New Bottom Line Volume 4.10 – Rating Your Company's EQE: An Energy Checklist

May 19, 1995

In a recent column, we offered a brief checklist for rating your company’s environmental quality and efficiency–or EQE–in six areas: Compliance; Eco-Efficiency; Product and Process Design; Waste Minimization and Recycling; Procurement; and Information and Communications.

This week, and in the months to come, we’ll present more detailed checklists, and recommendations for action, in each of these areas. These checklists do not pretend to be complete, and–since every company is different, and every industry has its own unique technologies and process requirements–cannot substitute for the onsite expertise of your own staff and consultants. But hopefully these checklists will get you thinking about the hidden opportunities in your company’s environmental systems, and will get you started on the path of what Buckminster Fuller called “doing more with less”–more profit with less waste and less environmental impact.

Energy audits
[ ] We have conducted an energy efficiency audit within the last three years.
[ ] We have actually implemented the actions recommended by the audit.
[ ] We are knowledgeable about utility company financial incentives which can reduce the cost of resource efficient retrofits and design.
[ ] We have qualified for utility company rebates for resource efficient retrofits and design.

[ ] We have conducted a lighting audit to assess the efficiency of our current lighting, and to determine what light is needed for what purposes.
[ ] We have replaced incandescent lighting with compact fluorescent lighting.
[ ] We have replaced T12 fluorescent tubes with T8 tubes
[ ] We have replaced flood lights with halogen lighting
[ ] We have replaced mercury vapor lights with HPS or metal halide lighting
[ ] We have replaced magnetic ballasts in fluorescent fixtures with electronic ballasts.
[ ] We have added or replaced reflectors in fluorescent fixtures to direct more light to where it’s needed.
[ ] We have installed occupancy sensors to automatically turn off (or dim) lighting in inactive spaces.
[ ] We use daylighting instead of electric lighting where possible (cutting air conditioner loads as well as reducing lighting costs).
[ ] We emphasize lighting for tasks, not space.
[ ] We are members of Green Lights (a federal voluntary program).

Office equipment
[ ] We specify Energy Star compliant computer equipment and printers for all new purchases
[ ] We consider energy efficiency and life cycle costs in all equipment purchases.
[ ] We have installed “power savers” on older computer monitors to automatically power them down when not in use.
[ ] We turn off laser printers when not in frequent use.
(Inkjet printers use far less energy…)
[ ] We “decommission” used office equipment through a donation or an asset recovery program, not by throwing it away.

[ ] We have conducted a motor “census” to record power ratings and loads, efficiency, running times and maintenance cycles.
[ ] We periodically ensure motors are sized properly to load.
[ ] We specify energy-efficient motors for all new purchases (including the motors that are part of other equipment).
[ ] We specify and install variable frequency drives and controllers where appropriate.
[ ] We evaluate the energy efficiency of new vs. rewind before repairing existing motors.
[ ] We have evaluated our existing motor stock for cost-effective replacement with new energy efficient motors.
[ ] We are members of Motor Master (a federal voluntary program).

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
[ ] We keep thermostat heating settings at 65-68 degrees and cooling settings at 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
[ ] We have installed zoned controls so each part of our facility can be kept at appropriate temperatures.
[ ] We have safely eliminated CFCs from all refrigeration equipment.
[ ] Our buildings are insulated and weatherized to current efficiency standards.
[ ] We provide adequate ventilation to all employees (especially in well-insulated buildings)
[ ] We use heat exchangers to maximize ventilation while minimizing energy use.
[ ] Our hot water boilers and distribution lines are well insulated.
[ ] We have assessed the feasibility of cogeneration systems to produce both electricity and heat from a single energy source.

(c) 1995 Gil Friend. All rights reserved.

New Bottom Line is published periodically by Natural Logic, offering decision support software and strategic consulting that help companies and communities prosper by embedding the laws of nature at the heart of enterprise.

Gil Friend, systems ecologist and business strategist, is President and CEO of Natural Logic, Inc.

May be posted intact–including this notice–in any non-commercial forum.
Please inquire at “reprint_rights at natlogic dot com” before reproduction in any commercial forum.