Gregory Supply Company, of Burlington, VT is saving approximately $10,000 per year on their electric bills after implementing energy-efficient equipment and practices in their 24,300 square-foot Pine Street location. With 150 employees and three locations, Gregory Supply provides quality building materials to its customers, including ENERGY STAR labeled products. When the company decided to renovate and expand their facility in 1999, they also chose to take their own advice. The renovation included an extensive lighting upgrade, replacing spotlights with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and upgrading many incandescent lamp and fixtures with efficient high-intensity discharge lamps and fixtures. Removing unnecessary lamps and fixtures has also generated savings. Gregory Supply also replaced the building’s roof, and added an additional 12 inches of fiberglass to the structure’s existing insulation, resulting in R-48 roof insulation. To control the facility’s newly upgraded heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, Gregory Supply installed programmable thermostats and initiated a regular maintenance schedule to ensure that the equipment would continue to operate at peak efficiency. They also used thermal heat scan equipment to identify and caulk and insulate against conditioned-air losses throughout the building’s shell.
In addition to building and equipment upgrades, one of Gregory Supply’s strategies is to train staff operating and maintaining their facility and equipment for efficiency. This training also covered ENERGY STAR labeled products. Gregory Supply is also taking part in Burlington’s Alliance for Climate Action 10% Challenge. They are tracking energy performance with the help of the Challenge’s Kilawatt Partners and posting the results throughout the building to encourage employee awareness.
Gregory Supply’s dedication to energy-efficiency is saving them about 84,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) on their electricity bills annually and preventing about 145,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year over a comparable buildings without the upgrades. According to John O’Brien, President of Gregory Supply, it has “been gratifying to increase the success of our business, reduce our CO2 emissions, and save money in the process.” To determine energy savings relative to a building within the same region, facility utility data was compared to regional average values provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey .
Advocacy for Visual Arts, Inc. (AVA), of Gillette, WY, is saving about $2,600 annually on their electricity bills after retrofitting a vacant office building to be more energy efficient. AVA is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the visual fine arts in Campbell County and Northeast Wyoming. It provides the community with art outreach and space for public meetings. The organization began occupying the downtown building in 2002. Left vacant since 1995, the brick building formerly housed offices and a shop with two drafty overhead doors. Local volunteers and craftsmen helped upgrade the building’s lighting system with efficient T-5 and T-8 fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts, while installing dimming controls on other fixtures to allow staff to take advantage of the building’s abundant natural light.
New heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment was also installed, which includes variable speed drives and is controlled by programmable thermostats. The building’s shell was improved by installing an insulated roof, double-paned low emissivity windows, and wall insulation. They also tightened the doors and entryways with caulk and weather-stripping to reduce air infiltration. In addition to these building enhancements, AVA also provides each new instructor a tour of the building to teach them about its energy-efficient features and how to use and maintain them. These operation and maintenance responsibilities are implemented with a checklist. Their efforts help protect the environment, as well as AVA’s budget, by saving over 15,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, and preventing more than 19,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, compared to a similar unimproved building. Such savings in operating costs are always important to a nonprofit organization. To determine energy savings relative to a building within a similar size classification, facility utility data was compared to national average values provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Building Energy Consumptions Survey .
Energy efficiency upgrades are saving the Wingate Inn, located in Bozeman, MT about $118,900 annually on its utility bills. The Inn’s 54,000 square feet of enclosed facility includes 86 spacious guest rooms, a business center, conference areas, and an indoor pool and fitness center. The Inn ownership installed an innovative four-pipe heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. The system uses the fire sprinkler piping to convey chilled water, and employs the hot water system to both provide space heating and deliver hot water to the guestrooms. The efficiency of the system is enhanced by variable speed drives on the water pumps, and air exchangers to deliver fresh air to each guest room. Not only is this system efficient, but it also lowered construction costs by reducing the amount of piping that had to be installed to serve the facility. The Inn is saving nearly 124,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and more than 26,000 therms of natural gas on their utility bills per year. They are also preventing nearly 460,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually. For their efforts, the Inn also earned the ENERGY STAR label in 2002. Property Manager Kevin Black says, “It is important that small businesses closely study the feasibility of products that save energy and money. They certainly can create a positive return for the dollars spent.” To determine energy savings relative to a building within a similar size classification, facility utility data was compared to national average values provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Building Energy Consumptions Survey .
Big G Foods, in Sacramento, CA, is saving almost $22,000 per year after implementing a comprehensive energy-efficient Upgrade. Built in 1965, Big G Foods is a 23,500 square-foot family-owned neighborhood grocery store. With help from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the owners and staff of Big G embarked on a year-long effort to reduce energy waste and improve efficiency. Big G replaced T-12 lamps with T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts, and installed high-pressure sodium fixtures in the parking lot. Next, they upgraded their cold storage and retailing systems with new refrigerators and refrigerated cases, new coils for walk-in freezers and coolers, high-efficiency motors, and new evaporative condensers. In addition, the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system was upgraded to work synergistically with the cooling system. This upgrade included a heat reclamation system that uses heat from the refrigeration units’ condensers to heat the store, virtually eliminating the need for natural gas. Finally, the store’s lighting and HVAC were connected to a state-of-the-art energy management system to allow precise control of this equipment. This innovative series of upgrades allows Big G Foods to save over 180,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 8,000 therms of gas each year. The energy saved reduces pollution by preventing 316,400 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. To determine energy savings relative to a building within a similar size classification, facility utility data was compared to national average values provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Building Energy Consumptions Survey .
In Portland, the Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization that helps consumers and businesses save money through increased energy efficiency. And, after completing their own upgrade, the organization is a great example to its constituents by saving over $7,000 annually on its electricity bills.
Under a grant agreement with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, the Energy Trust receives public purpose funds that Oregon’s two largest electric companies collect from their customers to invest in energy conservation and green power. With the state funds, the Energy Trust offers renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs and services including incentives, technical assistance, training and creative financing to residential, commercial and industrial customers. Their mission is to save Oregonians money on energy, increase the efficiency and comfort of homes and businesses, and help move the state toward greater energy self-reliance.
With their mission in mind, the Energy Trust planned its own improvement project for their new offices that comprise the entire 6,247 square-foot second floor of the Balfour-Guthrie Building in downtown Portland, where they are a tenant. Before the Energy Trust started their renovations, the space had been vacant for several years and completely gutted with only the cement structural core still remaining. This allowed them to incorporate energy-efficient upgrades into many aspects of the project. All the lighting, and its controls, are new to the space and included T-5 and T-8 fixtures with electronic ballasts, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), skylights, light-emitting diode (LED) exit signs and various types of sensors to control lighting levels. They also installed storm windows over the existing double-hung windows; and put instantaneous electric water heaters in the kitchen and restrooms. The refrigerator, dishwasher and computer equipment used in the renovation are all ENERGY STAR labeled. The heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system now has an economizer, and is controlled throughout the entire office by programmable thermostats. The Energy Trust also provided employee training on the use and operation of most of the efficiency upgrades to ensure optimal use. For all its efforts, the Energy Trust of Oregon is saving approximately 87,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity.
This savings prevents more than 105,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually, compared to a similar unimproved building. To determine energy savings relative to a building within a similar size classification, facility utility data was compared to national average values provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Building Energy Consumptions Survey .
Member services include aggregated purchasing of green energy and ENERGY STAR labeled products, education on options under state electricity restructuring, upgrade education and finance (including training for energy auditors, purchasing and facility managers), and publication of “Energy Excellence” newsletter. SBAM locally reprints both ENERGY STAR small business and congregations guides.
The “10% Challenge” is a voluntary ACA program to elicit and support pledges from businesses and households to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10%. Participants perform “before and after upgrade” estimations of annual greenhouse gas emissions using a U.S. EPA calculator. Results and “lessons learned” are reported to ACA.
PEQ addresses global climate change at a state and local interfaith level. Staff and volunteers reached more than 5,000 people in some 100 presentations in 2002 with energy education, including ENERGY STAR. PEQ’s message regarding climate change has been featured in The New York Times, the Bergen Record, the Newark Star Ledger, and on network news in Philadelphia. PEQ promotes a “Covenant of Sustainability” through which signers work to reduce their emissions by 3.5% below their 1990 levels by 2005, and PEQ further encourages reducing emissions by 7% below 1990 base levels by 2010.
SBEA’s Energy Savers program was selected by competitive bid by the CPUC to address “hard-to reach” rate payers. SBEA is a successful “public goods funds” program that achieves demonstrable kW and kWh savings through free small business energy audits, and up to 50 percent (in Southern California) or 75 percent (in Northern California) cost share on energy efficient light and ballast upgrades, programmable thermostats, and air conditioning and refrigeration system tune-ups. Promotion of ENERGY STAR is integral to the SBEA Energy Savers Program.
UI’s Energy Advantage program targets SW Connecticut’s serious electricity transmission problems, and is being watched by other state’s utilities and their regulators as a successful example of “on-bill” efficiency financing for “hard-to reach” (small business) customers. To date, there have been only six loan defaults out of 1,100 upgrades financed, due to exemplary program design and work with customers and contractors. Program staff estimate savings of about 22,300,000 kWh since 2000.
Serving nearly 105,000 small firms in RI, MA, NH, National Grid is a successful example of audits/online analysis, and “on-bill” efficiency financing of lighting and walk-in cooler upgrades for “hard-to reach” (small) commercial and industrial customers. Program staff report actual 2002 total savings of 12,717,476 kWh for 1,800 participating customers in the three states.