Finding Treasure
Sep 30, 2014

6 Surprising Ways to Lower Your Facility’s Utility Costs

Finding all the ways to reduce utility costs in a building is kind of like a hunt for secret hidden treasure. All you need is a map with the ‘X’ marking the spot. Here are some treasures you could be digging for:

#1 Demand Response

Demand Response turns your facility into a virtual power plant and income generator. When you enroll in a demand response program, you’re telling the power company that it can rely on you to curtail your facility’s electric load (if needed). Comply and you’ll be handsomely rewarded. You could be compensated even if you never ever have to curtail – Money for nothing? Yes!

#2 Capacity PLC Management

If you’re in PJM territory, you can cut your electricity costs by up to 30% by lowering your capacity PLC number. How? Your capacity costs are based on your facility’s Capacity PLC number – a number determined by the amount of electricity your facility uses during a single hour over 5 specific peak load days. To lower this number, curtail your electric load as much as possible during those 5 specific hours. Sounds easy, but unless you can see into the future, you won’t know when those specific hours will be. You’ll need Capacity PLC Management to make that happen.

Finding Treasure: 6 Surprising Ways to Lower Your Facility's Utility Costs

#3 Kilowatt Demand Reduction

Permanently reducing your peak demand via energy efficiency projects saves you money on usage and helps lower distribution costs by reducing the delivery rate on your bill.

#4 Variable Frequency Drives

A variable frequency drive (VFD) saves energy and extends equipment life by reducing a motor’s speed and torque to match the actual work load. For example, a small unnoticeable 10% reduction in speed of an escalator yields a 27% savings in energy!  Most any job that involves a motor in your building can benefit from VFDs.

#5 Daylight Harvesting

Daylight harvesting can reduce energy costs for lighting by as much as 60%! Daylight harvesting saves energy by using digital photo-sensors programmed to detect daytime luminance (brightness) levels. The room’s electric lighting is automatically dimmed to a desirable level and the room’s occupants don’t even notice that the electric lighting has dimmed.

#6 Blackwater Reuse

National water rates have risen an average of 9% a year since 2008, according to Environmental Building Strategies. Saving water will help lower your annual costs, significantly.

Because blackwater accounts for about 60% of the total non-potable building water in a commercial building, it makes sense to use a blackwater reuse system to recover the water used in toilets and urinals. (Don’t worry, the recovered water is filtered and treated before being reused for other non-potable tasks.)

Every facility has some buried treasure hidden within. Alternative Utility Services can provide you with the map you need to find it.

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