Category Archives: Uncategorized

What is Energy Efficiency?

What is energy efficiency? Energy is a big subject. Where do we get it? How do we use it? How should we plan for the future use of it and what are the environmental and political implications of these choices? It’s too big of a subject for most people to consider from all aspects and total overwhelming for most people who are running or managing a business. We’ve determined that there is one question that affects everyone, how do we incentivize people to use energy more efficiently? We may not all agree that global warming is happening, only 63% of Americans do, according to a recent study by Yale University, but we all agree that saving money is a good thing. Why is energy efficiency important? There is one commonality for all businesses, they want to reduce costs. Energy efficiency upgrades can pay for themselves in as little as one year, although some larger measures may take up to ten. The savings realized after the initial investment is repaid is then cash savings. I always look at reducing budgeted in expenses in relationship to expected net income. If you can reduce your operating expenses by $1,000 per month and you have an expected net income of 10% then that’s equivalent to generating an additional $10,000 a month in sales. Although saving money is a universally loved concept, it doesn’t usually compare to the “hidden” value of energy efficiency measures. These hidden or experiential benefits are often a larger financial benefit to property and business owners. For some projects this is sound attenuation, some light quality, others want inhabitant comfort. People smarter than me are working on formulas that attempt to quantify these ancillary benefits. How do we use our ene

Energy-Efficient Work Environments May Be Healthier

When people talk about the business case for the energy-efficient buildings achieved through comprehensive measures like deep energy retrofits, what usually comes to mind first is lower energy bills. However, an increasing number of organizations are recognizing the value beyond energy cost savings that energy-efficient buildings provide.

In December 2013, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) wrote about how deep energy retrofits can reduce the cost of healthcare. It turns out that energy-efficient buildings do more than just reduce energy bills for energy-hungry healthcare buildings; they also improve the quality of the healthcare services that these companies provide patients. For example, energy-efficiency measures addressing low ventilation rates and airflow in healthcare facilities reduce the risk of transmitting infectious diseases, as high ventilation rates and airflow have been shown to greatly reduce the transmission of airborne illnesses. Studies have found that patients in sunny hospital rooms versus rooms using artificial light have a decreased length of stay, a trend also observed for patients staying in hospital rooms with windows overlooking a scene of nature. Furthermore, the University Medical Center of Princeton found its airy, sunny, and calming hospital rooms led to a 30 percent reduction in pain medicine requests, record-low infectio