Polished Concrete Floors For Increased Profit In Denver Retail Space

Retail stores are all over Denverso what sets one apart? Great customer service is of course absolutely essential, but so is the actual space in which your products are displayed. Even with a fantastic product, the design of retail space weighs heavily on its competitive nature. For this reason, it is vital to take inventory of the value of your retail space, and devise a way to improve it for a more appropriate atmosphere and better sales. One important aspect of that space is your flooring. Polished concrete floors are a great asset to any retail or commercial area, and can be a wise investment.

Concrete vs. Stone

If your business already has concrete flooring, then you understand how durable it is. Once installed, it will last forever. Taking care of it, then, is a matter of sprucing it up here and there. Polished concrete floors are a cheaper option than natural stone flooring, but have the same great benefits. Maintenance is incredibly simplesweeping and a periodic mopping will do the trick. This saves time and energy.

Beauty and Versatility

Many think of drab gray when concrete comes to mind, but in actuality polished concrete floors are elegant and classy. They look clean, are easy to clean, and can be incredibly versatile. You may have to look for quite a while to get the right color of marble, but concrete can be stained a variety of shades and colors. Concrete can also be painted for a different coloror stamped to have an edgy, textured look to your flooring. The possibilities may be limited with other flooring choices, here they are endless.

Energy Efficiency

Every owner would jump on the opportunity to save on the electric bill, right? Polished concrete floors have a fantastic, reflective surface that increases the efficiency of your lighting. This way, you dont have to install as much lighting, or at the same brightness as you would otherwise. This gives your retail space a financial edge, but also improves the atmosphere of your spaceparticularly if you have sources of natural lighting.

If youre looking to gain a competitive edge in the Denver retail sector, polished concrete flooring could help you to maximize the value of your space and make more for less.

How To Improve The Us Economy – A Political Perspective

The United States has been in a recession since December, 2007, as defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, nonprofit research organization. But the American people, and the Obama administration along with the democrat majority congress, seem to be at odds on how to fix the American economy.

A robust economy means companies expand which results in job creation. Currently, the American people are not spending because many are not working, and those who are working are spending less, most likely due to the possibility of losing their job. Current unemployment rate stands at 9.6% as of August, 2009. A decrease in spending by the American people results in a decrease in company profits, company non expansion, and more layoffs.

Reporting on a survey by Watson Wyatt, a consulting firm, the HRSpecialist.com reported in November of 2008 that one-fourth of U.S. employers plan to have staff reductions during the following calendar year. We are now seeing this come to fruition for 2009.

So how can the US economy improve? Improvement being defined as two consecutive quarters where we do not have negative growth in the GDP (gross domestic product). The following is what we call the Steps to Economic Improvement. These are steps for consideration which hopefully result in a healthy bipartisan discussion between our elected congressman and their constituency. These steps may result in non-recessionary growth of our economy.

You may or may not agree with these steps, but at a bare minimum, these are points to consider, and ideally result in a healthy discussion with our elected congressmen, which at last check, is one of the unchanged notions of a free democratic society.

Steps to Economic Improvement:

1) The first step is to realize that it is business and not government that creates jobs and wealth within the American society. This is where we believe is the heart of the problem. It is evident that the Obama administration believes it is government that will lead Americans to economic prosperity. This is why the federal government has put forth a $780 billion stimulus package. So where is this money really going. Lets take a look at the breakdown. (source Republican Senate office, CNN.com AC360)

$780 Billion Stimulus Package:

MORE THAN $43 BILLION IN TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS
$27 BILLION FOR HIGHWAY, ROAD AND BRIDGE INVESTMENTS
$8.4 BILLION FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT INVESTMENT
$2 BILLION FOR HIGH SPEED RAIL
$1.3 BILLION FOR FAA AIRPORT IMPROVEMENT FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT
$850 MILLION FOR AMTRAK
$250 MILLION FOR GRANTS TO STATES FOR INVESTMENT IN HIGH SPEED AND INNER CITY PASSENGER RAIL
$100 MILLION TO MARITIME ADMINISTRATION FOR ASSISTANCE TO SMALL SHIPYARDS
$76.8 BILLION IN EDUCATION INVESTMENTS
$39 BILLION FOR STATE FISCAL RELIEF TARGETED DIRECTLY FOR EDUCATION
$13.9 BILLION FOR PELL GRANTS
$13.5 BILLION FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING
$10.4 BILLION FOR TITLE I
$6.4 BILLION FOR WATER AND SEWER INFRASTRUCTURE
$3 BILLION FOR JOB TRAINING
$3.25 BILLION FOR WORKFORCE INVESTMENT PROGRAMS
$160 MILLION FOR JOB CORPS
$87 BILLION IN TEMPORARY AND TARGETED MEDICAID RELIEF TO STATES
$5 BILLION FOR SUPPLEMENTAL GRANTS TO PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITIES FOR CAPITAL NEEDS
$4.7 BILLION FOR STATE AND LOCAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY BLOCK GRANTS
$4.4 BILLION FOR SMART GRID
$2.9 BILLION FOR WEATHERIZATION PROGRAMS
$2 BILLION FOR ADVANCED BATTERY MANUFACTURING
$7 BILLION FOR LOAN GUARANTEES FOR STANDARD RENEWABLES
$800 MILLION FOR CONSTRUCTION OF PORTS OF ENTRY
$500 MILLION FOR FIREFIGHTERS ASSISTANCE GRANTS
$1.2 BILLION FOR NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

As part of the 2010 budget proposal, the Obama administration has also proposed additional measures to attempt to stabilize the economy, including a $23 trillion measure aimed at stabilizing the financial system and freeing up credit. In a nutshell, auditors from the Congressional Budget Office have said that Obama’s budget would produce $9.3 trillion in deficits over the next decade.

This is a large chunk of change that needs to be provided by the American taxpayer! But the question is, will all of this spending help the long term growth of the US economy? Growth being during the period of not just the next few years, but rather 10 to 15 years. We believe it will not and here is why.

2) These programs burden the tax payer. History has shown that long sustained economic growth can not take place when the tax payer is over burdened by a federal deficit. Also, when the government spends money they do not have, they print more money, which results in a devaluation of the US dollar. This results in inflation.

3) Small businesses employ just over half of U.S. workers. How do you define a small business. The Office of Advocacy defines a small business for research purposes as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. In examining the $780 billion stimulus package, you can see that there is no real help for small business. Remember, job creation is needed for economic recovery.

4) The socializing of America will not result in long term economic growth. The massive spending that the Obama administration has proposed will result in an even greater tax burden to the American people.

Most Americans believe in the frame work and meaning of The Constitution of the United States. The first words of the Constitution “We the People” make it clear that our government was established to serve the people. The essence of a democracy was eloquently stated by President Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” This simply means that our elected president and congress have a responsibility to listen to the American people.

And it can be said that most Americans do not want a socialistic society for the United States. Government needs to stop spending the American tax dollar, simply because an escalating government deficit will not result in an overall improvement in our economy.

5) Programs such as Cash for Clunkers, auto industry bailouts, and the like, only in the end increase the tax burden on the American people. These massively expensive programs do very little to improve the viability and strength of most small business. Based on 2008 figures, there are 155 million workers in the United States. The car industry accounts for about 13 million of these workers. Therefore, most Americans will not benefit from the bailout of the auto industry. There is only a marginal at best improvement in the economy from such programs.

6) We do applaud the Obama administration for the injection of capital into the financial institutions, because for small business to flourish, there needs to be capital available, and commercial banks and other depository institutions are the largest lenders of capital to small business.

7) The economy will do much better when companies are left to compete in the market place with minimal government involvement. A case in point, the Reagan administration had a policy of less government during the 1980s. This resulted in long term economic growth. This is the exact opposite of what the Obama administration is trying to do.

The Obama administration was given a bad economy when Barack Obama took office. But the Obama administration has taken a bad situation and made it much worse. Many economists believe that our economy would return anyway, with minimal government involvement. In terms of the economy, the government many times creates or prolongs problems and really does not solve them. A case in point, the deregulation of the banking industry which resulted in sub-prime lending. This created an eventual financial collapse, which resulted in the down turn in our economy and our current economic meltdown.

To conclude, the concept of minimal government is an important component for a strong American economy. Letting companies naturally compete within a free democratic society, with minimal government involvement, produces a robust economy, which benefits all Americans. The writers of the Constitution of the United Sates, our founding fathers, believed that the role of government in the lives of people should be minimal. Should we not adhere to the principles of our Constitution?

By letting your voice be heard, it is the American people who in the end control the destiny of the United States. And in the end, it is the American people who will control the destiny of the American economy. Go to your congressmans website and contact them, discuss these points, express your opinion, and let them know how you feel. It is your right and duty as an American citizen.

Energy Efficiency Tips For College Students

Speaking as a graduate student who has been living on her own since March, I try every possible way to be energy efficient in order to help conserve our planet as well as help my wallet! At this day and age it seems like being energy efficient is a fad or trend but it should be looked as a way of life that is here to stay. There are many resources available for people to become educated and aware of the problems that are ongoing and finding ways of fixing them. It is up to us to practice energy efficiency in order to protect the environment and save some money while were at it.

When picking a location to live for college, opt to get a place closest to campus or on campus. This way you can walk or ride a bike to class instead of driving to school. My university is a commuter school and because of that they have made a go green ride incentive where students are grouped together depending on where they live and receive better parking if they decide to carpool. Although this is not the most popular option, more and more students are turning to it. Even in my cohort, students have posted on our message board if anyone wishes to carpool. This is something that has yet to be fully developed but it is on its way.

In the community where I live, I know that we can ask for a free air filter every month. Although replacing the filter monthly does create extra trash, the air conditioner will be able to run more efficiently with a cleaner air filter. Ideally buying a reusable air filter that is replaced once a month is the best solution, but for houses or apartment complexes that dont offer free air filters, the air conditioning will work more efficiently if the filter is replaced.

Since my days as a graduate student consist of going to class and then studying and reading, I tend to come home some days to have lunch or just do some work at my apartment instead of on campus. I have learned to open the blinds and let the sun shine in. Never will there be sunlight outside and light on in my apartment unless there is a storm or it is gloomy. The lights only go on when the sun sets. Reading and writing may be done near a window or even outside, whichever is your preference. In this manner, I end up saving half of what I would probably be using in electricity.

If you are living in a dorm room with a roommate and have separate TVs and/or refrigerators, attempt to consolidate and invest in one refrigerator. Label each of your items so that they are not confused and locate it in a common area for both of you to have access. Same goes with the television. From what I remember in college I hardly got to watch TV and one was definitely enough for me so there is no need to have a TV in each room. Again, use whichever TV and locate it in the common area so that both you and your roommate may enjoy it, as well as any guests you may have over.

One of the things that is a bit annoying about going away for college and living in an apartment is the fact that youre usually only there for a couple semesters out of the entire year. Some students opt to stay during the summer while others return home for a break. Luckily there is a plan offered by the Texas electricity company, Bounce Energy, called Nifty 9 which allows the customer to lock in a fixed rate for 9 months. This is ideal for those who are also living in an apartment while away at school for 9 months out of the year. With the Nifty 9, Bounce Energy also plan makes sure to also reward its customers. When you pay your bill on time you receive benefits such as bill credits, movie tickets, companion airfare, and a free electricity bill!

Whether it is through Bounce Energy or any other company, look into the plans and contracts that are offered to see which is most efficient for you and your situation. This research is sure to be homework that will definitely benefit you in the future!

Led Lighting Company In India – Energy Saving Necessity

Spreading of industrialization world over and population explosion, our natural resources have been ever shrinking. In India, the last two decades the rise of spending power of the middle class has increased their energy consumption drastically. Each and every family have around 2 to 4 bedroom flats, with one or more television, fridge, Air conditioners, and lighting to illuminate their homes . Over dependence on non-renewable sources of energy like coal powered energy stations screams for the expansion of energy saving systems by bringing in LED lighting company in India. The LED lights are designed in such a manner, that they can last longer and consume a lot less energy than their previous counterparts. A LED lighting company proudly states that their products with help the new urban India reduce its ever growing energy consumption drastically, with new and improved array of products. They boast, with their enhanced technology they have created a new range of products which with not only last longer and stay brighter but will also be cost effective as well.
Urban India is moving a step ahead with the rest of the developed world in the area of good quality LED Lighting, with the presence of LED lighting company in India. LED lighting Delhi, have a wide variety of products which aims to brighten up the streets of the urban jungle. They are revved up to meet the ever growing demands of LED lighting services by these products which not only have longer life, but also encompass smaller size, better design, light output with no ultra violet and infra red radiation that is harmful to our eyes. They are a lot safer to use because of lower voltage and lower heat operation.
A new LED lighting company in India said that LED lighting is the future, and the next wave of revolutionary lighting systems. LED products are more brilliant and emit higher color saturation when compared to conventional light sources. You get different color effect from the same light source, which is good for home use for decorative purposes in festivals like Deepavali. These products from LED lighting company are also said to have unbreakable plastic bulbs, weather proof, and shock proof to a certain degree. Also has silent operation and fast switching capabilities. Development of solar powered LED lighting India has even a brighter future.

LED lighting services have proven to be a the best lighting solution for places which need to be lit for a long duration of time such as streets, parking areas, reception areas, living rooms, hallways, restaurants, offices, kitchens ,lobbies etc. They do have more of a initial cost, but due to their efficiency, longevity, more durable compared to conventional breakable fluorescent bulbs, and also reduces trips to the doctor because of low UV imitations they turn out to be more cost effective solution. LED lighting services have also been developed to make benefit of the best renewable source of energy Sun. LED lighting services are the most efficient lighting service available in market today, reducing the damage done to your pocket and suits your varied needs.
Reference website: www.ikioledlighting.com

Lessons Learned From A Failed Energy Efficiency Project

INTRODUCTION
You would think that energy efficiency is relatively simple: perform an energy audit, install the retrofits and then reap the energy savings. Unfortunately, it doesn”t always work that way. We performed an energy assessment of several stores of a major retail chain in the San Francisco Bay Area and identified a handful of low-cost retro-commissioning measures that had very promising potential. We quantified the expected savings and costs and returned after the project was installed. We then measured the savings using various methods and found either minimal or negative savings. The problem we discovered was that on nearly every measure, the contractors had repaired the hardware, but through various means had ensured that energy savings would not occur. This paper provides an account of the failed project at one store and the steps we took to remedy it. Specifically, this paper stresses the importance of Measurement and Verification and Commissioning of the retrofits.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDING
The store, located in San Francisco, belongs to a well-known national retailer, whose name we will not divulge. The store is an aggregate of 3 buildings which have been joined together to comprise almost 1,000,000 square feet, of which over half is selling floor. Stock rooms and offices comprise the remainder of the space. The different buildings range between 8 and 11 stories tall.

The three buildings comprising the store were built at different times from the 1920s to the 1980s. Originally the buildings had different air handling, chilled water and hot water systems. Over the years, through energy conservation and facility improvement measures, the chilled water systems have been merged into one system.

There were no operating boilers in the store. Steam is provided to the store by an external vendor. Hot water is supplied to multi-zone air handling units and perimeter reheats in some areas of the store via heat exchangers.
There is one common cooling plant which houses two 500 ton centrifugal chillers (2004) which run all year. Chilled water is supplied to the Air Handling Units (AHUs) via primary/secondary chilled water loops. During the hottest months, both chillers run at around 90% full load””this happens about 5 days/yr. During the cooler months, one chiller runs at about 40% full load. If you have been to San Francisco you probably know that even in summer a typical day only reaches about 60 degrees . A properly designed and operating building in San Francisco should not need mechanical cooling most of the year, instead relying upon outside air to meet its cooling needs. This was obviously not the case .

A utility bill analysis identified an out of control building. Figure 1 presents twelve months of average usage per day versus average outdoor temperature. Each point represents a billing period. The superimposed red line represents the statistically insignificant trend. The lack of clear trend indicates that the building is either haphazardly controlled or that energy use varies due to some other variable. We believe mostly the former. During warmer periods (which are not that warm) the store uses more energy, indicating a variable cooling load based upon weather conditions. (An ideal system that uses outside air whenever possible should show a horizontal trend in this 48 to 66 degree temperature range.)

There are over fifty AHUs: a mixture of single zone, multi-zone, and variable air volume units. Each of the three sections contains different types of AHUs.
Electricity Costs for the store were over $2.5M per year. With the economic collapse in the fall of 2008, smart retailers were looking to cut costs wherever possible. One line item that could be cut was utilities. Saving 10% or more could add at least $250,000 to the bottom line.

BACKGROUND OF THE UTILITY PROGRAM
There may be several reasons why California uses less than 50% per capita of the energy than the rest of the country, but one major reason is the aggressive effort of the California Public Utilities Commission to cut energy usage. Commercial ratepayers of the investor owned utilities pay a fee in their utility bills that funds energy efficiency programs. These funds are then channeled to the investor owned utilities to promote energy efficiency. These utilities have over one hundred targeted programs aimed at different vertical markets such as: wineries, retail, hospitals, supermarkets, etc. Often these programs will include free energy audits or retro-commissioning services in conjunction with generous incentives to implement energy efficiency measures. In some cases, the utilities will pay for up to 100% of the cost for implementing the measures. The utilities administer some programs directly and outsource others. The outsourced programs are designed and administered by third party energy consultants.

Quantum Energy Services & Technologies, Inc. (QuEST), an energy consulting firm headquartered in Berkeley, administers a retail program for PG&E which covers the San Francisco Bay Area. This program offers retailers free retro-commissioning studies along with incentives to implement energy conservation measures found. The utilities give incentives to the building owners based upon the amount of energy saved. But in order for energy savings to be recognized by PG&E, these savings need to be measured and verified and then the savings calculations must pass a review by third party reviewers. Nobody gets paid if the work does not pass the third party review. The third party review process is necessary to prevent false claims of savings, or gaming of the system. The reviewers can be tough and require all assumptions to be documented and based upon published standards or guidelines. The drawback of third party review is that some measures are dropped as the Measurement and Verification (M&V) costs would be prohibitively expensive.

QuEST retained our company as a subcontractor to help out with the retail program. Our company performed Retro-Commissioning (RCx) services on 8 stores belonging to this unnamed retailer, and this paper is about one of the stores. However, the same story occurred at most of the stores. It wasn”t one failure, but many.

A NOTE ON THE LEVEL OF RCx RIGOR
RCx is different from energy auditing in that RCx typically involves a more detailed study of the building”s control systems and HVAC systems than energy audits. In addition, RCx typically focuses on repairing, recalibrating and reprogramming, rather than procuring new equipment. Simple paybacks for RCx projects typically are under 2 years. Examples of RCx measures are: repairing inoperable equipment, programming controls, demand control ventilation, and calibrating temperature sensors. Examples of energy audit measures (which are not considered RCx measures) are: installing energy efficient chillers, boilers or package units, converting single zone HVAC systems to variable air volume systems, and installing EMS systems. Energy audit measures often are more expensive and may have longer paybacks. On the other hand, true RCx studies are much more detailed, and thus much more expensive to conduct than energy audits. RCx studies usually involve data logging, functional testing of controls, operator training and post implementation commissioning which repeats much of the data logging and functional testing that was previously done. RCx is criticized by some as too heavy on the analysis, as it can require hundreds of hours of work just to perform the study, whereas energy audits consume much less labor.

In order to make the most efficient use of ratepayer dollars, in QuEST”s RCx program the amount of engineering time was scaled down to minimize the time spent on work that does not directly lead to energy savings. Rather than write commissioning plans, and 100-page Master List of Findings reports, the interim deliverable is instead an Excel workbook that describes the measure, states all assumptions and measured values, and calculates the savings. Equipment is data-logged or trended before and after the implementation of the measures. Calculations are made in Excel so they can be verified by third party reviewers. Written reports come later, but are less extensive than typical RCx reports.

ONSITE INVESTIGATION
Two engineers spent 3 days onsite examining the store”s mechanical systems, uncovering problems, and identifying RCx Measures. Our work to this point was nearly identical to an energy audit.
Once the RCx Measures were identified, the list of RCx Measures was given to the customer who then decided which of them should be pursued. The list also was approved by the third party reviewer.

MEASURES FOUND
We found the store could save about $300,000 in both RCx and Retrofit Measures, which, with incentives offered a simple payback of less than six months. That is 12% of their energy spend. The following measure types were identified and approved by all parties:

Retrofit Measures
1.Install Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) on Multi-Zone Air Handling Units (AHUs).
2.Installation of VSDs on secondary chilled water loops.
RCx Measures
1.Repair economizer control on some air handlers. Many outside air dampers were rusted in place. A two by six was used to prop one open.
2.Repair a small number of faulty VSDs, some of which were in bypass running at 100% fan speed.
3.Reconnect static pressure lines. Some VSDs were running at full speed because the lines running to the static pressure sensors in the ducting had been previously destroyed by contractors.
4.Repair/Replace stuck chilled water valves. These valves were cooling whether the AHUs called for cooling or not. As a result, sales floor temperatures ranged from 62 degrees to 70 degrees.
5.Connect some AHUs to the Energy Management System. These AHUs were running wild and had no control at all.

DATA LOGGING
Once the measures were selected by the customer, QuEST engineers placed data loggers to measure pre-implementation temperatures and power. Temperatures measured included Outside Air Temperature (OAT), Return Air Temperature (RAT), Mixed Air Temperature (MAT) and Supply Air Temperature (SAT). Fan Motor kW were also logged for those units on VSDs. Spot measurements were taken of Fan Motor kW for AHUs that were not on VSDs.

SAVINGS CALCULATION
Energy savings were estimated using bin data simulations. Like-type AHUs were combined. Special care was taken in calculating energy savings to ensure that savings were not double-counted. Each energy conservation measure was modeled assuming the prior measures were already implemented. We integrated the interval data that we collected into the bin data simulations. To do this, we created regressions of our variables (RAT, MAT, SAT, kW) versus OAT. These regressions were used to project RATs, MATs, SATs and kW for other outdoor air temperatures that were not included in our sample.

INSTALLATION
Once we had estimated savings using our bin simulation models and provided measure costs, the customer decided which measures to implement. They then hired contractors to implement the measures. VSDs were installed and repaired, economizer dampers repaired, AHUs connected to the EMS system, etc.

M&V PROVES NO SAVINGS
Once the implementation was completed, QuEST engineers returned to the site and again data logged the same temperatures and power as before. The resulting data, RATs, MATs, SATs and kWs, was again regressed against OAT. Using the regression, RATs, MATs, SATs, and kW values were again extrapolated and placed into the bin simulations.

The resulting calculations demonstrated the unthinkable. Not only were the energy conservation measures we had recommended not saving energy, the affected systems at the store were using more energy than before! Actually, this could be seen from just looking at the interval data. It was obvious that the economizers and variable speed drives were not working as intended. The “repaired” economizers were letting in less outside air than before, and the variable speed drives were still commanding the fans to run at a constant load, but at a higher speed than before.

QuEST alerted the customer that their investments were not saving energy. Facility personnel then investigated the problems, found them, and corrected them.

Even though the contractors had made the economizers operational (as opposed to frozen), the damper actuators were not calibrated correctly. When dampers needed to be fully open, they were not. When dampers needed to be at minimum position, they were not. The variable speed drives were also installed incorrectly. Some wiring and controls issues were resolved and the units started operating as expected. Once these issues were resolved, M&V was performed again. We repeated the data-logging and placed this information into our bin simulations, and again projected the annual savings.
There are many ways energy efficiency projects can go wrong.

“Faulty recommendations
“Poor implementation
“Untrained staff who compromise all the energy conservation measures undertaken

Faulty recommendations may arise from a lack of understanding of how systems operate or should operate. Years of experience, and a good understanding of physics and control theory is necessary to make sound recommendations.

Poor implementation has many causes, but often can be traced to the mindset that having the right equipment will make the difference. But as the lessons learned here illustrate, installing the right hardware is only half the solution. It needs to be integrated into the system and operate according to a logical and beneficial sequence of operations.

The last item is especially troublesome because it is so common. Even if the right hardware is installed and controls optimized, small changes to the sequence of operations made to “fix” local problems may have large consequences on overall system performance over time. Changing supply air temperatures at the air handler to resolve hot or cold complaints may upset the balance of the system and cause problems elsewhere. Professors at Texas A&M University have pointed out that in the absence of continuous monitoring, a building”s performance will fall to the level of the least-trained operator within two years.

HOW TO AVOID FAILED ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS
There are a couple of ways to avoid projects that fail to produce savings. After equipment is installed, it needs to be commissioned by a third party, not the contractor who implemented the ECMs. Commissioning can be expensive, but it is worth it. However, just because the equipment has been deemed operational by the commissioning agent, that doesn”t mean it is saving what was expected. Commissioning will tell you if the equipment is working as it should. To determine if you are actually saving what was expected, M&V needs to be done on the building. Although M&V can appear as a waste of money to some, it caught this disaster before it was too late.

Unfortunately, building owners often value engineer commissioning and M&V out of their projects and leave themselves open to big disappointments in their energy efficiency projects. M&V is like insurance””sure, it costs money up front, but the reassurance of knowing the project is done correctly should be worth far more than the initial outlay. What other product would you purchase without verifying that you actually received what you paid for? Why should energy efficiency be any different?

CONCLUSION
Unfortunately, energy efficiency isn”t as simple as we would wish. Energy consultants may deliver quality energy audits and RCx studies, but merely implementing sound energy efficiency recommendations does not guarantee energy savings. The weak link is often in the commissioning of the measures to ensure they are doing what they are intended to do.
To avoid underperforming on your energy efficiency measures, we suggest the following three strategies:

1. Commission what you implement with third-party commissioning experts. Commissioning agents are not interested in selling hardware. They are interested in making systems operate at peak performance. They understand physics and control theory and can identify and repair problems quickly.

2. Track your energy savings using M&V. Even using something as simple as utility bill tracking software can provide some insight into building performance. An increase in monthly energy usage when a decrease was expected would have triggered an investigation into the cause. Verifying performance at the system level (as we did), while more difficult and expensive, would have isolated the problem much more quickly and accurately.

3. Provide proper training so that your facility staff doesn”t override or bypass your energy efficiency projects. Although we barely treated this topic in this paper, this is probably the single most effective step you can take. Your staff is the brains behind building operation, despite what EMS vendors may say. Having the smartest control system will do no good if it is operated by the dumbest operators.

Demand Change By Changing Demand My list Of Seven

Every decision you make has a price tag attached to it, I told my teen recently. There are visible consequences and invisible consequences for each and every one of your decisions and actions, I continued.

Then suddenly, in the back of my mind, a seed of guilt and hypocrisy began to gestate: I was not discussing global warming and the survival of our planet I was speaking in general terms about life but I was poignantly (yet silently) aware that my words of wisdom apply entirely to a critical discussion of the impending death of our planet, the changes that must be made by each individual (including me!) that are unavoidable, and the relevance of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It was while reading a recent issue of Time magazine that my seed of guilt and hypocrisy took root and broke ground. This was Times first edition ever to have a green border on its cover, and only the second time that the magazine sported anything but a red border. This was Times Special Environmental Issue, and the outstanding article I read was entitled: Why Green is the New Red, White and Blue. I applauded the author (Bryan Walsh) for expounding the principles of a cap-and-trade system with teeth, coupled with tougher energy-efficiency mandates and significant new public and private investment in green technologies(page 57), but it hit me anew that saving our planet from global warming will mean much more than those macro changes. It is the grass roots arena, the micro, the individual, that fuels large scale, sweeping changes. The tail must indeed wag the dog.

Our collective choices have brought the world to this moment in time, and it is our collective choices that can have the greatest impact on global warming. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have become a license to do as we please within our means and lawsto consume voraciously, to pollute irresponsibly, and to gratify and satiate (ourselves) entirely.

It is our individual choices and our good intentions that must change. For it is resolution, action, and sacrifice that bring about real change, not intentions alone. My seed of guilt and hypocrisy were a reflection of my good intentions, lack of action, and unwillingness for sacrifice. Intentions are good, but only become excellent when made reality.

When we demand personal change and collectively demand better choices from everyone we can change the demands we now make, and will make, on our planet and its future.

So what changes can I demand of myself that can change the demand made upon our planet? Well, first I must change my intentions to self-pledges, take demonstrable action, and somehow minimize personal sacrifice.

I made a personal manifesto and thought of 7 changes I can demand of myself:

1) my next vehicle will be much more environmentally friendly

2) I will add solar panels to the roof of my home or the energy-efficient home I will build

3) I will purchase only energy efficient appliances

4) I will buy products that are less wasteful and recycle more of my waste

5) I will make better use of mass transit and drive my car less

6) I will support leaders who demand plausible changes in environmental policy

7) I will encourage others to use their purchase power to influence industry in support of environmental responsibility.

The list goes on, but the point is made; I can change without drastic sacrifice.
I have made a choice for prosperity, but I must consider the price tag. Global warming could end all prosperity and all choices for everyone. Although that price tag seems invisible when I wake on a sunny, beautiful Saturday morning and look out my window, I know that the eventual price tag is completely visible and real.

The earth in its own stormy and turbulent way has shown us the imminent, lurking cost, and it demands that we all change our individual choices. I must accept responsibility for my actions and inactions, and we, collectively must do the same to save our ailing planet.

Demand personal change.

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.

How to Navigate the EPC Register Website

The Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Register is the register of Energy Performance Certificates lodged for properties in the UK, and can be accessed online via the epcregister.com website. The website is operated on behalf of the British Government by the Landmark Information Group, which has designed the site to be easy to navigate so you can quickly find the information you are looking for.

The home page includes a menu on the left, with a description on the right and clickable links for quick access to finding a reputable domestic energy assessor in your area, and to retrieving an energy performance certificate for a property. These options are also available by selecting the appropriate option from the menu on the left.

Find Energy Assessor

The first option after Home on the menu is Find Energy Assessor. This page helps you find an accredited energy assessor near the property to be assessed, or to check whether or not an individual claiming to be an energy assessor is accredited. To find an assessor you will need to select what type of report you require the energy assessor to prepare and the postcode of the property. Full contact details of accredited assessors are only available if they have given permission for these details to be displayed.

If you select the option to find the nearest accredited assessor in the area in which the property is located, select the type of report you want them to prepare. Options are: an Energy Performance Certificate (used for existing buildings), an SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) Energy Performance Certificate (used for new or converted buildings), or a Home Condition Report.

Retrieve Report

There are two options on the menu for retrieving an existing report: Using a Reference Number, or Using a Property Address. Use the first option if you know the RRN (Report Reference Number), which is shown on front page of the EPC. Use the second option if you do not know the RRN but do know the postcode.

In both cases you will need to enter a security code to confirm you are a genuine enquirer and not a spammer, and you will also need to read and accept the terms.

If you do not know the postcode, click on the link to the right instead of entering the postcode. You will then be asked to enter the street name and postal address town. The postcode is then displayed and you can click on it to view the list of available reports.

EPC Adviser

This option enables you to see how you can make your property more energy efficient and less expensive to run. Select this option and enter the RRN and security code. Click Next and agree to the conditions. When you click Next again a list of measures (such as insulation, changes to lighting and heating measures) you can take to improve energy efficiency is displayed. Select the options you want and then click on Calculate to see how much money you could save. You can try as many different combinations as you wish. Click on View Results when you have finished to view a summary and download a pdf.

Phone 4 Energy Review

Everyday, people uses electricity to light their home, cook their foods and enjoy doing other things. As a result, a lot of electricity is consumed daily by the average American. As such, some people have resorted to using different possible sources of energy such as the sun, wind and water. However, there is one source that is very accessible to everyone without the need of an elaborate equipment. Practically everybody has it and now it can be used in not just for a single purpose.

1. The Telephone And Its Many Uses.

Telephones are so helpful that they allow you to talk to your loved ones regardless of wherever they are. However, there is still one use of a telephone that only Phone 4 Energy is able to tap and that it can also be used as an excellent source of electricity.

Accordingly, telephone lines get their power from a source which is different from those where you get your usual power source. By using Phone 4 Energy’s kit, you will be able to unleash a perfect alternative for your exorbitant electricity fees. Besides, a good number of people have tried it and claims that the thing does work as advertised.

2. Save More With Phone 4 Energy.

A big chunk of your monthly budget goes to electricity. This is one sentiment that is shared by hundreds of households all over the world. Well, with Phone 4 Energy, you will not only cut your electricity consumption but you can even get yours for free. With all these savings, you can now treat your family to a fancy restaurant, travel to other places and buy new stuffs.

3. Get More For Less.

It is not often that an opportunity like this happens. Thus, you need to get it while it is still hot. After all, this do-it-yourself kit is very easy to comprehend and apply. It has all the tools that you need in order to get started. Best of all it is very affordable. To save you from all the troubles that shopping can bring, you can order the kit online and have it delivered to your doorstep. Buying the Phone 4 Energy kit is a good investment. It translates into lots of savings not to mention how they can be practical and convenient. The kit is sold online and once you have posted your order, you will get yours in just a click of a mouse. You can also download it if you prefer reading it like a book.

Power Factor Optimization How To Save Up To 25% On Electric Bills

With soaring energy costs, and the very real possibility of even higher electric bills just around the corner, consumers everywhere are eager to find ways to save on their monthly electric bills. While many people are becoming more diligent about turning off lights, using less hot water, and keeping the thermonstat at a certain level, technology has come up with an innovative way to optimize the power factor in your home or business. This process, which is called power factor optimization, allows you to increase the effective use of your electricity. This process reduces your power consumption, which in turn lowers your electric bill.

The term power factor means the way in which energy efficiency is measured. More precisely, it refers to the percentage of electricity that is delivered to your home and used efficiently, versus what is being wasted through your inductive load. For example, a home with a power factor of 100% means that all of the electricity being delivered is being used in an efficient manner.

Studies show that most homes in America have an average power factor of 78%, and in some cases, the power factor is even lower. This means that if you have a power factor of 78%, the motors in your home from various appliances (ie, your inductive load) are wasting 22% of your electricity. How does one reduce the amount of power lost through the inductive load and achieve in ideally higher power factor? A power factor optimizer, such as the PS 1200, can be installed. This device will increase the effective use of your electricity and lower your usage of electricity. Also known as a power conditioner, the PS 1200 works by reducing the amount of the power drawn from the utility and capturing the lost electricity in the capacitators. This captured electricity is then sent back into the circuit.

Other benefits of installing a PS 1200 power factor optimizer include whole house surge protection, extended appliance life, reduced energy costs, reduced harmonic feedback, and electrical noise reduction. In addtiion, this device enables you to reduce your carbon footprint and it is environmentally safe.

The actual savings that the consumer experiences by installing a power saver unit is determined by many variable factors. The size of your home, the amount of your inductive load, and the amount that you are currently paying per kilowatt hour are all important factors. Most people see a savings of 10-25% on their actual monthly electric bills after installing the PS 1200. In reality, this unit can pay for itself within 12 months. With an average lifetime of 20 years, and a factory warranty of 5 years, your monetary return on investing in this piece of equipment is excellent. Business owners can also purchase commercial 3-phase power save industrial models (PS 3200 and PS 3400) and often times can write off the cost of the equipment and installation as a legitimate business expense.

The residential power saver unit works on any modern type of circuit panel (it does NOT work with old-fashioned screw-in fuses) and will work on any such single phase residential electric application. The two commercial and industrial models are 3-phase and they size motors up to 75 hp and up to 300 hp. All units, whether commercial or residential, are UL approved and should be installed by a licensed electrician.