Sustainable Energy Services provides energy consulting services that will give you real and verifiable bottom-line savings. SES can customize a program for your organization and can provide specific services to support your existing energy-saving efforts.
SES’s services include:
- Energy Procurement
- Demand Response
- ASHRAE Level 1, 2 and 3 Energy Audits
- Energy Evaluation in New Construction
- Utility Rebates
- Power Analysis (power factor, power quality)
- Energy Baseline Assessments
- Energy Tracking
- Energy usage normalization to weather and/or production
- Single and Multivariate Regression Analysis
- Thermal Analysis
- Motor Analysis
The energy landscape is complex and constantly changing. Knowing which is the right energy supply product for your business and when to purchase in order to minimize your price and manage the risk to your organization takes deep expertise and extensive experience. We can help you achieve your goals by building a sound strategy around your risk tolerance profile as well as any existing or anticipated operational or budget constraints in order to make sure your price in minimized and your exposure to risk matches your risk tolerance. We help educate you on best fit products for your energy such as fixed price, variable price, block and index, and pass through products.
We manage all phases of the energy procurement process, including bill auditing, RFP design, pricing analysis, contract review and negotiation, and contract execution. We also provide ongoing services including market watch, drop notice watch, savings reports, regulatory review and energy tracking.
Get Paid, Use Less, Protect the Grid and the Environment
Your flexibility and willingness to adjust your operations has value to the grid. The most obvious benefit of participating in demand response (DR) with is the payments you receive in exchange for that flexibility….but financial benefits of DR are just the beginning.
Tools to Maximize Dispatch Performance
Advanced PC based dashboards will show you how your facility is tracking towards its energy reduction targets during a DR dispatch. This valuable tool helps ensure that you are maximizing your DR earnings potential by consistently delivering against your committed reduction.
Real-Time Visibility to Drive Savings Year Round
In most regions, DR dispatches are infrequent, but with the right solution, your organization can benefit 24/7/365. Technology is available to provide full-range of energy profiling tools that help you reduce your overall energy costs by up to 30% and more proactively manage your energy consumption. The following benefits are worth considering for your operation:
- Get an alarm on your phone or in your inbox before your energy usage hits a peak
- Lower base load and shave energy usage outside of operating hours
- Track your energy use in intuitive dashboards
- Use reports and savings visualizations to show progress against goals
- Benchmark your consumption against custom targets, historical performance, similar buildings or specific production levels
- Consolidate your data in a unified platform available from anywhere in the world
- Shadow your utility bill and mitigate billing overcharges
- Use load curves and power factor data to empower smarter buying decisions
- Get advanced notice of a potential blackout
Get Paid for Being Green
Being environmentally responsible often comes with a price tag. The fact that you actually get paid for being being green is one of the most attractive options for delivering a clean energy future.
There are many green benefits associated with being part of a DR network. As part of a virtual power plant, you are helping to decrease reliance on fossil-fuel burning power plants. In addition, DR supports the clean integration of renewable resources into the supply mix. Because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, grid operators need to offset intermittency with additional power sources – DR is increasingly being leveraged to support larger renewable portfolios.
ASHRAE Level 1, 2 and 3 Energy Audits
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has published widely accepted standards for performing energy audits. There are three (3) levels as follows:
Level 1 – Walk-through Audit. Walk-through audits provide a “first cut” assessment of energy savings; they’re especially valuable to smaller facilities with simple production and distribution systems, and facilities that have never received an energy audit. While walk-through audits lack a detailed analysis of potential energy efficiency measures (and only sometimes include rough pay-back period estimates), they reliably include relatively simple and immediately affordable recommendations—such as changes in operation timing (based on utility rate schedules), and upgrades to lighting, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), and pumping equipment. For a small facility, a walk-through audit can be completed in 2-6 hours by an experienced auditor. The written report will be a summary of the various energy saving opportunities identified called energy conservation measures (ECM) along with some suggestions on implementation.
Level 2 – Detailed Audit. Detailed audits are much more in-depth, and normally require extensive measurements, data logging, engineering calculations and financial analysis. Level 2 audits are the most cost-effective for mid-size and large facilities that lack in-house resources to investigate energy efficiency opportunities. They are also most appropriate when management desires actionable information supported by solid technical and financial analysis. Level 2 audits often involve equipment field tests, inventorying equipment energy performance data, creating energy profiles for equipment and systems, discussing potential O&M changes, and evaluating potential energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. A written report is provided that includes categorization of energy usage, weather and/or production normalization of energy consumption, utility tariff analysis, and detailed analysis of each energy conservation measure (ECM) identified.
Level 3 – Investment Grade Audit. The investment grade audit covers everything included in the Level 2 audit along with the addition of whole building software energy modeling, and other sophisticated methods sometimes necessary for large projects requiring rigorous financial analysis such as projects that are funded by third parties.
Energy Evaluation in New Construction
When planning for a new building, it is very important to consider the projected monthly cost of electric and natural gas. Unfortunately, most new buildings are designed based on current building codes and a fixed budget. Current building codes require that a building use the current “standard” for energy efficient equipment and materials. These standards do not represent the best equipment or materials from an energy efficiency perspective. For example, T8 fluorescent lighting is the current standard in most building codes, however, LED lighting with advanced lighting controls can save up to 95% more in energy savings over fluorescent lighting. LED’s will cost more up front, but the financial savings will continue long after the two year simple payback period for making this switch.
The value of pursuing a more aggressive energy efficient approach at the beginning can be summarized as follows:
- Lower energy costs increases the building’s market value
- Lower energy costs increases the enterprise’s value if the building is used to generate profit
- State-of-the-art energy efficient equipment and materials will;
- lower monthly utility expense
- defer maintenance
- improve occupant comfort and productivity
- prevent technological obsolescence
- protect against future regulatory imperatives
- The IRS 179d tax deduction also helps reduce the higher investment required for more energy efficient equipment and materials by allowing a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot exceeding “standard” in lighting, HVAC and building envelope.
SES can help you with planning your new building by;
- reviewing drawings, plans and schedules in order to project estimated monthly energy costs.
- review plans and equipment choices to improve energy efficiency.
- lighting layout and photometric maps
- HVAC plans and loading calculations
- infiltration and energy loss in building envelope
- develop and manage an RFP process for securing competitive bids for equipment.
- comparing initial cost, life cycle cost, simple payback and net present value of standard vs more energy efficient equipment.
- perform required energy savings calculations for 179d filing.
Utilities will often have rebate programs that help reduce the up front cost of implementing energy efficiency projects. Rebates usually cover upgrades in lighting, HVAC, motors and pumps, compressed air systems, refrigeration and other energy consuming equipment, including custom projects. There are often very specific steps that must be followed with utility rebates, which may include pre-approval, technical documentation and other requirements that can appear daunting if you don’t have experience with the process. This is where we can help. All we need to get the conversation started are scanned and emailed electric and gas utility bills that are recent.
Power Analysis (power factor, power quality)
With the proliferation of electronic ballasts in fluorescent lighting, variable frequency drives for motors, “efficient” power supplies for computers and monitors, etc., we no longer enjoy 60 Hz sine-wave power from the utility. If you look at the waveform of your incoming power (need a special instrument for this) you would most likely see a wave form that looked more like the pictures on the left, instead of the picture at the right, which is what we are all suppose to be getting from the electric utility. The problem is that each year, more and more of the equipment we install in our facilities actually distorts the power and this can have a disruptive affect on both your operations and your utility bill, causing you to pay more than you should. In the pictures below, the first and second pictures show the kinds of distortion we typically see at the utility/facility power connection while the third picture shows a normal 60 Hz sine-wave coming from the utility.
Energy Baseline Assessments
Establishing an energy baseline is an important first step when developing an energy efficiency program. Understanding your current usage and cost for energy on a per month, per piece, per pound, per square foot, etc. basis is key to being able to verify that projects, once implemented, do indeed save the energy they were suppose to save. It also helps to measure, validate and communicate the success of an energy efficiency program as it gains momentum. There are different metrics used for base-lining energy usage such as the EUI (energy utilization index). We would be happy to discuss what’s right for your business. Just give us a call.
When implementing energy efficiency projects, it’s best to first establish a baseline for current cost and usage. This way you will be able to see the effects of each project, validating that projected savings actually occurred. We develop and maintain a baseline from utility bills so we can help our clients understand how their energy efficiency efforts are helping the bottom line and well as their green or sustainability program.
Energy usage normalization to weather and/or production
Your energy consumption varies month to month. So why is that? There are many factors that effect energy consumption, including production level, hours of operation, headcount, changes in area or space, equipment changes, weather, etc.
Single and Multivariate Regression Analysis
Regression analysis is used for;
1) Developing an energy baseline so that future energy efficiency projects can be measured against it to verify savings
2) Applying weather normalization to year over year energy consumption to understand weather’s contribution to variation in energy usage
3) Applying production normalization to year over year energy consumption to understand how production levels influence energy usage
4) Other purposes where the correlation between two or more variables is desired
5) The chart below shows how a building uses natural gas throughout the year. The red data points show gas usage not related to heating, while the blue data points show the heating related usage.
Energy Efficiency Engineering
After an energy audit has been completed, there are usually many no-cost/low-cost opportunities that the company can usually tackle themselves. However, there are also usually larger opportunities that require a significant investment as well as a deeper level of expertise. This is where we can help if you don’t have the expertise om staff or the means to finance your projects. There are a broad array of utility rebates, grants, low cost loans, and something called a performance contract that can help get an energy efficiency project off the ground. If you have questions, please contact us. We are happy to discuss your options with you.
Quite often problems exist with equipment, wiring, breaker panels, roofing, building envelope and other areas where the problems are hidden from view. The easiest thing to envision is an overloaded wire or electrical connection. Infrared (IR) camera’s are the perfect answer for hidden problems that are related to electricity or natural gas, moisture, friction, or temperature. IR scans are easily accomplished without any disruption to operations. The first two photos show overloaded connections while the next two photos show damaging trapped moisture.
Motors often represent a huge investment in manufacturing companies and yet, we rarely encounter a Preventative Maintenance Program for motors. A big hurdle to building such a program is that motors need to be studied or analyzed while they are running in order to understand their operating condition, and there are very few people who are both willing and qualified to investigate a large motor when its running. To do it properly, there are four (4) areas that need to be evaluated, 1) thermal/infrared analysis (IR), 2) vibration analysis, 3) tachometer or shaft speed analysis and 4) electrical power input or drive analysis. These four areas require sophisticated equipment and deep expertise to gather meaningful information about each motor in order to understand its condition. After investigating, we classify each motor as red (replace/repair immediately), orange (replace/repair at earliest opportunity, yellow (replace/repair sometime in next 12 months, and green (no issues found). Each motor also receives a detailed review of all information collected. Below shows an example of a hidden problem with a motor. The first IR photo shows bright area near the power connection box. The second IR photo shows why. The top wires on the terminal block are clearly overloaded. The third shows the severe discoloration on the wire insulation. Initially, this motor was viewed by plant maintenance to be running normally because their power meter indicated power was less than or equal to the motor rating. However, with more sophisticated equipment, we were able to detect a severe phase imbalance and the presence of large negative-sequencing harmonics, which reduced output power but caused an overload condition on the input.