by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : March 2009
PLANTS & PROCESSES Energy Cost Reduction Basics Simple Audits Can Help Save Cash, Improve Footprint By Kathy Kiernan T his article provides some of the many ways to reduce energy use, thereby decreasing total energy costs and becoming more environmentally sensitive. Many sustain- ability programs include energy components which focus on how a facility utilizes energy and provide points towards LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for reducing consumption of electricity. World energy consumption increased by 60 percent during the last 26 years. Energy use in the u.s. increased by 81 percent during the same time period and continues to increase every year with new gadgets and appliances that require electricity to function. The u.s. is now competing with emerging economies, such as China and India, for energy resources. Along with the demand increase, prices are increasing, too. Requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are pressuring utilities to find alternate sources of supply. These costs will be added to the system. And lastly, but as importantly, during the first half of 2008, energy markets across the country experienced extreme price increases (remember $4 per gallon gas at the pumps?) caused in part by market speculators, non-users of energy. The volatility of energy prices wreaks havoc on businesses and other consumers. Many utilities employ engineers that will audit your facility to identify ways to reduce costs/usage. These resources may not be provided by your utility, but having an on-site facility audit should be a part of your ongoing maintenance and long term cost reduction program. Often, solutions can be as simple as installing automatic thermostats which control heating and air conditioning more consistently. Other possible solutions are described below. To begin, contact your local utility. If it can not provide assistance, contact an organization that provides facility engineering with energy expertise. Although there are often up- front fees for this service, the short- and long-term benefits al- most always outweigh the costs. There are a variety of programs that affect the demand for electricity. A facility may consider one or all of the following. - DEMAND RESPONSE Due to increased electricity demand across the country, espe- cially during peak usage periods, many independent system opera- tors offer Demand Response (DR) programs. In total, 30 states offer some type of DR program. The goal of DR is to incent businesses to curtail electricity consumption (shed load) during peak periods. When electricity demand is high, utilities will often turn to peaker plants (to handle the peak load), which may be old, poorly main- tained, expensive to run, and dirty. Without peaker plants or ways to reduce total demand, brown- or black-outs could occur. Minimum load for customer participation normally is 500kW but could be as low as 100kW in some independent systems operators. Participants in DR programs are paid quarterly install- ments based on the total load (kW) they have agreed to shed and have registered in the program regardless of the number of DR "occurrences," (times that a business is actually called on to shed). Each independent systems operators has different DR programs but most require very short notice for load shed. The program best geared for your business will depend on the amount you can shed, when you can shed load and for how long. The revenue from DR offsets other costs that might be incurred during DR curtailment, such as shutting down a production line. Many com- panies invest the DR funds in other efficiency projects. DR requires interval electric meters and other equipment to ensure that your business receives the proper notice for shedding and that your usage is recorded properly. Some DR providers fund upfront costs so that your business does not have to incur out-of-pocket costs for the meters. These costs are then subtract- ed from the revenues you will receive. Many DR providers will visit your site, inspect your operation, install equipment, and han- dle the registration paperwork that is required for participation. Some programs require mandatory load reduction and others have opt-out provisions which provide you with more flexibility. There are many ways to curtail load including product line shut-down, reduced lighting, increased/decreased temperature set points on chillers and heaters or the use of on-site generation. MARCH 2009 www.flexography.org FLEXO
Sustainable Winter 2009