5 Ideas for Improving Energy Use

March 22, 2016

Current, powered by GE, helps its partners build smarter energy strategies with a portfolio of efficient, intelligent and renewable technologies. From LED lighting to solar power to on-site storage solutions, we have the resources to optimize even the most challenging facilities.

 

Let’s get to work and capitalize on the opportunities. Here are five ideas for improving energy use.

 

EVALUATE YOUR LIGHTING

Evaluating your facility’s lighting needs can be one of the simplest, most direct ways to recoup energy costs immediately. Today’s LED solutions can be adapted to any environment, be it a warehouse or high-rise office building, a lobby or a parking lot.

 


The aesthetic benefits of a lighting re-evaluation can also dovetail with energy savings. “Pairing lower levels of ambient light with task lighting provides optimal visual conditions,” says Jason Brown, PE, CEM, LC, application solutions manager for Current. “When ambient and task lighting are layered this way, direct lighting is brought closer to the work surface, thus reducing the lumens needed to adequately light the space. High-level illumination is used only where it is needed, not across the entire space.”

 


Further, advanced control systems are available to provide light within your facility
only when and where it’s needed. According to a study by the U.S. General Services
Administration (GSA) as part of its Green Proving Ground (GPG) program, the use of
lighting controls can create annual energy savings ranging from 27 to 63 percent.
And it doesn’t end with lighting.

 

COMBINE BUILDING CONTROLS

Intelligent controls can be put to use across all manner of facility systems, and now more than ever, they can be integrated to create even greater efficiencies.

 

According to a peer-reviewed study in Consulting Specifying Engineer, integrated systems have made huge strides in recent years. Where linking HVAC and lighting controls was once thought to be prohibitively complex, new breakthroughs have made this strategy much more practical, and it can greatly contribute to your goals.

 

Intelligent building design also demands careful planning and coordination to implement, and Current is ahead of the curve. We’ve helped clients integrate their systems through strong partnerships with HVAC providers. Combined, lighting and HVAC control can make buildings measurably more comfortable, efficient and sustainable.

 

PUT THE SUN TO WORK

How we use the sun—how we put it to work lighting the way for business growth—has come a long way in recent years. The technology is smarter. The solutions wiser. Solar power is increasingly attainable, and Current knows how it can directly benefit commercial and industrial sites.

 

Electricity costs can be slashed, annual energy spending made more predictable and sustainability goals met—even exceeded. Our experts can design a solution around your facility’s unique potential, including rooftop, carport and ground-mount solar systems to reduce demand on the grid.

 

On a smaller scale, seeking shade on a hot day is a natural tendency for humans—and
we can apply the same idea to facilities. Research has shown that planting strategically placed trees can have a positive impact on cooling costs for large buildings via shading.

 

STORE IT ON-SITE

Demand is strong for industrial battery systems, given the growing reliance on intermittent energy sources such as solar power. An on-site energy storage solution can provide flexibility across the grid by combining controls, power electronics, and a variety of battery and enclosure technologies.

 

Naturally, there is not one solution for all storage needs. Current looks at each project individually to engineer the best system for a particular site, focusing on full system performance rather than individual component pieces. This approach helps customers match power production with power demand in real time and utilize grid assets more efficiently.

 

Storing megawatts of electricity also helps businesses better adjust to outages or
disruptions. And as facility owners are learning, technological advances are making
backup power solutions as reliable, affordable and effective as ever.

 

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Of course, there are easier ways to make your building more efficient, and you can start by encouraging more thoughtful use of electronic equipment.

 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), idle electronics account for a major portion of wasted energy across the country. Collectively, the EPA estimates the total electricity consumed by these devices while not in use is equal to that of the annual output of 12 power plants. A little mindfulness can go a long way, and with basic measures, any business can do its part. Ensure that your facility is using the right power strips to manage energy, and ask your IT department to optimize computer power settings among users.

 

Stay ahead of the curve by implementing energy solutions with your future facility in mind. Current can help you develop a strategy to reduce grid demand, produce power on-site, and smartly shift usage with a comprehensive set of technology options.

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