Are you saving energy where you can?

Conference Session Points Businesses to Natural Gas Energy Analysis

Ask almost any professional how they are doing, and you likely will hear them answer, “I’m busy.” That “busy-ness” can prevent businesses from identifying and implementing energy-saving measures that improve efficiency and lower costs. Energy Insight Project Manager Charlotte Currier drove that message home and presented a solution during a session at CenterPoint Energy’s 2018 Energy Efficiency and Technology Conference.

Project Manager Charlotte Currier and Energy Analyst Ben Heimall shared information about the Natural Gas Energy Analysis program at CenterPoint Energy's 2018 Energy Efficiency and Technology Conference.

Project Manager Charlotte Currier and Energy Analyst Ben Heimall shared information about the Natural Gas Energy Analysis program at CenterPoint Energy’s 2018 Energy Efficiency and Technology Conference.

Currier’s presentation was entitled “Are you saving energy where you can?” She described how businesses of all sizes—from hospitals, schools and multi-family facilities to commercial offices, retail stores and restaurants—can benefit from CenterPoint Energy’s Natural Gas Energy Analysis (NGEA) program, with very little time or effort. Energy Insight, Inc., delivers NGEA on behalf of the utility.

“We do a lot of the legwork for CenterPoint Energy customers who participate in the NGEA program so they can concentrate on running their businesses,” Currier said. “In that sense, we are ‘maximizers.’”

Conference attendees learned how the NGEA program sends certified energy auditors to visit CenterPoint Energy customer facilities. They inspect the building envelopes and natural gas equipment, identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency, install simple technologies for immediate gas savings, and summarize findings in a written report. Analyses can range from a basic review with high level recommendations to a comprehensive, customized study with detailed technical reports and savings calculations. The program also offers ad hoc services, such as infrared thermal scans and steam trap studies, with co-pays based on the facility size and services provided.

“The NGEA program offers a great return on investment,” said Currier. “By investing about an hour of time walking through their facility with our analysts and engineers, customers gain instant energy savings that contribute to their bottom lines and insights to prioritize time and resources on projects that need it most.”

Currier presented diverse case studies that showcased how NGEA participants can save energy and money using the different levels of analyses, ad hoc services (including steam trap studies) and free direct-install program components.

For example, in Mankato Area Public Schools, NGEA analyses of 13 schools identified 155 energy-saving opportunities that could save the district more than $100,000 per year. Recommendations ranged from low cost/no cost measures (such as insulation, tune-ups, steam pressure reductions, steam trap repairs and installation of variable speed drives) to long-term capital improvements, including boiler/HVAC and water heater upgrades.

“It’s hard to believe all the (NGEA) program provided and has done for the district for the small amount of investment,” said Scott Hogen, director of facilities for Mankato Public Schools. “Thank you!”

Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia, Minn., found potential annual savings of more than $63,000 through an NGEA analyses, including $15,000 in savings for repairing/replacing failed steam traps.

“The scope of analysis covered a lot more than expected,” said Randy Vasko, facility engineer. “Taking the time to actually get everything documented was a HUGE benefit, not only so we know what we need (for rebates), we also know what we have and can put things on a schedule and submit on a regular basis.”

CenterPoint Energy holds the annual Energy Efficiency and Technology Conference so participants can hear from energy experts on energy-efficiency initiatives, details of the utility’s 2018 rebate program and service offerings, new natural gas technologies and more! Click here to learn more about the NGEA program.