Latest Post

What’s So Special About Special Districts?

Whether they’re heralded as shining examples of democracy or disparaged as autonomous “ghost governments,” special districts are generally misunderstood by the public.  If you’re unclear about what they are, what they do, and why they’re “special,” you’re in good company. Why They’re Special Special districts are, essentially, local-level government agencies, separate from cities or counties. …

Apr 12, 2019

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Education

Stretching Your Proposition 39 Dollars

One of the biggest drains on California school’s budgets isn’t education-related at all; it’s energy. An upgrade manual authored by the EPA’s Energy Star reports that America’s schools spend more than $7.5 billion annually on energy—more than they spend on textbooks and computers combined. After salaries and benefits, energy costs are the largest operating expense …

Ben Stewart

October 27, 2016

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Education

Outdoor Lighting Efficiency: How CA K-12 Schools Can Comply with Title 24

Keeping up with California’s stringent set of standards for school lighting-with its very specific set of requirements-means pushing an institution’s lighting infrastructure to achieve maximum efficiency. The report, “Lighting Retrofit Strategies for California Schools,” out of UC Davis, provides a detailed guide of the best solutions for common K-12 Proposition 39 outdoor lighting efficiency strategies. …

Ben Stewart

October 23, 2016

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Education

TOCA – Task Order Construction Agreements at CSU Schools

The California State University (CSU) system recently launched TOCA, or Task Order Construction Agreements, to facilitate and simplify the delivery of bundled energy systems optimization projects. The model allows the delivery of multiple projects under one, one-year contract, or Master Enabling Agreement (MEA). Task orders are then issued for each project. Design-Build construction projects up to …

Ben Stewart

October 20, 2016

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Commercial & Industrial

3 Ways to Make Achieve Steam Boiler Efficiency

In the U.S. fruit and vegetable processing industry—which includes facilities that can, freeze, dry or dehydrate fruit and vegetable products—steam is king. Steam is the biggest end use of fuel in these types of plants, and steam boiler efficiency can result in dramatic savings. Steam boiler systems produce this versatile steam, which is then directed to …

Ben Stewart

October 18, 2016

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Commercial & Industrial

DIY Building Energy Audit

While a professional building energy audit is the best way to determine whether your commercial, industrial or institutional facility is losing energy and where to save, you can conduct your own simple but diligent walk-through and spot problems in many facilities. This “do-it-yourself” building energy audit will not be as thorough as a professional energy …

Ben Stewart

October 16, 2016

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Building Automation Systems

Building Automation Systems-A Centralized Solution for Energy Systems Optimization

What are building automation systems? Building automation systems are a computer-based control system installed in buildings that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment, such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems and security systems. The system consists of software and hardware. The software program, usually configured in a hierarchical manner, can be proprietary, but uses internet protocols and open standards …

Ben Stewart

October 10, 2016

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Commercial & Industrial

Food Processing Giant Saves with Integrated Energy Efficiency Project

Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. manufactures and markets snack foods throughout the United States and internationally. The company has 9 production facilities throughout North America that produce pretzels, sandwich crackers, pretzel crackers, potato chips, cookies, tortilla chips, restaurant style crackers, nuts and other snacks. Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. is committed to sustainability and has taken many actions towards conserving energy and …

Ben Stewart

October 5, 2016

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Utility

Utility Trends: 10 Things to Watch For as Utilities Evolve

The outlook for our energy future is that demand will continue to grow, while traditional supplies become more scarce. According to the 2014 Global Utility Evolution Benchmarking Study on utility trends, the worldwide demand for electricity will increase by more than two-thirds and gas by almost half between 2011 and 2035. The writing is on …

Ben Stewart

October 2, 2016

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