Energy Project Case Study: Here’s the Money You Could be Saving

You’ve heard a lot from us about the economic sense it makes to audit your building to find areas where you can make your facility more energy efficient. Now, let us show you a real-life example of a local Cleveland company and COSE member that went through this process and the real life money the company was able to receive.

Northeast Ohio manufacturing company
While we can’t name names, we can tell you the company in question is a manufacturing company with about 50 employees whose roughly 60,000 square foot facility is located here in Northeast Ohio. This company had its energy audit in September 2016 and received its audit report a month later in October.

The company’s officials were interested in upgrading its lighting (an easy step to take on the way to energy efficiency, by the way) from T8 tubes to LED tubes. About half of the lights in this facility are on 24 hours a day, which significantly shortens the payback period (more on that in a minute.)

The manufacturer received several quotes through COSE’s Contractor Network and selected one to upgrade their lighting in January 2017. COSE facilitated the rebate application and on Feb. 17th, they received the pre-approval from FirstEnergy to get a cash rebate—valued at $8,121.

Let’s talk numbers
Now for the question I know you’re all wanting to ask: What about the money? Well, here you go:

The cost to change out the lights came to $40,000, with annual energy savings of approximately 170,000 kwh. This translates to annual dollar savings of about $18,500 a year as the company uses about 1.6 million kwh annually so lighting savings are about 10% a year. And remember when I mentioned this company’s payback period a little bit earlier? The simple payback on this project is about 2.16 years. But, when you factor in the rebate, the payback period drops to 1.7 years.

Hopefully, this example makes the money your company could be saving a little more tangible. Energy efficiency projects are unlike other capital projects: Properly structured, they pay for themselves and they should not have to compete with other capital projects for funding.

And of course, if you have any questions about what might be right for your business, please do not hesitate to contact the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Energy Team at 216-592-2205 or via email at energy@gcpartnership.com.

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    Next up: Energy Thoughts, Highlights and Help:
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  • Energy Thoughts, Highlights and Help:

    Having just experienced one of the hottest summers in recent years, real time electricity prices have remained low.  Causing the forward electricity market to return to near all-time lows that we previously saw in February 2016.  This has created an opportunity for customers to lock in budget certainty pricing through-out the 2021 time frame. Again with prices that are stable and at historic lows for this time of year and current weather forecasts, this creates a unique opportunity to generate a clearly defined budget for your energy spend.

    Having just experienced one of the hottest summers in recent years, real time electricity prices have remained low.  Causing the forward electricity market to return to near all-time lows that we previously saw in February 2016.  This has created an opportunity for customers to lock in budget certainty pricing through-out the 2021 time frame. Again with prices that are stable and at historic lows for this time of year and current weather forecasts, this creates a unique opportunity to generate a clearly defined budget for your energy spend.

    To help your business be more sustainable and reduce energy costs this summer, we’ve compiled a list of ten easy-to-implement energy conservation tips from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL):

    • Implement an HVAC system night setback schedule: Work with your building staff to identify operational hours of HVAC equipment in non-24/7 areas. Be sure to consider acceptable temperature limits for any equipment that may be located in these areas and set unoccupied set-points within the acceptable limits.

    • Install solar shading features on east-, west- and south-facing facades: Install landscaping (trees, hedge rows), overhangs or fins, light shelves (shelves that reflect light into a building) and blinds to save on cooling and electrical lighting on all applicable east-, west- and south-facing facades of your building(s).

    • Install weather-stripping around loading dock doors: All loading dock doors should be insulated to reduce heat transfer through the building envelope and energy demands. The irregular surfaces and mounting hardware of rolling doors require heavy-duty weather-stripping (vinyl or wood pile, neoprene bulb or neoprene baffle).

    • Insulate hot water pipes: Pipe insulation reduces heat loss through distribution pipes and increases overall system efficiency. Any heated pipe with exterior temperatures over 120°F should be insulated.

    • Replace incandescent recessed can fixtures with LED or CFL lighting: Light-emitting diode (LED) and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) lighting use less energy, have dimming capability and are good retrofit options for recessed can fixtures.

    • Replace standard T-8 fluorescent lamps with super T-8 fluorescent lamps: Super T-8 fluorescent lamps have the same light output as standard T-8 lamps, but use less energy, last longer and have improved color rendering.

    • Install programmable thermostats: Programmable thermostats allow you to adjust the space temperature according to your seven-day occupancy schedule. This is also a good time to revise thermostat set-points – raising the temperature by a few degrees in the summer can have a large impact on energy usage.

    • Replace exit signs with LED exit signs: LED exit signs use less energy and can save significant amounts of energy when compared to incandescent exit signs. Be sure the new LED exit signs meet building and fire code requirements.

    • Check computers for proper power management settings: Check for proper power management settings. Monitors should turn off after 5 or 10 minutes of inactivity and the system should go into standby mode after 5 to 10 minutes of inactivity.

    • Replace appliances and office equipment with ENERGY STAR® models: ENERGY STAR® models use less energy that standard appliances and office equipment. Individual printers, scanners and fax machines should be removed and replaced with a central ENERGY STAR® multifunction device (a combination printer, scanner and fax machine) that can be shared by a group of employees.

    For more information and assistance with an extended energy contract speak with the COSE energy team at 216-595-2205 or at energy@cose.org

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    Next up: Energy Upgrade: How Bundling Projects Boosts ROI
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  • Energy Upgrade: How Bundling Projects Boosts ROI

    Bundling your energy efficiency projects can not only help you justify a large capital outlay, it can also generate a quick payback on the investment.

    Bundling your energy efficiency projects can not only help you justify a large capital outlay, it can also generate a quick payback on the investment.

    One way to think about this is to combine low- or no-cost projects (such as ensuring outside air dampers are working properly during peak heating and cooling times) with higher-cost investment projects (such as installing variable frequency drives on motors, or other projects that might require an engineering design or additional evaluation.)

    Remember what I mentioned earlier about a quick payback? Well, the money invested in installing a variable frequency drive could yield savings for your small business. If the drive’s flow decreases by 25%, the resulting energy savings would total 50% (assuming a 20-horsepower pump that’s working 24 hours a day.)

    So, what is the dollar savings of this project? Try $1,450 a year. That means the simple payback on this project is approximately 2.7 to 3.5 years. And don’t forget, you’ve paired this project with the no/low-cost air damper project, which will boost your savings even further because properly working dampers will require significantly less energy.

    COSE’s Energy Team can help you connect the dots and figure out which energy projects make the most sense to do at the same time to maximize the total investment return on your project dollars. 

    Work with our Team to determine if you qualify for a whole-building energy assessment at no cost to you. They will help you learn how your building uses power and identify areas of your building that can be improved, which could save you an average of 25% to 30% on your operating costs. Also, learn about other programs that provide rebates for the projects you implement that save on electrical use. 

    Learn about COSE’s energy assessment work and other programs designed to help you save on your energy costs. Contact our Energy Team at 216-592-2205 or via email at energy@cose.org.

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    Next up: Everything You Need to Know About Cloud Computing
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  • Everything You Need to Know About Cloud Computing

    In our cloud computing Q-and-A with Brad Nellis of Expedient, we referenced three reports that can help you get a grasp on how the technology could be useful for your business. Here are links to each of those reports.

    In our cloud computing Q-and-A with Brad Nellis of Expedient, we referenced three reports that can help you get a grasp on how the technology could be useful for your business. Here are links to each of those reports:

     Want to know more about how to keep your cloud of the hands of the bad guys? The experts at Affordable-IT explain cloud computing best practices you need to know.

     

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    Next up: Everything You Need to Know about HVAC Before Summer
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  • Everything You Need to Know about HVAC Before Summer

    Looking for some tips on how to prep your HVAC before summer to ensure your costs don't increase? Watch our Energy Guru Nicole Stika talk with Paul Wadsworth, President of P.K Wadsworth Heating & Cooling


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    Next up: Five Questions About the Industry Digital Summit
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  • Five Questions About the Industry Digital Summit

    Start-ups are a really important part of the tech industry here in Northeast Ohio.  JumpStart was an early leader, providing funding, mentoring and more and in the past few years several tech accelerators have launched in the CLE:  Bizdom, FlashStarts and LaunchHouse.  They each strive to help start-ups get off the ground and gain early traction.

    Start-ups are a really important part of the tech industry here in Northeast Ohio.  JumpStart was an early leader, providing funding, mentoring and more and in the past few years several tech accelerators have launched in the CLE:  BizdomFlashStarts and LaunchHouse.  They each strive to help start-ups get off the ground and gain early traction.

    New to the region, about a year or so ago, is TechPint, founded by Paul McAvinchey.  TechPint strives to connect start-up tech entrepreneurs to each other, to funders, and anyone else who's excited about start-up tech, hoping to help catalyze energy in our tech community.  Building on the momentum, Paul and the TechPint crew created the first ever Industry Digital Summit, a day-long conference for start-up tech. 

    The Summit is THIS Friday, September 5; paul McAvinchey shared some details with us.

    NEOSA: So, Paul, tell us about the inspiration for the Industry Digital Summit? 

    Paul McAvinchey: 
    When I arrived in Cleveland a few years back I was looking for a good place to meet other startup folks. And I thought a good place to start would be at a regional tech conference focused on entrepreneurship and innovation around digital technologies. But I couldn't find one. Why? I immediately started thinking about organizing one myself, but to be honest, I didn't know where to start. So I downscaled the idea into a mini-tech conference that we'd hold in bars quarterly, and that became the now notorious TechPint. Over a year later and after having made many new friends and connections, putting on a full scale conference just seemed doable. So we picked a name, a date and then worked hard to fill in all the missing pieces over the past 6 months. 

    NEOSA: What’s the theme, or focus of the content? 

    PM: Broadly speaking, the event is for forward-thinking people who are using digital technologies to build new companies, products or experiences. But the topics will be of interest to anyone interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. We have talks about raising money, efficiently creating products and even designing your team. And the event will have a distinctly Rust Belt feel - we are holding this in a warehouse and we'll be keeping things very casual and relaxed, TechPint-style. 

    NEOSA: I’m sure ALL the speakers are great, but who are a couple you’re especially excited about? 

    PM: I can't wait to hear Bob Moesta. He, along with Harvard Business School's Clayton Christensen created the famous jobs-to-be-done framework for product innovation. Christensen was actually a big hero of Steve Jobs and Moesta himself is a very well respected innovator and speaker.

    Ian Sigalow from Greycroft Partners in New York is going to be great, too. He's invested in the likes of Huffington Post and recently was part of the selling of Buddy Media for $80m. He's now armed with a $200m fund to invest in startups, including in the Midwest. 

    NEOSA: Inspiration, connections and knowledge are probably three great reasons to attend the Summit, give us three more. 

    PM: Nothing like this has been held in Cleveland before - you'll get such a good buzz when you see what our team has put together. And I can guarantee that it will be a day well spent when you look at the new ideas that you'll walk away with (this is probably inspiration, but it's worth repeating!). Plus we have a pig roast right after the conference! 

    NEOSA: How would you advise someone to get the most benefit from the Summit? 

    PM: Get rid of all your thoughts of what tech conferences traditionally are. Leave your tie at home, put on your sneakers and come with your mind wide open. It will be an experience from the moment you walk into the door until you leave our huge warehouse after party late, late at night.

    Complete details on the Summit are here and last minute ticket info is here.

    The line-up and schedule look great, it should be an excellent conference!


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