Monthly Archives: December 2012

New Technologies for Energy Management

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. That’s a common phrase that many people use but it can be difficult for building owners and property managers – especially when dealing with older buildings with legacy systems.  In September 2011, Verdantix, an independent analyst firm focused on energy, environment, and sustainability issues, released a report in which they said,  “Optimizing enterprise-wide energy consumption… is a big prize that firms are waking up to. But the vast diversity of energy-consuming assets- lights, security systems, HVAC, boilers, elevators, servers, routers, and manufacturing equipment-means no single application will collect the data from all energy-consuming end points.”

A recent article in Control Engineering noted that the key to successfully implementing an effective energy management program is system integration. This is the only way to simultaneously measure all of the energy-consuming systems that provide heating, cooling, lighting, etc… Unfortunately, this sounds easier than it usually turns out to be. One reason is that most of the energy management products available on the market only address one piece of the energy management puzzle. Another is that these same products are also built on proprietary platforms such that they can’t talk to other solutions that may solve those other pieces.
The Future of Energy Management

The Control Engineering article has the following to say about the benefits of implementing an integrated, enterprise-wide energy management solution:

In May 2012, Verdantix released a report titled “The Future of Energy Management” based on a survey of 210 corporate executives from around the globe with responsibility for making decisions about corporate energy use.

The survey subjects represented companies with at least $250 million in annual revenue in 21 industries. Nearly half the respondents said they plan to make “significant” changes in the way in which they manage energy over the next two years. The survey also revealed that 35% of corporations already have a global energy strategy that revolves around central decision making.

That’s a major shift-especially in the manufacturing sector-from the long-standing practice of allowing corporate divisions, or even individual plants, to make their own energy-management decisions. In fact, 40% of the companies represented in the Verdantix survey still make those decisions at the national level, while 21% still make them at the local level. But it’s clear that those numbers are changing.

“Corporations really are catching on to the strategic importance of energy management,” declares Janet Lin, a senior manager at Verdantix and co-lead of its energy practice. “They also are realizing that central decision making is the foundation for strategic energy management.”

As companies move toward strategic energy management, Lin says they ultimately will find themselves adopting new technology, and they would be well served to heed sound IT project management practices when doing so.

Chief among those practices is determining exactly what the organization wants to accomplish before purchasing any new technology. When it comes to energy management, Lin advises companies to “first look at their usage scenario and pick the category of software with the appropriate functionality.” That method is likely to lead to an incremental approach to implementing comprehensive energy management, starting with the scenarios and solutions that provide the quickest payback.

General Motors saved $50 million in energy costs and reduced its energy intensity 25 percent by working with SAIC to integrate its systems. Since the partnership began 10 years ago, SAIC has executed more than $75 million in energy management projects across multiple contracts for GM, and helped GM avoid more than 778,000 metric tons of excessive greenhouse gas emissions.

Usage Scenarios for Energy Management Software Categories

Communication Protocols

Feras Karim, SAIC senior systems engineer, talks about the difficulties associated with getting these systems to talk to one another. In the past, this has proven very difficult due to the proprietary nature of communication protocols. However, more recently vendors have developed intelligent devices that make them easier to connect to one another. “We can now work with protocol gateway translators,” Karim says. “So if you have systems that talk BACNET, LON, Modbus, Modbus TCP OPC, or other major protocols, you can have a single point to coordinate between different types of devices for a reasonable cost. Previously, if you couldn’t afford an expensive system, you couldn’t do this type of integration.”

For those companies who invest the time and money into these energy management systems, the payback can be substantial. ”Just a simple building tune-up, making HVAC equipment more efficient, can render savings of 5% to 15%,” Karim says. “When you go beyond that and start doing things like data mining and making adjustments to implement best practices in scheduling facility and production equipment, you can yield up to a 45% reduction in energy use.”

If you’re interested in a free energy audit, please see how you can Use less energy with our Jump Start Program.

Massachusetts Ranks #1 for Energy Efficiency

In a recent press release, National Grid congratulated its customers in Massachusetts (#1), New York (#3) and Rhode Island (#7) for ranking among the top ten states for energy efficiency.  Stanley Energy is proud to have two New England states in this top ten list! You can read the full text of the press release below:

  • Building on its 25-year history of award winning energy efficiency programs, National Grid is proud to congratulate its customers and the states where it provides electric and natural gas service for their achievement of making the list of the top 10 states in energy efficiency. The 2012 American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy state rankings place Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island among the most energy efficient states in the country. This is the second consecutive first place finish for Massachusetts after unseating California for the top spot in 2011.
  • “Everyone involved in creating the policies and programs leading to this recognition, as well as our customers who have invested in energy efficiency measures, should be proud to know that incredible savings have been realized for energy consumers and the environment,” said Tom King, president, National Grid in the U.S. “Not only are our customers saving on their energy bills, but millions of tons of pollutants have been prevented from entering our environment due to the success of our energy efficiency incentives.”


  • In 2011 National Grid’s electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs served nearly 1.8 million of our customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. The combined lifetime savings to be realized by customers through these programs is estimated at more than $1.35 billion dollars. Electricity savings in 2011 alone were enough to power more than 118,000 homes. Natural gas saved would have heated 10,700 homes for one year.


  • In the twelve-month period ending December 31, 2011, National Grid’s energy efficiency programs in Massachusetts served more than one million electric customers and 275,000 natural gas customers. The company’s combined energy efficiency programs resulted in program lifetime savings of an estimated $847 million on an investment of $176 million. The annual energy savings for electric customers was nearly 343,000 megawatt-hours, or enough electricity to power more than 57,000 homes for one year. Natural gas efficiency programs resulted in savings of 9.8 million therms. That’s enough energy to heat more than 6,000 homes for one year.


  • Savings by State
    During the same period, National Grid’s energy efficiency programs in New York served more than 144,000 electric customers and 110,000 natural gas customers. The company’s combined energy efficiency programs resulted in program lifetime savings of an estimated $313 million on an investment of $86 million. The annual energy savings for electric customers was over 272,000 megawatt-hours, or enough electricity to power more than 45,000 homes for one year. Natural gas efficiency programs resulted in savings of over 6.4 million therms. That’s enough energy to heat more than 4,000 homes for one year.
  • Savings in Rhode Island are equally impressive considering that the company serves fewer customers in Rhode Island compared to Massachusetts. The company’s energy efficiency programs for electricity and natural gas served almost 260,000 electric and natural gas customers. The combined programs resulted in program lifetime savings of approximately $198 million on an investment of $38 million in the programs.
  • Total electricity savings for National Grid customers in Rhode Island in 2011 was more than 96,000 megawatt-hours, or enough to power 16,000 homes for one year. The savings in therms among gas customers in Rhode Island was 1.2 million therms. That’s enough natural gas to warm more than 700 households for one year.
  • The programs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island prevented more than 350,000 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the environment. That’s equivalent to taking 70,000 cars off the road.
    National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society – to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
  • In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.


  • National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

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Top Four High-Impact Energy Conservation Measures

Managing total energy costs over time requires an energy strategy focused on quantity as well as price. Energy conservation measures can go a long way toward lowering consumption and associated costs while achieving sustainability goals and meeting regulatory compliance.

These top four high-impact measures should be included in most energy conservation projects:

Lighting Retrofits – Almost always the quickest payback and most profitable energy conservation measure
Building Automation Controls – Comparable to lighting in quick payback and cost-effective savings
Water Conservation – Among the most aggressive ROI measures to provide big dollar savings and fast paybacks
HVAC Upgrades – Can improve efficiency on a large scale

Feds Aim to Use Less Energy With Innovative Building Technologies

Last week, the The U.S. General Services Administration released two new reports regarding innovative building technologies that could help the government use less energy if implemented. They worked with the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories to test the viability of two new key innovations. “This innovative program is another example of GSA leading the way for the federal government,” said Dorothy Robyn, Commissioner of GSA’s Public Buildings Service. “By testing the effectiveness of these technologies, GSA is finding new ways that federal buildings across the nation can save both energy and taxpayer dollars.”