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Assembly Magazine June 9, 2009

Posted by Tom in Energy costs, energy savings, Equity Thru Energy, Government policies, Interesting stories, Technology.
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asmb_logo_1Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but we at Equity Thru Energy have been working hard on some exciting things that I will keep you all updated on. Although we’ve been busy, I did get the chance to contribute some insight on energy efficiency in the new June issue of Assembly Magazine. Senior Editor Austin Weber wrote a great article on the issue of energy efficiency in foodservice equipment, which is a huge issue not only because of concerns about emissions but because of the rising cost of energy in today’s economic recession as well. Read about the new opportunities and challenges that energy efficiency is creating for foodservice equipment manufacturers, the current and future federal guidelines for equipment, and how manufacturers can green their equipment in Weber’s article, “Appliance Assembly: Less is More.”

Happy Earth Day! April 22, 2009

Posted by Tom in energy savings, Equity Thru Energy, Green Decisions, Technology, Tips and Tricks.
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1158745_gaia_with_plant_3I’m sure this is just one small part of a barrage of Earth Day messages you are going to see today, but who says that’s a bad thing? Today marks the 39th Earth Day ever officially celebrated. The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970 and originated as a “teach-in” about the environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson and is now celebrated in countries throughout the world.

As someone who has been in the business of energy efficiency for some time now, I think Earth Day is great for bringing awareness to environmental issues, but don’t make the common mistake of thinking that Earth Day is the only day you should do something great for the planet. Take the tools, tips and tricks that you learn today along with the knowledge you gain about the Earth and apply it to your everyday life! And don’t freak out about having to be green head to toe; make the effort to make small changes each day, week and month, and before you know it, you will be greener than you ever thought you could be.

There are a lot of Earth Day promotions going on right now, and I have picked out a few of my favorites that I thought that you should know about, particularly if you live in California or Arizona.

-At Sears, you can get a home energy audit for only $99 between April 20 and April 26. An energy audit is the best way to find out how you can save energy in your home. They will send someone to do a walk-through in your house and find out where you can save energy by insulating, replacing/fixing appliances and many other factors that improve energy efficiency.

-Solar City is offering a “Think Half” promotion, where they will install solar panels at your home for half price, which includes services, monitoring, installation and guarantee. This offer is good for those who live in California and Arizona, and you could potentially save even more if you factor in utility rebates. I did a post awhile back on this company and they are doing some really great things with making solar energy options available to a wider population.

-This offer isn’t necessarily restricted to today, this week or this month, but I had to throw in a plug for my company, Equity Thru Energy, which has special energy saving programs for commercial properties, specifically restaurants, hotels/motels and mutli-family properties with pools and spas.

Happy Earth Day everyone! Earth Day can really be every day, if you make the effort!

Green Decisions: Dishwasher vs. Hand Washing March 11, 2009

Posted by Tom in energy savings, Equity Thru Energy, Green Decisions, Research, Studies, Technology, Tips and Tricks.
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I get a lot of questions about greening the things that we do every day, and I thought it would be fun to address these questions in my blog, and even have readers help out and weigh in on the issues.

Since ETE has a lot of clients in the restaurant industry, a question that I hear often from both small restaurant owners and individuals is whether it is considered greener to wash dishes by hand or in a dishwasher. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not completely clear, since there are many different variables that must be considered, including type of dishwasher, how you hand-wash dishes and how many dishes you are washing.

The general consensus seems to be that using a dishwasher is greener than hand-washing, which may be surprising to some, seeing as the do-it-yourself approach is often the greener one since using machines use gas and electric energy. A decade ago, this probably wasn’t the case, but because of newer Energy Star models, dishwashers are now more efficient than ever, when used properly. They are designed to get dishes clean while using less water, and as a result using less energy to heat that water.

However, before stopping your hand-washing habits completely, here are a couple things to consider:

  • Make sure your dishwasher is an energy efficient Energy Star appliance.
  • Run your dishwasher only when it’s full. If you only have a few plates and forks to wash, wait until you can fill your dishwasher or just wash them by hand.
  • Use the air dry setting on your dishwasher. This will save on electricity costs.
  • Use an eco-friendly detergent. I know both Trader Joe’s and Earth Friendly Products offer green solutions.
  • Use the “light” setting when you can. Some dishes require heavy duty cleaning, but if the dishes aren’t too heavily used, a light wash should be more than enough to get them clean.

Again, this topic is still debatable, but a study by the University of Bonn in Germany has shown dishwashers to be more energy efficient. What do you think? Feel free to share tips and tricks on saving energy when washing dishes in the comments.

Hospitality Technology Magazine February 24, 2009

Posted by Tom in Energy costs, energy savings, Equity Thru Energy, Interesting stories, Technology, Tips and Tricks.
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At ETE, we work with hotels, motels and restaurants every day to help them identify ways to save money through energy savings. One of our customers, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation, which owns and operates Souplantation, wrote an article for Hospitality Technology magazine on the best green practices for restaurants. It’s a great piece that outlines some simple ways for restaurants to reduce costs through environmentally friendly changes. Click here to read this informative and interesting article.

Making Your Pool Eco-Friendly February 18, 2009

Posted by Tom in energy savings, Equity Thru Energy, Technology, Tips and Tricks.
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Pools are a great way to cool off and relax, and they save time and money for those who want to enjoy a quick dip without having to drive all the way to the beach.  However, there are millions of swimming pools in America today, all of them continuously using (and wasting) water and energy. The work that I do with Equity Thru Energy helps owners of commercial pools and spas save energy by installing controllers that adjust the run times of pool and spa heaters to account for factors such as natural heating from the sun. They also alert pool and spa owners of malfunctioning equipment which further prevents energy loss. To learn more about the program, please click here.

Since our program is for commercial pools and spas, I am often asked by individual owners of private residential pools and spas what they can do to save energy. So I’ve comprised a list of some energy-saving tips for pool and spa owners in this post. Feel free to add your own tips in the comments; I would love to hear more ideas.

1. If you are thinking about installing a pool, consider a salt water pool. They use less chemicals and have lower evaporation rates. The difference in the evaporation and chemical rates are not gigantic, so do some research before jumping in right away.

2. Choose an eco-friendly pool cleaning company. Many pool cleaners have to drain the entire pool in order to clean it, wasting gallons of water each time. Try to find a pool cleaning service that does not have to drain your pool during each cleaning, and uses chemicals that are easy on the environment.

3. Use a water-saving pool filter. Traditional pool filters can use 180-250 gallons of water in a single backflushing.

4. Install a pool cover. Pool covers prevent evaporation, which wastes water, heat and chemicals. Dark pool covers also absorb heat, which can cut down on heating costs.

5. Perform regular maintenance checks. Malfunctioning equipment is a large cause of energy waste in pools. Be sure to perform or have a professional perform regular maintenence checks in order to prevent spikes in energy costs.