Up to 25% of billable electricity consumed in business is non-productive and unusable.
– U.S Dept. of Energy
(PRWEB) April 11, 2012
Conceptually, it’s always better to use energy efficiently and find ways to save. Yet that has not always been a focus of busy business owners. Cheap energy had fueled the economy for more than a century. However, in today’s business climate, saving energy and deploying effective green energy technology is a priority.
With electrical power companies constantly raising rates, tight customer purse strings, and a cultural awareness to deploy green energy technology, finding simple and effective ways for a business to become energy efficient is a top priority. Not surprisingly, with this much focus, a lot of concepts are emerging to meet this need: advanced meters, smart meters, employee training, equipment upgrades.
Deploying green energy technology offers many potential benefits for a company. The majority of consumers think 'cleaner' and 'safer' when they hear the term green energy. The significant political push and widespread endorsement by media outlets in favor of green energy technology has resonated with consumers. People want the benefits of 'cleaner' and 'safer' energy.
Renewable energy, like solar and wind, are only practical on a limited basis at this time. So transitioning to green energy sources or purchasing energy produced by green energy technology is not always less expensive than traditional energy sources.
However, there is another class of green energy technology that is focused on reducing energy waste and increasing energy efficiency. These methods and devices don't require a pioneering endeavor into new energy technology and the costs and risks associated with this. This method of going green preserves a company's current energy infrastructure and simply reduces the consumption and waste of energy resources.
An interesting class of product that allows a business to deploy green energy technology immediately and save money are those that increase the electrical power factor.
So what is 'Power Factor'? Power Factor is a measure of how efficiently a facility uses electricity. Having a high power factor means equipment is operating more efficiently. That means less generation is required to meet the customers’ energy needs. If a facility has a low power factor, more electric current must flow through power distribution lines. In other words, a poor power factor requires the utility to invest in additional generation, distribution and transmission infrastructure.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 25% of energy paid for by a business can be unusable energy! This in large part is due to inductive loads. Inductive loads are higher when there are more motors turning on and off. So businesses with more cooling and refrigeration demands, or with machinery, will have higher inductive loads. This tends to lower the power factor. A lower power factor results in more wasted electricity and incurs higher rates and penalties from power companies.
The savings vary based on the size of the inductive load of the facility. Some companies make unrealistic claims about the actual savings. From a reputable company, one can expect between 8% and 12% savings in general, yet there are documented savings up to 16%. One company offers an 8% written savings guarantee.
The primary source of the savings is realized by reducing or eliminating penalties levied by the power companies for a poor power factor. By raising the power factor, a business is using more of the energy that is delivered. This in turn reduces rates by reducing consumption, reducing peak demand charges, and reducing penalties.
This type of equipment has a small footprint and consists of a system of modules that are installed in parallel to electrical breaker panels and sub panels. Purchasing this equipment can have as little as a 16 month return on investment. However, there is a company that rents their equipment with no upfront costs. This has the added benefit of being cash flow positive in your first month.
Renewable energy and the transition away from fossil fuels is definitely a worthwhile endeavor. However, regardless of the political expediency to promote and subsidize these technologies, the plain technological and economic facts of the matter are that fossil fuels are the only practical energy sources to meet the demands of today's world.
It is imperative to pursue means to preserve and more efficiently consume these energy resources as we develop cleaner energy technology for the future. Technology like those that reduce power factor and consume electricity efficiently offer immediate solutions that business can immediately adopt as they assist not only in keeping the planet green, but also by keeping more 'green' on the business balance sheet.