At the beginning of December 2013, Realgy announced the start of construction on two of its newest solar power projects in the state of Illinois. Once completed, the two new systems in total will produce over 90,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually and offset almost 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide during the initial 25 years of operation.
The first Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system has been installed on the roof of the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake, home to the historic Lake County Fair and other year-round events. The second Solar PV system was installed at Seven Oaks Farm, a historic dairy and horse farm in Saint Charles.
Both PV Systems have been installed by Renewable Energy Alternatives of Arlington Heights. “We are excited to be a part of this venture,” said Kacie Peters, Director of Sales and Marketing at Renewable Energy Alternatives. “The array is in a very public space and will be seen by thousands annually. We hope that this array will inspire others to know solar is possible—and practical in Illinois.”
“Realgy made this investment as a part of our sustainable energy commitment with the support of Illinois Department of Commerce Renewable Energy Program and the Illinois Solar Energy Association.” Michael Vrtis, President of Realgy. All of the energy produced by the panels will be used by the companies, and will reduce their reliance on fossil-generated energy produced primarily from coal in Illinois.
On January 1, 2014, as part of a 2007 energy efficiency law, the U.S. stopped producing and importing standard 40- and 60- watt incandescent bulbs. The law signed by former President George W. Bush requires new light bulbs to meet tighter standards.
For those not ready for the switch, most stores will continue to sell the 40- and 60- watt bulbs until supplies run out. However, switching out those old incandescent bulbs will reduce the energy needed to light up your room. Ninety percent of the energy used by an incandescent bulb is given off as heat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading 15 incandescent light bulbs to CFL or LED bulbs could save about $50 per year.
Energy.Gov, “Lighting Choices to Save You Money”
CBS News, “The old-fashioned light bulb is disappearing”
1. Close your blinds!
Closing your blinds in the summer reduces radiant heat from the sun entering your house or office.
Even if you close the blinds only during peak sun hours this trick will help decrease the amount of radiant heating caused by the summer sun.
2. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees
Air conditioners will run at their optimal performance level when set at 78 degrees. Making it even 5 degrees lower will result in your AC using up to 40% more energy. Keep that thermostat at 78 degrees during the day and turn it down at night, to conserve the most energy.
3. Use passive cooling techniques
To reduce the need to turn on the AC try out some passive cooling techniques.
Passive cooling techniques include but are not limited to planting trees or hedges, installing window awnings, the use of fans, and opening and closing windows and blinds at the appropriate times of day. For example you would open windows at night for the cool breeze and close them along with blinds during peak sun hours.
4. Upgrade your windows
Replacing old single-pane windows with new dual-pane ones that include Low-emissivity (Low-E). The Low-E coating reduces energy loss by as much as 50%, and as a bonus you could be eligible for tax credits for buying energy star rated windows.
5. Reduce your energy costs
Enroll with Realgy Energy Services to save on your natural gas and electricity
These simple tricks coupled with Realgy Energy Services low rates can drastically reduce your energy costs this summer.
Check out Realgy Energy Services rates and see how much you could be saving www.realgyenergyservices.com Or Call one of our Energy Brokers today 877-300-6747.
U.S Department of Energy, Energy Savers, Thermostats and Control Systems
The Daily Green, Close Your Blinds to Beat the Heat
Earth 911, 9 Ways to Ready Your home For Summer
U.S Department of Energy, Energy Savers, Window Types
Realgy Energy Services has a server room that generates plenty of heat from the hardware housed there. Accordingly, we have to use air conditioners to prevent damage to the hardware. This past winter, Mathew Sudowski, Director of Sales, came up with a way for Realgy Energy Services to recover the heat lost by the air conditioner exhaust from the Realgy server room. This heat recovery helped to increase the efficiency of the furnace. Because the furnace draws in air from the two upper levels as well as the basement where the server room and air conditioner are located, this plan worked perfectly.
With the help of a local HVAC company, Realgy was able to retrofit the air conditioner exhaust, and reduce the workload of the Realgy office furnace. This retrofit also helped to save the company money over the winter season.
To find out how a natural gas furnace works check out this article “How a Natural Gas Furnace Works”
However this task won’t be easy. Keeping 32,500 animals healthy, happy and well-lit takes a lot of energy. Part zoo, part art space, the building is a life-support system for 1,500 species operating under the parameters of just about every time zone on the planet.
“What we’re talking about is bigger than the Shedd,” said Mark Harris, president and CEO of the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, which led the consortium that developed Shedd’s energy saving plan.
Following a plan developed pro bono by a public-private consortium, Shedd plans to swap out light bulbs, buy solar panels and sell “negawatts” (getting paid to power down). The aquarium plans to participate in a program that pays big energy users to power down on days when the electric grid is strained by demand from air conditioners. But first that means finding out what in the aquarium can be safely powered down.
“The Shedd’s in a unique position. It’s been there for 100 years and it’s going to be there for another 100 more; so, when you look at a 15-year return on investment, that’s not too bad,” Hulsebosch said.
Read the whole story: Citizens Utility Board, “Shedd Aquarium looks to slice energy bill”
The Austrian company AMS is introduction new technology that will make it possible for a 42 inch flat screen TV to consume less energy than a 60-watt light bulb. This will exceed the requirements of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star 6.0 proposed standards, which, when implemented this spring, call for 42-inch TVs to consume just 62.9 watts of power. For any size, the maximum power consumption is 85 watts.
“One of the biggest power users in consumer electronics today is the flat panel TV. Higher efficiencies are being mandated by countries throughout the world to reduce energy consumption,” AMS spokesman Herbert Truppe said in a statement. “By intelligently connecting AMS sensor-driven lighting technologies to current TV designs, high-quality viewing experiences can be delivered with no increase to the cost of the television, while significantly reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions.”
Read the Whole story at Venturebeat.com
Check out this great infographic from The Hub, which highlights easy ways for businesses to reduce energy bills. Print it out and share with everyone in the office; the more people aware of the energy savings possibilities, the more effective it will be.
Simple changes can significantly reduce business electricity costs.
If you are looking for an even larger reduction in your commercial electricity costs, consider enrolling with Realgy Energy Services as your electricity provider. Our customers have realized cost reductions up to 9.6% as compared to the local utility. Find us online www.realgyenergyservices.com or call 877-300-6747 to speak with an account representative today.
Utility Exchange Online, Business Energy Saving Tips – An infographic
For most people the holidays mean time-honored traditions. But this year toss out some of those traditions by tossing out those old incandescent lights in favor of newer LEDs which consume less energy and cost even less to operate.
Older strings of incandescent lights can use up to 99% more energy than new LED light strings. In addition, LEDs are much cooler than their traditional incandescent counterparts, reducing the risk of combustion.
A string of new LED lights could last up to 40 seasons and since they are made with epoxy lenses instead of glass as are most traditional incandescent light strings, they are more resilient to damage.
As an extra bonus you can connect up to 25 strings of LED lights together end-to-end and not worry about overloading a wall socket.
If you are still not convinced that it is time to upgrade your holiday lights, check out these figures from energy.gov.
Estimated cost* of electricity to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days
|Incandescent C-9 lights||$10.00|
|LED C-9 lights||$0.27|
Estimated cost* of buying and operating lights for 10 holiday seasons
|Incandescent C-9 lights||$122.19|
|LED C-9 lights||$17.99|
*Assumes 50 C-9 bulbs and 200 mini-lights per tree, with electricity at $0.119 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) (AEO 2012 Residential Average). Prices of lights based on quoted prices for low volume purchases from major home improvement retailers. All costs have been discounted at an annual rate of 5.6%. Life span assumed to be three seasons (1,500 hours) for non-LED lights.
Energy.gov, LED Lighting
The homes of Georgene Jaback and Bob Woods of Joliet, and Janet Jaback of Elmwood Park did.
The Joliet couple improved their 50-year-old home with air sealing in the attic, basement and perimeter walls and insulation on the attic floor and in the conditioned basement. Their upgrades will reduce their air leakage rate by 35 percent, according to a press release issued by Will County.
Check out the article Joliet homeowners receive silver certification for energy savings to find out how they did it.
And if you are looking for even more energy savings check out Realgy Energy Services Natural Gas and Electricity rates, and lower your energy bills in a few minutes.
The Department of Energy announced yesterday the most recent in a series of common-sense efficiency standards made by the Obama Administration. The newest efficiency standard focuses on residential clothes washers and dishwashers and will save consumers $20 billion in energy and water costs.
These new standards add to previous energy efficiency requirements and will go into effect in 2015 for clothes washers and 2013 for dishwashers.
Approximately 3% of residential energy use and more than 20% of indoor water use can be attributed to clothes washers and dishwashers.
The new standards will reduce the energy consumption for front-loading clothes washers by 15% and will cut water consumption by 35%.Top loading clothes washers will save 33% on energy and 19% on water use.Residential dishwashers will use about 15% less energy and more than 20% less water, directly providing consumers with savings on monthly bills.
Learn more about the energy and cost-saving standards adopted under the Obama Administration on the Department of Energy website