Tag Archives: energy efficient

Is the U.S. Economy Getting More Energy Efficient?

EIA energy efficient economy

A recent study found that energy efficiency was responsible for meeting 75 percent of the demand for energy services since 1970.

Depending on how you measure it, yes. A recent study from American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that energy efficiency was responsible for meeting 75 percent of the demand for energy services since 1970, while actual supply met only 25 percent.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) also found that America’s gross domestic product has closely followed consumption of electricity. The EIA projects that the electricity consumption required to maintain economic growth will drop.

America’s electricity use increased about 5 percent a year from 1950 through the 1970s. In the following two decades, electricity consumption grew only 2 percent annually. Since the early 2000s, the growth has dropped to just 0.9 percent per year.

So is our economy becoming more energy efficient? From an economic standpoint, yes we are using less energy per dollar of GDP.

But that doesn’t account for the tons of energy that is still being wasted. In fact, using EIA data, we waste more than half of the energy produced in the U.S.

From the author’s standpoint, the U.S. economy is only 14 percent energy-efficient. Skip Laitner, the economist who wrote the ACEEE paper, “believes that measuring the conversion of raw energy into energy services (physical work) is a more appropriate metric for understanding efficiency.”

However, the EIA does say that measuring energy intensity per dollar of GDP is a poor way to understand efficiency because energy intensity can rise or fall even if energy efficiency is unchanged. “The energy intensity metric ‘disguises rather than illuminates’ because it doesn’t account for what’s happening in each sector of the economy.”

Historically, the U.S. is doing more with each unit of energy in the economy, but how quickly that efficiency is improving depends on how it is measured.

Source: Green Tech Media

 

By Gaylen Davenport

Top Energy Statistics from 2012

Wrap up 2012 with the top energy statistics from the year. It was a big year for energy efficiency with the ban of T12 fluorescent lights, the rise of natural gas, and the steady adoption of renewable energy.

So here’s a quick list of some of the top statistics of 2012:

  • 96% increase in electricity generation capacity from natural-gas power plants in the U.S. between 2000 and 2012
  • In 2017, the U.S. will become the world’s largest oil producer
  • 56.2% of energy is wasted by the U.S. economy each year
  • 2012 was the warmest years ever recorded in the contiguous United States
  • The average fuel efficiency of new cars sold in the U.S. during the first half of 2012 was 23.8 miles per gallon

Statistics are provided by Clean Technica

Top 7 Efficient Baseball Stadiums

Marlins Park was named one of the most energy efficient ballparks by the Alliance to Save Energy

The setting for America’s past time is changing.

In fact, Major League Baseball (MLB) “has emerged as a vanguard of the Natural Resources Defense Council Sports Greening Project, which has sparked a sustainability movement across professional and collegiate sports leagues.”

The MLB continues their commitment to environmental stewardship, including energy efficiency and water efficiency. So is it any wonder that stadiums are the latest to become energy efficient?

Here’s a list of America’s most energy efficient ballparks:

  • Marlins Park: Miami Marlins
  • Target Field: Minnesota Twins
  • Nationals Park: Washington Nationals
  • AT&T Park: San Francisco Giants
  • Safeco Field: Seattle Mariners
  • Miller Park: Milwaukee Brewers
  • Busch Stadium: St. Louis Cardinals

 

Source: Alliance to Save Energy

50 Years of LED Technology

Last week, LED celebrated its 50th birthday, here’s a look at how the technology has evolved since then.

While LED is experiencing a popular surge, this efficient technology has really been 50 years in the making.

Wired has a great slideshow on the history of light emitting diodes, or LEDs, “from the first dim red diodes to powerful streetlights in major cities, the LED has made its mark on the world.”

Source: Wired

Feature Client: Mid-America Car

Each month, Worldwide Energy features a client that we have worked with to showcase not only our portfolio, but also our client’s business.


Project Scope:

Mid-America Car provides locomotive and freight car overhaul, maintnenace and wreck repair. The company has several buildings including a service shop, and paint booth with outdated and inefficient lighting fixtures, including T12 bulbs. Goals for the project included reducing energy usage and operating costs, and increasing foot candle readings in all areas.

Worldwide Energy retrofitted the buildings with premium T5 reflectors, plasma fixtures, and LED lamps. Motion sensors were also installed for added savings. Rebates and incentives were filed to offset the investment.

Lighting Upgrade Savings:

  • 242,341 kWh saved
  • Cut demand usage in half
  • Even lighting distribution
  • Reduced 243,862 pounds of carbon dioxide

Lighting Facts for Building Managers

Any building or office manager who is looking to cut costs (and who isn’t these days) will find these quick facts beneficial:

  • Lighting accounts for the largest portion of a commercial building’s electricity bill
  • It is a significant portion of the total energy bill
  • It consumes about 35 percent of the electricity used in commercial buildings in the U.S.
  • It affects other building systems through its use of elecricty and production of waste heat

 

“An efficient system of lighting sources, fixtures, and controls can reduce energy use, give businesses more flexibility in the sizing of HVAC and electrical systems, and may even improve worker productivity.”

Source: TVA Energy Right Solutions

LED Lights for Efficient Buildings

Smart buildings use integrated controls and automation to manage utility costs and improve efficiencies.

Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, are quickly becoming the go-to lighting fixture for energy efficient smart buildings.

Smart buildings, as defined by the IDC Energy Insights, use integrated controls and automation to operate equipment to manage costs and improve efficiencies. “Lighting is one of six key smart building technology segments… that enable building systems to respond to internal policies or even utility price signals.”

There are three benefits to using LED lights:

  • Energy Efficiency: LEDs have superior efficiency benefits in comparison to other kinds of lights
  • Operational Efficiency: an LED lighting system will lower utility bills and lasts far longer than traditional lighting
  • Corporate Benefits: energy savings generated by LEDs can help building owners meet emission reduction, corporate responsibility and sustainability goals

And while smart buildings are a significant venture, investing in energy efficient lighting is a start. LED retrofits are a great way to start saving on energy costs for building owners, and can help streamline operations and maintenance.

Read the full report on LED lighting.

Source: Green Biz

Feature Client: Beck Tire

Each month, Worldwide Energy features a client that we have worked with to showcase not only our portfolio, but also our client’s business.


Project Scope:

Beck Tire International is a tire shop in Kansas City, MO that was looking to retrofit their outdated lighting. The goals for the new lighting system included increasing the quality of lighting and level of illumination, providing a safer working environment for their employees, and reducing energy consumption, along with reducing utility bill expenses and annual maintenance expenses. Rebates and incentives were filed to offset the investment.

Worldwide Energy replaced several existing metal halides with premium T8 reflector fixtures, which allowed for better and even lighting. We also added motion sensors to control several fixtures for the added convenience of automatic lighting.

Lighting Upgrade Savings:

  • 48,185 kWh
  • Cut demand usage in half
  • Reduced 160,523 pounds of carbon dioxide
  • Equivalent to annual greenhouse emissions from 14 vehicles

Energy Efficient Parking Garages

Proper lighting for a parking garage can save on energy and costs.

When we think of ways to save energy, parking garages aren’t usually our first thought. But a garage typically uses 15% of the energy that the building it is attached to uses, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

A parking garage can be seen as a secondary building, but what businesses are finding is that retrofitting a parking garage and updating its lighting can save a lot of energy, costs, and still be functional and look aesthetically pleasing.

“It’s an interesting thing to look at a parking garage as not just something that’s subservient to the campus, but as a building that has its own energy-saving contributions to make,” RNL Senior Project Manager Tony Thornton said.

And considering that parking garages use as much (if not more) lighting than a traditional building, the potential for saving energy and on utilities is definitely worth exploring for any business.

Read how the DOE retrofitted their parking garage to see how they saved on energy and costs.

Last updated by at .