Archive for March, 2013

How to Save Energy and Cut Down on Utility Costs

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Here are a few hot tips to help you save energy and cut down on utility costs – because everyone should think about going green as the landscape gets greener with the warm weather in spring. We’re offering up a few lesser known energy efficiency tips to help you save you money this season.

- Use cold water to wash laundry – it’ll keep your colors bright and saves 90% of energy in comparison to a hot water spin cycle.

    - Consider investing in a programmable thermostat to eliminate the need to keep the heat or air blasted on high when no one is at home.

      - Test out dryer balls, which are said to reduce the drying time of your clothes by up to 50%.

        - Plug your televisions and electronic devices into power strips that you can turn off with the flick of a switch when you’re not using them. Even electronics and appliances that aren’t in use suck up energy.

          - Talk with an energy management consultant, like the experts at CQI Associates, who can audit your home and offer advice on how to save energy and cut down on utility costs.

            CQI Associates is an energy and sustainability management consulting firm servicing residential and commercial clients throughout the United States. To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

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            Sources:

            There’s A New Way To Cut Down On Energy Spending — And Get Rewards, Too

             

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            Gas Up: Increased Price of Gas Attributed to American Oil Refineries

            Thursday, March 21st, 2013

            The weeks leading to the start of spring ushered in more than just warmer weather: they also saw a steep rise in the price of gas. Though President Obama’s State of the Union address pointed out that the U.S. is producing more oil on its own shores than it has in 15 years, the cost of filling up is still an issue yet to be resolved.

            So what’s causing gas stations to charge an additional 45 cents at the pump? According to analysis by the Energy Information Administration, approximately 2/3 of the price increases in gas since the start of the New Year can be attributed to what’s known as a “crack spread,” which is a measure of refinery profit margins. What this means is that American oil refiners who “crack” crude oil into gas are the party responsible for the current cost of the fuel for our cars.

            Of course, the cost of crude oil and the taxes placed upon it account for part of the refinery’s mark-up. But other contributing factors include:

            • Maintenance outages that are necessary to continue safe operations but that decrease capacity has led to less productivity, fueling the need for mark-ups
            • Regional refinery limitations and restrictions on transporting refined gasoline between oil creates price discrepancies in different areas
            • The transition from winter grade to summer grade products required to meet U.S. emissions standards and the minimal profit margin for refiners also creates incentive for increased prices

            Proposed solutions to what seems to be the ongoing issue of high prices at the pump involve setting up a reliable reserve of processed gasoline to access in times of crisis.

            We’ll be watching the cost of fueling up and reporting on any additional news related to the increased price.

            CQI Associates is an energy and sustainability management consulting firm servicing residential and commercial clients throughout the United States. To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

            You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+

            Sources:

            U.S. Gas Price Spike: Blame the Long Road From Well to Pump

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            Commercial Energy Audits: Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

            Friday, March 15th, 2013

            Monthly utility bills have you gasping for air? Concerned about conserving and applying the maxim reduce, reuse, and recycle to the way your business operates? A professional energy assessment, or audit, might be the key to helping your company go green and embrace sustainable business operations.

            To truly maximize energy savings, businesses should take a full-bodied approach to analyzing different aspects of their office’s systems. Energy expenses can be traced to a variety of sources, and commercial energy audits generally examine the following in efforts to reduce overall consumption:

            . Temperature Settings

            . Un-occupied Cycles & Set points

            . Lighting & Lighting Control

            . Energy Management Systems

            . Air Flow

            . Exhaust Systems

            . HVAC Equipment Replacement

            . Demand Management

            . Maintenance Practices

            . Staff Participation

            Using both analysis of occupant behavior and advanced technology like blower doors, infrared cameras, furnace efficiency meters, and surface thermostats, energy auditors can glean insights regarding energy consumption and develop a plan to improve overall energy use.

            CQI Associates has developed effective energy audits based on over 15 years of facility assessments, the LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Management Certification Guidelines, as well as recommendations made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Our evaluation tools are a proven way to help your business determine how it can improve its operations and run a more energy efficient building.

            To learn more about our commercial energy assessments, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

            You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+

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            Energy Saving Tips for Spring from National Energy Consultants

            Friday, March 8th, 2013

            It looks like “Snowquestration” wasn’t quite the crisis everyone thought it’d be, and with March flying by faster than the flocks of birds soon to be seen coming back from down south, there’s no question spring is imminent. Here are a few energy-saving tips to keep in mind as the weather begins to warm.

            Get Natural – Circulation

            Popping open a window can work wonders to bring cool air in while circulating the hot out. As the temperatures drop in the evening, consider turning your fans and air conditioners off and leaving your windows open during the night. In the morning, you can close them up to help keep the cool air inside.

            Turn it Up

            If you can keep your thermostat turned high, creating little difference between the temperature indoors and out, your cooling system won’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature, thereby lowering monthly utility bills.

            Become a Fan of Fans

            Fans have the capacity to keep you cool, while allowing you to raise your thermostat by about four degrees without creating discomfort.

            Beat the Heat

            Do what you can to avoid creating more heat in the house. Opt for the stove, microwave, outdoor grill, or raw foods so that you don’t radiate heat by turning on the oven. Make use of natural light whenever possible, opening blinds and shades partway. Try not to run appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines until you have a full load.

            If you want to save energy in the spring, a little common sense will go a long way in lowering your monthly utility bills and making your home a greener place to be.

            To learn more about our services, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

            You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+

            Sources:

            Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips

             

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            Energy News: Energy Department and USDA Support Energy Efficiency Initiatives

            Friday, March 1st, 2013

            Imagine the fuel (and energy) it takes to power tractors, plows, tillers – the equipment that goes hand in hand with running a farm. Expensive? No doubt. The Energy Information Administration approximates that families living in rural areas spend close to $400 extra each year on energy bills than the average urban dwelling family.

            Making energy more affordable for Americans while protecting natural resources has become a federal concern; the government, its departments, and agencies have been working in recent years to address this issue. The USDA is one such department – its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), is collaborating with agriculture producers and rural small businesses to construct thousands of renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. The end result will be 7.32 kWhs in savings each year, which is enough energy to bring power to 680,000 households every year.

            The Energy Department is likewise making strides in this arena, with what’s been dubbed the “Weatherization Assistance Program,” which is aimed at assisting low income rural families in cutting back on utility expenses with a series of efficiency upgrades in the home. This might range from better insulation to replacement of windows that aren’t airtight, to fixing heating and cooling systems. Around since 1976, this program has been working for years to assist low-income families in significantly reducing their energy bills.

            The recent partnership between the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA Rural Development, and the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has created additional opportunities for more outreach to rural Americans. Some of the joint initiatives include:

            • Educating and offering technical assistance on energy efficiency and renewable energy into programs aimed at youth and adults.
            • Informing about tax credit incentives and other financing options for energy upgrades in the home.
            • Stand behind energy efficiency and renewable energy targets in rural areas to create more jobs, increase business opportunities, and boost local economies.

            CQI Associates is also a part of the movement to bring green energy to Americans everywhere. As a leading energy consultant, CQI implements solar, wind, and renewable energy projects for public and private clients all around the country, and is committed to developing economical, green energy plans to create a more sustainable future.

            To learn more about our services, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

            You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+

            Sources:

            Energy Department and USDA Partner to Support Energy Efficiency in Rural Communities

             

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