions, by eliminating and recovering overpayments, and by helping those customers manage their energy consumption through consumption data reports, and ongoing invoice analysis.

In most cases energy brokers are not tied to any major supplier that is why they can provide independent advice by analysing a comprehensive panel of suppliers to find the right solution for your business with total transparency.

Transparency is very important to take for granted when hiring these professionals. Look for energy consultancy firms that offer a free procurement service, impartial advice and comparisons. This will ensure that the best available deals are presented to you despite the deals between the suppliers and the energy consultancy firm.

With the threat of global warming and its effects, it is our job to find solutions to this problem. With new carbon reduction regulations coming into place the best way to ensure that your business is in compliance with such regulations is to buy electricity from alternative energy suppliers. Here is when energy brokers come in handy again; they can help your company secure the best deals with renewable energy providers, thus making it easier to use cleaner energy.

The use of green energy will help deter global warming and energy waste as well as boost your company Corporate Social Responsibility.

To sum things up hiring an Energy broker can uncover areas for significant improvement that may not have been previously identified. You know what they say a “fresh pair of eyes” provides an independent and fresh approach to evaluating opportunities that can add value.

The Use Of Appliances With Energy Efficiency Check Business Electricity Prices

Electricity is no doubt consumed at incredible rate in manufacturing industries, commercial sectors and business hubs. Over consumption of electricity adds to their overall operation costs. Energy efficiency should be among their must-to-dos to reduce production cost and raise the level of profitability. Being ignorant of the benefits of energy efficiency, commercial sectors keep no curb on the use of electricity. There are several ways to keep electricity consumption in check and reduce business electricity prices.

Some facts are there to consider while shopping for electronics goods. Make sure to look for electronics devices that are labeled by an energy saving body. Such products are preferable for their limited absorption of electricity. Check the logo of the energy saving body on the products as the logo is a proof of authenticity of the products.

Integrated electronic appliances are energy-saving products. They are available in a wide variety. Integrated gadgets are highly recommended to use in day-to-day life as they consume less energy than other electronics goods. Hence, they cost less for energy consumption. Their use in business hubs is sure to keep business electricity prices at bay. With an in-built CD player or DVD player, a TV ensures energy efficiency more than a TV with a separate CD or DVD player.

Household and business electronics goods come with energy-saving features. Several appliances are available with an option of automatic standby. Such appliances when not in use, automatically shift to standby mode. An appliance consumes less energy in standby mode than on full power. It is the wise of you to purchase such appliances for use.

The degree of energy consumption by TVs varies with their types. So choose the type of television that ensures energy efficiency. A flat screen television needs three times more energy than a regular model. Choose a flat screen TV set of LCD type as it retains greater energy efficiency than plasma TVs. Do not forget to check the level of energy consumption and the rate of energy efficiency with every electronics product before making a purchase. It is sure to restrain the rise of business electricity prices . Appliances are available with a guide on how to use them.

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