11/10/2013

Sleuthing for Solutions: Become an Energy Detective

What’s worth more: improving the efficiency of equipment or shutting it off when unneeded?

By Eric Woodroof, Ph.D., CEM, CRM

 
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For most of my career, I have focused on energy management projects that reduce operational costs and have a quick payback. If you can improve efficiency by 20% for an asset that is used at least 3,000 hours a year, you can usually find a good ROI. Many technologies that can achieve this are available for lighting, boilers, chillers, motors, and other equipment, and many energy engineers can stay busy by improving the efficiencies of these heavily used assets.

However, before addressing efficiency, we must go back to basics and ask if an asset is needed at all. Often, there are mutually exclusive options between improving efficiency versus shutting off equipment when not needed. Think of it in terms of purchasing an item on sale: are there really savings if you didn’t need it in the first place?

To illustrate my point in an energy example, consider my all-electric house. Upon moving into it, we had a utility bill of $700. With great motivation, I sought to reduce the electric expense. I went into my usual mode of changing most of the lights to LEDs. I also put more insulation into the attic and adjusted the temperature setpoints (only slightly, to keep the spouse happy). Our bill was slashed in half. After some other projects, our bill has occasionally dropped to about $200. In all of these projects, I could almost see the energy wasting away, so the moves were common sense upgrades.


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
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