Energy Management Important to Healthcare Leaders

17 Dec

Energy efficiency, Wind MillWe tend to either love or hate the current healthcare industry. Rising insurance costs and outrageous healthcare bills upset us all. But, it appears the industry leaders are taking energy management seriously. According to a recent survey, energy management is more important to healthcare leaders than to executives in other industry sectors.

According to new research from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and Johnson Controls, energy efficiency continues to grow in importance in the healthcare sector as organizations do more than ever to “go green.” (SOURCE: Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency)

BACKGROUND

In March 2010, Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) conducted a survey of
executives and managers responsible for making investments and managing energy use in commercial buildings across the world. As part of the Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) broad survey to look at the trends in energy efficiency throughout the worldwide business community, Johnson Controls wanted to include a separate analysis of responses from organizations in the healthcare industry. Of the 2,882 respondents polled worldwide, 288 operated in the healthcare industry, and 246 were ASHE members.

The EEI survey examines what healthcare organizations are doing in response to rising energy costs, what factors are motivating efficiency improvements, how many organizations are planning to make investments, what payback they expect on energy efficiency investments, and what technologies and practices they have been implementing in their facilities.The Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering conducted an online survey of decision-makers responsible for managing energy. The Energy Efficiency Indicator survey results included a separate analysis of responses from healthcare organizations. (SOURCE: 2010 Energy Efficiency Indicator – Healthcare Sector Report, Oct. 2010)

Here’s an excerpt of the findings reported by the Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency:

The survey looked at issues such as what organizations are doing in response to rising energy costs, what factors are driving efficiency improvements, what payback they expect on projects, and what technologies and practices they are applying. Highlights of the survey include:

  • 59% of healthcare organizations believe energy management is extremely or very important, compared to 52% of respondents across all industries.
  • 66% of healthcare respondents are paying more attention to energy efficiency than they were a year ago.
  • Cost savings is the biggest factor driving energy efficiency investments in healthcare; enhancing image and taking advantage of government or utility incentives are next.
  • Nearly 50% of healthcare respondents cited energy efficiency in buildings as their top strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The average maximum allowable payback period for energy efficiency investments in healthcare is 3.3 years, down from 4.2 years in 2008.
  • The top barriers to capture of potential energy savings are lack of internal capital and inability to identify projects with sufficient ROI.

Click here to visit the Institute for Building Efficiency and read or download the complete survey report.

Congress to Decide on Renewable Energy Provision in Tax Bill

14 Dec

ACORE is pumping out the PR now that Congress is poised to either let die or renew a provision created by the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee in January 2009. The provision being considered in the pending tax bill will potentially support or inhibit renewable energy projects in 2011. It appears California, Arizona, and Wyoming stand to gain the most based on an analysis prepared by the US Partnership For Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF)..

Here’s the full press release provided by ACORE:

Congress Poised to Save $25 Billion of Renewable Energy Projects in 17 States;
Key Vote Due on the “1603” Incentive for American Entrepreneurs;

California, Arizona and Wyoming to Stand to Benefit the Most

December 14, 2010 – Washington, DC: The US Partnership For Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF) introduced an analysis that a provision being considered in the pending tax bill stands to save at least $25 billion of renewable energy projects in 17 states in 2011, among which California, Arizona, and Wyoming stand to gain the most. Read more

Energy Star Revised Specs Recommit Deadline Nov. 30

29 Nov

Energy StarRevised Specifications for January 2011 Recommitment: On October 26, 2010, EPA finalized the revisions to the Product Manufacturer Partner Commitments to include participation in third-party certification for the ENERGY STAR program. All existing manufacturer/private labeler partners must recommit in order to continue their partnership with EPA to manufacture/label products eligible for ENERGY STAR qualification. The deadline for recommitting is November 30, 2010 to avoid partnership interruption. These new Program Requirements will be active January 1, 2011.

For more info, visit the Energy Star website here or contact the ENERGY STAR Hotline at 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).

Final ENERGY STAR Partner Commitments and Product Specifications

EPA has finalized the new ENERGY STAR Partner Commitments and Product Specifications (i.e., Eligibility Criteria, Test Methods) in support of upcoming testing and verification requirements that will take effect on January 1, 2011. EPA reviewed, carefully considered, and in many cases accepted stakeholder comments on the Draft Partner Commitments and Product Specifications, which are posted below. EPA shares its rationale for the edits made to these final documents in the EPA cover memo and supporting documentation also provided below.

Existing ENERGY STAR partners will need to recommit to the new Partner Commitments and Product Specifications by November 30, 2010 to continue their ENERGY STAR partnership without interruption. More information on the steps that existing partners will need to take under these new requirements is provided in the EPA cover memo. An FAQ document can also be viewed here PDF .

In other energy and environment news…

Here are a few energy & environment blogs that are getting attention on the National Journal’s website, “Energy & Environment” Expert Blogs (good or bad we’re not sure yet):

Oil Obit: Creating Climate Wealth Summit 2010

06 Apr

Received an invite to the Summit 2010 “Creating Climate Wealth” from the event coordinators – thought I’d share:

How can you use your business know-how to make a difference in the fight against climate change?

Join representatives from GE, CODA Automotive, and many of today’s fastest growing climate wealth creators at the Creating Climate Wealth Summit at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business on April 20–22, 2010. Collaborate with business executives, government leaders, finance experts and successful entrepreneurs to find solutions to the challenges facing our climate and our economy.

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business will host the Summit. Registrants will participate in active, facilitated discussions within six different industries tracks, through which this inaugural summit targets to reduce at least six gigatons of carbon emissions by 2020. In addition, keynote speeches include:

  • Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman, The Virgin Group
  • Jigar Shah, CEO, Carbon War Room
  • Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator
  • Jose Maria Figueres, former President of Costa Rica and CEO of the World Economic Forum
  • Craig Cogut, Founder and Co-Manager of Pegasus Capital Advisors
  • Sunil Paul, Founder of Spring Ventures and Gigaton Throwdown
  • Wesley Clark, Chairman, US Investment Bank Rodman & Renshaw

There will also be plenary sessions and facilitated industry working groups – focusing on eight market segments from Biofuels to Sustainable Agriculture. This program is more than just a convening of industry leadership, it’s a group that’s committed to a specific goal – to create a time bound road map on emission reduction and job creation with measureable objectives and by market segment.

Creating Climate Wealth’s speaker and attendee list continue to draw influential market movers from across industries. Enjoy all the benefits of summit registration (visit Creating Climate Wealth website here for more details).

Mercedes-Benz Promotes Emission-Free Mobility

22 Jul

As the consumer’s awareness of environmental responsibility grows, so does the PR pumped out by the marketing arm of Mercedes-Benz. And, marketers at Mercedes-Benz want to make sure you know about their growing fleet of efficient and environmentally compatible production vehicles, which now includes 58 fuel-efficient BlueEFFICIENCY models. Here’s one of several environment related press releases hitting the presses now:

AMG Market News/Source: Mercedes-Benz/Stuttgart/July 21, 2009:

BlueEFFICIENCY, Mercedes-Benz line up of 58 fuel-efficient vehicles

As the inventor of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz also accepts responsibility for its future. The Stuttgart premium car maker is underscoring this conviction with its “Road to emission-free Mobility”, which is intentionally structured to pursue a number of avenues. The three core aspects of development work are the optimization of vehicles with state-of-the-art internal combustion engines, further efficiency improvements with tailor-made hybridization and local emission-free driving with fuel cell and battery-powered vehicles. This strategy has been implemented consistently since its introduction at IAA 2007 – under the heading “Road to the Future”. Based on the concrete results of their research and experience gathered from highly successful major projects testing alternative vehicle and drive concepts, Mercedes engineers have established the pre-requisites for local emission-free driving tomorrow and the day after. Furthermore, with a large and continuously growing fleet of efficient and environmentally compatible series production vehicles – including 58 extremely fuel-efficient and clean BlueEFFICIENCY models – the three-pointed star offers a broad-ranging selection of premium vehicles that combine economy and environmental responsibility with safety, comfort and refined driving pleasure. (Continue Reading >>)

Car Allowance Rebate System – smart fortwo $99 Per Month

06 Jul

imageOil Obit/PR News/smart fortwo/Bloomfield Hills, MI: – smart USA applauds President Obama’s signing of the Car  Allowance Rebate System (CARS) Bill, also known as “Cash for Clunkers”. In fact, smart is the “Number 1” U.S. brand in fuel efficiency and is the only car company that already exceeds the new fuel efficiency requirement, recently set by the Obama administration, which mandates an average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.

The Bill is intended to replace older, less fuel efficient vehicles with those that are more environmentally responsible. The smart fortwo is the vehicle that truly meets the intent of the CARS program. It is the most fuel efficient non-hybrid vehicle offered in the United States delivering 41 MPG on the highway. The smart fortwo is also certified as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) by the California Air Resources Board, and is an Environmental Protection Agency “SmartWay” vehicle which recognizes its low greenhouse gas and air pollutant scores.

Under the CARS program guidelines, the smart fortwo will qualify for the highest voucher level of $4,500 upon the trade in of an eligible vehicle. When this voucher amount is applied to the purchase of a new smart fortwo, smart USA will be offering payments as low as $99 per month for qualified customers*. The program is expected to launch later this summer when the Federal government officially begins allowing consumers to take advantage of the trade-in voucher. However, interested consumers can learn more about the smart USA $99 per month offer by visiting www.smartusa.com. smart USA has set aside a limited number of vehicles for immediate delivery with the official launch of the CARS program.

“The smart fortwo is the ideal vehicle for the environmental benefits that the “Cash For Clunkers” program was originally designed to support. As a society, now is the time to live smart by consuming less and conserving more, and that’s exactly what buyers of the smart fortwo will achieve for a very low monthly payment and very low cost of ownership. As the Number 1 brand in fuel efficiency we are excited to add to the growing number of satisfied fortwo owners throughout the United States. Although only on sale for just over a year in the U.S., there are already 32,000 smart fortwo’s on the roads of America joining over 1 million smart fortwo owners throughout the rest of world who are proving everyday that conserving can also be a whole lot of fun”, said Dave Schembri, President of smart USA.

Additional smart fortwo Info

The smart fortwo is one of the most economical cars on the world’s roads today. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 Fuel Economy Guide, the 2009 smart fortwo is the most fuel efficient, non-hybrid vehicle in the United States, ranking fifth overall in fuel efficiency behind four hybrid models. It is also the most fuel efficient two-seater in the United States. A state-of-the-art, compact, three-cylinder gasoline engine sits at the rear of the new smart fortwo. The engine capacity is 61 cubic inches, the output is 70 hp (52 kW).

The 2009 smart fortwo achieves an average of 41 miles per gallon on the highway according to 2009 EPA regulations.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Designations

The 2008 smart fortwo has been classified as an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) by the California Air Resource Board (CARB) for its extremely low exhaust emissions. The vehicle’s catalytic converter is positioned close to its engine for a quick response. An electric pump blows fresh air into the exhaust port when the engine is cold to almost completely oxidize the carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC) and render them harmless. A ULEV is a vehicle that has been verified by the California Air Resources Board as emitting up to 50 percent less polluting emissions than the average for new cars released in that same model year.

In addition, the EPA, through an automatic internal process, has listed the 2008 smart fortwo on its Green Vehicle Guide Web site as a “Smartway” vehicle. Smartway vehicles are good environmental performers and considered the “greenest” vehicles on the market.

The Smartway designation is given to vehicles that score a six or better on each of the Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Scores and achieve a combined score of at least thirteen.

The smart fortwo received an EPA Greenhouse Gas score of nine and an Air Pollutant score of seven (out of a possible ten). The fortwo’s combined score of sixteen well exceeds the minimum requirement of thirteen to qualify for Smartway, and the high Greenhouse Gas score puts the smart fortwo just short of hybrid status.

Low emissions, low consumption

To ensure adherence to the low emission and consumption values, even with different fuel qualities, the U.S. versions have a lower compression ratio (10.0:1 instead of 11.4:1). This measure enables the engine to run closer to optimum combustion under a high load, resulting in low emissions and low consumption coupled with maximum driving fun.

The sandwich tank made of multi-layer plastic (high density polyethylene) minimizes the fuel vapors escaping into the atmosphere. Emissions are below 0.5 grams of HC per day. The tank module has an active charcoal filter that returns fuel vapors to the tank.

The engine is mounted transversally in front of the rear axle, and is slanted at an angle of 45 degrees towards the rear. Gas exchange is controlled by four valves per combustion chamber. The variable spread angle of the camshafts is controlled electronically for better torque at low revolutions. The camshafts are driven via a maintenance-free chain.

ABOUT the smart fortwo and smart USA

smart USA Distributor LLC, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo in the United States and Puerto Rico and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc. The smart fortwo is a brand of and is manufactured by Daimler AG. This technologically advanced vehicle achieves 41 mpg on the highway and is an ultra-low emissions vehicle, as certified by the State of California Air Resources Board. The vehicle is 8.8 feet long, 5.1 feet tall and 5.1 feet wide and comes equipped with many functional and safety features found in most luxury models. smart is currently sold in 36 other countries, and more than one million smart fortwos have been sold since 1998. The 2009 smart fortwo is available in five trim levels ranging in price from $11,990** to $20,990**. For more information visit the smart USA website – www.smartusa.com.

** For 2009 models. Excludes tax, title, registration, destination charge, options and other dealer fees.

smart is a registered trademark of Daimler AG.

ABOUT PENSKE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP

Penske Automotive Group, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, operates 311 retail automotive franchises, representing 40 different brands and 25 collision repair centers. Penske Automotive, which sells new and previously owned vehicles, finance and insurance products and replacement parts, and offers maintenance and repair services on all brands it represents, has 160 franchises in 19 states and Puerto Rico and 151 franchises located outside the United States, primarily in the United Kingdom. Penske Automotive is also the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo through its wholly-owned subsidiary smart USA Distributor LLC. smart USA supports over 70 smart retail centers in the United States. Penske Automotive is a member of the Fortune 200 and Russell 1000 and has more than 14,000 employees. smart and fortwo are registered trademarks of Daimler AG.

*Financing for qualified buyers available through Daimler Financial Services at authorized smart center dealerships registered in the CARS program. Not all customers will qualify. Subject to credit approval by the lender. $99 monthly payment based on customer trade-in of an eligible vehicle qualifying for the CARS $4,500 voucher level and a 36-month balloon loan with $0 cash due at signing and a final balloon payment of $6,667 at the end of the loan term and a $13,335 MSRP which includes the destination charge and excludes tax, title and dealer fees. 5.9% APR financing for 36 months at $11.32 per month, per $1,000 financed. Restrictions apply for eligibility for the $4,500 voucher under the CARS program; please see www.cars.gov for details. Offer only applies to new and unused 2009 smart fortwo model vehicles. Visit your dealer for complete details on this and other finance offers.

V-Vehicle Fuel Efficient Game Changer?

19 Jun

I’ve barely heard of the new car company, but it appears we all may soon based on the players getting involved. Camille Ricketts published a good piece on the topic:

If you haven’t heard of the V-Vehicle Co. before, you’re in good company. The stealthy new car maker just unveiled plans to produce a fuel-efficient vehicle that could change the game for greener cars — before most of them even hit the market. The company already has a factory in the works in Louisiana, thanks to John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (a firm known for partner Al Gore and its green leanings) and modern-day oil baron T. Boone Pickens — an odd pairing to say the least. [READ Camille’s FULL STORY here.]

BMW Aggressively Evaluates Alternative Energy – Spartanburg

11 Apr

Since February, BMW has been evaluating wind speeds at their Spartanburg, SC, manufacturing plant to determine the feasibility of using wind power at the site. Gold Ring Power, LLC, is working with the automobile manufacturer to determine the viability of adding wind to the list of alternative energy sources used to power the facility. Currently, recycled methane gas from a nearby landfill provides over 60 percent of the plant’s power, which saves the automaker over $1 million per year in energy costs.

Duncan Seaman, Facilities Manager for BMW, explains that "globally, wind power is growing at a rate of about 30% annually and is widely used in several European countries. This assessment is an ongoing commitment by BMW to investigate renewable energy options."

 

Full Press Release:
BMW MANUFACTURING LAUNCHES WIND POWER STUDY
BMW News/Press Release/Spartanburg, S.C. – Feb., 2009: BMW Manufacturing Co. announced that it has begun a study into the feasibility of using wind energy on the plant site. BMW will partner with Gold Ring Power, LLC to conduct an energy audit to gather data on wind speed and patterns throughout the site. The results of the test will reveal the viability for BMW to add wind to the list of alternative energy resources used to power the facility.

 

Duncan Seaman, Facilities Manager for BMW, explains that "globally, wind power is growing at a rate of about 30% annually and is widely used in several European countries. This assessment is an ongoing commitment by BMW to investigate renewable energy options."
To begin this test, two 50-foot towers have been installed on the plant site. Anemometers, similar to measuring devices used by meteorologists, will be attached to each tower to collect data on wind speed and direction. One tower will be located in front of the BMW Zentrum Visitors Center and will be visible from Interstate 85. The towers will stay in place for two weeks and will then be moved to other strategic locations on the plant site to gather additional wind data. After several weeks, the data will be analyzed by Gold Ring Power, LLC and provided to BMW for further evaluation.

"Alternative energy projects such as this are essential to the sustainability of this plant. Following the success of the methane gas project, we continue to look for ways to harness the natural resources available to us. BMW is already a global leader in automotive technology and innovation, so projects like these are a natural outgrowth of our commitment to managing alternative energy resources," said Robert Hitt, manager for Corporate Communications.

Currently 63% of the BMW plant in Spartanburg is powered through recycled methane gas from the local landfill. This Landfill Gas to Energy Project, launched in 2003, has saved the company over $1 million per year in energy costs.

Gold Ring Power, LLC is a California-based company that specializes in efficiently integrating renewable energy systems into manufacturing facilities and industrial plants.

BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California.

 

For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.

Sixth Annual Energy Technology Conference

14 Oct

Ardour Capital Investments, LLC and Baker & McKenzie LLP are hosting a energy technology conference on October 16, 2008, at the Baker & McKenzie Conference Center (New York). The following is their press release concerning the event:

Ardour Capital Investments, LLC, a leading research and investment bank focused on Energy Technology / Alternative Energy & Power / Clean & Renewable Technologies in conjunction with global law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP, announce the 6th Annual Energy Technology Conference to be held on Thursday October 16th, 2008. Thirteen companies in the sector will present to some of the largest investors in the space. Keynote addresses will be given Dr. Rohit T. Aggarwala- Director of The Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Carol Battershell, Senior Advisor- U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

New York, NY (Vocus/PRWEB ) October 13, 2008 — As leaders in their respective fields, Ardour’s Energy Technology Banking Group and Baker & McKenzie’s energy practice, have created a venue where key players in the alternative energy marketplace converge to discuss trends, explore opportunities, and forge relationships. Expect a lively discussion on the current issues facing the energy technology space, including the recently extended ITC/PTC subsidies; continued commercial developments of the presenting companies; and the impact on the sector of the upcoming Presidential election.

Companies scheduled to attend, speak and be available for one-on-one sessions include:

  • American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC)
  • Capstone Turbine Corp. (CPST)
  • Colorep (Private)
  • Comverge, Inc. (COMV)
  • FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL)
  • Metabolix, Inc. (MBLX)
  • Open Energy Corp. (OEGY)
  • Plambeck Neue Energien (PNE3.DE)
  • Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies (QTWW)
  • Satcon Technology Corp. (SATC)
  • Spire Corp. (SPIR)
  • Ultralife Corp. (ULBI)
  • Zenergy Power Plc (ZEN.L)

Admission is by invitation only, so please register soon as space is limited. For more information or to register for the conference please contact Brian Greenstein at (212) 375-2956.

Ardour Capital Investments, LLC is a full service, FINRA registered investment bank and securities research firm focused on energy technology since 2002. Ardour provides a wide range of financial services for both public and private companies, including road shows, private placements and equity offerings.

Baker & McKenzie’s Alternative Energy & Technology Group advises a broad range of alternative energy industry participants, including private developers (public and private companies, utility subsidiaries, and others), electric utilities, municipalities, natural gas companies, construction and equipment suppliers, lenders, equity investors and power marketers in relation to all phases of activity involved in alternative energy related projects. << CONFERENCE DETAILS HERE >>

Oil Obit – Building the Coffin

05 Oct

Will McCain or Obama help us write the obituary for our dependence on foreign oil? Both are proposing they will.

John McCain
“Elimination of our dependence on foreign oil is a fundamental key to us restoring our economy, creating millions of jobs and also ensuring that America is secure and not dependent on oil from people like Hugo Chavez or other parts of the Middle East, which as we know, could be destabilized under certain sets of circumstances,” John McCain said during a campaign stop in Iowa. McCain adamantly supports lifting the ban on drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf and he wants to give the decision making power to the states; each state should decide if they want to allow drilling off their shores according to McCain.

Barack Obama is less clear on the offshore oil drilling issue in my opinion. He says he wants to allow it but  isn’t making a clear commitment for it. He repeatedly claims offshore oil drilling won’t help lower gas prices for years, which is a weak argument – no new energy alternative will quickly lower gas prices either. And, lowering gas prices isn’t the issue; decreasing demand is and the higher price of gas lowers demand. We all know that decreasing gas prices increases demand and the popularity of gas-guzzling SUVs during the past two decades is a clear indication of this fact. Obama also states he wants any offshore drilling to be part of a comprehensive energy plan. Clearly, we all want a comprehensive energy plan that includes alternative energy supplies.

To lower our demand on foreign oil supplies, McCain is proposing a $5,000 tax credit for each citizen that buys a zero emissions car. Obama is setting a goal of one million plug-in hybrid cars to be on the road by 2015. Obama also wants to offer tax credits to automobile manufacturers to retool their plants to produce fuel-efficient cars; he is proposing tax credits of up to $7,000 to consumers who buy them.

With respect to nuclear energy, McCain is clear; he has proposed building 45 nuclear plants by 2030 and ultimately, 100 new plants. Once again, Obama isn’t as clear on this issue either – he says the country should explore nuclear energy as part of the energy mix, but has expressed concerns about the storage of nuclear waste. We are, and have been for decades, concerned about the storage of nuclear waste. What’s Obama’s proposed solution for nuclear waste storage? Or McCains?

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