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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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Commercial & Industrial

4 Smartest Warehouse Lighting Strategies

Warehouses represent about 16 percent of commercial building space nationwide, and therefore represent a significant source of potential savings. As of 2011, according to a report published by the Illinois smart energy design center, lighting accounted for 41 percent of the total energy costs for warehouses. Integrating daylighting and choosing efficient lamps, fixtures and controls …

Ben Stewart

September 28, 2016

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Small Business

Best Ways for Small Businesses to Optimize Energy Systems

One of the hardest parts of embarking the road to optimize energy systems is deciding where to begin. Do you approach it as a bundled energy project or through triage, addressing the neediest equipment first? Many factors, including age of your equipment, the type of your business, your local utility rates and your access to capital, …

Ben Stewart

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LED Street Lights – Solutions for Municipalities

All across America, there’s a growing movement to bring LEDs to the streets.  At SmartWatt, we’ve seen the light for years.  Optimized LED street lights are a savvy improvement on outdated HID technology – and it comes with a huge return on investment. LEDs come of age Environmentally friendly, low-maintenance and economically enticing, solid state fixtures …

Ben Stewart

September 10, 2016

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Small Business

Refrigeration Efficiency Upgrades for Grocery and Convenience Stores

Grocery and convenience stores have many of the same energy needs as other business sectors, but one key need that sets them apart is refrigeration. Improving the refrigeration efficiency of a store’s system, which uses almost 40 percent of total energy, is the No. 1 target for energy savings, with lighting following a close second. …

Ben Stewart

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Small Business

Create an Energy Efficiency Optimized Auto Dealership

When it comes to energy-intensive industries, automobile dealerships are certainly in the forefront. It’s somewhat ironic that as the industry’s focus shifts toward fuel efficiency for vehicles, little has been done to decrease the carbon footprint of the facilities that sell them. But that’s beginning to change as car dealers realize how much energy—and money—they …

Ben Stewart

July 28, 2016

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Energy Systems Optimization

Energy Benchmarking – A How To Guide

Does your list of New Year’s resolutions include getting smarter about your facility’s energy usage or saving money? Energy benchmarking is a great place to start – after all, you can’t manage what you aren’t measuring. And if your facility is located in certain areas of the country, you may not have a choice. In …

Ben Stewart

July 10, 2016

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Small Business

Energy Systems Optimization for Small Retail

Retail stores, known for their extravagant lighting displays, are big energy users, consuming nearly 20 percent of all energy used by U.S. commercial buildings. But the news on the street is that when it comes to energy, flash no longer sells. Retailers from Crate and Barrel to Walmart are adopting new energy initiatives to reduce their stores’ …

Ben Stewart

April 28, 2016

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Energy Systems Optimization

CHP: Potential Cost Savings, Reliability & Sustainability

While the hallmark of combined heat and power (generating power and thermal energy from a single fuel source, CHP for short) is exceptional efficiency, CHP projects are also expensive, labor-intensive capital investments. Initially, regardless of the size of the project, the average capital cost is anywhere from $700 to $3,000 per kW—a large investment no …

Ben Stewart

April 10, 2016

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