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It doesn’t matter if you live in a home with a modern kitchen that has all the fancy upgrades, or one that just has a single overhead light in the center of the room. If you’re not using the latest generation of energy-efficient bulbs, it’s time for a lighting upgrade.
“Kitchen lighting has made great strides in the past couple of years, not just from a design standpoint, but with regards to energy efficiency. So upgrades are definitely worth looking into,” says Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for the American Lighting Association (ALA) and an associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s School of Interior Design. He travels the country tracking trends, and one he’s noticed lately is the focus on energy conservation.
“Lighting manufacturers are spending a considerable amount of time, and dedicating a lot of resources to developing fixtures capable of using more energy-efficient light sources than the standard incandescent,” Rey-Barreau says. “And it’s no coincidence that this trend is growing in popularity at a time when energy costs are on the rise,” he says.
As recently as two years ago, the only fixtures available for the kitchen that used the most energy-efficient light sources available today – fluorescents and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) – were not aesthetically pleasing. In today’s marketplace, however, decorative energy-efficient fixtures are available in every product category, whether you’re looking for something traditional, modern or artsy.
“We know consumers want to capitalize on the fact that compact fluorescent bulbs are approximately three to four times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and LEDs can be three to 10 times more efficient, so we’ve dedicated a lot of resources to developing new fixtures that utilize the technology,” says Scott Roos, vice president of product design for Juno Lighting Group. “We’ll be introducing an LED under-cabinet unit in the fall that requires just eight watts of energy to provide the same illumination as an 80-watt halogen light source. Our new LED down light will be 40 percent more energy efficient than a compact fluorescent and 75 percent more energy efficient than an incandescent.”
Holtkoetter International, Inc., a manufacturer of residential lighting fixtures based in St. Paul, Minn., plans to release several models of fixtures that use LEDs early next year. But energy-saving products are nothing new for Holtkoetter. “We’ve been offering fixtures that take halogen IRC bulbs, capable of improving energy efficiency by 50 percent, for the last five years,” says company president Paul Eusterbrock.
Infra Red Coating (IRC) bulbs are designed in such a way that the heat they generate can be recycled and turned into light.
Hubbardton Forge, a lighting manufacturer out of Chandler, Vt., meantime has concentrated its efforts on developing decorative fixtures that take compact fluorescents. “We have offerings in every category for decorative fixtures that really enhance what you get out of a compact fluorescent,” says George Chandler, president of Hubbardton Forge.
No matter which of the new technologies you choose to go with, when shopping for energy-efficient fixtures, Rey-Barreau says it is important to look for the Energy Star label. In order to qualify for the Energy Star designation, the product must meet specific performance criteria for energy-efficient performance set by the U.S. Department of Energy.
As for concerns people may have about the quality of light given off by compact fluorescents and LEDs, Rey-Barreau says that “while in the past color rendering may have been a concern, it is no longer a problem. Consumers can rest assured the quality closely matches that of incandescents.”
Today’s advancements are quite impressive, but what does the future hold? Rey-Barreau expects the lighting industry to work hard at getting more products on the shelves that use the most energy-efficient technology developed to date – LEDs. “Right now LEDs are still kind of expensive, but once they become more readily available, the cost will come down significantly,” he says.
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.
A recent paper by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy listed ten programs that spurred companies and customers to economize energy. The findings certainly show that behavioural programs can be astonishingly effective.
Improving energy efficiency is an important topic on the program of most organisations these days. The benefits are numerous, from lowering carbon footprint to the most outstanding of all cutting down on costs with energy. So million dollar question is: How to enhance business energy efficiency?
There are many ways to do so but this is not quite what I want to talk about in this column. I wont be recommending you change all the lights in your concern to LED lights, even though that is one the most cost effective ways to enhance your business’ energy efficiency.
In this paper I’d like to contest what is more effective consumer education or infrastructure updates. One could say that by bringing together both you could achieve greater results but that you will have to adjudge once you have finished reading this article.
Purchaser education has proven to be an effective way to better energy efficiency of households and businesses alike. When combined with programs that apply social science to energy conservation it can incite individuals to beat down consumption and make decisions that will enable their businesses to save as well.
Such programmes are an attractive way to reduce energy consumption since they have low upfront cost and require little change to existing business processes / lifestyles.
Nevertheless, simply relying on consumer/employee education might not be adequate. There is a real danger that energy efficiency gains seen from consumer/employee behaviour will go away over time.
That is when infrastructural upgrades come into the picture. Even though they require a greater upfront investment if evaluated properly and done right such upgrades could generate better benefits. The downside is that most of these benefits will only be noticed in the long term.
But there isn’t a better time to start upgrading your company with more energy efficient machinery. With many governments around the world creating funds to subsidise these changes. For instance here in the United kingdom the Government is creating the Green Investment Bank.
If you are unsure of which route to take in order to save energy. Why not ask for specialist help. Hire an energy consultant or an independent energy broker to inspect your premises and offer the best and most effective options for you company.
Heavy Industry’ is a rather amorphous term. According to Wikipedia, Heavy Industry signifies the production of goods that are either heavy in weight or in the processes leading to their production.Examples of such industries include steel, chemical, mining, and construction equipment, machinery.
The United States is the largest consumer of energy in the world, using 94.9 quadrillion BTUs in 2009 and heavy industry in the United States accounts for about 31% of all energy consumption, significantly more than any other sector of the economy. Seven energy-intensive industries use three-fourths of this power; these are aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, metal casting, mining, and steel. All these heavy industries are also under tremendous pressure to reduce their huge dependence on expensive non
A recent study by the European Commission thinks not. The study estimates that the United States has the potential to save about 45 TWh energy per year, through use of energy efficient transformers. Even a 0.01 percent gain in the average efficiency of utility transformers installed in the U.S. in a single year, can save as much as 2.9 Twh energy.
The environmental benefits of energy-efficient transformers are also significant and the study by the European Commission believes transformers could well emerge as a major focus for energy efficient
initiatives in the industry.
Energy Guzzling Industries
Paper and Pulp Industry
Iron and Steel Industry
Is the Answer Energy-Efficiency
Energy efficiency is already playing a significant role in the Heavy Industry, but with growing concerns of greenhouse gas emissions and skyrocketing cost of energy, it obviously needs to do more.Before the 1970s, the U.S. energy consumption grew in parallel to gross domestic product (GDP). Had that trend continued, current U.S. energy demand would have more than doubled, currently, the energy consumption is 1.5 times that of 1970. Reduction in energy consumption has resulted from a combination of energy efficient methods and a shift from energy-intensive manufacturing toward a service and information-based economy.
Do Energy Efficient Transformers Hold the Key?
As energy costs rise and availability becomes uncertain, the necessity of utilizing energy-efficient products becomes imperative. Additionally, a globally competitive business environment is causing businesses to cut costs in order to remain competitive. Of particular interest are distribution transformers
that are the largest loss-making components in electrical networks.
In a typical grid, electric transformer loss contributes to about 40-50% of the total transmission and distribution loss. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that on a conservative estimate 61 billion kWh annually can be attributed to transformer losses. These losses cost end-users $3 to $4 billion annually. An energy-efficient transformer is therefore an important means to reduce transmission and distribution loss. Energy saving transformers can additionally save the equivalent of more than 70 million tons of CO2 emissions.
The answer to energy efficiency is in making distribution transformers efficient; and thankfully, manufacturers have the technical know-how to offer better, cost effective, low loss, energy efficient transformers.
Energy Efficient Distribution Transformers
Distribution transformers distribute power from power generating facilities to end-users and while energy loss during transmission is inevitable, measures are taken to reduce it considerably.However, for energy to be consumed voltage needs to be reduced and it is at this point of stepping down electricity that distribution transformers lose energy. Even though only a small portion of energy is lost it is in a permanent manner and standby power losses account for 2% of total electricity production.
Despite high average efficiencies of 95 to 99.75%, transformers have a significant environmental impact because they continuously consume power.
The energy losses in electricity transformers fall into two components, namely, no-load losses resulting from the energized iron core, which is a permanent phenomenon, and load losses, arising when providing power to users. Load losses also result from the resistance of the coil when the transformer is in use, and from eddy currents due to stray flux.
Technical solutions exist to reduce transformer losses by 75% at minimum when replaced by modern transformers or even by 90% when replacing transformers over 30 years old. Energy-efficiency can be improved with better transformer design, like selecting better, lower-core-loss steels; reducing flux density in a specific core by increasing the core size; increasing conductor cross-section to reduce current density; good balancing between the relative quantities of iron and copper in the core and coils.
An energy efficient transformer is an important means to reduce Transmission & Distribution loss and can save up to 120 TWh / year. Energy efficient transformers can provide considerable environmental benefits too. For example, a typical urban distribution transformer rated at 400 kW has lifetime losses equivalent to 125 “”184 tons of CO2 emissions; a more energy-efficient design can reduce these emissions to 56 tons.
Vinyl siding is the choice of many homeowners and builders due to its durability, long life, and ease of installation. Unlike painted siding, it does not require repainting every four to five years, making it an essentially maintenance-free and economical choice over a long term. Simple cleaning or power washing on a yearly basis is all that is needed to keep this siding looking like new for many years.
Vinyl siding has improved greatly from its beginnings, resisting fading and warping like the earlier products were known to do. It is also now available in a vast range of colors and patterns, including wood, stone, and metal faux veneers that appear identical to these real materials from even short distances when expertly installed. For those who love the look of stone or cedar but not the expensive price tags, vinyl siding can offer the ideal solution.
One of the drawbacks of standard vinyl siding is that it doesn’t offer additional insulation. This issue has been addressed with the introduction of insulated siding that is now available from a number of manufacturers. It offers all of the advantages of other vinyl siding, plus many more.
Insulated vinyl siding can significantly reduce energy costs by increasing the home’s energy efficiency by four to five times over that of traditional vinyl. These savings can effectively pay for the siding in just a few years making insulated vinyl an even more economical siding choice.
The appearance and feel of insulated vinyl is more like wood siding due to increased firmness and stiffness. Traditional vinyl is flexible, following a structure’s bends and bumps that are ultimately highlighted by the material rather than masked. Insulated vinyl is inflexible, offering a smooth appearance like that of wood siding. It also offers greater protection from impact damage such as hail, storm debris, and accidental impacts from golf balls or baseballs that can so easily happen with busy, active families.
The thermal insulation that improves a home’s energy efficiency also has significant acoustical advantages, reducing the levels of noise from the outside. This results in an interior that is much more quiet and comfortable, especially for homes located near busy streets or intersections.
Of all the siding options available, it is little wonder that vinyl siding is the most popular for its beauty, durability, and maintenance-free advantages. Though it costs more up front than traditional vinyl, insulated vinyl offers even greater advantages with the significant money savings in energy costs. When considering siding choices, put insulated vinyl at the top of the list for economy and quality.
If you’ve been worried about our environment or looking to save money, I strongly suggest giving residential solar energy a try. No pun intended but the future of residential solar energy is very bright.
As the name suggests, residential solar energy is the use of solar energy for the home. In the past solar power was only available to large companies, now residential solar energy is widely available. One of the largest draws of residential solar energy is its ability to save people money.
Rather than sacrifice comfort by raising the thermostat, or spending money on getting the attic insulated or using double pane windows, residential solar energy is the better option because it will cut your electricity bills and also ensure that you can live comfortably throughout the year. I believe residential solar energy is the future and a properly designed home solar power system can pay for itself in a matter of years.
Residential Solar Energy
Residential solar energy refers to using clean, sustainable power from the sun to generate electricity for homes and apartment buildings. When used for residential purposes, solar power can provide hot water, warm pools, and overall heating. Residential Solar Energy is among the best investments a homeowner can make. Returns on a residential solar energy system can be as high as 20-25%.
If you want to produce ALL of your electric power with residential solar energy without relying on your utility, you will need to consider exactly how much power you will need, and you will need a battery backup system to store power when sunlight isn’t readily available for generating power with your solar system.
Additionally, apartments using residential solar energy will typically save large amounts of money on utility bills, which may contribute to rent and utility savings for residents. Giving people the option to save money while helping the environment will hopefully give solar energy a bright and sunny future in the residential world.
Federal And State Incentives
Most importantly, there are federal and state incentives for most type of residential energy systems that you can install at your home. Especially on the federal level, there are many tax breaks and rebates that you can get from the federal government when you install residential renewable energy systems in your home. Incentives and tax Credits can cover up to 70% of the cost of Residential systems and up to 85% of the cost for Commercial systems.
The new 30% federal tax credit has created a dramatic boost to the residential solar energy market. In some locations, with combined federal, state and local incentives, the payback on the initial residential solar energy investment can be as short as 6-10 years. This way, although you may make your initial investment, you will be able to get most of it back in the forms of incentives.
We have noticed many banks providing financing at very low interest rates, and even government programs providing no-interest loans for solar home retro-fitting. The tax credits (residential in my case) are nevertheless substantial, and”doing the right thing” has its own merit, but these considerations can only carry so much weight in a spending decision of such magnitude.
Learn how to build you own home solar energy system and generate residential solar energy for less than… $200 !
The Pew Center for Global Climate Change highlights why firms need to be proactive when it comes to finding ways to become energy efficient and should not wait for any regulation that will be compelled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a recent report, the Center has concluded that there are a number of attitudinal and reputational advantages for such initiatives that lead to financial benefits.
Companies should start to consider some examples of energy efficiency should they wish to find ways of improving their market position. According to Pew, those companies that strive to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as a core part of the business strategy benefited in many different ways. So long as clear goals were established and the system was set up to collect data and manage the outcome, clear results could be demonstrated.
It is emphasized by the Pew Center for Global Climate Change that companies need to be proactive in seeking energy efficient practices, and need not wait for any EPA-imposed regulation to compel such. A recent report that was issued by the body offers a clearer picture. Companies which are studied by the Center has cited some important reputational, attitudinal, and financial benefits.
As energy use can account for one of the largest costs in a business operation, cost savings on energy consumption can be a very hot topic in the board rooms. Decision makers in various organizations are finding energy efficiency examples are realizing that targets that are easy to achieve would actually result to financial savings which might be difficult to duplicate anywhere else.
Organizations are now seeking options for energy efficiency like ceiling insulation, having efficient doors and windows, installation of motion detectors, upgrading of lighting systems, among other energy efficiency examples, as a way to help generate savings through power use reduction which consequently helps curtail carbon emissions and.
Those who are taking early actions in their commitment to energy efficiency could also help in leading to maintenance cost reductions. These improvements, if communicated well to staff, lead to an uptick in morale. In short, the organization wins all the way down the line and can maneuver itself into a position to enhance its reputation.
Building stock typically lasts for an average of fifty years and many companies find themselves occupying buildings that are far from efficient. The federal government is actually supportive of retrofitting of already existing assets and appliances by providing financial grants for such initiatives.
Companies must become more aware of the growing move toward carbon regulation. Carbon, being a byproduct of fossil fuel produced energy, is a direct contributor to global warming and the majority of scientists agree is responsible for accelerating climate change. By becoming more energy efficient, an organization can help to avoid any potential direct carbon taxation in the future.
There are many examples of energy efficiency in action and plenty of reasons for the typical organization to conform. Management must make sure that they are in possession of accurate and up-to-date information, generated in real-time, so that they can ensure that all assets are operating to peak efficiency, cutting back their raw energy costs to a minimum.
If you’re interested in turning your home into a lean mean ‘green’ machine, then you should consider the high quality Houston window tint solutions available from Sun Tech Glass Tinting. We specialize in providing homes and businesses with quality tinting solutions which can lead to not only improved privacy, but also heightened energy efficiency as well as a whole host of other great long-term benefits.
Sun Tech Glass Tinting is the best company to turn to if you’re interested in having a more energy-efficient home. With summer right around the corner, most Houston-area homes will be blasting the air conditioners and using a great deal of energy. But with our high quality Houston window tinting solutions, less heat will enter the home thus lowering energy use and making it possible to save big money on energy bills. If this sounds like a good idea to you, then you can count on Sun Tech Glass Tinting. Not only are we experienced, but we also utilize the superior Huper Optik window film which is not only aesthetically-pleasing, but also provides for unrivaled performance! As a matter of fact, Huper Optik film can be relied on not only to improve energy-efficiency within homes and businesses, but also to improve security as this film technology is super strong and can protect homes and businesses against smash-and-grab burglars.
Enjoy a great deal of benefits when you select the high quality Houston window tint solutions from Sun Tech Glass Tinting. Our company has been satisfying our customers for a number of years, and this is not only due to our unmatched window tinting Houston solutions. We’re also proud to provide some of the best customer service available anywhere! So if you’re looking for a glass tinting company that’s able to provide both long-lasting tinting solutions as well as a friendly and professional customer service experience, then you need to look no further than Sun Tech Glass Tinting!
Sun Tech Glass Tinting is proud to offer energy-saving, privacy-enhancing, security-heightening, UV ray-deflecting Houston window tint solutions that you’ll be sure to enjoy for a very long time to come. So be sure to learn more today by browsing through the rest of our website. If you have any questions or would like to move forward with our tinting services, then feel free to contact us directly by phone or email.
You might want to retrofit your existing building with energy efficient lighting, HVAC or upgrades to the building envelope in order to save money on energy costs, but youve first got to come up with the funding for those improvements. Do you provide the required capital or continue to face increased operating costs? The ROI on new, energy-efficient systems may be longer, but the equipment will perform more reliably while providing better working conditions and lowering energy costs along the way. Most business owners will assume that funding for energy efficient upgrades has to come from dipping into their equity in the facility, or from an outside funding source such as a bank loan.
Fortunately, there are alternative strategies that can be put into place to pay for energy efficiency projects by significantly lowering your tax burden. A cost segregation analysis identifies and reclassifies personal property assets to shorten the depreciation time for taxation purposes, which reduces current income tax obligations. Personal property assets include a buildings non-structural elements, exterior land improvements and indirect construction costs. Depreciation expense is accelerated and tax payments are decreased when an assets life is shortened, which frees up cash for investment in energy efficiency projects.
The benefits of a cost segregation study are retroactive, including buildings that have been purchased, constructed, expanded or remodeled since 1987. This allows taxpayers to recapture previously unrecognized depreciation, which increases cash flow in the current year.
Another tax benefit that can be applied to energy efficient construction or improvements is found in section 179D of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. 179D includes full and partial tax deductions for investments in energy efficient commercial buildings that are designed to increase the efficiency of energy-consuming functions. The deduction available is up to $.60 per square foot for lighting, HVAC and building envelope, creating potential for $1.80 per square foot if all three components qualify. These deductions are applicable to buildings that were either built or retrofitted after December 31, 2005. In order to qualify for the deduction, the taxpayer must receive a third party energy efficiency certification.
In addition, the issuance of Revenue Procedure 2011-14 will allow some taxpayers to claim the 179D deduction all the way back to January 1, 2006 without filing one single amended income tax return. Taxpayers who wish to take the deduction without amending any returns will file a Form 3115 (Application for Change in Accounting Method) and will get to take the entire catch up deduction on the return that is being filed. This means that a taxpayer could potentially claim deductions from 2006-2010 (or 2011) all on one return and significantly reduce their tax burden, if not eliminate it altogether, which goes a long way toward funding energy efficiency.
Instead of looking to outside sources or reducing your valuable equity to fund energy efficiency, look to your own building for the answers. Putting the right strategy into place can result in surprisingly significant savings and painless way to pay for your project.
A home is built for a lifetime. Any damage to the home out of bad weather is definitely heart breaking. So it is well-said that “prevention is better than cure”. This is not only applicable to all human beings; undeniably it fits well when coming to the use of insulators for our home.
Researches say that half the heat is lost from the home through the wall and loft, also a good contribution is made by the doors, windows and pipes. So investment on insulation is worthy. To name a few varieties of insulations applied to the homes are cavity insulation, wool insulation, floor insulation, loft insulation, glazing, tanks and pipes and many more.
A building having a cavity wall i.e, the outer wall and the inner wall being separated by an empty space or a cavity needs to go for the cavity wall insulation, since the outer wall tends to lose a larger amount of heat. With good cavity wall insulation, which uses a suitable insulant material, a suitable room temperature can be achieved. It is a simple and a cost effective solution that saves the fuel of the occupant.
Coming to the insulating board widely used by many movie halls, pubs, conference halls and the recording studios, it guarantees noise reduction coefficient, sound absorptive properties, flame resilient and low weight when the board is an acoustic wall. Besides some other categories of insulation boards also provide benefits like UV resistance, ozone resistance and corrosion resistance. The insulating boards are also used for the floor having rooms below with adequate ventilation.
Wool insulation is also a popular choice these days. Some of the great features of the wool are a natural choice, not inert, healthy, eco-friendly, hygroscopic, non-allergic, fire resistant, low in conductivity, absorbs gases and fumes, and low in embodied energy. Therefore with wool insulation, air conditioning is of course natural.
Mineral wool insulation isnt similar to the wool insulation. Mineral wool is the rock wool which is manufactured from the steel slag. This kind of insulation is permanent and effective against moisture and some agents of rots which are often unavoidable. One of the similar properties it shares with the wool insulation is its fire resistant property. But simultaneously extra precaution needs to be taken while working with it as it raises certain health concern especially to the eyes, skin and lung. So taking professional help at the time of installations guarantees the protection of our home and health as well.
Another way of saving a lot of valuable and expensive energy is by insulating the loft. So using the loft insulation, carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced, the major cause for climate change. Loft insulation prevents internal condensation assuring a warmer winter and a cooler summer, reduces noise from outside and thus improves the energy efficiency rating of the home.
Global warming the rising concern these days can be prevented to some extent with the application of above mentioned insulators to our homes. So let us take the initiative in making our planet a better place for living.