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EFFICIENCY

Energy efficiency is just what is sounds like, it is finding ways to reduce the amount of energy you use for a specific task. Energy efficiency is a combination of technologies and adjustments in behavior that ultimately reduce the consumption of energy and reduces your electric bill.

Energy efficiency is the cornerstone of our business and is integral to truly successful solar electric system. In order to understand just how important it is, we should consider that each product we plug in has an energy signature. This does not mean replacing all older equipment nor does that mean that you need to reduce the amount of freedom you enjoy in order to be energy efficient.

We identify all devices that are high energy users and apply technologies to the problem to reduce the kWh footprint. If you consider that each dollar spent on energy efficiency will save you $10 on your solar electric system the idea of energy efficiency takes on a new meaning.

Contact Voltage River for information on cost effective energy efficiency measures that you can use without big upfront expenses.

DEMAND

Depending on how they use electricity, electric utility customers are charged for different electric services. Along with a basic customer charge – which is a set fee paid monthly or seasonally – most customers pay for the energy they use (measured in kilowatt-hours, abbreviated kWh). Many commercial users of electricity are also charged for something called demand (measured in kilowatts, abbreviated kW).

Demand is the charge for the delivery of the energy a commercial building uses, demand meters register the highest rate of electrical flow (or current) during a billing period. It's actually a little more complicated than that, because the meter records an average flow for every 15 minute interval. The customer is billed for the highest average 15 minute flow during the billing period. Demand can add up fast.. accounting for as much as 60% of your electric bill.

How can you manage this?

One way is to meter the draw over a longer period of time.. this practice is called load shaping and can save big $$ for many commercial customers. Simply by turning on equipment in stages will reduce that spike and thus reduce your electric bill. We can help you manage this costly portion of your bill and in some cases we can actually eliminate the charge all together through re assigning your rate to a rate that does not have demand. This is something that is utility specific

Call Voltage River to discuss how to manage your demand costs

POWER FACTOR

Power Factor is a measure of how efficiently electrical power is consumed. The ideal Power Factor is 100% efficient but there is always a loss This means that extra power is required to achieve the actual task at hand. This extra power is known as Reactive Power, which unfortunately is necessary to provide a magnetising effect required by motors and other inductive loads to perform their desired functions. However, Reactive Power can also be interpreted as wasted power and an extra burden on the electricity supply.

Power Factor Correction is the term given to a technology that has been used since the turn of the 20th century to restore Power Factor to as close to 100% as is economically viable. This is normally achieved by the addition of capacitors to the electrical network which provide or compensate for the Reactive Power demand of the inductive load, and thus reduce the burden on the supply.

Below are just some of the benefits that can be achieved by applying the correct Power Factor Correction:

Reduced Power Consumption/ lower electric bills

Reduced heat output from the device

Longer life doe to lower heat on bearings

Reduced air conditioning costs due to reduced heat in the building

Call Voltage River to find out how you can improve your power factor and increase your energy savings

LIGHTING

Lighting consumes close to 35 percent of the electricity used in commercial buildings in the United States and affects other building systems through its electrical requirements and the waste heat that it produces. Upgrading lighting systems with efficient light sources, fixtures, and controls can reduce lighting energy use, improve the visual environment, and affect the sizing of HVAC and electrical systems.

Improve power quality. Lighting also affects the power quality of a building's electrical distribution system. Poor power quality is a concern because it wastes energy, reduces electrical capacity, and can harm equipment and the electrical distribution system itself. Upgrading to lighting equipment with clean power quality (high power factor and low harmonic distortion) can improve the power quality in a building's electrical system. Furthermore, upgrading with higher-efficiency and higher-power-factor lighting equipment can also free up valuable electrical capacity. This benefit alone may justify the cost of a lighting upgrade.

Light replacement programs from many utilities can cover as much as 100% of the cost of switching out those older lighting systems. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 created the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction, which allows building owners to deduct the entire cost of a lighting or building upgrade in the year the equipment is placed in service, subject to a cap.

Call Voltage River to find out what utility rebates exist to help you improve your lighting system /increase your productivity and reduce your electric bill.

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