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Ecova Multifamily Retrofit Saves Puget Sound Energy 34m kWh

Jessica Lyons Hardcastle

Ecova’s multifamily retrofit program implemented across Puget Sound Energy’s 1,020 properties has resulted in more than 34 million kWh in energy savings from direct-install measures in the first five years of the program, according to an Ecova case study.

The partnership between the Bellevue, Wash.-based utility and the Ecova, which designs and implements energy-efficiency programs for utilities, has also saved 26.6 million kWH and 185,000 therms from shell and common-area measures.

The savings come from some 3,378 individual projects in the apartments and condos, including the installation of 754,119 CFLs, 41,470 showerheads and 25,737 lengths of pipe wrap, Ecova says.

The company works with PSE to engage property owners in conversations about the energy-efficiency benefits they can realize through energy audits and direct install measures. Ecova also trains auditors and installers who do the work, and tracks and reports the energy data for PSE.

While multifamily programs can provide substantial energy savings, few utilities have such programs in place, according to an Ecova Insider blog post.

Convincing property owners to participate and developing the program independent of commercial programs are two common hurdles that prevent utilities and running successful multifamily programs, Ecova says.

But they are obstacles worth overcoming: a recent study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and CNT Energy found retrofit programs improve the efficiency of multifamily buildings by 30 percent for natural gas and 15 percent for electricity.

Earlier this year Efficiency Maine announced a $3.4 million incentives program for smaller multifamily buildings with the goal of completing 1,800 retrofit projects by September 2013. It is available for multifamily residences with five to 20 units regardless of income level or fuel type.

 



3 comments on “Ecova Multifamily Retrofit Saves Puget Sound Energy 34m kWh

  1. I am making some assumptions here but after taking a quick look at the facts about CFL’s, your decision to change out all these lights may not seem like such a “Bright Idea” after all.

    Assumption 1. You do not have a Certified Recycling Program for these lights.
    Assumption 2. Despite the 10,000 hr. rating average life is 1 to 3 years.

    The installation of 754,119 CFL’s in your properties could produce these results !

    With an average 4 mg of mercury per CFL the amount of Mercury would be:

    3,016,476 mg OR 106.4 oz. OR 3016.476 Grams

    At 20g per 50 Acre Lake, that would be 150.8 Lakes every 2 years +- !

    The Math

    HOW MUCH MERCURY DOES IT TAKE TO POLLUTE A 50 ACRE LAKE?

    Using Current Massachusetts Regulatory Limit of 0.002 mg/L. (2 ppb) as a starting point and assuming an average 10 ft. depth for the lake.

    The lake would contain (43560 x 10) ft3 of water, or about 27 million lbs. of water, a bit more than 10 million liters (2,641,720 Us Gal)

    To reach the standard would require (.002 x 10,000,000) mg of mercury.

    This would be 20g of mercury, approximately the weight of 4 American nickels
    At a density of Mercury of 13.6 g/cm3, this would be about 1.5 cm3 mercury.

  2. Seems like a very informed reply about the disadvantages of using CFLs I guess you have to compare that info with the amount of pollution that is not generated but using CFLs that consume less energy, additional the economic relief for some families that really need to street the money.

  3. Cesar, if you want to save both environment and money you will purchase LED lighting.

    At 35,000 hours 5 hrs a day 365 days a year = 19.17 years…. and using only 5 watts of electricity… It will be the last light bulb most people will buy.

    Cheers

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