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					                                      CQI Associates
                                Save Energy and Save Money

Every business needs an energy management plan. Cost savings from energy efficiency can
exceed 20 percent; where else can you get such a substantial ROI? Energy management is
good for the environment; the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gasses is to reduce
unnecessary energy consumption. A sound approach to energy efficiency is good for your
business; energy management should be viewed as one more aspect of good management
within your organization.

There are many low-cost and no-cost ways to become more energy efficient in the workplace.
Employing any or all of the following strategies will result in reduced energy consumption and
increased cost savings.

Develop a ―Turn-It-Off‖ Campaign

Turning off unnecessary lighting and equipment is the simplest and easiest thing you can do to
reduce energy waste. Educating and motivating your employees to turn off the lights between
8 PM and 8 AM can reduce your annual energy consumption by 7-to-12 percent. Organizing a
―Turn-It-Off‖ campaign can motivate management and staff to do their part.

A Turn-It-Off campaign for indoor lighting is designed to encourage everyone in your
organization to turn off lights when they are not needed. The basic features of a Turn-It-Off
lighting campaign include:

         Enlisting management support to bring credibility to the campaign.
         Educating management and staff about energy savings and the benefits of the
          campaign.
         Addressing misconceptions. New technologies make energy conservation easier
          than ever.
         Ensuring that everyone is onboard, even after-hours staff such as cleaning crews
          and security personnel.
         Assigning team leaders on an area-by-area basis.
         Making light switches more user-friendly by labeling them, moving them closer to the
          spaces they control, or adjusting switching arrangements to match building-use
          patterns.
         Instituting a follow-up program with frequent reminders to Turn-It-Off.
         Developing an employee rewards program based on savings realized through the
          campaign.

Combining a Turn-It-Off campaign for lighting with a similar campaign for office equipment will
result in even greater savings. Your IT staff can provide support in your energy management
efforts. Sort out what absolutely has to be left on and what can be turned off in your computer
network.

There is a small surge in energy when a computer starts up, but this small amount of energy is
less than the energy used when a computer is running for long periods of time. Turning off a
single work station from 6 PM to 8 AM Monday through Friday can save $90.00 per year.
Turning that same work station off at night and on weekends can result in annual savings of
$170.00. Multiply that savings by the number of work stations in your organization and the
tangible benefits of a Turn-It-Off campaign become more real for everyone.

Keep in mind that behavioral changes take time and effort. Your Turn-It-Off campaign should
be treated as an exercise with substance.

Swirls Result in Savings

For those times when the lights must be lit, it makes economical and environmental sense to
use energy-efficient bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) – or swirls as they are
sometimes called - last longer and use less energy to produce an equivalent amount of light.
They should not be compared to older styles of fluorescent lighting which had a tendency to
buzz or flicker; the new CFLs have largely overcome these problems.

Michael Barbaro wrote in the New York Times recently that ―A compact fluorescent has clear
advantages over the widely used incandescent light — it uses 75 percent less electricity, lasts
10 times longer, produces 450 pounds fewer greenhouse gases from power plants and saves
consumers $30 over the life of each bulb.‖

While CFLs have a higher purchase price of somewhere around $15 each, the energy savings
are substantially greater than with an incandescent bulb. A 23-watt compact fluorescent lamp
used in place of a 90-watt incandescent bulb will produce the same amount of light and save
670 kWh over its lifetime. This amounts to roughly $58 in electricity savings at average
national prices from the purchase of a $15 bulb.

Adapters are available which enable compact fluorescent lamps to fit in most fixtures and new
fixtures designed specifically for CFLs are also on the market. How many bulbs could you
replace in your workplace?

Retrofitting Those Fluorescents

Chances are, many of your fluorescent lighting fixtures still house the old T-12 lamps and
ballasts. Retrofitting those T-12s with the cooler, more energy efficient T-8 lamps and ballasts
can produce more than just the $2.50 per bulb cost savings: T-8 lamps also offer better, truer
color, they eliminate most of the flickering typical of the older bulbs, and they generate less
heat. The reduction in heat can help save cooling costs as well. The National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) is slowly phasing out the older, inefficient T-12 lamps, so the T-8 will
become the standard of the industry by 2010.

Create an Exit Strategy

Sometimes even the smallest things can make a difference. Most buildings use incandescent
lamps in their exit signs, typically two 20-watt lamps. While this may not seem like much,
consider how many exit signs are in place and that they are on 24 hours a day. If you replace
incandescent signs with more energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) units, you can save
energy and costs without compromising safety.

LED lights allow for great visibility even in bright light or heavy smoke. Like CFLs, LED lights
involve more expense up front, but they can last up to 10 years resulting in inventory and
maintenance cost savings and they cost far less to operate.
By the Light of Day

"Day lighting" is another way to reduce energy costs. Also called ―automatic daylight
dimming,‖ this lighting control technology uses a sensor to measure the amount of illumination
in a particular space. A dimming ballast is adjusted to control the light output needed to
maintain the desired level of illumination. This innovative combination of daylight dimming with
appropriate task lighting can be especially useful in hallways and open cubicles near windows.
Almost any space with a window can be equipped with individual daylight sensors. With the
addition of well thought out task lighting, day lighting can produce a more natural feeling to a
work space, however initial commissioning and calibration of the sensors and controls are
critical.

On the Move

Almost every workplace has areas that have sporadic occupancy throughout the day. This
includes areas such as restrooms, conference areas, theatres, auditoriums and cafeterias.
These areas are ideal for installing occupancy sensors, the most common form of lighting
control used in buildings today.

There are at least two types of occupancy sensors. Infrared sensors detect temperature
changes in a room and work well where the entire room is within the sensor's field of view.
Ultrasonic sensors use high frequency sound to detect motion anywhere in the space, even
around corners, similar to the way a bat perceives motion. The life of the lamps in these areas
is usually extended by the reduced daily burn hours.

Outdoor lighting controls can also produce savings. Photocells, similar to those used by
photographers and with burglar alarms and automatic doors, serve to interrupt a beam of light
to open a circuit. This actuates a relay that supplies power to the exterior light. Photocells can
also serve to extend the life of the lamps.

Is It Hot in Here?

Temperature control is a key to energy efficiency. If you to turn down the heat before you
leave the office in the evening, a programmable thermostat will do it for you. In most cases, a
programmable thermostat can pay for itself in energy saved within four years.

Typical workspaces should be heated to no more than 72 degrees when occupied and 66
degrees when unoccupied. In the summer, temperatures should be kept to 72 degrees in
occupied spaces and 76 degrees when unoccupied. A simple one-degree reduction in room
temperature can save 5 percent in energy costs per year if the setback period is at least eight
hours long.

While adjusting the thermostat manually can be easy enough, programmable thermostats
allow you to program in a desired set point and specific cut-off times. Models are available for
$50 to $200 and most include manual override features which allow an override of the system
when it is in setback mode without reprogramming. Care must be taken to locate the system
where the temperature is representative of the entire area; avoid placing it near equipment or
next to an exterior door.

Many offices and conference rooms employ a locking enclosure to protect the thermostat from
unauthorized tampering. This can help ensure that the savings potential remains intact.
Look for the ENERGY STAR®

A key component of your energy plan should include the purchase of ENERGY STAR® rated
appliances, systems and equipment. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The program is
designed to provide savings to homes and businesses while protecting the environment
through energy efficient products and practices.

ENERGY STAR rated office equipment includes computers that use 70 percent less electricity
through power management features; copiers that use 40 percent less electricity by employing
a sleep mode when not in use; fax machines that can reduce energy costs by almost 40
percent; and laptops that use 70 percent less energy.

Businesses that use ENERGY STAR rated office equipment may realize additional savings on
air conditioning and maintenance. In addition to office equipment, look for ENERGY STAR
ratings on HVAC systems, refrigeration equipment and appliances.

A Final Word

When it comes to evaluating and replacing aging equipment, don’t wait for an emergency to
occur. The cost of replacing equipment before it fails can be offset by savings from minimal
production downtime and increased resale value of used parts. The sooner you replace
outdated systems, the sooner you begin saving on operating costs. In general, new equipment
is about 30 percent more efficient.

Every business should develop a strategy for replacing old systems and equipment. Your
written plan should include realistic goals and achievable deadlines. An effective energy
management plan can mean real savings to you and real help for our environment.




               Courtesy of CQI Associates Energy & Management Consultants
                               http://www.cqiassociates.com/

				
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