Posts Tagged ‘energy co-op’

Earth Day, 2011: What is one small change in your routine that can help the environment?

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Happy Earth Day from CQI Associates

 

In honor of Earth Day, here are some great tips that are easy to implement.  At least pick one – you’ve gotta start somewhere!

  • In your home or office, position your desk and seats to optimize for natural light. Not only will it save you from using electricty for lighting and heat, but many scientists believe that natural light offers many positive health benefits as well.
  • Reduce your standby power usage. Many electronics, including TVs, computers, office equipment, video game consoles and home theater systems continue to use electricity when they appear off in standby mode. Utilizing a surge protector with an on/off switch can help you control standby power usage from multiple devices.
  • Optimize your PCs power settings. By setting up a power profile, you’ll teach your PC how to conserve its own electricity. I tell my computer to turn off the displays after 2 minutes of idle activity and to sleep after 5 minutes.
  • Recycle your old equipment. Computers and common office equipment oftentimes contains very hazardous chemicals, including mercury, lead, and PCBs and can significantly damage the earth’s ecosystem. Be sure to recycle or dispose of your PCs, printers, monitors, batteries, and other equipment safely.
  • Offices use a lot of paper, so be mindful of your printing habits. Buy paper made with 100 percent post-consumer waste, print only when needed, and of course, print on both sides when possible.
  • Make sure you refill ink cartridges rather than buying new ones, or at the least, dispose of your printer cartridges at local stores that offer cartridge recyling services.
  • Don’t hesitate to invest in upgrading parts of your home in the name of energy efficiency. If you work at home like we do, your home is your workplace as well, and you may spend twice as much time there as a result.
  • Reduce the usage of air conditioning by making an organic roof garden. Water the plants every day, smell the fragrance of flowers, and watch small creatures flying around!
  • When your laptop battery is full, just unplug the power source.
  • Save paper by printing double-sided. Refill ink cartridges instead of buying new ones. Remove the hard drive from old computers then recycle it.
  • Spend some of the time you would usually be commuting growing fresh herbs / veggies / fruit in your garden…and compost!”
  • Use a hybrid electric source and a laptop with an earth friendly battery!

And here is a very interesting fact:

Did you know that if the 40% of U.S. jobs that could be done from home actually were, those 50 million teleworkers could save 587 million barrels of oil, and reduce CO² by 101 million metric tons?

Hummmmm……. Happy Earth Day!

CQI Associates

 

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Green Talk

Monday, February 21st, 2011

“Green Talk” is CQI’s new blog about energy management, energy procurement, green buildings, environmental management, sustainability, and how we are continuing to support the environment with our green community initiatives.

“CQI Associates Energy Currents” January 2011

Market rates for electricity and natural gas have been dropping to record lows this fall. Compared to the prior three years, electricity and natural gas prices are 18% and 45% lower, respectively.  Members of the commercial and electricity cooperatives managed by CQI Associates have been able to lock into contracts equal to and in most cases lower than the prior contracts issued in 2008 and 2009.  Energy rate budget stability and savings for most of our clients extends to 2013; a favorable outcome as we all struggle with the slower than anticipated economic recovery.

However, I have observed in the past four weeks the first solid and sustainable increases in market rates that may be a sign that rates will begin a slow but steady increase over the next 12 months.  We expect rates to increase by 7% based on current data.  If industrial production increases and energy demand increases, especially for natural gas, prices will go up even more than projected.

Energy Tip of the Month:

Businesses and homeowners who have florescent light fixtures that use T-12 bulbs have until December 2011 to convert them to the current T-8, T-5, or LED light bulbs.  T-12 bulbs will go out of production this year. After January 2012 it may be difficult to find the bulbs and by 2013 we do not expect any options other than to replace the fixtures.  Now is the time to consider replacing the fixtures.  Two benefits of this are:  a 12% reduction in energy costs this year, and qualification for utility EmPower Maryland program, if the fixtures are replaced in 2011.  The incentive can be up to 80% of the cost for qualified small business customers located in the distribution service areas served by BGE, PEPCO, Allegheny Power, and DELMARVA.  An additional benefit is the reduction of mercury in landfills from disposed T-12 bulbs.

If you have any comments or questions send them to me at richard@cqiassociates.com.

Richard Anderson, Principal, CQI Associates

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