The Green Edge

EP Editorial Staff | July 9, 2010


Survey Says: Energy Investments Strong Despite Economic Challenges

Despite a tough economy, the investment levels in energy efficiency have remained strong, accord-ing to the Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey released last month by solution-supplier Johnson Controls. The company surveyed those responsible for making investments in energy-efficient systems and managing energy in commercial buildings around the world, including those associated with manufacturing operations.

Based on a total of 2882 completed responses, findings indicate, overall, that 56% invested the same or more in energy efficiency over the last 12 months compared with historical levels. Leading this group was China, where 60% of those surveyed said they maintained or increased energy investments, followed by the U.S. (59%), Europe (55%) and India (45%).

While motivations differ by region, cost savings emerge as the most important factor driving energy investments, with 97% of respondents identifying it as significant. Lowering greenhouse gas emissions (74%) is the second-most important motivator for energy efficiency in all regions except North America, where boosting public image (63%) and taking advantage of government/utility incentives (62%) rank higher. Globally, 63% of respondents said they plan to make capital investments in energy efficiency, and 70% plan operating budget expenditures in efficiency programs over the next 12 months.

The most popular measures taken in these programs were those with low initial cost and/or rapid payback. Lighting retrofits topped the list, with 73% of respondents having moved to energy-efficient lighting products. Other frequently employed tactics include staff education (64%) and the replacement of inefficient equipment before the end of its useful life (37%).

The survey also touched on carbon emissions, with nearly one-third of the organizations surveyed having publicly committed to make reductions. While many said their most important strategy for carbon reduction was energy efficiency in buildings (34%), others listed the installation of on-site renewable energy, the purchasing of renewable power and improving efficiency in their vehicle fleet.

The Energy Efficiency Indicator survey was conducted during March and April 2010. Participants included global CEOs, CFOs, real-estate leaders and facility managers.

Johnson Controls
Milwaukee, WI

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ge2Unit Converts Waste Heat Into Electricity

ProRenewables offers the Green Machine, an innovative, clean-energy technology that uses water no hotter than a cup of tea to produce emission-free electricity on an industrial scale. Pioneered and manufactured by Nevada-based ElectraTherm, Inc., the Green Machine is designed to help industrial facilities substantially increase energy efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and comply with environmental regulations. The product works by capturing waste heat to boil fluid that powers an electric generator. According to ProRenewables, using a robust twin-screw expander in place of turbine technology results in low maintenance outlay over the life of the machine. A modest
5′ x 5′ footprint makes the product modular and scalable. The payback period at most installations is reported to range from two to five years, depending
on installation cost, electric rates and available financial incentives.

Kalamazoo, MI

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ge3Vegetable-Based Honing Fluid

Sunnen’s SHO-500 is a long-life, general-purpose honing fluid based on a renewable vegetable formulation. Offering improvements in oxidation stability, the product is formulated without additives such as sulfur, chlorine and fluorine. According to the manufacturer, it is well-suited for honing applications where additives cannot be used, as well as for use with conventional vitrified honing abrasives and metal-bond superabrasives. SHO-500 joins Sunnen’s two other planet-friendly oils, MAN-863 and KG3X, which are listed as BioPreferred™ products by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The new oil is available in 5-gal. pails, 55-gal. drums and 330-gal. totes.

Sunnen Products Co.
St. Louis, MO

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Energy Management Standard Moves Along Approval Track

ISO 50001, a standard providing energy management system guidelines for industrial plants, commercial facilities and others, has been approved as a Draft International Standard (DIS). This document is based on the common elements found in all ISO management system standards, assuring a high level of compatibility with
ISO 9001, Quality management systems, and ISO 14001, Environmental management systems. At this stage, national member bodies of ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) are invited to vote and comment on the text of the proposed standard until August 26. If approved, it’s expected to be published by early 2011.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Washington, D.C.

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