Archive for the ‘Energy Tips’ Category

How to Save Energy in the Summer Heat

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

In case you have spent the last week under a rock, it may surprise you to discover that spring has sprung. Gone are the cold winter days, bundling up and searching for that missing mitten. Now is the time to break out those flip-flops and switch off the heater. Thankfully, for the time being, the air-cools down dramatically at night not creating unbearable conditions for us. But, what happens when the temperature remains at a constant high in the eighties, nineties or even reaching above one hundred degrees? You will be running your air-conditioning and at what cost? Surely, you do not want to spend a whole week’s paycheck on maintaining a comfortable temperature. Here are a few tips and tricks to save energy (and money) this summer:

Not using it, Turn it off!

This seems simple enough, but how many times have you exited a room and left your computer or TV on? The same goes for your lights. What is the benefit of leaving them on when there is no one in the room? It is just wasting energy.

Turn up your thermostat.

A key way to save energy in the summer is to not make the air conditioner as cold as possible. Alternatively, even to turn it off on some of those cooler summer days. What is the use of keeping the air conditioner so cold that you are wearing a sweatshirt and shivering? A comfortable temperature should be between seventy-five and seventy-eight degrees (or even a little warmer for maximum energy saving effectiveness.)

Replace your air filters.

A quick easy way to save energy is to replace the air filters in your house. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and cause the system to run longer and increase your energy use. For a maximum energy saving benefit, replace the filters monthly. Air filters can be purchased at your local hardware store.

Quick Kitchen Helpers

If the option is to cook something in the microwave for a few minutes, or spend a longer amount of time standing over a stove, is it really a question of which is easier? Well, not only will cooking in the microwave save you time, it also uses less energy. Speaking of the kitchen, who enjoys washing dishes by hand? No one, your dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Then if you are in a super energy saving mood, let the dishes air dry for even more energy saving!

 

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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!

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Sources:

Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips

 

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Energy Efficient Lighting for the Office: Tips from Energy Management Company

Friday, January 18th, 2013

As your business seeks means of reducing overhead costs while increasing performance in the New Year, one noteworthy consideration is the lighting in your offices.  Lighting can account for anywhere from 20%-50% of a company’s electricity consumption. With one of the highest return-on-investments for office upgrades, lighting with effective design and new technology can yield serious energy savings.

Here are two basic lighting improvements to consider making in order to start significantly contributing to your business’s energy efficiency and savings:

Lightbulbs

Switch to fluorescent lighting systems in place of incandescent lighting systems. Though incandescent bulbs have been around since Thomas Edison first commercialized electric lighting and are a reliable source of light, they are not energy efficient. 32-watt Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), have proven to save about $35 in energy costs over the life of a bulb, in comparison with a 100-watt incandescent. Not only that, but they last longer, meaning they have to be replaced less often, which is particularly convenient for fixtures located in hard-to-reach places.

HID Lamps

Another way to save energy: upgrading mercury vapor lamps, which are the oldest High-intensity discharge lamps on the market that produce a bluish light, to metal halide or high-pressure sodium vapor lamps, both of which offer higher efficacy and better energy efficiency . Because of their high intensity, HID lighting systems light large areas with high ceilings very well, making them ideal for most office spaces.

So how else can you reduce your business’s overall operating expenses? Simple. By joining a Commercial Energy Co-op. Come back next week to learn more about how CQI can improve your company’s energy choices.

CQI Associates provides energy and environmental management services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and nationwide. Our goal is to increase profitability for our clients while minimizing their operating costs. To learn more about our services, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com today!

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Simple Solutions to improve the Energy Efficiency of your Home

Friday, January 4th, 2013

2013 is a new year and presents you with new opportunities to improve your lifestyle. And while everyone else is making New Year’s resolutions regarding their weight and fitness, we suggest you make a resolution that will affect your life in several different ways. 2013 is the year to Improve the Energy Efficiency of your Home.  This will not only improve the comfort of your home, but it should also cut your energy bills. Now that’s what we call a win-win.

Simple Solutions to improve the Energy Efficiency of your Home

1. Insulate Pipes: You may be surprised to learn that improving the energy efficiency of your home is not that difficult. In fact, insulating pipes helps eliminate heat loss. This allows your water heater to do the same job it has always been doing, but requiring far less energy to do so.

2. Insulate the Water Heater: Similar to the above suggestion, insulating your water heater helps prevent heat loss. Your water heater constantly heats water so it is ready when you need it. If your water heater is not properly insulated, it will have to work harder to keep that water at the desired temperature.

3. Insulate Air Ducts: More heat loss? That’s right. Insulating your ductwork allows your HVAC system to maintain the right temperature in your home without having to work as hard.

4. Utilize Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Switching your light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent bulbs can save you as much as 25% on your lighting costs. Best of all, CFLs last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

5. Contact CQI Associates: 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.

All of the above suggestions will help make your home more energy efficient and save you money on your monthly heating and cooling bills.

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

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Programmable Thermostats and more Energy Efficiency Tips from CQI

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Today, homeowners are constantly striving to make their homes more energy efficient and thus save money. And there are numerous products on the market capable of reducing your home’s energy consumption. One of these products is a Programmable Thermostat, which allows homeowners to more efficiently control their energy use.

By just turning your thermostat down (7-10 degrees) or off when you are asleep or away, you could see significant savings on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat allows you to do this automatically, according to a pre-set schedule. You simply set times when your HVAC system is on, off, or working in a diminished capacity.

According to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), a programmable thermostat can save homeowners as much as 10% a year on their heating and cooling costs.

Programming your Programmable Thermostat

It is important to first consider your schedule. When do you normally go to sleep, get up for work, go to work, get home from work, etc.? Schedule your programmable thermostat accordingly. But in order to achieve the highest possible savings without sacrificing comfort, have your thermostat turn down the temperature right before you go to bed, turn back up right before you wake up, turn down right before you go to work, and turn back up before you get home.

You will not notice the temperature difference, but your wallet will!

To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com 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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Benefits of Solar Energy: Tips from Maryland Energy Consultants

Friday, December 14th, 2012

From government agencies to the private sector, the last decade has seen a significant rise in solar power investments, aimed at leveraging additional sustainable and renewable energy sources for common use. With the global push towards seeking green alternatives to power our homes and businesses, staying up-to-date on the benefits of solar energy is a worthwhile endeavor.

Solar power produces a photo-electric effect by harnessing electrons emitted by certain compounds like metals when they have contact with light, or photons. Solar panels use energy channeled through photovoltaic cells – which issue electricity by way of sunlight converted into a flow of electrons.

Here are just a few of the reasons solar power is such a compelling energy source:

1. So long as the sun keeps shining, solar energy can be renewed an innumerable amount of times, cutting down on the need for use of non-renewable resources, like fossil fuels, which are used to power our cars, machines used in product manufacturing, and the like.

2. Solar panels, especially those that make use of technologies that minimize reliance upon the sun’s schedule, can make homeowners and businesses more self-sufficient by decreasing the need for conventional electricity suppliers.

3. Providing additional incentive to utilize solar power, many local and federal governments provide rebates and other monetary enticements for those who install solar panels or solar hot water systems.

4. Homeowners and businesses who invest in solar panels will see a quick return, and as an added bonus, any electricity produced that isn’t needed for powering their building can be sold back to utility company for electricity credits.

5. Solar electricity produces zero emissions, and solar panels are unobtrusive, require little maintenance, and produce silent energy that can be used to power buildings everywhere.

CQI Associates is a leading provider of energy and environmental consulting, servicing Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, and Illinois.  We consider it our responsibility to provide energy and environmental management services that allow our clients to increase profitability by minimizing operating costs. From small businesses to national accounts and private residences, CQI offers solar, wind, and renewable energy project development and operation that make for sustainable energy solutions.

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

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Sources:

Solar panel brief history and overview

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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 CQIAssociates.com 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 CQIAssociates.com 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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Energy Saving Tip: Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs can help cut Energy Costs

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

When it comes to energy management and your home, there are countless methods to make your living space more energy efficient. From setting your thermostat to 73 degrees when you are home and 75 degrees when you are away to turning off the air conditioner and turning on your ceiling fan, there are hundreds of simple ways to cut your energy costs.

Another simple solution: Replace your incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

A lot of homeowners still rely on incandescent light bulbs to light their homes, which could help contribute to high energy bills. Yes, incandescent light bulbs are cheaper bulb to bulb, but compact fluorescent light bulbs typically last four to ten times longer and use less energy. This means that while homeowners may spend more initially with compact fluorescent bulbs, they will save money in the long run, both in terms of their energy bills and physically purchasing light bulbs.

Energy Price Projection: Natural Gas Price Increased in July 2012

After bottoming out in January 2012, natural gas prices have continued to rise and in July, averaging $.595 per therm.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) officials attribute July’s rise in price due to record-setting summer temperatures where numerous daily temperature records were broken. This increased heat combined with increased demand for natural gas for electricity generation contributed to July’s price escalation.

To learn more, please contact CQI Associates by calling 410-740-0667 or visit CQIAssociates.com 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+.

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Energy Savings Tip – Replacing Your Your Air Filters Monthly Saves 5%

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Energy Savings Tip – Replacing Air Filters Monthly Saves 5%

An important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your heating and heat pump systems at home and work is to routinely replace or clean filters. Clogged, dirty filters block normal air flow and reduce a system’s energy efficiency. With normal air flow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the heating coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Keeping the filter clean can lower your annual energy consumption by 5%.

Some types of filters are reusable; others must be replaced. They are available in a variety of types and efficiencies. Clean or replace your system’s filter or filters every month. The cost of the filter and a few minutes of your time monthly will result in a payback of the annual investment within three to four months.

Energy Price Projection – March 2012

Natural Gas pricing is at a twelve year low. The reason is the slow economic growth and a mild winter. Storage is at record highs and production has not been stopped in order for the drillers to keep well lease rights in place. The secondary result is electricity prices are also at record lows.

Gasoline and fossil fuels are just the opposite. USA Today reported “gasoline prices are the highest for this time of the year” and could go over $4.00 per gallon in April 2012. With tensions continuing to rise in the Middle East, natural gas and electricity pricing could be impacted by mid-summer 2012.

The members of the Chamber Energy Purchasing Cooperative with contracts ending in 2012 and 2013 are being contracted to extend the contracts to 2016 at rates equal to or lower than the current contract. Call the Chamber for additional details while market rates are still low.

Energy Currents is prepared by CQI Associates, Energy and Environmental Management Consultants to the Chamber. For additional customer support or information contract Melissa Anderson, Managing Principal at 410-740-0667 or by email at melissa@cqiassociates.com.

 

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