Posts Tagged ‘CQI Associates’

What Is Renewable Energy and Why is it Important?

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Renewable energy is energy that comes from resources that are continuously replenished such as sunlight, rain, wind and geothermal heat. About 17% of global energy consumption comes from renewable resources. Over time, that number will increase as resources become more readily available for consumer use.

Renewable energy is important because it provides many benefits. Some of the benefits include but are not limited to:

Environmental Benefits

Renewable energy can benefit the environment because it has a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy technologies. By reusing the Earth’s natural resources that are able to quickly replenish themselves, we are cutting down on our use of more precious natural resources such as coal or oil.

Long Term Use

Renewable energy is just that, renewable. That means we won’t ever run out of it. Other resources are in limited supply and will be depleted someday. Unlike sunlight or wind, which will always renew itself.

Jobs

Most energy investments are spent on importing the materials into the US. Not with renewable energy, those investments are spent on building facilities and hiring people to maintain the facilities. The money you spend is staying local to create jobs and boost the economy.

Types of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy comes from many different places. There is sunlight, which is transformed into solar energy; wind which is captured with wind turbines and flowing water which turns into hydroelectric power.

Other types of renewable energy include bioenergy, hydrogen, geothermal energy and ocean energy.

CQI Associates has green energy solutions for your business. We are 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 our website today!

You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+!

Source:

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=527&t=1

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/tech/why

 

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How Practical Are Solar Panels?

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The sun produces enough energy to feed plants and warm up the ground, but what if it could also power your electricity and heat or cool your home. Now that would be a great way to save money and energy. Thankfully, since the invention of the solar panel, there is a way to do this.

A solar panel is a piece of equipment that is used to convert sunlight into energy. Since the beginning of humanity, humans have been aware of how powerful the sun is and have tried to harness the suns energy for our own advantage.

More recently though, as consumers demand for a more environmentally friendly and cost efficient way to use energy in their homes, solar panels have been on the rise. While they are a great idea in many different aspects, how practical are they on your home?

The price for installing solar panels depends on where you are located, how big the building is and other factors. Regardless of the cost, once you receive your first electric bill, the savings will be obvious, by lowering your monthly electric bill. While the solar panels will not pay for themselves after the first month, it is a very cost effective way for cutting your energy bills and your carbon footprint.

While there may be an initial expense, the return on investment is worth it to cut your carbon footprint and reduce your monthly electric bill. If you are looking to protect the environment and save money in the process, installing solar panels on the roof of your building may be the best way to do that.

CQI Associates has green energy solutions for your business. We are 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 our website today!

You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+!

Source:

http://www.prlog.org/10184388-history-of-solar-panels.html

 

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Prices Climb for the Seventh Time in Eight Weeks

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Week in Review for April 12-18, 2013 US DOE

For the seventh time in eight weeks, energy prices climbed. During this seven-day report period the average 12-month price for natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) rose 5.2%. The 12-month average price for peak power on the PJM rose 3.9%. 

You can easily argue that the recent price increases were fueled by the natural gas storage reports and the natural gas rig counts. Both reports would lead you to believe that the energy markets were no longer oversupplied.

On the natural gas storage front, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported our first injection of the refill season. However, the injection was below expectations. We saw an injection of 31 Bcf. The five-year average injection for this time period was 39 Bcf. We now have 32% less gas in storage than we did last year at this time. Even more concerning was the fact that storage levels were now 4.2% below the five-year average.

On the natural gas supply side, supplies leveled off because the rig counts are down. The recent Baker Hughes rig count reported that there were only 377 active natural gas rigs in the United States. Last year at this time, we had 624 active gas rigs. This means that the natural gas rig count was 39% below last year’s levels.

These reports tend to spook the marketplace and place upward pressure on energy prices. The next wild card to watch is summer demand. The concern is that demand for natural gas may be higher this summer than last because more gas will be needed to refill the storage facilities. If we experience a hotter than normal summer, we may see more upward pressure on energy prices.

PJM Electricity
PJM Graph for Electricity – 12 Month Average Peak Power Price
On-Peak 1 Year Forward Price


Natural Gas
NYMEX Graph for Natural Gas – 12 Month Average Price per Therm at the Louisiana Well-Head
(Excludes Interstate Transportation)



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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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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 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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Renewable Energy News: The Current State of Geothermal Energy in the U.S.

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

In its simplest form, geothermal energy is heat from the Earth. This clean and renewable energy source is harnessed commercially and converted into electricity. And while geothermal energy use accounts for just 1% of the total United States electric production, with a current installed capacity of 3,187 MW spread throughout nine states, geothermal use has grown by 3% annually over the past 10 years.

The future of geothermal energy is bright and for good reason. Unlike other renewable energy resources, like wind and solar power, geothermal energy has far fewer variables. While wind power and energy power are affected by nature, geothermal energy is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Geothermal power is economically attractive, as well. Geothermal electricity is the lowest cost renewable power source around, providing long-term fixed power prices. Oh, and did we mention that geothermal energy can also help reduce the U.S. dependence on foreign fuels?

Still, despite all of its benefits, geothermal energy is a very small piece of the U.S. energy puzzle. But that could change in the near future…

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+.

Sources:

Geothermal Energy

Benefits of Geothermal Energy

A feed-in rate, geothermal power and how to finance it

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World Energy News: United States Domestic Energy Supplies

Friday, September 14th, 2012

The United States recently found itself in unfamiliar waters with an abundance of new domestic energy supplies. Not only has domestic oil production grown by 20% over the last five years, producing one million more barrels per day in 2012 than in 2007, but natural gas is now so plentiful and cheap (averaging $.595 per therm in July) that it could help relieve some of the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

Last month alone, the United States imported 337 Million barrels of oil from foreign countries, sending 34.6 billion dollars overseas.

“As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs – but only if we accelerate that transition.

The Current State of Natural Gas in the United States as of September 7th 2012

It was reported that at the end of last week, U.S. natural gas inventories expanded by 26 billion cubic feet (0.8%) to 3.428 trillion cubic feet as the result of increased demand brought on by high temperatures. Energy Department data shows that electricity generators account for 36% of U.S. gas consumption.

“Ongoing production losses due to Hurricane Isaac were one limiting factor on storage injections for last week, but cooling demand was stronger too,” said Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York. “With moderate temperatures anticipated over the next two weeks, storage injections will likely rebound to near average rates.”

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+.

Sources:

Editorial: Natural gas production boom alters energy outlook

Monthly Oil Imports

Natural Gas Stockpile Gain Was Third of Normal, Analysts Say

Natural gas storage capacity up 3.3 pct: EIA

 

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