Your goal - Two cost saving measures operational by fall

March 23, 2015 - Green Buildings

George Crawford, Green Partners

Now that our cold winter is winding down, and we move into the warmer months, take a look at your fuel bills and start thinking about cost reduction strategies. Here are three proven cost saving measures to get you started:
1. Oil to gas conversion. Many buildings are switching from oil to gas to take advantage of the lower pricing of natural gas. The favorable oil to gas pricing differential can finance this retro-fit. If natural gas is available near your building, add a conversion feasibility study to your to do list. While a completed conversion before next fall is not realistic, you can certainly start the process.
2. High efficiency domestic hot water heater. Buildings using their boilers for both heating and domestic hot water production should separate these functions. Installing a high efficiency gas fired hot water heater is more fuel efficient than a boiler and will allow you to take your boiler off line during the summer. Start now, so the savings benefits will kick in this year.
3. Efficient heat distribution. No matter how well your boiler runs or how cost effective your oil to gas conversion proves to be, your cost savings will go up your new stainless steel flu if you don't get your heating distribution right. As a rule of thumb, there is a 29% to 31% fuel savings differential between a "one size fits all," "traditional" boiler control system and a multiple zone system responding to wireless interior temperature sensors. The "traditional" system operates on pre-set timed heat cycles based on outside temperatures. The system will usually activate a single modulating valve which regulates the heat for the entire building. This "traditional" system is inefficient and results in unbalanced heat delivery. The better alternative is a multi-zone heating control system with modulating valves on the heating risers. Because these valves respond to interior temperatures on a zone by zone basis, this system delivers only the amount of heat actually required to make each zone comfortable. The cost savings is derived from lower levels of fuel consumption because the typical overheating scenario becomes past history. Given the benefits for both significant cost savings and increased comfort levels, this technology will be receiving more attention. Add it to your to do list. For more information, review case studies at www.pepcocontrols.com - home page / case studies.
Your goal - Two cost saving measures operational by fall.
George Crawford is the principal of Green Partners, New York, N.Y.

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