Archive for October, 2012

Energy Current Tip: The Energy Efficient Benefits of Occupancy Sensors

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Do you constantly leave a room and forget to turn off the lights? If so, you are not alone, but you could be spending much more on your monthly energy bills then you would like. And if you own or operate a commercial facility, the impact could be even greater. In fact, lighting can account for as much as 40% of a commercial facility’s energy use. So, as you can see, better managing lighting can be a great way to reduce spending.

The Solution: Occupancy Sensors.

Originally designed for security systems, occupancy sensors have since been modified for residential and commercial use to better manage a building’s lighting needs. These sensors detect activity within a room and automatically turn lights on. Occupancy sensors can also detect when a room is vacant, turning lights off once occupants have left.

The Result: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the use of occupancy sensors can help reduce energy costs by…

  • 40% to 46% in classrooms

  • 13% to 50% in private offices

  • 30% to 90% in restrooms

  • 22% to 65% in conference rooms

  • 30% to 80% in corridors

  • 45% to 80% in storage areas

Of course, energy savings will vary depending on the size of the room, the type of lighting used, and occupancy patterns.

In the end, occupancy sensors will not only help lower energy costs, but they can help improve security and reduce light pollution, while also increasing convenience.

The Current State of Electricity in the United States

According to the United States Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Electricity Monthly Update, the average cost of electricity fell in all sectors, decreasing 2.1 percent from the previous year.

electricity prices graph

With temperatures expected to be colder this winter than the last, the U.S. EIA projects the retail sale of electricity to average 6.2% more than last year.

To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit today!

CQI Associates has saved our public and private commercial clients well over $1,500,000,000 based on our energy and environmental program and project saving recommendations.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LikedIn, and Google+.

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Solar Thermal for Hot Water Heating :: Energy Efficiency Tips

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Did you know that you can harness the power of the sun to heat your water? Solar thermal systems, also known as solar heating systems, absorb the sun’s rays and use this energy to heat water to 140ºF or higher, easily matching the production of traditional hot water heaters. These systems are not only environmentally friendly, but also energy efficient and cost effective.

There are two types of solar heating systems, direct and indirect.

  • Direct Solar Heating: This system consists of collector pipes filled with water that are linked to an insulated storage tank. The sun directly heats the water in the pipes, which is then transported into the storage tank for use.


  • Indirect Solar Heating: Rather than heating water directly, these systems utilize a use fluid with a low-freezing point to absorb radiant energy from the sun. This fluid is pumped through the collectors and a heat exchanger. This heats the water, which then flows into the home.

Radiant Heating Systems: Using Solar Energy to Heat your Home

Homeowners can even utilize solar thermal to heat their home. Instead of transferring heated water to a storage tank, radiant heating systems connect to a radiant floor or wall panel radiator.

Radiant heating systems are beneficial for several reasons, including:

  • Energy Efficiency: Radiant heating systems are typically about 40% more efficient than forced air heating systems.


  • Control: Radiant heating systems can be zoned, allowing you to control the temperature of each room.


  • Comfort: Radiant floors distribute heat where it can naturally rise, evenly distributing heat.

Currently, more than 1.5 million homes and businesses in the United States have invested in solar heating systems. So what are you waiting for?

To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit today!

CQI Associates is a leader in energy and environmental consulting.

“We are saving about 10% vs what we would be paying without the coop. The customer service has been great. We had a problem early on with getting all three of our accounts in the coop and the consultant took care of us in a very professional manner. The best part about the coop is that we have some control. When the market was not favorable we did not enter into a contract. Well worth the cost.” – Art Widmann, CFP, Widmann Financial Services

You can also follow CQI on Facebook, Twitter, LikedIn, and Google+.

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Renewable Energy News: Current Natural Gas Supply and its impact

Friday, October 5th, 2012

The natural gas market is one of constant flux. As we will explain throughout this blog, the state of natural gas changes on a weekly basis. According to the most recent industry reports, natural gas supply is up, but demand is down.

The Current State of Natural Gas in the United States

Marketed Production Levels: United States marketed natural gas production flattened in 2012 (see graph below). This is mainly in response to historically low natural gas prices. Still, production levels remain at all-time highs. Marketed natural gas production set a record high From January to July 2012, averaging 68.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). This represented a 5.9% increase over 2011.

Storage Levels: According to the latest reports, natural gas storage levels are at 3,576 Bcf (billion cubic feet), representing historical highs. And these highs are only expected to increase by the end of October. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates inventory levels will reach 3,950 Bcf, a new end-of-October record, according to EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

Current Prices: Natural gas currently sits around $2.92 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), averaging average $2.65 per MMBtu so far throughout 2012, according to EIA’s STEO.

Demand: According to the EIA, natural gas consumption declined by 5.2% last week compared to the week before. Still, natural gas demand is up 5.1% compared to the parallel week in 2011.

What this means for you: With storage levels higher than ever and prices near historic lows, homeowners using natural gas are expected to experience reduced costs this winter.

To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit today!

CQI Associates is a leader in energy and environmental consulting.

As a leader in the business and residential energy market, CQI Associates manages Commercial and Residential Energy Cooperatives in Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, and Illinois. Our goal is to provide energy and environmental management services that allow our clients to increase profitability by minimizing operating costs.

We custom-tailor our services to suit each and every customer’s unique needs, a proven method that has produced significant results. We save the average customer 8–15% on an annual basis.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LikedIn, and Google+.


Natural Gas Supply

Natural Gas Weekly Update

Will Natural Gas Bounce Back after its Recent Tumble?

Image Sources:

Graph 1: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Monthly

Graph 2: U.S. Energy Information Administration based on Bloomberg, L.P.


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