Rate review, demand analysis, utility metering, HVAC upgrades, alternative energy analysis, LEED/Energy Star review, and more.
Millenium Energy Company utilizes the most current technologies to integrate legacy control systems with the newest open protocol energy management and control systems.
But at Millenium Energy, it’s not just about what we do—it’s about how we do it.
Our detailed review of current operations identifies the most cost-effective opportunities for upgrading building energy-consuming systems to more efficient methods of energy delivery and control. Implementing energy system upgrades are now very attractive due to:
- The application of exciting new technologies that have become available in recent years
- Substantial energy savings and rapid paybacks, which allow financing options such as energy leases and energy bond financing, and where the payments are structured to be offset by the monthly energy cost savings
- Energy project savings, discounts, and rebates offered by utility companies, which allow building owners to divert dollars from utility costs they are already paying, and which can then be used to offset energy project costs.
Energy Cost Reduction Solutions
We have developed proprietary analytical tools to analyze each aspect of energy acquisition, conversion efficiency, and distribution. We implement Energy Cost Reduction (ECR) strategies that have no negative impact on budget or cash flow. ECR analysis includes a review of existing utility rates and power quality and evaluation of alternate sources of energy, cost of equipment upgrades, or modifications, resulting in financial benefits for the total project.
Today’s new deregulated energy marketplace offers new and varied opportunities to reduce costs. Millenium Energy provides expert analysis of complex state and federal regulations and utility tariffs to identify the lowest-cost alternatives that will meet the metering, volume, demand, and consumption criteria for each facility application.
This type of in-depth analysis is essential for completely characterizing the utility cost and consumption in commercial buildings. A change in consumption or demand due to equipment modification will have an impact on energy consumption and access to lower-cost energy.
It may be possible to reduce the cost of energy delivered to a building by choosing a more advantageous tariff, or by reconfiguring the meters or the service to access a better rate. Rate reductions of up to 20% are possible subject to the specific utility serving the facility, size of service, and equipment constraints.
Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Upgrade
Most boilers, even modern units, operate at an average of around 80% efficiency. This means that 80% of the heat energy in the fuel is converted to useful heat, and 20% is wasted in the inefficiency of the burning (energy conversion) process. Most of the wasted heat is exhausted out the boiler exhaust stack. When fuel prices (mostly natural gas) began to rise dramatically, it became more cost-effective to use the more efficient modern boiler technology. Modern boilers are significantly more expensive, but due to the high cost of fuel, replacing a less efficient boiler with a 93% to 95% efficient boiler may have a shorter payback than installing a “standard efficiency” (80%) unit.
The majority of the electric motors in use today operate at constant speed, from the time they are turned on to when they are turned off. Since the motors operate at constant speed, they consume roughly the same amount of energy at all times during normal operation. Motors fitted with Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) allow the motor speed to vary based on the requirements of the system. Energy use can be reduced in an HVAC fan unit, for example, when the weather is mild and heating or cooling requirements are minimal, or when the buildings are at partial occupancy.
Demand Analysis & Utility Metering
The increasing cost of energy and utility deregulation has placed new emphasis on the metering and tracking of energy cost and consumption. Digital metering technology integrated with today’s energy management system technology allows real-time monitoring of gas and electricity, real-time viewing of electric demand, and access to totalized information at the end of each month.
Real-time access to energy use information offers the capability of immediate intervention when the level of consumption exceeds preset parameters. In conjunction with the computerized controls, the HVAC systems can be adjusted instantly, increasing or decreasing motor speed, to maintain minimal energy costs.
Millenium Energy will review the regulatory structure, utility tariffs, and energy loads to determine the lowest cost alternatives for energy supply from utilities and/or alternative energy suppliers. Cost savings can be as much as 25% in some cases, depending on load factor, service voltage, and other rate structure attributes.
On-site electric generation technology can have attractive benefits in many applications. Commercial buildings pay some of the highest rates for energy. Since HVAC systems and lighting account for 90% of energy costs in many buildings, upgrading lighting and motor technology and taking advantage of regulatory changes can result in dramatic savings on utility bills. With “on-site electric generation,” the total electric ECR for a facility could be even greater.
In addition to lowering energy costs, on-site generation provides greater energy reliability since it can be used as backup power during power outages and emergencies. We will review options for utilizing on-site generation for both backup and cost reduction applications, which can significantly reduce energy costs, improve reliability, and offer increased energy security.
Lighting Technology Upgrade & Automation
Lighting technology also has a significant impact on energy consumption and cost in a building. Older, inefficient fluorescent lighting systems can be modified with new T8 lamps and electronic ballasts to reduce electric demand and consumption by as much as 66%, as well as lower air conditioning costs thanks to reduced cooling loads. In addition, the improved lighting spectrum characteristics of modern lamps have a longer life and provide a much more pleasing building environment.
Energy Management System Controls & Integration
Digital and Internet-based telecommunication technology and have brought a new dimension to the control of building energy consuming systems. Control algorithms that were once considered too costly or not practical are being widely integrated into HVAC operating strategies to maximize efficiency and improve comfort. Development of Internet browser-style software simplifies the user experience and offers more powerful report generation. Also, wireless technologies offer a wider range of low-cost installation and access options.
Computerized and Direct Digital Control (DDC) of energy systems have recently made several significant technological advancements. Open architecture protocols have been developed for digital communications loops, and new software is now much more powerful and user-friendly than ever before. Energy management technology has followed computer and Internet development, and systems can now be fully integrated with some of the legacy systems. New control points or equipment (fans, pumps, boilers, meters, etc.) can be added as “plug and play” technology.
It is now possible to operate building HVAC systems based on occupancy and the energy demands of each building. Until recently, heating and cooling fans were designed to operate at a constant speed (100%) for all conditions, regardless of how many occupants were in the building. The new control systems will slow fans down and reduce system capacity when the building is at partial occupancy. Buildings will consume much less energy during early morning and evening periods, holidays and weekends, and semester breaks without sacrificing comfort or air quality.
One of the most valuable aspects of the new generation of digital EMS is the ease and simplicity of the user interface. The design of these Internet-based systems is so simple that if you can send and manage email, you can navigate the system. Wi-Fi applications also allow alarms to be sent to cell phones and graphics to be viewed through wireless devices.
Building Commissioning & Performance Optimization
Buildings are regularly operated in a mode that is not the most energy efficient or does not utilize the efficiencies and capabilities of the systems installed. An energy management system (EMS), for example, is often designed without such features as:
- Specific control points (i.e., CO2 sensors, economizers, energy use sensing, VFDs), and software that is required to operate the building at reduced capacity during low occupancy
- Real-time metering to allow for energy demand management
- Sophisticated algorithms to control heating, and chilled water circulation, fresh air ventilation rates, and boilers
- Incomplete equipment scheduling and alarm programming
Building systems may not be configured for the most efficient operation due to a lack of training or operational engineering oversight. Discrete commissioning of a building’s systems can increase comfort as well as reduce operating costs in a new building by as much as 20%.
Millenium Energy provides commissioning services in accordance with LEED requirements for HVAC systems, plumbing systems, electrical power, and lighting and dimming control systems, as well as operations and theory-of-operation training for the mechanical and electrical systems. Services include design review, field observations, and functional testing of mechanical systems.
Alternative Energy Analysis & Environmental Footprint Reduction
Solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies have become much more cost-effective. “Light harvesting” and dimming technologies that were either too costly or unreliable are now being applied much more frequently as technology improves, energy prices continue to increase, and concerns surrounding climate change continue to escalate. Millenium Energy helps public and private groups design projects that meet LEED certification and Energy Star designation standards.
Reducing energy use also reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere as a result of burning fossil fuels to produce energy, which in turn reduces the need for mining or extracting fossil fuels, as well as U.S. dependence on foreign fuel imports.
Energy efficiency is an essential aspect of good environmental stewardship that must be practiced by all to minimize potential adverse effects on our global environment.