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Energy Efficiency and MLB: 10 Most Efficient Stadiums

 

 

As the Royals begin to embark on what is sure to be an exciting, action-packed series with the Toronto Blue Jays in hopes of regaining their American League Champions title, we are taking a look at the tremendous levels of energy expenditure at your favorite baseball stadiums across the country.  According to a blog by ElectricChoice.com, “it often takes more than 30 million kWh to power a single MLB baseball stadium for a season, or more than 3,000 average American homes use in a year.”

 

This much electricity usage can cost near $1 million each season, sometimes even more for teams like our Royals who have continued into the postseason.  Between the thousands of lights, the massive jumbotrons, hundreds of television screens, restaurants, and so much more, (think carousel at the “Little K” or Kauffman Stadium’s beautiful, colorful fountains in the outfield,) energy usage can really add up quickly at our favorite ballparks.

 

 photo courtesy: Flickr

 

The MLB has made a huge effort to increase the efficiency of its ballparks and stadiums, thanks largely to a collaboration with the National Resources Defense Council and their Sports Greening Project.  The project is an effort to “examine everything ranging from their purchasing decisions to transportation choices, energy use, and waste management policies, looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. And they’re encouraging fans to do the same online and in their stadiums and arenas,” (NRDC.)

 

Here are the current top ten most efficient MLB ballparks:

(For more information on each park, visit ElectricChoice.com.)

 

    1. Safeco Field – Seattle Mariners: first MLB team to light stadium with all LED lights, solar panels generating 40,000 kWh of power each year, lowest energy intensity of any MLB stadium

 

    1. Target Field – Minnesota Twins: second ballpark to achieve LEED certification, automated lighting system that can shut down all lighting throughout the day saving $6,000/year in utility cost

 

    1. Busch Stadium – St. Louis Cardinals: first professional sports team to partner with ENERGY STAR, occupancy sensors in rooms, improved HVAC systems and installation of efficient lighting

 

    1. Nationals Park – Washington Nationals: first professional sports stadium to install a green roof, energy efficient lighting to save the stadium $440,000 over the next 25 years

 

    1. Marlins Park – Miami Marlins: LEED Gold certified stadium, upgraded lighting, heating and cooling systems, and electrical components reduce energy cost by 22%

 

    1. AT&T Park – San Francisco Giants: first ballpark to have its own solar array, (supplies enough energy to power massive scoreboard,) point-of-use lighting system

 

    1. Fenway Park – Boston Red Sox: LED lighting throughout stadium, 28 solar panels positioned across dugouts, EPA New England Environmental Merit Award in 2008

 

    1. Citi Field – New York Mets: green roof that helps to insulate building, reducing heating and cooling cost, temperature control system cut energy consumption by 50%

 

    1. Progressive Field – Cleveland Indians: first stadium to have a solar panel array of its size (42 panels generating 8000 kWh of power,) hosted experimental wind turbine

 

  1. Miller Park – Milwaukie Brewers: updated electrical power and HVAC systems, energy efficient HD scoreboard consumes 50% less power

 

 

 

Source: ElectricChoice.com

 

Sacramento Property Managers Save Big with Lighting Upgrade

 

 

Sacramento-based commercial property management company, The Buzz Oates Group of Companies, has recently undergone a major efficiency upgrade.  The major project consisted of retrofitting nearly all of their 25 million square feet of property with energy efficiency LED lighting.  In addition to the huge energy savings the company can expect with the increased efficiency, the new lights have an operational life span of 100,000 hours, (compared to the 5,000 hours of life expected with traditional incandescent bulbs,) which has all but eliminated their annual maintenance expenses.

 

In addition to reducing energy bills by over 20 percent and cutting lighting costs specifically by over 50 percent, owners and tenants alike are extremely happy with the improved lighting that the LEDs provide.  A representative from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, who teamed with The Buzz Oates Group on the project, said about the project, “The color clarity and ambiance from incandescent or CFL to LED is a huge improvement. Work spaces are brighter, safer and make tenants more productive.”

 

Updating the lighting for their tenants is just one step in the property management company’s increased efficiency plan.  They have also started replacing the outdated cooling towers used for some of their buildings.  Like the LED lighting upgrade, the new cooling towers will not only save energy, but will also last longer than the outdated units.  While The Buzz Oates Group would not have been able to afford the project without help from rebates, they worked in conjunction with SMUD to maximize rebate potential and devise an installment plan that made sense for their budget.  Thanks to that partnership, The Buzz Oates Group will save both energy and money for years to come.

 

Worldwide Energy offers our clients that same partnership.  Stop by the Services page on our site to learn everything we offer our customers, from performing a comprehensive energy audit, to devising a design plan unique to your facility and needs, to procuring rebates and offering financing, the energy specialists with WEI will help you to make energy efficiency a reality in your building.

 

Frank Ancona Honda office – Before

 

Frank Ancona Honda office – After

 

 

Read more about The Buzz Oates Group project at BizJournals.com.

LED Street Lighting Upgrade to Save City Thousands

 

 

Many cities around the country, and the globe for that matter, have saved enormously on energy cost and consumption by upgrading their street lighting to LED.  Recently, the city of West Richland, Washington completed an LED street lighting upgrade spanning the entire city, a project that is anticipated to reduce overall electricity consumption by 61% while saving the city $67,000 a year in energy cost.

 

In addition to the replacement of over 1000 high pressure sodium lights, the city installed a wireless monitoring and control system that will play a role in reducing energy cost.  Instead of paying flat rate utilities, the city will be billed according to consumption, which will reduce cost even further, (lowering the city’s average cost per kWh by approximately 26%.)  Additionally, the monitoring system will allow the city to “implement dimming strategies,” that should lower lighting consumption even further, by 10-20%.

 

There truly was no down side to this project for the city.  In this instance, the LED efficiency upgrade was considered “budget-neutral” for the city, as funding from energy efficiency grants and incentives from the city’s electric utility helped cover cost.

 

In a statement regarding the project, Mayor Brent Gerry says, “It makes good economic and business sense for the City to install new LED street lights and a wireless control system that reduces energy use by more than 60 percent while improving illumination, safety and addressing dark sky considerations. In addition to dramatic energy and maintenance savings, the control system will also enable us to move to a lower cost metered rate schedule that provides further cost reductions.”

 

Nighttime view of a section of Bombing Range Road, West Richland, Washington, with new LED luminaires

Photo via EquipmentWorld.com

 

 

Read Derek Markham’s article for CleanTechnica.com to learn more details.

4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your LED Upgrade

 

Marc Karell, Owner of Climate Change & Environmental Services, posted a great article on EnergyManagerToday.com giving advice to business owners looking to upgrade to LED lighting in their facilities.  Not every LED retrofit lives up to its maximum potential, and Karell offers tips on how to make sure you get the most benefit for the money you spend on the project.

 

Switching to LED lighting is a no-brainer when it comes to energy and utility savings, but there are certainly things to consider in customizing your specific lighting project.  Making smart choices in the planning phase of your retrofit can lead to a faster return on investment and can optimize the operational benefit of the LEDs.  The lighting specialists at Worldwide Energy have the experience necessary to help you make the best choices for your lighting project.  From the initial energy audit, to designing and installing a custom energy saving solution for your building, to procuring the best possible rebates available, the team at Worldwide Energy will make sure you get the most bang for your buck with your lighting renovation!  (Learn more about the Worldwide Energy process here.)

 

 

Here are Karell’s 4 Tips for Maximizing your LED Replacement Project:

 

Do an illumination survey.  Before you replace your lights, take this opportunity to determine where changes in lighting are necessary. Are there areas that are relatively dark in comparison to the need? Are there areas overlit? Have an illumination survey performed to determine lighting levels. And don’t forget exterior space, too. Before you replace lights, determine where additional or different ballasts and lamps may be necessary for proper illumination and where you can remove some fixtures or have fewer lamps in a fixture.

 

When and where to install LEDs.  You might think with such great energy cost savings and incentive programs in some states it is best to just replace every existing bulb with LEDs. But that could be expensive upfront as hundreds of LEDs may have a high capital cost. Therefore, you may need to prioritize your replacement program. If you cannot replace all of your lighting at once, then replace, as a first priority, your least efficient types of lighting and/or the lights used for the most hours.

 

Save even more with lighting controls. Even LEDs use electricity needlessly if they are left on for extended periods with nobody around. Therefore, consider lighting controls, such as occupancy sensors and daylighting, sensors that dim artificial light as sunlight enters a room. Some areas require controls to be updated when a lighting upgrade is implemented. LEDs can be installed that are compatible with these control types. Consider how different areas of your building are used. In offices, occupancy sensors ensure that lights are not left on all night when nobody is around. In storage and utility rooms and warehouses that often go many hours, if not days, without activity, sensors can save, too. Which places in your facility get significant sunlight (sky lights or south-facing windows)?

 

Light locations.  Do you currently have lights in inconvenient places that take a huge effort to replace? If so, prioritize LED bulbs in these locations to save you labor, storage space, and equipment rental expenses. I had a client that rents a cherry picker once every third year to replace burned out bulbs from a very high ceiling. As luck would have it, the day after the job was done one time, a light went out! With LEDs generally lasting over 40,000 hours, the frequency and cost of replacing lights in an inconvenient spot will drop markedly. Remember that fewer light replacements gives your maintenance crews the time to perform other needed tasks. And fewer trips by your personnel up the cherry picker or ladders means lower risk of an accident for you.

 

 

Source: EnergyManagerToday.com

Advice on Going Green from a Business Professional

 

 

Sal Christ, a reporter for Albuquerque Business First, recently posted a great article regarding an interview with Jim Klein, Director of Engineering for Presbyterian Healthcare Services.  Her interview revolved around the green renovations PHS has performed over the past five years.  Klein offered some great advice from a perspective that many can relate to, a business professional looking to make a smart investment for their company.  Christ prefaces the interview by summarizing, “Energy efficiency is less a project than an ongoing process,” emphasizing that going green can be as simple as switching to LED lighting, or as grand as obtaining LEED certification, and everything in between.

 

 

When asked why to invest in energy efficiency, Klein’s response was:

 

“Energy efficiency is a good business practice — it’s an end-to-end business practice. There’s also the aspect of doing the right thing, but you have to do it within the context of evidence-based design and good business.”

 

Klein put a strong emphasis on maintenance; an easy way to improve efficiency of a facility is to increase the efficiency of appliances and other systems, decreasing maintenance costs.  He also urges business owners to be patient and look at the investment as long-term.  While upfront cost of most energy efficiency upgrades can be quite costly, they will pay off over time.  Savings will not be instant, but they will be substantial when given proper time for money saved from utility and maintenance cost to pile up.

 

“They say that 20 percent of the ownership cost of a building is in building it and 80 percent is in the life of the building. LED lights are a perfect example of that — I’m not going to have to touch them for 10 years, so my maintenance cost is dramatically reduced, my parts cost is reduced. It’s not reduced tomorrow, though. It’s reduced over time.”

 

Perhaps one of the most valuable pieces of advice Klein offers is to understand your facility and its specific needs.  Know your energy waste and your operating opportunities.  While all new efficiency technologies serve a purpose, they may not be relevant to your business needs.  Having a solid knowledge of your energy consumption will allow you to spend money on upgrades where they will be most effective.

 

Finally, Klein recommends to take full advantage of any and all rebates available to you.  Rebates can be tricky and time consuming to procure, however, which is why Worldwide Energy provides this service for you.  Our specialists will navigate the paperwork for you to make sure your business gets absolutely all of the funding available for your improvements.

 

Contact the energy efficiency professionals in our office to learn more about the process of going green in your facility.  We will provide you with a turnkey solution that fits the needs specific to your business and your budget.

5 Considerations When Choosing a Lighting Retrofit Company

 

 

In an article on Energy Manager Today, Mike Robinson, Director of Sales for Big Ass Solutions, gives great advice for business owners considering a lighting retrofit for their facilities. LED technology is bigger and better than ever, which is great for business owners looking for a smart solution to their lighting dilemmas.  However, the higher demand for LED has led to an influx of companies with little experience that may offer cheaper services, but provide a poor quality of work.  So how do you know which company to chose?  These are Mike’s five great tips to consider when starting a lighting retrofit:

 

 

Durvet Warehouse – Before and After lighting upgrade

 

 

 

(from Energy Manager Today, Mike Robinson, Big Ass Solutions)

 

LED Retrofits: When to Pull the Trigger

 

The first step in calculating your ROI is to examine your existing lighting. It might be strange to hear this from a company that manufactures LED fixtures, but the technology is not the right fit for every facility and budget — at least not yet. Project managers should be wary of any company or salesperson that tries to claim otherwise.

 

The next decade will likely bring new capabilities and cheaper technology. If you have a facility full of modern fluorescents that are well-placed, you may be wise to switch to LED fixtures in phases. Begin with the areas where LED light can have the biggest impact, like high-volume production lines, warehouse aisles, cold storage and cranes. These areas can suffer significant productivity losses when lighting goes out and stopping production during normal shifts is not an option.

 

The best results from a full LED retrofit will be seen in facilities still using metal halides or other high-intensity discharge lamps, as LEDs have the potential to cut lighting-related energy expenses in half and decrease overall energy use by up to 50 percent.

 

The Site Visit: They Should Come To You

 

Once you’ve decided on an LED retrofit, the first step is a site visit. There is no universal standard or equivalency formula that ensures quality coverage when switching out metal halides, flourescents and LED fixtures.  Each type of fixture distributes light differently, so a 1-to-1 fixture swap rarely produces the ideal coverage. Because of that, any responsible lighting project design should begin with an in-person inspection.

 

Light levels are impacted by a variety of factors including placement, obstructions, wall colors and the amount of dirt and dust present. The same plan won’t work for a cold storage facility in Houston that works for a manufacturing plant in Kansas, even in a building with the same square footage.If companies offer over-the-phone or over-the-Internet quotes based on the idea of equivalencies, they are offering rough estimates, not guarantees. On the other end of the spectrum, specialty firms also charge exorbitant fees for engineer-designed layouts. Good project management includes a no- or low-cost site visit in your scope of work and a specialized layout that is part of a larger project management cost.

 

A Good Quote: It’s a Workhorse, Not a Unicorn

 

There are three key elements to project management: quality, service and price. Every manager wants the unicorn — a company that delivers high-end products for a low price with services like installation and rebates. But that’s not a sustainable business plan. If companies promise you the impossible, or even just a high-end fixture at a bargain price, they’re probably stretching the truth to make the sale. Be leery.Instead, a good quote offers expert advice, outlining how you should devote your project resources to maximize your ROI.

 

If your budget is limited, or allocated over a five-year period, then a strong quote will include installation in phases. The quote is your blueprint, so it should focus on your goals and resources instead of offering canned options or simply replacing halides or fluorescents. A well-designed LED layout will account for changes in light distribution because LED output is more focused horizontally and vertically than light from older technologies. You’ll likely need grid adjustments involving electricians and other contractors.

 

Aside from seeing your goals and having a clearly articulated implementation plan, a strong project proposal should also spell out who will take responsibility for everything from electricians to contractors to scheduling. If the contract is unclear or the sales reps sidestep the issue — walk away from the deal. It’s more valuable to pay for good service than to pay twice for bad service.

 

Installation Done Right: Avoid Costly Disruptions

 

The most important question to ask a potential project management coordinator is “Can you guarantee installation that minimizes work interruptions?” Paying for project management is valuable, but only if the project management works. Demand a single point of contact, accessibility during installation and confirm a clear plan of responsibility for potential delays.

 

Installation is one of the hidden costs of retrofit projects. On paper, coordinating your own retrofit installation reduces the project costs, sometimes significantly. In practice, your own lack of expertise can cause hiccups in the process that can cost valuable production time and staff time, and reduce the overall quality of your LED investment.It’s essential your project manager understands local, statewide and national energy codes. This is a key detail that may help you weed out the light bulb salesmen from the lighting experts. If no one is talking codes, then you’re more likely to be left with a liability than an upgrade.

 

Closeout Procedure: Don’t Walk Away Before You Measure

 

Before you end the project, the company you hire should come in with reliable technology and measure the new light output in your space. If you don’t hit your foot candle goals or if the occupancy sensors aren’t working properly, your point of contact should make it right, at no additional cost.

 

The final step in the close-out procedure – the rebate – should also be free of charge.  Rebates can cover up to 50 percent of your total project costs when switching from an older or inefficient system. Push back if your project manager asks for rebate fees or guarantees a rebate as part of a price reduction plan. A rebate is an estimate and it’s critical to understand that rebates are not guaranteed. Local and state rebates can depend on the money available to the issuing agencies or factors outside the scope of your project.

 

Utility providers qualify the availability of funds only at the start of projects and typically must visit your facility to validate the existing system compared to the LED system being installed. Relying on remaining available rebate dollars that may be exhausted prior to your approval and start date may leave you frustrated with your project.

 

 

When you are ready to speak to someone about a lighting retrofit for your facility, contact our professionals at Worldwide Energy.  After explaining the process of upgrading your lighting, you will see that our practices follow Mike’s guidelines laid out in the article.  When you work with Worldwide Energy, you get an experienced and efficient team working hard to provide you with the best service available.

Determining the Value of a Lighting Investment

 

 

Engineered Products Co., (a supplier of specialty products to electrical contractors and distributors,) recently posted a series of blogs with the purpose of helping facility managers to decide whether or not investing in a lighting efficiency upgrade would be profitable to their businesses.  The four-part blog series is worth an examination and provides beneficial information on things to consider when looking into a lighting upgrade.

 

 

Part I urges facility managers to get a solid grasp on energy usage and demand by way of a professional lighting audit.  A change in lighting demand as well as over-lighting a facility can have a huge effect on lighting expense, and a thorough lighting audit completed by an experienced and qualified professional would find inefficiencies your facility may be experiencing.

 

Worldwide Energy’s complimentary energy audit includes:

 

  1. Collecting appropriate utility information to determine utility rate
  2. Viewing floor plans or CAD drawing to assess layout, square footage, and overall orientation of the facility
  3. Counting and inspecting lighting fixtures per area, calculate square footage (if plans not available), ceiling height, and lighting levels
  4. Compiling all data into our proprietary energy software to determine energy savings opportunity

 

 

(Learn more about various types of energy audits available as well as our Energy Audit Best Practices here.)

 

 

Part II encourages facility managers to look outward at the value a lighting upgrade can bring. They suggest looking at energy spending at similar facilities in your area and examining how increasing your building’s efficiency can make your facility more desirable to tenants.  WEI took a closer look at this factor in a recent blog, Energy Efficiency and Commercial Real Estate: Saving Money while Attracting Tenants.

 

 

Part III suggests that facility managers consider performing other efficiency upgrades at the same time as their lighting upgrade, such as including superior lighting controls and/or a new HVAC system.  On their blog, Engineered Products Co. explains, “Building Owners and Facility managers can often improve their chances of approval for a lighting system upgrade by combining it with other capital projects to buoy energy savings and minimize disruptions in the long-term. Smaller projects may save money in the short term, but may not be prudent long-term. The point is when there’s going to be a disruption, you want to get as much done as the budget can handle. Combining elective projects such as lighting system upgrades with non-elective projects such as upgrading the HVAC system makes sense.”

 

 

Part IV discusses two additional benefits that can play a role in the decision to invest in a lighting upgrade, the potential for an increase in productivity from employees as well as lower maintenance cost and longer bulb lifespan.  While both of these benefits are factors that should be considered in proposing a lighting upgrade, they merely play a supporting role to the previously discussed justifications.

 

 

Stop by the Engineered Products Co. blog to read more on determining the value of a lighting investment for your facility.  Contact Worldwide Energy’s specialists when you are ready for your energy audit.  We can provide you with all of the information and tools necessary to making an informed decision on improving your building’s efficiency.

Marriott Headquarters LED Lighting Upgrade – Saving Thousands while Saving Energy

 

 

Marriott’s headquarters in Bethesda, MD is a great example of a building making smart use of lighting efficiency upgrades.  The building, now over thirty years old,  received LEED Gold certification in 2010, and continues to focus its efforts on ways to reduce energy consumption. (Read more about Marriott’s green efforts in their 2014 Environmental Performance review.)  In 2006, the company took on a massive efficiency overhaul of both indoor and outdoor lighting systems with the top priorities of the project being: to save energy, (and therefore money spent on utilities,) and improve safety of employees and patrons.  Both objectives were met upon completion of the 14 month long project; the once dated and inefficient lights were replaced with brighter, whiter, more focused LED lights, creating a more pleasant and safer environment for everyone.

 

 

 

 

photo credit: GELighting.com

 

 

 

Outdoors, parking lots are lit by over 230 LED area lights, in addition to the nearly 400 LED lights in the parking deck combined with tunnel lighting and efficient T8 fluorescent lighting.  The new outdoor lighting fixtures are expected to reduce electricity by 580,000 kWh per year, and will save Marriott approximately $70,000 in utility cost annually.

 

In addition to using more efficient lighting, project developers implemented motion sensors in the parking garage.  The motion sensors reduce light output by 60% when the parking garage is empty, but return to full lighting output when any motion is detected.  On top of the nearly $11,000 each year in energy savings the motion sensors are expected to generate, they alert security cameras to any movements, increasing safety of the grounds substantially.

 

 

 

 

photo credit: GELighting.com

 

 

 

Inside the 900,000 square foot building, over a thousand bulbs were switched to LED, generating a savings in electricity of 150,000 kWh and a utility savings of $18,000 each year.  Furthermore, the LED lighting upgrade will save Marriott thousands each year in maintenance costs.  While the previous bulbs were only expected to last a maximum of two years, the new LED bulbs offer over 50,000 hours of life, lasting up to seven years.

 

Overall, Marriott’s LED upgrade will cut energy usage by 66% and is expected to save the company over $120,000 annually, (between utility and maintenance savings.)  The project is expected to pay for itself in just over two years, however over $130,000 in rebates and savings were granted to help with upfront project costs.

 

To learn more about what an LED upgrade could do for your facility, contact our energy specialists today!

 

 

 

Source:  LEDsMagazine.com

Floating Solar Gaining Ground in Renewables

 

 

In a recent article posted on GreenBiz.com, author RP Siegel examines the growing popularity of floating solar arrays. As populations and developments continue to rise, land space is becoming more and more difficult to come by, however the need for more sources of renewable energy continues to go up.  One answer to this problem is floating solar – solar collectors are being placed over bodies of water, which not only help collect energy from the sun, but also have been shown to increase efficiency of solar panels and reduce water evaporation.

 

We have previously blogged about the floating solar arrays in Sonoma County California, currently the largest project of its kind in the United States.  Solar panels have been placed above several wastewater ponds and generate around 12.5 MW of electricity, (enough to power 3,000 homes.)  Geof Syphers, CEO of Sonoma Clean Power, says in regards to the project, “The advantage to us is we’re in a community that values open space and farmland. We have solar on land, but this helps deploy more renewable energy and cut emissions without using farmland for our systems.”

 

 

image courtesy: SolarChoice.net

 

Overseas, numerous large-scale floating solar projects are also in the works.  India’s largest hydroelectric company, National Hydro Power Corporation, is planning a massive 50 MW project in the southern state of Kerala, only to be overshadowed by a 70 MW floating solar project in Japan that will combine thousands of modules of solar panels floating over ponds.  In Brazil, a huge, 350 MW floating solar plant has been planned for the Amazon.  Even more impressive, Sunflower Solar Power Plant in South Korea boasts a whopping 465 MW of floating solar power.

 

In addition to realizing the benefit of reducing water evaporation, all of these project developers have the common goal of increasing panel efficiency by keeping the panels cool:

 

“The ecology of the water body is not likely to be affected much and it will also reduce evaporation, thus helping preserve water levels during extreme summer. Solar panels installed on land face reduction of yield as the ground heats up. When such panels are installed on a floating platform, the heating problem is solved to a great extent,” National Hydro Power Corporation developers. 

 

For even more information on the growing popularity of floating solar panels and data on the current projects in our country and around the world, read Seigel’s article.