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Today’s article is straying a bit from energy, a topic we’ve covered in various ways over the past few months. Let’s take a moment to talk more about waste and recycling! Over the past few years, waste has become a hot topic in the sustainability field. There’s landfill waste, recycling, food waste, electronic waste (or e-waste), and many other kinds of materials entering our waste stream every day. Let’s start our waste journey by talking about recycling.

Recycling rates across the country...


In a previous blog, we talked about battery storage for on-site solar arrays. Utilities are also considering storage at a larger, grid scale. Let’s explore the benefits of utility-scale solar and battery storage.

Utility-scale energy storage (often through batteries) is usually paired with utility-scale renewable energy projects, so let’s talk about those first. Utility-scale solar installations are much larger than...


Solar power is a great alternative to fossil fuels when it comes to producing electricity for your home, office, or school. We’ve talked about the difference between on-site and community solar, and shared some incentive options to offset the costs of a renewable energy project. What if your solar array produces more energy than you need? There are two strategies for excess energy: storing it in batteries, or sending it back to...


In a previous article, we talked about adjusting operations and water temperatures to help chiller systems run more efficiently. In this article, we share some information about how humidity can impact energy use, and discuss opportunities for efficiency while still meeting space humidification or dehumidification needs.

Humidity can significantly impact how comfortable a person is in a room, and how well equipment and building materials hold up over time. In the summer, if a space is too humid, people...


Yes! Buildings and campuses, depending on their size, are heated and cooled differently. A home might use a relatively small central air conditioning and furnace combination, or maybe a furnace with window air conditioners. Larger buildings and campuses with multiple buildings, however, may utilize boilers for heating and chillers for cooling, with system pumps to distribute chilled water to various connected locations. In this article, we’re going to focus on chillers, and discuss opportunities to run them more efficiently.



In our last blog, we talked about how electric rates include some expensive charges during the summer months. Because we often use more electricity in the summer to run equipment like air conditioning, and we can be charged more for usage (kWh) and demand (kW), it’s important to look at strategies that will help reduce both.

Especially for larger buildings with multiple rooftop or air handling units, staggering the time equipment turns on can be a great way to reduce demand (remember,...


Summer’s coming, and we’re getting ready for the activities that come along with it - no school for a few weeks, outdoor activities, and air conditioners ramping up to keep us cool. But did you know… electricity is typically more expensive in the summer? Not only do our utility bills usually go up because we’re using more electricity to run our air conditioning, but we are also being charged more by our utilities for that usage. Let’s take a closer look why, and what some...


Electricity is ubiquitous in the United States: just about every household in the country uses electricity for something - refrigerators, televisions, phone chargers, air conditioning, and sometimes for heating (although almost half (47%) of Americans use natural gas for their heating needs). While each utility is different and charges different rates...


portant things to think about when considering air quality in our work, home, school, and other spaces are ventilation and cleaning products.

Americans generally spend 90% of their time indoors, so getting ventilation (the amount of outside air supplied to a building) right is important to keeping everyone healthy and comfortable while at work, school, and home. ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) has...


Electricity and natural gas are the two common ways we power our buildings. The price of energy is often just accepted by customers, without knowledge about how these prices are set. This article will review some general things that go into setting utility rates. Keep in mind that these may vary by state since each state’s utilities are managed differently (e.g., regulated vs. deregulated), so be sure to look into the specifics for your state.

Electric and natural gas prices are set to...


You may have heard the terms “regulated” or “deregulated” used to describe the particular utility market in which you live, work, learn, or play. I started to learn about the difference between regulated and deregulated markets when I moved from Arizona (a regulated market) to Illinois (a deregulated market); I am still learning about their differences.

As a note, for this article, I am generally writing about electricity markets, although some states have chosen to deregulate their natural gas markets as well.

At a very high level, the general difference between the...


As noted in the last article, solar can be complicated. You can install it directly on your property, buy panels as part of a larger system, or purchase a subscription to a community solar program. Options and benefits could differ depending on the state though, so today, we’re going to talk about different renewable energy opportunities around the country.

Sometimes people assume that solar power is only viable in the sunniest...


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