Technical Reviewers Needed for Two New GLRPPR Topic Hubs

P2Rx LogoGLRPPR has developed two new school-related Topic Hubs as part of the P2Rx Topic Hub project. Before any Topic Hub is published, topical experts review its narrative portions for accuracy and completeness.

“Energy Efficient Schools and Students” describes energy efficient practices and research available to schools and introduces resources that support changes in operations, maintenance, and behavior. Numerous ways exist to reduce escalating energy costs and this Topic Hub assembles guidelines and comprehensive energy programs, identifies educational efforts and case studies, and provides examples of best practices for schools.

“Sustainable School Design” addresses many areas, including: indoor air quality; energy consumption and options; construction materials; education materials; water use; waste management; transportation; community interaction; landscaping and the building envelope. It draws upon the myriad resources available to school administrators, school boards, and community planners with the hope that these tools will guide the design of more optimally sustainable schools. The Topic Hub deals with the big issues of construction and retrofitting, siting and commissioning, and actual design of new and remodeled schools. Pollution prevention opportunities and alternative technologies that include lighting, acoustics, air quality, and well-being needs for students and school staff for a healthy and safe learning environment, are presented.

If you’re interested in reading the narrative portions of these hubs and providing some voluntary feedback, please contact Joy Scrogum or Bob Iverson. We’re looking for 2-4 experts to evaluate each of these new hubs; one person may evaluate both hubs if they desire. If you are selected to review the hubs, we’ll contact you with a link to the information you’ll need to read and further instructions. Your name will be included in the “Acknowledgments” section of the final published Topic Hub as a “Technical Reviewer.” See the Acknowledgments section of the Pollution Prevention for Arts Education Topic Hub for an example.

Our greatest asset is the technical expertise of our members and their willingness to share their knowledge with colleagues throughout the region. We appreciate your input and look forward to working with those selected to review these new resources.

Energy-related Resources for Food Processors

In keeping with our Energy Awareness Month theme, here are a few resources worth checking out related to energy and the food processing industry:

  • Northwest Food Processors Association Energy Portal: Compiled by the Food Industry Resource Efficiency team (FIRE), a partnership between the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA) and the California League of Food Processors (CLFP) in collaboration with a number of public and private sector partners. Sections include: Established Technology; Opportunity Assessment; Efficiency Practices; Emerging Technologies; Financing/Incentives; Resources/Assistance; and a Training Calendar.
  • Energy Usage in the Food Industry: This 86-page report, available from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), reviews energy use and trends in the food industry, revealing energy intensive industries and processes that have the most incentive to reduce energy costs by implementing energy efficient processing methods.
  • ENERGY STAR Food Processing Focus: Provides industry-specific energy management tools and resources. EPA began the food processing focus in 2006 and participation is open to all food processors with plants in the U.S.
  • Energy Efficiency Opportunities in the Canadian Brewing Industry: This report from Natural Resources Canada outlines opportunities specific to the brewing industry, methods for their implementation, and a rationale for sound management of energy and utilities within the larger management of breweries.
  • The Visible Cost of Air: A Worksheet to Assist in Identifying Compressed Air Saving Opportunities: This WMRC fact sheet provides general, practical rule-of-thumb applications and recommendations for reducing waste associated with compressed air usage.
  • Heat Recovery From Milk Cooling Systems: Heat recovery from milk by water-cooled condensing mechanisms is effective and provides a reliable source of heat for preheating water on dairy farms. This Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs fact sheet, written by R.G. Winfield, describes the process of heat recovery from milk cooling systems.
  • Cutting Energy Waste in Large Refrigeration Systems: This Energy Center of Wisconsin fact sheet discusses some common performance problems with large refrigeration systems and suggests simple solutions.
  • Focus on Energy: Food/Dairy: Includes links to publications available in their Industrial Info Library, an opportunity to share your energy efficiency ideas related to this sector with Focus on Energy, and contact information. A “Dairy Processing Energy Best Practice Guidebook” will be available soon.
  • Food Service Technology Center: This extensive web site provides information on commercial kitchen equipment performance, including ventilation, building energy efficiency, lighting, glazing, and HVAC.

Check It Out: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Don’t let the name fool you–this useful database includes information on state, local utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy. Established in 1995 (and originally named the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy), DSIRE is an ongoing project of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Power Technologies and managed by the North Carolina Solar Center. In addition to renewable energy incentives, DSIRE has recently expanded to include state and federal incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, purchases of energy efficient products or systems and construction of new energy efficient buildings. Even if you’re already familiar with DSIRE, be sure to check the site regularly, especially the “New/Updated Incentives” list to see what new opportunities are available, and to keep on top of changes to existing incentive programs.DSIRE logo

New York City Hospitals & Energy Services Companies Recognized for Peak-Load Reduction

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently recognized three New York City hospitals and three energy service companies for energy efficiency efforts. The awards were made through NYSERDA’s Peak-Load Reduction Program, an incentive program designed to improve the reliability of New York’s electric grid while helping businesses and industries reduce operating costs.

New York Methodist and Mount Sinai Hospitals, along with New York Medical College, were each presented a plaque in recognition of their energy efficiency projects that will significantly reduce load demand during peak summer hours. The projects included the installation of two new, high efficiency dual-stage absorption chillers (New York Methodist), a lighting retrofit (Mount Sinai), and the installation of three high efficiency electric chillers and consolidating the air distribution system (New York Medical College). Combined, the three hospitals will save over $1 million a year in operating expenses and reduce electric consumption by over 7 million kilowatt hours per year.

LC Associates, NES Energy, and Con Edison Solutions were each presented awards for their work in numerous cooling, motor, and lighting projects.

Read the full NYSERDA press release online.

WI: Focus on Energy Offers Change-a-Light Incentive and CFL Fact Sheet

While we’re on the subject of energy efficient light bulbs, note that Focus on Energy,Focus on Energy Logo Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, is currently offering instant cash-back rewards on select Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs. The promotion began on October 1, and while supplies last, Wisconsin residents can buy the CFLs for as little as $0.99. For more information on participating retailers, contact Focus on Energy at 800-762-7077 or see the campaign web page. The campaign site also includes a nice little calculator to estimate your yearly savings based upon the number of standard bulbs you replace with CFLs.

If you’re concerned about mercury content in CFLs, Focus on Energy also has a helpful publication entitled “The Facts About Mercury in CFLs” that could convince you the benefits of CFL use outweigh the risks. This fact sheet includes a chart that compares the mercury content of CFLs to that of other common household products, such as float switches in sump pumps and watch batteries. Proper disposal and cleanup of broken CFLs are also covered.

Energy Star Change-a-Light Bus Tour

Change-a-Light Bus TourOn October 3, 2007, U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson kicked off a 10-city, 20-day Energy Star Change-a-Light Bus Tour at Disneyland. EPA and the Department of Energy are sponsoring the tour to raise awareness of the benefits of energy efficient lighting choices. At each tour stop, an outdoor education center will be set up with interactive displays on the importance of our lighting choices, how to use and dispose of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) responsibly, and the connection between our personal energy use and our climate. According to EPA, Energy Star qualified light bulbs use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, and last six to ten times longer. See the Change-a-Light Bus Tour web site for the dates and locations of all stops along the tour. Note that the tour stops in three cities in the Great Lakes region: Chicago on Oct. 12-13, Indianapolis on Oct. 14, and New York City on Oct. 23. The web site also includes a video message from Administrator Johnson, a photo gallery, a podcast interview with Wendy Reed, Campaign Manager for Energy Star, and a link to information on the Energy Star Change-a-Light, Change the World pledge site.

Why Energy Monitoring is Critical to Reducing Business Energy Waste

Thanks to Martin Bromley for responding to my post about sharing energy efficiency information in honor of Energy Awareness Month by submitting the following article. Martin notes that although the article refers to “business” energy waste, the concepts discussed apply to other organizations such as government offices, colleges, schools, etc. Please note that reference to Martin’s software, Energy Lens, is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an endorsement by GLRPPR or WMRC.–JS

Why Energy Monitoring is Critical to Reducing Business Energy Waste
By Martin Bromley

Monitoring energy consumption is vitally important for businesses that want to cut their costs and environmental impact by saving energy. This article gives an introduction to energy monitoring, and explains why it is so important for business energy management.

“Energy monitoring”, or “monitoring and targeting”, is the process of analyzing energy-consumption data to find signs of waste (opportunities to target), and to track changes in energy consumption as time goes on and as energy-saving measures are implemented.

Energy monitoring goes hand in hand with energy management: the process of controlling and conserving energy consumption within an organization. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” has become a real cliché in the energy-management industry, but it does hold a lot of truth: energy monitoring brings measurement into the process of energy management, and makes it hugely more effective as a result.

Monitor energy consumption to see if you are improving:

Energy monitoring enables you to see if your energy efficiency is improving as time goes on. A big part of energy management is implementing energy-saving measures, and energy monitoring enables you assess how well your energy-saving measures are working.

For example, you might decide to try changing the power-management settings on staff computers, to reduce their energy consumption when they aren’t in use. By analyzing your energy-consumption data, you should be able to tell whether or not such a measure has helped to save energy, and you should be able to get an indication of how much energy it has saved. This helps you to decide whether an energy-saving measure is worth pursuing further, or whether it’s time to focus your energy-management attention elsewhere.

Energy monitoring will also enable you to prove the energy savings that you’ve achieved — if your hard work has hammered down energy consumption at your business, you’ll want to be able to prove it!

Monitor energy consumption to find energy waste:

Energy monitoring can also be a very effective way to find out when and where your business is wasting energy. Traditional weekly or monthly meter readings are little use for this, but the detail contained within modern energy-consumption data such as 15-minute or half-hourly data makes it easy to identify specific days and times when the business is routinely using energy unnecessarily.

For most businesses, the quickest way to make big energy savings is to ensure that equipment is switched off when it isn’t needed. You might think that this is easy: just make sure that people switch things off. However, it’s rarely that straightforward. If a light is left on it’s usually clear to see, but the energy consumption of other types of equipment is often much less obvious. Also, unless your building is very small, it can take a long time to check all the equipment that should be switched off. Things are further complicated by people working on after you’ve gone home, and by equipment that’s controlled by timers (you need to keep checking that the timers are set and working correctly).

If you have good quality energy data (such as 15-minute or half-hourly data), analyzing it once a week or once a month will make it easy to see how much energy is being used throughout each working day, and when the building is closed. You can check whether staff and timers are switching things off without having to patrol the building day and night, and, with a little detective work, you can usually figure out who or what is causing the energy wastage that you will inevitably find. A good understanding of your energy-consumption patterns will also help you to make informed decisions about where best to focus your energy-management attention, enabling you to hone in on the biggest, easiest energy savings first.

Getting started with energy monitoring:

If you are not already monitoring your energy consumption, you are almost certainly wasting energy that is costing your business, and costing the planet.

The good news is that it’s easy to get started with energy monitoring: once a week (or once a month) spend a little time analyzing your energy-consumption data from the previous week (or month). Look for signs of waste and take steps to ensure that such waste doesn’t happen again.

Wise investments into energy monitoring should pay for themselves many times over with the energy savings you’ll achieve by making your business more energy efficient. So why not get started today?!

About the author, and further resources:

Martin Bromley is a keen advocate of energy monitoring, and one of the main people behind Energy Lens: a software package that makes it easy to turn energy-consumption data into energy monitoring charts and tables that are invaluable for energy management.

If you are interested in saving energy at your organization, please do visit the Energy Lens website at http://www.energylens.com/ for more information and a freely downloadable trial of the Energy Lens software.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Martin_Bromley; reprinted with author’s permission.

NY: Guidelines for Energy Efficient School Buildings & Green Schools Summit

The State Education Department (SED) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have announced new guidelines to encourage the use of energy efficient design when building and renovating schools. These voluntary guidelines, known as the “Collaborative for High Performance Schools” (NY-CHPS), were created through a joint effort of SED and NYSERDA. NY-CHPS will help schools develop and maintain learning environments that contribute to improved academic achievement while reducing operating costs and protecting and conserving our natural resources. Read the full NYSERDA press release here.

The guidelines are available online to download in PDF format.

Note that NYSERDA, in cooperation with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), will be hosting a Green Schools Summit on October 15, 2007 at Farmingdale State University of New York. Visit the summit web site to register and view the agenda. Sessions will cover the NY-CHPS, as well as reducing exposures to toxic substances/green cleaning, working with LIPA to green your school, alternative fuels and emission reduction efforts for school buses, and teacher/student energy and environmental initiatives from NYSERDA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

October is Energy Awareness Month

2007 Energy Awareness Month PosterOctober is Energy Awareness Month. See the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program web site for details on this year’s energy awareness campaign and to download or order outreach materials and resources. The Energy Awareness Month FAQs are particularly helpful.

In honor of Energy Awareness Month, the GLRPPR Blog will focus on energy related resources, organizations and case studies this month. If you would like to share information on energy efficiency or renewable energy programs or success stories from your area with other GLRPPR members, send the information to Joy Scrogum for consideration. If we post your information, we’ll credit your contribution to the blog in the post.

Apply for Third Round of U.S. DOE Industrial Energy Assessments

Save Energy Now logoIn a previous post, I described the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program Save Energy Now initiative. On August 20th, DOE began accepting applications for the third round of free industrial energy assessments. According to the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) News, the program has already performed energy assessments at 253 industrial plants throughout the United States which have resulted in annual energy savings of nearly $63 million; currently planned projects are expected to yield another $263 million in annual energy savings. The assessments focus primarily on energy-intensive components and systems, such as fans, pumps, and systems for process heating, steam, and compressed air. Initial selections of industrial plants for energy assessments will be made starting in mid-September, and additional selections will be announced periodically until the target of 250 assessments is reached for the calendar year 2008. For more information and to apply for an assessment, visit the Save Energy Now web site.