Energy Savings

Energy Management in a Commercial Environment: Why and How

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Lighting, Energy Savings | Comments Off on Energy Management in a Commercial Environment: Why and How

Energy Management in a Commercial Environment: Why and How

Energy costs can be a huge item in your P&L statement. Here in south Florida it’s even more intense because of the power demand caused by using air conditioning throughout most of the year. These extra energy costs represent money you can better spend on running or improving your business. This is why it’s crucial for you to practice good energy management habits, and to teach your employees to do the same.

Energy management is a system of practices that reduce energy costs across the board. They can be simple set-it-and-forget-it ideas or common practices, but the one thing they all have in common is that they save money and reduce your business’ power usage.

Why Bother With Energy Management?

If you’re not running a factory or other large business, can the savings be great enough to justify the extra time and effort? In fact, there are two reasons to use an energy management system, both of which will show different benefits for your business.

Practicing energy conservation for savings can add up over time. By putting multiple techniques into practice you may save fewer than a hundred dollars a month, but that be a significant savings by the year’s end. This can make a big difference for a business that’s running on a 1-2 percent profit margin.

The other side of the energy conservation picture is doing good for your community. When you cut down on your energy usage, you’re reducing your carbon footprint. The less energy you and other businesses use, the better it is for the environment. You’ll be doing good for the world, plus earning the respect of potential customers who value companies with a social conscience.

How to Save Energy in Your Business

Manage your energy use by upgrading your equipment as well as developing new practices in your business. Begin with small steps like changing all the light bulbs in your building to energy efficient LED bulbs. They only use about 10 percent of the power of traditional bulbs, plus they give off less heat, which is good for any business that needs to constantly cool the building. Include your outdoor lighting and the lights in your security system in this energy makeover. LED lights are just as bright as incandescent or fluorescent types, giving you the same bright security lighting profile.

Have timers installed on all your electrical equipment, both inside and out. This will eliminate wasted power from people forgetting to turn off lights or equipment. You can add individual timers for small items such as desk lamps, but it’s best to get a licensed electrician to install timers for your main lighting and equipment systems. A commercial electrical West Palm Beach contractor will not only be able to correctly install the timers the first time, he can also arrange a maintenance schedule for taking care of all the electrical equipment in the building.

When it comes time to replace old and worn-out equipment, always check the energy ratings to find the one that uses the least power. Energy efficient machines, even those that initially cost more to install, can be cheaper to use over its lifespan.

Manage standby power usage by requiring that all employees unplug equipment when they’re done using it. Machines with an internal clock or standby setting, such as coffee makers and printers, will drain power even when they’re not in use. These so-called energy vampires can drain a significant amount of power in 24 hours without ever being touched. Make unplugging a habit throughout your business.

Involve your employees in your efforts to reduce power. Reward innovation when it comes to saving energy. If you instill a sense of pride in your team because they’re doing good for the environment, they’ll be more likely to help you in your energy management efforts.

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Alternative Energy Trends in South Florida

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Blogs, Energy Savings, Green Buildings | Comments Off on Alternative Energy Trends in South Florida

Alternative Energy Trends in South Florida

About 90 percent of the power used in south Florida homes is electric, with the majority of that being created by burning coal or natural gas. The call for renewable energy sources is growing, for energy conservation as well as economic reasons. Alternative energy sources aren’t as common in south Florida as they are in other parts of the country, but installations are on the rise, revealing a brighter future for renewable energy in this part of the state.

Alternative energy isn’t just the province of new construction. Home remodels and business renovations in south Florida can be the perfect time to add an alternative, cleaner source of power to your building. Depending on your environment, you have multiple options to consider:

  • Solar power can provide up to 100 percent of your daily power needs
  • Wind energy is completely clean, but not as effective in this area
  • Kinetic energy is a new technology with an exciting future

Solar Power

You would think that solar power in Florida would be a natural part of green building. After all, we’re known as the sunshine state. In past years, though, homeowners and business owners have been forced to pay fees to power companies even if their solar panel array produces all the power they use. In essence, everyone in the state was forced to pay for being hooked up to a power company, even if they never used it.

Today, a combination of energy conservation lobbying and financial incentives in the form of substantial tax breaks are making solar energy a better bargain for south Florida residents. While it can take years for a full panel array to pay for itself in saved energy costs, the fact that solar energy doesn’t add to greenhouse gases can tip the scales when deciding to install panels.

Wind Energy

Compared to the great plains of Kansas and Wyoming, south Florida doesn’t have a steady supply of strong winds to count on. Many wind generators are needed in a given area to produce useful amounts of electricity because of the relatively ineffective technology available. The numbers for this get more attractive for wind turbines placed over the water and on extra-high poles that catch stronger air currents, but in south Florida this is only possible for residents with large plots of land or long water frontage.

Kinetic Energy

One of the most exciting new concepts in green building for the south Florida area is using kinetic energy to produce electrical power. For residents who have property on the water, this can be a solid source to rely on in years to come. Kinetic energy power plants are small, floating machines that are anchored to the sea bed. Attached to the ground with a cable, these machines, housed in pods, bob up and down with the waves. Every time the pod goes up or down, it creates a small amount of energy that can be stored to be used later. Some brands include small water wheels that increase the electrical output, while others are simple passive systems with levers that move with the waves.

A kinetic energy production field requires multiple pods installed in the water, so it’s obviously only useful for residents with water frontage, but it’s growing in popularity in some communities for the production of municipal power as well as for individual owners.

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Better Insulation Saves Money and Prevents Hay Fever!

Posted by on Apr 2, 2016 in Blogs, Energy Savings | Comments Off on Better Insulation Saves Money and Prevents Hay Fever!

Better Insulation Saves Money and Prevents Hay Fever!

These days, we’re all more aware of our carbon footprint, our energy consumption, and the need to be more cautious about the resources we use. Even if you’re not actively trying to “live green” you almost certainly know that using more energy hurts your wallet!

Whatever your reasons for energy conservation, if you’ve done any research at all, you probably know that better insulation is a huge factor in household energy consumption, but did you know that better insulation can also help your hay fever this allergy season?

Insulation and Air Flow

The reason why insulation is important for energy conservation is that proper insulation helps to make your home air tight, and prevents the flow of air (and heating and cooling) from inside your home to the outside world.

Because you’re containing the air in your home to within the walls, your heating and cooling systems aren’t working as hard to control the temperature of new air all the time, and that can result in big savings in your utility bills.

Ask any electrician in South Florida, and they will confirm that no matter how great your HVAC equipment is, if your home is poorly insulated, you’re going to spend a lot more heating and cooling it!

Insulation and Hay Fever

It’s obvious that ensuring that there is as little air flow between the inside and the outside of your home is important for energy conservation, but how does it help to prevent hay fever? Much the same way actually.

When your home is poorly insulated, there is a constant flow of air from the outside to the inside and vice versa, and just as that allows heat to travel between the inside and outside, it also allows pollen laden air to travel through cracks around windows and doors, or through poorly insulated walls, soffits and ceilings.

Even if you have a HEPA filtration system installed in your home, it might not be able to cope with all those extra allergens, and they may well cause you to have more allergic reactions this allergy season.

Not only does poor insulation allow pollen into your home though. It may even be responsible for some of the trouble!

Over the years, people have used some strange things to insulate their homes, from newspaper to straw, and if you live in an older home, there could be all sorts of allergens in your walls and ceiling! Not to mention when those materials start to mold, and the fungal spores cause trouble all on their own!

Get to the Bottom of the Problem

If you’ve noticed that your utility bills are up, and your HVAC equipment is working harder than it should be, then it’s important for your wallet and your allergies that you figure out the problem! A site visit by an electrician can confirm that there aren’t any electrical problems, and if there aren’t you may want to consider investigating your insulation a little more closely! Even small changes might make all the difference.

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Latest Green Building Electrical Trends for 2016-2019

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Lighting, Energy Savings | Comments Off on Latest Green Building Electrical Trends for 2016-2019

Latest Green Building Electrical Trends for 2016-2019

A few short years ago, green building was just another fad. Something that happened on the fringe of construction, which avant garde architects and designers incorporated into their designs along with weird angles, and which was not really something the average person thought about.

Thanks to rising energy costs and increasing concern for the planet, however, green building has moved squarely into focus for most consumers and contractors, and it’s becoming one of the important things to consider when building or renovating. Here is what you’re likely to encounter in terms of electrical in green buildings in the next few years.

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Commercial vs. Residential Electrical Contractors: What’s the Difference?

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Blogs, Electrical Contractors, Electrical Maintenance, Energy Savings | Comments Off on Commercial vs. Residential Electrical Contractors: What’s the Difference?

Commercial vs. Residential Electrical Contractors: What’s the Difference?

In theory, electrical contractors are pretty much all alike, and it is true that given enough time and a good instruction manual, a residential electrical contractor could do a commercial contractor’s job, and vice versa. However, that’s the same as saying that a mechanic who works on compact cars and one who works on semis are the same: while they share a lot of the same traits, there are some noticeable differences. Here’s what you need to know.

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How Electrical Vehicles are Improving Green Efficiency

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Blogs, Energy Savings, Green Buildings | Comments Off on How Electrical Vehicles are Improving Green Efficiency

How Electrical Vehicles are Improving Green Efficiency

In 2011, Barack Obama set the goal of having 1 million electric vehicles on the road by the end of this year. It is now clear that while we won’t reach that goal, there have been significant strides in the electrical vehicles market. Although the industry hasn’t achieved its target of a million units, it has made great strides and we are improving not only the state of EV’s on the road, but also the ideals of electrical efficiency and green building in general.

The Silent Electrical Revolution

In spite of falling short of those goals, there are some good signs that there is a silent revolution going on in the automotive world:

  • Of the 300,000 battery powered vehicles on the road today, nearly 120,000 were sold in 2014 alone. That means that the demand for plug-in powered cars is increasing, and that is a good sign. It means that people are realizing the value of alternative energy, and that is something we all need to do.
  • Far from being boring and slow like they used to be, manufacturers like Tesla have finally managed to make electric cars sexy, and that means that the demand is growing.
  • The market for hybrids has never been bigger, either, and nearly 230,000 units were sold in the USA in 2015 alone!
  • There is already a demand for certain electric vehicles that are due to be available in 2016, including Chevrolet’s Volt and several Tesla models.
  • Volatility in the oil market is likely to continue, which will make the search for viable alternatives ever more important.
  • Improvements in batteries and electric motor efficiency are making the payback period for electric cars, and the lifecycle costs, a more attractive proposition for buyers.

These factors make it clear that while the growth in demand for electric cars has been slow it is gaining momentum, and battery-powered and plug-in cars are not going to disappear anytime soon.

What Are Electric Cars Doing for Electrical Efficiency?

It is wonderful that electric cars are finally becoming a genuine mainstream vehicle option in America, but you may be wondering what impact they are having on electrical efficiency in general, and green building in particular.

There are several ways that electric vehicles are impacting how we build homes and other structures. On the one hand, consumers are becoming better educated about options and more environmentally conscious, which means they are more open to alternative power, energy savings and efficient home strategies.

On the other hand, the improvements being made to batteries and motors in the automotive industry is also driving innovation and change in other industries, including electrical, electronics and HVAC, all of which means it’s only a matter of time before we have more options for efficient home building.

Whatever your feeling about green power and electric cars, however, it’s worth finding an electrical contractor in south Florida who can advise you on how to make your home more efficient. Not only will you be helping to reduce the impact on the environment, but you can also save a bundle on utility bills.

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