Retail Furniture Chain Sam Levitz Replaces Showroom’s Hot Halogen Spotlights with Super Efficient, Cool Burning LED Lighting. Estimated Annual Energy and Maintenance Savings of $268,000 Produces $3.1 Million in Savings Over Lifespan of the MSi Lights.

Levitz Now Loves It at Levitz With Green Lighting!!

The “Sunshine Factory” has gotten a little bit brighter and greener thanks to the addition of over 5,000 MSi iPAR LED lighting fixtures. Tucson, Arizona based furniture retailer Sam Levitz recently replaced all of the halogen spotlights in four of its five locations with super efficient MSi LED lighting.

All of the showroom’s 90-watt halogen spotlights were replaced with 12-watt iPAR LED lights. The conversion was a simple matter of unscrewing the old lights and screwing in the new ones, but the results were immediate and dramatic. Unlike hot burning halogen lights, the extremely efficient LED lights produce very little heat and within hours of installation store employees had noticed a drop in the showroom’s temperature. Management was able to raise the air conditioner thermostat settings by four degrees, which will result in an estimated annual savings of $80,000 in cooling costs alone.

“Many retailers are a little concerned about the initial investment of converting to LED lighting,” said Daniel Stein, MSi Western Regional Sales Manager. “But if they take the time to run the numbers, and take into account that Tucson Electric Power will pay up to 50 percent of the project costs, they’ll see that switching over produces a great return on their investment.”

Retail Furniture Chain Sam Levitz Replaces Showroom’s Hot Halogen Spotlights with Super Efficient, Cool Burning LED Lighting. Estimated Annual Energy and Maintenance Savings of $268,000 Produces $3.1 Million in Savings Over Lifespan of the MSi Lights.
Retail Furniture Chain Sam Levitz Replaces Showroom’s Hot Halogen Spotlights with Super Efficient, Cool Burning LED Lighting. Estimated Annual Energy and Maintenance Savings of $268,000 Produces $3.1 Million in Savings Over Lifespan of the MSi Lights.

Retail Furniture Chain Sam Levitz Replaces Showroom’s Hot Halogen Spotlights with Super Efficient, Cool Burning LED Lighting. Estimated Annual Energy and Maintenance Savings of $268,000 Produces $3.1 Million in Savings Over Lifespan of the MSi Lights.

LED lighting produces savings that go far beyond just cooling cost. MSi iPARs use a fraction of the power required by halogen spots while producing a no compromise beautiful light that enhances product displays.  Sam Levitz will realize a savings of $162,000 yearly in electricity cost alone.

Additional savings are realized in the lower maintenance and replacement cost for LED lighting. The typical 90-watt halogen light burning 12 hours a day will need to be replaced approximately every four months. The 12-watt iPAR burning 12 hours a day will last for up to 12 years. For Sam Levitz that adds up to $24,000 annually they won’t have to spend replacing burnt out halogen bulbs.

These MSI iPAR lights are packed with state-of-the-art features that can’t be found in comparable LED lighting. Innovative POWERBAND technology allows users to fine tune their lighting by selecting either 10, 12 or 16 watt output with the simple twist of a band found on the back of the light. The iPAR is fully dimmable using most standard dimmers and its CrimpFin design uses multiple thin fins for greater heat dissipation with less weight.  They are available in a variety of color temperatures and beam angles.

“When Sam Levitz totaled up all the savings – the reduced power consumption of the lights themselves, air conditioning savings, and the lower cost of maintenance and replacement – they were really quite shocked,” added Stein. “They discovered that over the 12-year lifespan of the LED lights they would save somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.1 million. When retailers see these kinds of savings, they quickly realize that it becomes negligent not to convert.”

Guide to Creating an Energy Efficient Home

While my book Do It Yourself Home Energy Audits rocks as the best energy efficiency guide for homes this infographic is pretty cool.
The Ultimate Guide To An Energy Efficient Home

The Ultimate Guide To An Energy Efficient Home [Infographic] by the team at Chadwicks

EPA Provides $750,000 in Smart Growth Assistance to Communities

Funds will go to 56 communities including Northern and Central Calif., Arizona, and Nevada

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today named 56 communities in 26 states that will receive technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. Communities granted assistance include Contra Costa County and Modesto, California, Surprise, Arizona and Henderson Nevada. Each community will receive the assistance from EPA-funded private-sector experts.  The technical experts will work with the communities on actions they can take to improve the economy, the environment, and quality of life.  Some examples may include improving pedestrian access and safety, incorporating green infrastructure, or conducting an economic and fiscal health assessment.

Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities is a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities among EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The interagency collaboration coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently.  The partnership is helping communities across the country create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, reinforce existing investments, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses.

“EPA is proud to support the work that communities around the nation are doing to become more environmentally sustainable,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The Building Blocks program will help them find development solutions that will save money, energy and resources while creating more jobs and opportunities.”

The following communities will receive assistance:

•             Surprise, Ariz.

•             Contra Costa County and Modesto, Calif.

•             Simsbury, Conn.

•             Lewes, Del.

•             Pocatello, Idaho

•             Campton Hills, Hazel Crest, Lakemoor, Lansing, Niles, Olympia Fields, and Round Lake Heights, Ill.

•             Dallas Center, Van Meter, and Woodward, Iowa

•             Daytona Beach and Wakulla County, Fla.

•             Dunwoody, Ga.

•             Hays, Salina, and Topeka, Kan.

•             Baton Rouge, La.

•             Fall River, Holyoke, Northampton, and Roxbury, Mass.

•             East Lansing and Jackson, Mich.

•             Hennepin County, Minn.

•             Blue Springs, St. Joseph, and University City, Mo.

•             Henderson, Nev.

•             Jersey City, Passaic County, and Trenton, N.J.

•             Binghamton, Onondaga County, and Stony Point, N.Y.

•             Greensboro and Onslow County, N.C.

•             Dickinson, New England, and Richardton, N.D.

•             Greensburg, Marietta, Newtown Borough, and Northampton, Pa.

•             Corpus Christi and Port Arthur, Texas

•             Roanoke, Va.

•             Kelso and Olympia, Wash.

•             Burlington, Vt.

•             Cheyenne, Wyo.

Today’s announcement marks the second round of Building Blocks assistance. Thirty-two other communities were named in the first round in April 2011. EPA selected the 56 communities from 350 applicants through a competitive process in consultation with EPA’s regional offices, HUD, DOT, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

More information on the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities:

More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities:

Now is the time for your own energy audit

The weeks before winter officially arrives can soon be counted by fingers on one hand. As those digits fold away until the 22nd of December, brushing up on how to lesson your carbon footprint – and save money – can be a wise choice for several reasons. Other than the retail world, many industries have slower workloads than usual. Tucked into spurts of holiday activities, a little online learning amid shopping site visits could make a world of difference.

Audit lately?

Companies with significant energy costs often are willing to pay professionals for an energy audit of their facilities to identify waste and opportunities to further conserve their usage. While no one is suggesting you hire an energy usage expert, the main idea is that you become your own energy auditor. Applying the same principles behind the practice used by big businesses, you can use just a little down time to inform yourself as to how you can cut back and save.

  • History
    There’s an adage that states “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” By collecting information about temperatures during past winter months and your BTU usage, available from you power provider, you can compare the figures and look for patterns.
  • Inventory
    Focusing on winter (which will also apply directly to your summer usage), perform a thoughtful Google search to review a few quality home energy audit checklists, and compile your own tailored list. You don’t have to perform all of the checks at once, so space your inspection out, but remember to move at such a pace as to leave time for repairs.
  • Conservation points
    At this final stage, you will have all of the measurable data by which to weigh economic decisions about which conservation projects can be justified based upon your finances. Short of replacing HVAC equipment, most of these projects involve more elbow grease than parts costs. As such, this time of year is perfect for budgeting time between other events to fix, improve, stuff, strip and nail down those energy saving areas of your home.

Your conscious is fine

That you’ve considered and taken action to improve the environment is laudable; that not all of your motivationfor doing so wasn’t purely altruistic is just fine. By having a plan based upon usage and spending, you can estimate what some call an energy saving dividend, the amount you’ll save through greater energy use efficiency. While some of that may go towards short-term payment for upgrading of heating and cooling plants, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll save annually. The environment won’t care if you set a goal of taking that class you need to finish out a degree or for another green upgrade on your transportation means. Spring is sure to follow winter and purchasing a sturdy bike could be a great way of doubling-down on your commitment to living a more environmentally considerate life!

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in technology and social media articles. Lindsey is currently completing work on her graduate degree.

EPA Proposes Changes to Clean Air Act Standards for Boilers and Incinerators

Reconsidered standards would set emission limits for less than one percent of boilers, achieve public health benefits while increasing flexibility and responding to public input

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing changes to Clean Air Act standards for boilers and certain incinerators based on extensive analysis, review and consideration of data and input from states, environmental groups, industry, lawmakers and the public. The proposed reconsideration would achieve extensive public health protections through significant reductions in toxic air pollutants, including mercury and soot, while increasing the rule’s flexibility and addressing compliance concerns raised by industry and labor groups. The changes also cut the cost of implementation by nearly 50 percent from the original 2010 proposed rule while maintaining health benefits. These standards meet important requirements laid out in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.

Soot and other harmful pollutants released by boilers and incinerators can lead to adverse health effects including cancer, heart disease, aggravated asthma and premature death. In addition, toxic pollutants such as mercury and lead that will be reduced by this proposal are linked to developmental disabilities in children. These standards will avoid up to 8,100 premature deaths, prevent 5,100 heart attacks and avert 52,000 asthma attacks per year in 2015.

“With this action, EPA is applying the right standards to the right boilers,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Gathering the latest and best real-world information is leading to practical, affordable air pollution safeguards that will provide the vital and overdue health protection that Americans deserve.”

More than 99 percent of boilers in the country are either clean enough that they are not covered by these standards or will only need to conduct maintenance and tune-ups to comply. Today’s proposals focus on the less than one percent of boilers that emit the majority of pollution from this sector. For these high emitting boilers, typically operating at refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities, EPA is proposing more targeted emissions limits that protect Americans’ health and provide industry with practical, cost-effective options to meet the standards – informed by data from these stakeholders. These limits are based on currently available technologies that are in use by sources across the country.

As a result of further information gathered through the reconsideration process, including significant dialog and meetings with stakeholders, the proposal maintains the dramatic cuts in the cost of implementation that were achieved in the final rules issued in March while continuing to deliver significant public health benefits. As a result, EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to cut these pollutants, the public will see $12 to $30 in health benefits, including fewer premature deaths.

Using a wide variety of fuels, including coal, natural gas, oil and biomass, boilers are used to power heavy machinery, provide heat for industrial and manufacturing processes in addition to a number of other uses, or heat large buildings. EPA’s proposal recognizes the diverse and complex range of uses and fuels and tailors standards to reflect the real-world operating conditions of specific types of boilers.

Some of the key changes EPA is proposing include:

Boilers at large sources of air toxics emissions: The major source proposal covers approximately 14,000 boilers – less than one percent of all boilers in the United States – located at large sources of air pollutants, including refineries, chemical plants, and other industrial facilities. EPA is proposing to create additional subcategories and revise emissions limits. EPA is also proposing to provide more flexible compliance options for meeting the particle pollution and carbon monoxide limits, replace numeric emissions limits with work practice standards for certain pollutants, allow more flexibility for units burning clean gases to qualify for work practice standards and reduce some monitoring requirements. EPA estimates that the cost of implementing these standards remains about $1.5 billion less than the April 2010 proposed standards. Health benefits to children and the public associated with reduced exposure to fine particles and ozone from these large source boilers have increased by almost 25 percent and are estimated to be $27 billion to $67 billion in 2015.

Boilers located at small sources of air toxics emissions: The proposal also covers about 187,000 boilers located at small sources of air pollutants, including commercial buildings, universities, hospitals and hotels. However, due to how little these boilers emit, 98 percent of area source boilers would simply be required to perform maintenance and routine tune-ups to comply with these standards. Only 2 percent of area source boilers may need to take additional steps to comply with the rule. To increase flexibility for most of these sources, EPA is proposing to require initial compliance tune-ups after two years instead after the first year.

Solid waste incinerators and revisions to the list of non-hazardous secondary materials: There are 95 solid waste incinerators that burn waste at a commercial or an industrial facility, including cement manufacturing facilities. EPA is proposing to adjust emissions limits for waste-burning cement kilns and for energy recovery units.

EPA is also proposing revisions to its final rule which identified the types of non-hazardous secondary materials that can be burned in boilers or solid waste incinerators. Following the release of that final rule, stakeholders expressed concerns regarding the regulatory criteria for a non-hazardous secondary material to be considered a legitimate, non-waste fuel, and how to demonstrate compliance with those criteria. To address these concerns, EPA’s proposed revisions provide clarity on what types of secondary materials are considered non-waste fuels, and greater flexibility. The proposed revisions also classify a number of secondary materials as non-wastes when used as a fuel and allow for a boiler or solid waste operator to request that EPA identify specific materials as a non-waste fuel.

Following the April 2010 proposals, the agency received more than 4,800 comments from businesses, communities and other key stakeholders. As part of the reconsideration process, EPA also received additional feedback after the agency issued the final standards in March 2011. EPA will accept public comment on these standards for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. EPA intends to finalize the reconsideration by spring 2012.

More information:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency · 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW · Washington DC 20460 · R353