Family Services of Greater Boston, one of the city’s oldest non-profit human service agencies, took action to reduce high-energy costs at its Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts facility. T-8 lamps with electronic ballasts and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were installed throughout the facility, along with timers and occupancy sensors. Exit signs were upgraded with energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) units and exterior lighting was replaced with high-intensity discharge (HID) fixtures. Family Services did not stop with lighting; they also replaced the facility’s aging heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, incorporating variable speed drives. Family Services installed an energy management system (EMS) to monitor and control the lighting and HVAC systems. Family Services is saving a total of $35,000 annually on its electric, gas, and water bills-a handsome reward for their efforts. The approximately 198,000 kWh and 11,400 therms saved will prevent about 472,500 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.
The Main Street Landing Company, located in Burlington, Vermont, is a redevelopment design and development team. Melinda Moulton and Lisa Steele, the founders of the company, enjoy the challenge of educating others about the importance of environmentally sound development that reflects the community’s image. To illustrate this concept, Main Street Landing incorporated energy efficiency improvements in the original design of its 67,764 square foot redevelopment project for the City of Burlington’s waterfront area. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), metal halide lighting, and T-8 fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts were installed. Occupancy sensors and LED (light emitting diode) exit signs were also included. Solar hot water is used throughout the facility, and an Energy Management System (EMS) allows use to be monitored. Recycled materials were used wherever possible and a radiant heated floor was installed. Additionally, the Main Street Waterfront project was landscaped with energy efficiency in mind.
The upgrades save approximately $4,000 annually, and nearly 34,600 kWh of electricity. This prevents nearly 60,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year. According to Steele and Moulton, “investing in energy efficiency is easy. Enormous amounts of information and resources were available from Burlington Electric Department and ENERGY STAR to insure that the redevelopment plan was done right the first time. Also, the investment in energy-efficient technology came back threefold: decreased energy costs, increased employee productivity, and the demonstration of our community conscious reputation.”
Northeast Cooperative is a Vermont-based distributor of organic produce, natural foods, and natural products. Its workers and member consumers, who are primarily natural food stores and consumer buying groups, own the company. Northeast Cooperative employs 400 people who serve stores in the northeast, New England, mid-Atlantic, mid-western, and southern states. With the assistance of Efficiency Vermont, the state’s new energy efficiency utility, Northeast Cooperative installed a new refrigeration system that is “not only more efficient and more reliable than the previous system, but also more environmentally friendly-giving us three significant benefits,” affirms the company’s President, Terry Appleby. “And the technical and financial assistance provided by Efficiency Vermont has been indispensable.” Other energy saving measures installed by the company included energy-efficient motors and metal halide lamps with high-low ballasts.
In total, Northeast Cooperative spent $525,000 on energy efficiency upgrades for their facility with $110,000 of it paid for by an incentive from Efficiency Vermont. These energy-efficient upgrades are saving Northeast Cooperatives approximately 1,250,000 kWh of electricity and $140,000 per year, and preventing more than 2,000,000 pounds of CO2 emissions.
Harbec Plastics, Inc., a manufacturer of plastic parts, aspires to be a more environmentally sustainable manufacturing company, while maintaining sound economic policies. Working towards this goal, the company has made several energy efficiency upgrades to its 40,000 square foot manufacturing facility located in Ontario, New York. The lighting system was upgraded with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), T-8 fluorescent fixtures, high-pressure sodium lighting, occupancy sensors and the use of daylighting where applicable. Insulation and window film were added to the building envelope. The company’s most innovative upgrade has been the installation of a micro-turbine generating plant that runs on compressed natural gas, and produces electricity that is used to operate the facility. The exhaust heat from these turbines is used to heat the building through radiant in-floor heating systems and forced air systems. In warm weather, air-conditioning is created by an absorption chiller, which uses the waste heat from the turbines. Harbec’s energy efficient technologies have saved over 446,000 kWh of electricity, and prevent about 750,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. This saves Harbec Plastics approximately $50,000 per year. President of Harbec Plastics, Bob Bechtold, cites the added benefit that the micro-turbine generating plant “has increased our power dependability and reduced the potential for power outages and brown-outs.”
The New Victory Theater was built in 1900 and helped to establish 42nd Street as New York City’s new theater district. New York’s oldest active theater, it is now a “Broadway” family theater offering live performances to an audience of 500 patrons. To address its energy usage and costs, the Theater had an energy audit done by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in 2001 and then proceeded to implement NYSERDA’s recommendations.
A lighting upgrade involved replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and lower wattage PAR lamps. Motion sensors were installed where appropriate and incandescent exit signs were replaced with highly efficient light-emitting diode (LED) models. The building’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems were tuned up, programmable thermostats were installed and a temperature schedule established to ensure optimal operation of the systems. In addition, the theater is currently installing a steam heating system on the stage to replace the old electric heating system. The building’s envelope was “tightened up” by adding R18 insulation on the stage roof, painting the roof membrane with reflective silver colored paint, installing door sweeps, and adding foam insulation in door and window frames as well as in any other gaps and crevices. The theater also reduced water waste by installing energy-efficient showerheads and faucet aerators. Appliances, such as dishwashers and refrigerators, were replaced with energy-efficient ENERGY STAR labeled models.
Benno van Noort, New Victory’s Facilities Manager, says “The lesson we learned is that improving energy efficiency is not as hard and expensive as it seemed at the onset. Working with NYSERDA was a positive experience, and their recommendations were realistic and fairly easy to implement.” Due to the upgrades, the New Victory Theater has achieved a 25 percent decrease in its electricity and gas usage over a six-month period, and saves $10,000 annually. The approximately 53,000 kWh in electricity and 1,300 therms in gas they are saving annually will prevent nearly 104,000 pounds of CO2 emissions.
“Investing a little money in energy efficiency initially helps save money in the long run,” according to John Stahlman, Director of the Child Evangelism Outreach, Inc. & Fellowship Bookstore in Washington, Pennsylvania. While constructing a 3,360 square foot addition to its existing 2,430 square foot location, the bookstore installed several energy-efficient upgrades. A new high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system was installed. The building envelope was improved with new insulation and energy-efficient windows. A lighting upgrade was performed with the installation of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) exit signs. The hot water heater was switched from electric to gas and a recirculating hot water pump was installed, allowing hot water to be available within seconds as opposed to the minutes it used to take. Low-flow showerheads and faucets, and energy-efficient toilets also contribute to savings. Now, with more than twice the square footage, Child Evangelism Outreach, Inc. is saving more than $500 per year, with $350 of that in electric savings. The approximately 4,400 kWh of electricity being saved is also preventing about 9,200 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.
Dr. Carolyn W. Hines, President of C.W. Hines and Associates, a management-consulting firm from Newport News, Virginia, knows the value of energy management. The firm implemented a number of carefully planned steps in 2000, when it won the 2000 ENERGY STAR for Small Business Award for the Newport News building. This year’s winner for C.W. Hines is a different facility located in White Stone, Virginia, which has achieved even more savings for the company. An additional $1,500 was saved in electric, gas, and water usage in a 2,100 square foot facility. The savings of 8,600 kWh and 800 therms prevents more than 27,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually. The firm upgraded this office building to include energy-efficient features like compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), T-8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts, and sodium and metal halide lighting complete with occupancy sensors, which drastically cut its monthly electricity bill. The architect also optimized the natural lighting in the building, and window films and solar screens were placed on the new east and west windows to reduce heat gain. Additionally, new heating and air conditioning units were installed with passive solar energy technology, and new maintenance schedules should keep the facility running efficiently for years to come. According to Dr. Hines, “training the employees to use office equipment more efficiently was another great low-cost way to save money!”
Tom Buzas, Manager of Rockville Harley-Davidson, of Rockville, Maryland, has taught his 40 employees the value of energy efficiency. By replacing old windows, installing window films, and purchasing a high-efficiency air conditioner, Buzas has decreased drafts and temperature fluctuations in his 15,000 square foot facility. Additional upgrades such as installing automatic set-point thermostats, replacing traditional T-12 fluorescent lamps with metal halide lighting and installing an energy management system (EMS) not only saved money - $630 per year - but increased the comfort of the building as well. Thanks to these upgrades, Buzas saves about 9,400 kWh of electricity, and over 100 therms of natural gas, which reduce his CO2 emissions by nearly 21,000 pounds annually. “Now that the indoor air quality is better, and the temperature is more constant, the store employees are happier and healthier.”
The Thurgood Marshall Center, a 35,000 square foot YMCA located in the Shaw district of Washington, DC, is saving more than 36,000 kWh of electricity, while preserving the center’s historical character. One of “Save America’s Treasures” 101 historic buildings, the Thurgood Marshall Center was designed by Booker T. Washington’s son-in-law, Sidney Pittman and opened in 1912; its cornerstone was laid by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, and it was once home to poet Langston Hughes.
The Center has retained its classic historical appearance and the historic feel of the building while achieving lower operating costs. The center has seamlessly installed a new, efficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system with 20 zones, each with a programmable thermostat. The installation of multiple zones allows precise control of the HVAC system, leading to greater occupant comfort and reduced energy usage. Window treatments have been incorporated on the building’s south-facing side to allow regulation of winter solar gain. The center has also addressed lighting with extensive use of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), exterior high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting and T-8 lamps with electronic ballasts in the office suites. The center also employed active energy management practices, including educating tenants on efficient operations. The facility’s personnel continue to seek ways to save more energy and are currently researching the purchase of an energy management system (EMS) to allow central control of HVAC and lighting. Thanks to their efforts, the Center saves $2,900 annually, and prevents nearly 76,000 pounds of CO2 emissions.
When Jack Corthell, President of Orlando, Florida based Aircraft Engineering & Installation Services Inc. (AEI), decided to move the company to a recently purchased 24,000 square foot manufacturing facility, he enlisted the help of the University of Central Florida’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). AEI, a designer and manufacturer of custom Avionics System Integration Kits for all types of avionics system upgrade applications, asked the SBDC how to make needed modifications to make the building as energy-efficient as possible. As a result, the roof was replaced, and additional insulation and a high-reflectivity roof membrane were installed to reduce heat gain through the roof. A passive daylighting system was installed on the second floor consisting of 21 tubular skylights, which produced energy savings as well as increased productivity of the employees. T-8 fluorescent fixtures with electronic ballasts were installed in the rest of the building and occupancy sensors were used wherever possible. AEI also upgraded the exit signs to highly efficient light-emitting diode (LED) models. Finally, the air conditioning system was improved with a high-efficiency model with electronic controls. With all the upgrades, Aircraft Engineering & Installation Services Inc. calculates annual savings of over $14,000, due to about 207,000 kWh of electricity savings that prevents about 459,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.
Lighting Components and Design, Inc., located in Deerfield Beach, Florida, is a state-of- the art manufacturing and engineering company specializing in the production of miniature lighting components. As part of a major plant expansion and redesign to add 50 percent more assembly floor space, the company implemented several energy initiatives. A cross functional team of engineering, facilities maintenance, finance, and human resources staff was formed to do research and develop a template of the company’s energy efficiency improvements. The majority of this template came from information found on the ENERGY STAR Web site, supplemented by an analysis of projects that were done by previous award winners.
The building envelope was “tightened up” by improving the insulation in ceilings, outside walls, and loading dock doors, adding insulating window shades and film, replacing weather-stripping and caulking. A lighting upgrade involved replacing incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and old T-12 fluorescent lamps with magnetic ballasts with new T-8 lamps with electronic ballasts. Light-emitting diode (LED) exit signs and emergency lighting were also installed. Lighting Components and Design, Inc. upgraded its heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system by installing high-efficiency ENERGY STAR labeled equipment. Programmable thermostats were installed, along with ceiling fans in the conference rooms. A maintenance contract was set up on the new HVAC system calling for quarterly checks and preventive maintenance. The company then turned its attention to saving water by installing low flow toilets, and water saving taps on all the facility’s faucets. Finally, other major equipment was examined for possible upgrades. Almost two dozen pieces of existing motorized manufacturing equipment were upgraded with energy-efficient motors. Several machines were vented directly outside, reducing the heat added to the building’s air-conditioning load. Additionally, all new equipment that is purchased will have energy-efficient motors. Finally, the energy saving “sleep” feature was enabled on the company’s 50-plus computers.
In total, these upgrades are saving Lighting Components and Design about $10,300 annually on its electric utility bills. The 135,000 kWh of electricity saved is preventing nearly 300,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year. David Dickler, Lighting Component’s Chief Financial Officer, gives this advice to other companies that are considering energy efficiency upgrades, “Just do it! In addition to saving money, you’ll benefit in ways you never anticipated. We reduced employee turnover, improved employee morale, and, to our great surprise, actually improved product quality-an unanticipated ‘bonus’ from improving our work environment.”
Located in Greenville, South Carolina, the Rosewood House of Recovery offers transitional housing and counseling services for homeless and low-income women in early recovery from substance abuse. The organization’s new 9,206 square foot facility is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program project for its environmentally responsible design. The new building features an energy-efficient SEER 14 (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) air-conditioning system with high-efficiency fan and pump motors. Energy-efficient lighting was installed, including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), T-8 fluorescent fixtures with electronic ballasts, occupancy sensors, and light-emitting diode (LED) exit signs. The facility’s design also maximizes the use of passive daylighting. The building envelope incorporates energy-efficient design with insulation that exceeds energy codes, super insulated, low-E coated windows filled with argon gas, and a radiant heat barrier under the roof decking. Recycled and recyclable materials were used wherever possible and the facility recycles its rain and “gray water.” Since this is a newly constructed building, energy use for the same operation was compared to its old facility on a per square foot basis. Energy use per square foot in the new facility was calculated to be saving about 67,500 kWh, and 4,400 therms of natural gas, which prevents about 200,000 pounds CO2 emissions and saves nearly $7,700 annually. Rosewood’s Executive Director, Nancy Smith says “Our largest success is that we have been able to incorporate these energy saving features in our new building design without increasing the overall budget.”
The Autumn Milling Company of Long Beach, California, which specializes in the custom milling of lumber, was hit hard by the 2001 energy crisis in California. But Autumn Milling found an innovative way to control energy consumption in its 30,000 square-feet facility and save $50,000 annually. In addition to these dollar savings, the 200,000 kWh the company is saving will prevent about 248,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.
Milling lumber is energy intensive, and the large blowers used for particle and dust collection are much of the cause of that intensity. Autumn Milling contracted with a company whose patented process drastically reduces the energy requirements for dust collection systems. After months of study, a new computerized, motorized blower system was installed within Autumn Milling’s existing dust and particle collection systems. The savings were immediate and dramatic.
Sensors tell an industrial computer which machines are currently operating, so that only those machines that need the vacuum generated by the existing blowers have open ducts. “This is where the big savings take place,” says Craig Jordan, owner of Autumn Milling. “The blower motors are only worked as hard as needed depending upon the number of woodworking machines that are running at the time.” Installation was quick. “The option we picked,” Jordan said, “was easily integrated into our existing system.” The benefits are not only huge savings in energy costs; Jordan received an incentive from Southern California Edison (SCE), because of the “demand” savings value to the local utility. SCE covered about a quarter of the $80,000 cost of the new system, reducing Autumn Milling’s investment to $60,000. What would have been an attractive 19-month simple payback was further reduced to about 14 months by the SCE assistance.
Located in Sacramento, California, Paratransit, Inc. is a private, non-profit corporation that provides demand-responsive transportation services to individuals and agencies who serve both the elderly and those with disabilities. In 1998, property occupied by a former auto dealership was donated to the company to relocate and expand its maintenance, bus parking, fueling, and administrative facilities. In 2001, the 23,000 square foot structure was transformed into a state of the art facility housing the administrative offices, and Paratransit had extensive structural and lighting upgrades made throughout the facility. In addition, a new garage facility, approximately 10,000 square feet in size, was built.
Skylights and T-5 fluorescent fixtures were used in the garage area, allowing the task lighting to be at an appropriate, controllable level. In the office area, T-8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts, motion sensors and bi-level switching were installed. An upgrade of the exterior lighting fixtures produced large demand savings for the facility. The company replaced its1000-watt outdoor lamps with 250-watt metal halide lamps producing a significant load reduction. Finally, most of the existing heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) units were replaced with higher efficiency models, allowing Paratransit to qualify for higher incentive dollars from its local electric utility, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Working with an energy advisor at SMUD, Paratransit was able to choose the right upgrades and receive over $10,000 in incentives to install them. In total, the upgrades produce a savings of about 235,500 kWh of electricity annually, which will prevent over 292,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, and save Paratransit more than $18,000 per year.
Thomas Sikora, President of Tomar Electronic, Inc., in Gilbert, Arizona, installed a number of basic efficiency upgrades, followed by an innovative cooling system to cope effectively with the desert heat, while keeping utility bills lower. First, Sikora installed skylights for free “daylighting,” reduced hot water settings, upgraded chiller controls, and installed variable speed drives on the heating and cooling distribution system. Then, he installed a thermal storage cooling unit to cool his company’s entire 76,000 square foot plant. In a thermal storage cooling unit, ice is stored, and when cooling is needed, water is circulated through the ice storage area and then distributed at about 34F (1.7C) to provide space cooling. Key savings come from freezing the ice at night when electric rates are lower, which allows cooling from the ice during the day when electricity costs more. Ultimately, Tomar Electronics has reduced their electric bill by $25,000 per year, and the more than 357,000 kWh saved will prevent about 443,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.
Woodcrest Hotel general manager, Dean Zhang, installed energy-efficient building upgrades in the 20,000 square foot Santa Clara, California hotel, with some help from Silicon Valley Power financial incentives. Zhang replaced the incandescent lamps in all 52 guest rooms with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), installed light-emitting diode (LED) exit signs throughout, and replaced the old heat pumps with high-efficiency models. The two-door freezer was also replaced with a new ENERGY STAR labeled unit, and the ice machines were replaced, as well. Thanks to these upgrades, the hotel saves approximately $8,600 per year, and the nearly 99,000 kWh of electricity savings will prevent more than 123,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.
Located in the quiet and rustic central Columbia River Gorge community of Carson, Washington, the Sandhill Cottages offer visitors access to the scenic Cascade Mountains and mighty Columbia River, among other attractions. The facility consists of a house, a shop, and 10 rental cabins totaling 4,000 square feet. When Jay Crum and Karen Howerton, the current owners, purchased the property, the cabins housed long-term tenants, all of which were using inefficient, full size appliances and electric wall heaters. The buildings were in poor condition and required a large amount of energy. The new owners tore each cabin apart and put them back together again, making them more solid and energy efficient. All the utilities were put underground, protecting them from the elements to improve reliability, and so as not to detract from the site’s natural beauty. Low wattage lamps were used wherever possible. Improved insulation and new windows were added to each building and trees and vines were planted for shade to provide natural cooling. “On-demand” water heaters were installed as well as energy-efficient natural gas heat. By rebuilding and upgrading the 10 cabins, Jay and Karen say, “the electric bill for the whole property is now less than what it was for just the house prior to the improvements.” It is estimated this small square footage business has reduced electric use by about 6,400 kWh and approximately 200 therms of natural gas, for annual savings of over $500, and 9,900 pounds of CO2 emissions prevented annually.
SCE Business Solutions has been working with five regional/community groups to achieve small business energy efficiency surveys and upgrades. Results for three communities include: Ontario Economic Business Development provided 200 surveys which saved 1 million kWh, and $80,000 for participants annually with volunteer labor; secondly Riverside Economic Business Development provided 476 surveys resulting in 14 million kWh and over $250,000 saved annually at a program cost of $37,500; and finally Coachella Valley Economic Partnership for annual savings of 9.1million kWh and $286,000 at a program cost of $42,000. Santa Anna has a volunteer-based effort underway to provide 50 surveys, and Tulare Economic Development Corporation will use $150,000 in state funds to provide 1000 surveys.
The surveys provided immediate written feedback including recommendations on 14 potential upgrade items-identifying related dollar and kWh savings for each, referrals to local contractors, and two post-survey follow-up calls to measure and verify completion. The SCE Community Survey Program provided energy surveyor training, and supplied survey forms, materials, and tip sheets, as well as rebate application support. The SCE Business Solutions Program has also hosted “ENERGY STAR Expos” in six cities to promote its rebate programs, and maintains a Small Business Center online and within its Customer Technology Center (CTAC), where small businesses can find training, exhibits, displays, demonstrations, and referrals in cooperation with the state Small Business Development Center.
City of San Francisco “Power Savers” Program Power Savers, created by the City’s Department of the Environment, provides free energy surveys focusing on lighting, and discounted energy efficiency products and services to the City’s small businesses. The California Public Utility Commission has provided $8 million to the City (and $2 million to Berkeley, CA) for small business energy efficiency. A pool of 6,000-7,000 energy surveys is expected to ultimately produce 4,000 upgrades by June 2003, for 6 MW peak electric savings. The program targets small firms that can cut energy costs 30-50%, with a positive cash flow within 18 months. Ultimately, Power Savers expects to save 24 million kWh, enough to power 12,000 average area homes for a year. Upgrade finance was provided by Wells Fargo and California Bank & Trust. The City has about 40,000 small businesses, which reflect the same statistics as the statewide economy, where small business employs about 53% of the labor force, and generates over 60% of the California Gross Domestic Product.