ARCHIVED  February 1, 1996

Light and Power program eases energy bills

Sometimes it isn’t enough to simply ask employees to shut off the washroom light. Keeping bulbs burning in a business can account for as much as 40 percent of a company’s energy bill, say represents of Fort Collins Light andPower. With that in mind, the power company has devised a couple of programs to assist business customers in becoming more energy-efficient. Both arecost-free for companies. “We feel it’s important to be proactive,´ said Lori Clements-Grote, energy services marketing specialist for Light and Power. The utility is working to improve electrical efficiency, following through on a directive issued last year by the City Council. One segment of the effort has Light and Power employee Jon McHugh and others visiting large-volume customers that consume an average of 500kilowatts of energy a month. By comparison, a single-family household uses 15 to 20 kilowatts a month. Companies fitting the high-user profile
include Anheuser Busch, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Symbios Logic Inc. “We do a bills analysis and make sure they are on the correct rate, then go to the site and walk through the plant,” McHugh said. There, an evaluation is done of, among other things, motor usage, combustion efficiency and how heat is used in the building. Results of the analysis
are churned out in a report that offers suggestions for improved energy efficiency. After recommendations are implemented, Light and Power
employees will return and do a post-management analysis. Symbios Logic Inc. has already undergone the process. The City Council allocated $50,000 to Light and Power with the goal of conducting 10 large-customer energy audits by the end of this year. A second program being launched by the utility called “Lighting Design Review,” is available to any business customer that is remodeling current
facilities or building new ones. Under this program, Light and Power employees and consultants hired by the power company review lighting plans for businesses. “We’re not just looking at energy efficiency, but also at more-effective use of light,” Clements-Grote said. Advanced Energy Industries Inc. took advantage of the lighting design review last year when building a new facility. “We ended up providing (McHugh) the plans for the building,´ said Andy Kitchens, facilities engineer for Advanced Energy. “A consultant looked at
it and made several suggestions. By picking and choosing, we were able to select a group of choices and save about $3,000 on the implementation of
the light plan.” Additionally, Advanced Energy likely will save about $2,000 on its annual electrical bill because of the changes. The City Council budgeted $60,000 for consulting fees related to the lighting design review. Light and Power thinks it can review 400,000 square feet
to 500,000 square feet of commercial space with that money. “It was absolutely beneficial,” Kitchens said of the review. “We consider it a success.” The increased attention to commercial energy efficiency doesn’t mean that Light and Power is abandoning its residential customers, Clements-Grote
pointed out. “The impetus was to create more energy efficiency,” she said. The utility serves about 4,000 commercial customers and approximately 40,000 households. Additionally, Light and Power is developing other
programs to expand the commercial side of its business. None are far enough along to be announced yet.

Sometimes it isn’t enough to simply ask employees to shut off the washroom light. Keeping bulbs burning in a business can account for as much as 40 percent of a company’s energy bill, say represents of Fort Collins Light andPower. With that in mind, the power company has devised a couple of programs to assist business customers in becoming more energy-efficient. Both arecost-free for companies. “We feel it’s important to be proactive,´ said Lori Clements-Grote, energy services marketing specialist for Light and Power. The utility is working to improve electrical efficiency, following through on a directive issued last year by…

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