On Wednesday, The House of Representatives passed a package of energy bills called the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014 (HR 2126). Despite what House of Cards might lead you to believe, there are actually some issues in the nation’s capital that can garner bipartisan support, and energy efficiency is one of them!
With such an unusually cold winter across much of the United States, many energy managers we’ve been chatting with are concerned about the impact the erratic weather has had on their energy bills. And while we can all rely on the weather forecasters to give a heads up about an upcoming heat wave or cold snap, it’s a lot harder for energy managers to predict the impact weather will have on their energy bills. Until now. EnerNOC’s new projected energy efficiency baseline feature provides visibility into expected energy use to help energy managers better forecast how much they’ll spend on energy in the coming months – helping to keep budgets on track regardless of what Mother Nature has in store.
It’s no surprise that commercial buildings experience a surge in energy usage during periods of significantly warmer or colder temperatures, when occupants are either blasting heat or A/C to stay comfortable. This not only puts stress on the electricity grid, but for building managers, it means the next month’s utility bill is likely to be sky high.
This Valentine’s Day, we’re talking chocolate with the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America: Blommer Chocolate Company. With four manufacturing facilities in North America – three in the U.S. and one in Canada – the company works with domestic and international customers of all sizes in the confectionery, baking, and dairy industries, focusing on cocoa bean processing, chocolate manufacturing, commodity risk management, and product and process R&D. Founded in 1939, the family-owned and operated company maintains an outstanding reputation for customer service and quality. We sat down with Eric Bliss, Senior Engineering Manager, to learn more about Blommer’s energy management strategies.
Being a better energy manager starts with having visibility: visibility into how you buy energy, how much energy you use, and when you use that energy. Energy intelligence software (EIS), a newly emerging category of energy data analytics, reporting, and dashboard tools, leverages real-time meter data to give energy managers the information they need to make better energy decisions, prioritize investments, and measure impact. But “better energy decisions” isn’t always synonymous with simply using less. Depending on the specific tariff you’re on, your energy costs could have almost as much to do with when you use energy as they do with how much you use.
This is a guest post from EnerNOC Senior Product Marketing Specialist, Ben Smith.
If you manage energy use at a facility, track sustainability metrics across an enterprise, or analyze investment opportunities for a real estate investment trust, you’ve probably heard a lot about ENERGY STAR benchmarking. ENERGY STAR first began in 1992 as a program focused on benchmarking energy consumption for consumer products. You know – that little label on the yellow EnergyGuide showing that your new refrigerator’s estimated yearly kilowatt-hour usage is in the top 15% for energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR is the international standard of energy efficiency for consumer products in the U.S. It gives consumers a quick and easy way to gauge one appliance’s expected cost vs. another’s and creates more transparency for buyers in the market.
The benchmarking concept made so much sense that the EPA expanded ENERGY STAR certification to include buildings, with a goal of creating a similar market for determining the relative energy and environmental performance of schools, offices, hospitals, and other building stock.
On the heels of one of the driest years on record in California, Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency just over a week ago. As a recent transplant from the Northeast, it’s hard for me to complain about sunny, 70-degree days in January. But while we’re safe from the wrath of winter storms/polar vortexes, all this sunshine-y weather threatens to wreak its own kind of havoc on our water systems and electric grid.
Less water increases demand for electricity (less precipitation means more energy needed to pump/treat/transport water, which already accounts for over 20% of the state’s total consumption), so when our water supply is low, so too is our energy supply. Faced with the increased likelihood of grid instability and rising costs (for everything from energy to water to anything water helps produce) across California this summer, energy managers should pay attention to one key energy management business practice: demand response (DR). Here are our 5 reasons why every California business should sign up for a demand response program, starting TODAY – before the real summer heat waves begin.
Access to real-time energy data is a powerful asset in any energy manager’s toolkit – but only if they know where to look and how to use it. And that’s where EnerNOC’s software applications come in. The engineers behind the scenes who build our apps get that our energy intelligence software (EIS) is only as smart as it makes YOU. Here are 3 simple ways – all inspired by our latest software product release – that energy intelligence software tools will help you get smarter about energy spend in 2014.
Many companies are dedicated to the honorable goal of developing innovative solutions to our environmental and energy challenges, but GE stands out as one that’s doing it exceptionally well. Its ecomagination initiative began in 2005 in response to the growing need for more sustainable products in the marketplace, and has revenues now growing at twice the rate as GE’s total company revenues. For this EnergySMART 2014 Preview, we sat down with GE’s Gretchen Hancock, Manager of Resource Optimization, and John Oldi, Environmental Engineer, who are responsible for implementing programs and tracking goals for ecomagination. Gretchen and John are slated to lead a session at EnergySMART 2014 about “Energy Treasure Hunts,” a strategy originally developed by Toyota and refined by GE designed to identify projects and opportunities to reduce energy use. To date, participating GE facilities have identified opportunities to reduce energy use by 20% and, overall, the Treasure Hunts have contributed to more than $150 million in savings and the reduction of more than 250,000 metric tons of CO2.
Read on to learn more about GE’s process for conducting Treasure Hunts and be sure to join Gretchen and John live for their session, “Uncover your Pot of Gold with Energy Treasure Hunts,” at EnergySMART 2014 this March. To reserve your spot, visit www.energysmartconference.com.
Do you understand each and every line item on your utility bill? In previous posts about energy bill management – like this one on taking control of your utility bill – we’ve walked through the factors that determine your electricity spend and the degree to which commercial and industrial customers can control those factors. It’s an all too common misconception that energy is a fixed cost. It’s not! And this post will help you better understand how to knock some dollars and cents off your monthly energy costs, which over time will translate into significant savings.