Reducing energy costs is a top priority for businesses of all sizes in 2022. Companies are looking for new and innovative ways to reduce their energy consumption, particularly with the US government’s recent focus on climate change and rising energy costs.
Here are eight solutions that can help your business reduce energy costs in 2022:
1. Use software to track and monitor energy usage.
You can use energy monitoring software to track how much energy your business is using. This software can help you see where you are using the most energy and what changes you can make to reduce your consumption. Some metrics that you may want to track include:
– Total energy consumption
– Energy consumption by department or process
– Energy intensity (energy use per unit of production)
2. Advocate for energy-efficient software and hardware.
When it comes time to purchase new software or hardware for your business, advocate for energy-efficient products. This will help reduce your business’s overall energy consumption. Some things to look for when purchasing software or hardware include:
– ENERGY STAR® certification
– EPEAT® rating
3. Use software to automate energy-saving tasks.
Many software programs can automate energy-saving tasks for your business. For example, you can use software to schedule when lights are turned off or on, set thermostats to more energy-efficient temperatures, and control other energy-using devices. Automating these tasks can help you save energy without changing your daily routine.
4. Find an energy broker.
An energy broker can help you find the best energy deals for your business. They will work with you to understand your energy needs and then find suppliers that can provide you with the energy you need at the best price. Working with an energy broker can help you save money on your energy costs.
5. Monitor your carbon footprint.
Carbon footprint monitoring can help you understand your business’s impact on the environment. This information can help you make changes to your business operations to reduce your carbon footprint and help fight climate change.
6. Educate your employees about energy efficiency.
Employees are a business’s biggest resource for reducing energy costs. Educating your employees about how they can save energy will help them become more mindful of their energy consumption. Some ideas for educating employees about energy efficiency include:
– hosting an energy efficiency training
– creating energy efficiency policy guidelines
– posting energy efficiency tips around the office
7. Find government incentives.
Many government incentives are available to businesses that want to reduce their energy consumption. These incentives can help you save money on your energy costs and make it easier for your business to become more energy-efficient. Some government incentives that are available for businesses include:
– tax breaks
– low-interest loans
– energy audits
– energy efficiency certification
8. Use a green energy provider.
If you want to use renewable energy in your business, you can work with a green energy provider. These providers offer renewable energy products such as solar and wind power. Using renewable energy can help you reduce your carbon footprint and support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Finally, implement an energy management system. An energy management system (EMS) is a software program that helps businesses manage their energy use. EMS programs can help you track your energy consumption, set energy-saving goals, and monitor progress. Having an EMS can help you reduce your energy costs and become more energy-efficient.
According to a recent Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, U.S. oil production is expected to increase significantly by 2022. The report states that the country’s crude oil output will jump from an average of an additional 2.5 million b/d to an average of 28.8 million b/d in 2022. This is great news for the American economy and energy independence!
The main driver of this growth is the Permian Basin, located in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The basin has seen a surge in drilling activity in recent years, and the EIA expects production to more than double by 2022.
Other areas expected to see growth include the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska. The EIA estimates that production from these areas will increase by 30% and 25%, respectively, by 2022.
This growth in U.S. oil production is good news for the country’s energy security and economy, and it will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It’s also a significant boom to the energy industry. So, let’s take a look at some of why this growth is expected to occur.
What this means for the American economy
One reason for increased production out west may be higher prices that have been fetched for Permian Basin oil in recent years. The basin is one of the most prolific oil-producing regions in the country, and it has seen a surge in drilling activity in recent years. This has led to higher prices, which have helped offset the cost of drilling.
The Permian Basin is also a significant producer of natural gas, and the growth in oil and gas production is likely to continue. This will create opportunities for companies that provide goods and services to the energy industry, and it will also help create jobs.
So, what does it all mean for energy independence?
This will lead to less reliance on OPEC and other foreign producers, and it will also mean that there will be less demand for oil from countries like Venezuela or Nigeria. This is good news for the U.S., as it will help to reduce our trade deficit and increase energy security.
How this will impact the global oil market
The global oil market is expected to see a historic shift in the coming years as demand continues to grow while supply stagnates. This will lead to higher prices and increased volatility in the market.
The growth in U.S. oil production will help to offset some of this volatility and should lead to somewhat lower prices for both crude and refined products.
What does this mean for American consumers?
It’s also good news for consumers, as it will lead to lower prices for both crude and refined products.
The increase in U.S. production is expected to impact the American economy and energy independence positively. This will also help reduce our trade deficit, which is currently at an all-time high.
The average energy bill is going up in the US because gas prices are going up, and this is a specific consumer-side effect of high oil prices.
Oil is a key input for the production of gasoline and other fuels and chemicals that we use to produce electricity. Since oil is traded on the global market, its price is not set by US markets or policies – this means that domestic production has little effect on oil prices.
US policy has little to do with increasing oil production in recent years, which coincides with rising gas prices. Some other countries are also fracking, which has increased global oil supply and put downward pressure on prices.
Decreasing demand in the US is a good thing for the environment since it’s less CO2 emissions, but it puts downward pressure on oil prices, which means that oil-producing countries can sell less of their product.
This effect is not symmetric because oil consumption in the US has dropped by half a million barrels per day since 2006, but consumption elsewhere hasn’t dropped as much.
The reason renewables haven’t been able to keep up is that they are intermittent energy sources, which means plants have little incentive to build them.
So the US has been going for a mix of renewables and gas to produce electricity, which people use at home.
How it Impacts Utility Bills
Utility bills are going up because gas prices are going up, resulting from high oil prices. This means that renewable energy sources like solar and wind wouldn’t have reduced electricity costs.
Behind the scenes, though, utilities are building more renewable energy capacity, eventually becoming more competitive with gas sources due to technology improvements and decreased costs.
Higher prices have meant that the average household spent 4% of their income on gas and other energy sources, which is close to the historical average of 5%.
Higher usage prices are also correlated with higher wages, so it’s not a bad thing that incomes have been rising while prices have been rising. On top of that, energy is only a small percentage of the cost for most businesses and individuals.
How it Impacts Utilities
Utilities have benefited from cheap natural gas prices while renewable energy and storage costs have increased, and made it so that utilities need to charge more for electricity to cover those costs.
Increased prices have prompted utilities to invest in renewable energy and storage, which will eventually help bring down future costs.
The colder weather is coming, and that means natural gas prices are on the rise. In some parts of the country, prices have quadrupled in recent weeks as demand for natural gas spikes.
Per the Winter Fuels Outlook by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the cost to heat a home will increase 30% compared to last year. The number of heating degree days is expected to increase 2.6 percent this winter, compared with last year’s winter.
The Industry’s Story
The oil and gas industry is quick to blame the government for these price increases. They say that increased regulations and taxes are making it more expensive to produce natural gas.
Environmental advocates, on the other hand, say that the industry is simply trying to pass along its high costs of doing business to consumers.
What’s the truth?
The Government’s Story
While it’s true that natural gas production has hit record levels, there are several factors involved in its cost. Here are just a few examples of what oil and gas companies are facing these days.
Increased demand for fracking is overloading pipelines, which means producers have to charge more for natural gas.
The industry is also facing a lot of litigation over water contamination and other environmental problems.
In addition, the industry is dealing with new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that are increasing costs.
For example, the EPA has just finalized a rule that would limit methane emissions from oil and gas operations. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and the new rule will help to reduce its emissions by up to 45%.
Unsurprisingly, the oil and gas industry is not pleased with this regulation. It’s suing to block it, in fact. The EPA, however, says the methane rule is “a key part” of former President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.
While this new methane regulation imposes costs on the oil and gas industry, there are also opportunities for companies that support natural gas development.
In short, while the oil and gas industry does have a lot of moving parts, government regulations are only one piece of the story.
While it’s true that many different factors impact natural gas prices, including increased demand for fracking and court cases over environmental damage, there is another big factor in play here: the cost of doing business.
While industry advocates blame government regulations, the fact is that production costs are going up across the board. This includes everything from labor costs to the cost of materials.
It’s also worth noting that natural gas prices are still relatively low compared to other forms of energy. In most parts of the United States, electricity prices still cost about twice as much, on average. Oil is also more expensive than natural gas.
So, while the coldest days of winter may be yet to come, the political fight over natural gas prices has been going on for some time.
The current oil market is experiencing a major shift brought on by advances in technology that have opened up previously untapped opportunities.
One of the main changes is the U.S.’s ability to extract oil from shale, which has led to an unprecedented boom within the last decade. Shale oil extraction has caused U.S. production levels to grow exponentially since 2006 and it is now the world’s largest producer of oil.
Why, then, are oil prices so high when the U.S. is producing so much?
There are a few reasons for this:
1) The global demand for oil continues to grow, especially in developing countries, as they strive to increase their standard of living.
As a result, the global demand for oil has risen almost consistently over the last decade. New technologies have made alternative forms of energy appear more competitive in the market, but they still have not been able to fully supplant oil.
2) The U.S. is not the only country with shale oil reserves and other countries are beginning to extract their own shale oil, which has led to a decrease in U.S. market share.
Other countries, particularly China, are becoming larger oil producers. These countries have not yet reached their peaks in shale oil extraction, so production levels are expected to continue to grow in the future.
3) The break-even price for shale oil production is much higher than traditional production, so companies are forced to sell at a price where they are still making a profit.
When you say break-even price you are referring to the point at which expenses are equal to revenue. For shale oil, this is right around $50/barrel. This means that companies need to sell their oil at a price above this in order to make a profit.
4) OPEC, an organization of oil-producing countries, has maintained consistent production levels in order to keep the price of oil high in hopes that alternative energy will not be able to compete with oil’s market share.
In a recent report, OPEC released its projections for the future of oil and they do not believe that oil will be unseated by alternative energy in the near future, so they are trying to maintain a high price point.
These four major factors have caused the oil market to be in a state of flux for the last few years, and it is unclear how things will play out in the long term.
What is clear, however, is that the U.S. shale boom has transformed the global oil market and will continue to have a major impact for years to come.
Joe Biden is drawing criticism for proposing to shut down a major oil pipeline in Michigan one day after his climate change plan was released.
The president said he would consider shutting down the Line 5 pipeline in the Great Lakes to protect the environment. The move comes after an advisory panel sent Biden a report suggesting he shut it down, which was later signed off on by his campaign. Critics of the plan say closing the pipeline could lead to energy shortages during the winter months.
The 645-mile pipeline is situated in the Great Lakes, transporting up to 540,000 barrels of fuel per day. The line was completed in 1953 and has had over 1,500 leaks since it began operation.
Line 5 is part of a pipeline network that transports about 540,000 barrels of oil each day from Western Canada to refineries in the United States. Petroleum is extracted from the line in Escanaba, Michigan.
The line is also notable for passing under the ecologically sensitive Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.
Biden’s plan for energy includes moving to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050; doubling clean energy research funding; building the Green New Deal across the European Union and building a clean economy that creates high-quality union jobs.
Climate change activists welcomed his plan, but they also pushed him to support Senator Bernie Sanders’ Green New Deal proposal.
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Biden’s energy secretary, says, “This is completely predictable,” saying that heating costs would rise regardless of the Biden administration’s decision on the pipeline. “Yes, it will happen. This year will be more expensive than last year,” Granholm added in an interview with CNN.
Biden’s campaign manager Greg Schultz said this week that the candidate “supports” the Green New Deal but is still reviewing it.
The campaign has not commented on the possibility of closing down Line 5.
A recent paper by The International Renewable Energy Agency attempts to quantify what a decarbonized economy might look like. The report compares energy use and CO2 emissions to show what 12 major economies might look like in 2050 if they cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent.
The findings show the challenges ahead to make deep cuts in emissions, and highlights that many countries are already reducing emissions.
They conclude that such a target is technically and economically feasible, but it would mean significant changes in how we live and do business.
Carbon Dioxide Emissions
The report examined the effect of steep reductions in CO2 emissions on energy use and the economy.
Global greenhouse gas emissions will increase from 46 billion tons to 65 billion tons on a business-as-usual trajectory by 2050.
A substantial reduction in emissions that hold warming below 2°C, would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to 21 billion tons by 2050 [81% less than business-as-usual trajectory].
Energy Use and GDP
Cutting emissions by 80 percent would reduce global energy use by roughly 37 percent. This is because a lack of carbon-based fuels would require more efficient energy use and a switch to renewables.
In all 12 countries studied, GDP growth was larger than energy use growth. This means that countries could reduce emissions while at the same time growing their economies.
However, if economic growth outpaces emission reductions due to more efficient energy use, CO2 emissions would flatline or even rise slightly between 2020-2050 in many countries.
Even with rapid decarbonization, electricity generation accounts for only 20-40% of total primary energy demand by 2050 in all 12 countries studied. This is because widespread electrification of end uses, like heating and transport, offsets the gains made through switching to low carbon energy sources like renewables or nuclear power.
For example: In the USA, 80 percent of heat demand would be met by a combination of heat pumps and biomass fuels [70%] or natural gas [10%] in 2050.
In some countries, oil use continues to grow but at a much slower rate than current trends – due to greater fuel efficiency from electric drivetrains.
A Reversible Trend?
The report suggests that getting emissions down to 80 percent below 1990 levels is definitely possible but we still can’t tell if decarbonization is sustainable and at what cost.
It could be reversible, just like we’ve seen in historical examples of technological change [for example, coal]. Technology development drove down emissions by increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs for renewables, which allowed emissions to grow again without much government intervention or legislation.
The study discusses various sources of emissions to examine how economic growth, energy use and the energy mix changes with rapid reductions in emissions. However, it does not discuss land use [deforestation] or agriculture, which are important sources of greenhouse gas emissions. And it also omits black carbon [soot], another major threat to global climate stability with local impacts.
The report also does not quantify the social or environmental impacts of decarbonization – for example, how changes to energy use might affect employment levels in various sectors. Nor does it discuss the possibility of negative emission technologies [carbon capture & storage].
Rapid reductions in carbon emissions are technically feasible, but they will require an overhaul of our energy systems and lifestyles. This would be an incredible challenge, but we knew that already. This is why we need ambitious climate policy and technology pushing us forward towards a clean energy future, rather than just sticking with business as usual or becoming pessimistic about the challenge. The good news is that such rapid emission cuts mean that economic growth can continue uninterrupted.
Offshore wind is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy industries in the world. Despite the incredible growth, there are still significant challenges to overcome to make offshore wind a major source of power for regions of the United States, Europe, and Asia.
The U.S. harnesses far less of its available offshore wind power than many of our European counterparts. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Europe has over 5,000 offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 9,400 megawatts (MW).
The United States has only one operating offshore wind farm that has been in operation since 2010. That project, which is located off the coast of Rhode Island, has five turbines with a capacity of 30 MW.
Offshore wind energy is clean and renewable, but some groups still face opposition due to the cost and loss of view. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) fact sheet on offshore wind describes two primary concerns: “visual impact and bird/wildlife interaction.” However, these concerns are outweighed by the many benefits of harnessing more energy from offshore wind.
The following facts highlight some of the major issues related to offshore wind and its future in America:
- The Offshore Wind Industry is Growing Fast
In 2008, the U.S. had no offshore wind energy capacity, but now the country has several major projects in development. The DOE expects that by 2018 there will be enough offshore wind turbines to power 1.2 million homes.
More than 4,000 MW of new offshore wind capacity was added between 2011 and 2013 across Europe, representing nearly $25 billion in investment. The cost of generating power from offshore wind has fallen by as much as 50 percent since 2010 and continues to decrease.
- Offshore Wind Energy is Clean and Renewable
Offshore wind turbines do not use fossil fuels like coal or natural gas; they rely entirely on the wind and sun for energy, making them renewable resources.
One of the biggest benefits of offshore wind is that it does not contribute to climate change. When the wind blows, turbines generate power, but they do not emit carbon dioxide (CO 2)—a major contributor to climate change. Nor will they overheat our oceans like nuclear or fossil-fueled power plants.
- Offshore Wind Energy Creates Jobs and Saves Taxpayers Money
According to the DOE, each 1,000 MW of offshore wind capacity can create between 5,000 and 6,000 jobs. The Atlantic Wind Connection alone is expected to produce up to 20,000 new jobs in seven states when it’s built.
Offshore wind farms also keep our natural resources free from waste by recycling the steel used in the turbines and repurposing components of retired wind farms.
- Offshore Wind Energy Supports Economic Growth
Offshore wind has the potential to provide power for households throughout the country, but it is especially important for states that are not self-sufficient in energy production. Wind turbines located far from land can harness the consistent wind that blows parallel to the coast, making it easier for states like New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maryland to rely on offshore wind for their energy needs.
Currently, only about 2 percent of our country’s electricity is generated by offshore wind. But as more turbines are installed along the coasts, this number will continue to increase.
- The United States is Home to Offshore Wind’s Best Resources
The Atlantic Ocean offers up to 4,000 GW in technically recoverable offshore wind resources along both coasts. Researchers estimate these resources could produce enough power for our country’s entire grid.
The United States has more offshore wind potential than any other country in the world, but we are just beginning to tap into these resources.
One of the costs that any business owner needs to take into account is its monthly energy consumption. Knowing that a type of business consumes perhaps more than its fair share of energy is the first step in determining how to reduce energy costs, and when to advise clients on how to become more energy efficient. Below, we’ll detail the types of businesses that consume the most energy.
Food-related brick and mortar businesses
Restaurants, convenience stores, and grocery stores are among the businesses that consume the most energy in order to comply with stringent storage requirements. From refrigeration, to having to consistently heat food and keep other appliances going, these businesses are heavy energy consumers. One way to help reduce energy consumption is more energy-efficient appliances and storage units.
Car dealerships are among the highest use businesses when it comes to energy consumption. The lights that they use to highlight their products – namely, vehicles – are often high energy users. Additionally, the computer systems and the security systems many car dealerships rely on are also high energy users, given how often they are put to the test in bringing out models and working to help customers. Another energy drain is any body shop or repair shop that is attached to the car dealership, especially if they conduct any sort of scheduled maintenance on the vehicles they sell and/or lease.
Businesses that manufacture anything are often high users of energy, given the amount of electricity needed to run the machines that make the product, in addition to normal energy use of a large manufacturing and storage facility. For some manufacturers, investing in more efficient machines or hiring more personnel to do some tasks by hand could help reduce energy consumption.
Hotels, residential buildings, or office buildings
One of the largest users of energy when it comes to businesses are hotels, residential buildings, or office buildings. With frequent use of lights, heating and cooling systems, and power to run computer systems, televisions, or other facilities, these buildings are often hugely dependent on the energy grid. Some of these facilities can use less power through timers, temperature regulators, or other systems that reduce regular power consumption.
No matter the type of business that consumes a large amount of energy, there are ways to be mindful of that consumption and work to reduce it.
For so many people, part of the pain of owning or renting a home, condo, or apartment is the energy bill that comes monthly. In previous years, some devices were energy wasters no matter which brand was purchased by the consumer and led to higher energy bills. In recent years, smart home devices have not only become more ubiquitous, but more affordable as well. Now within the reach of most Americans, the question on the minds of consumers is often: how do smart home devices affect energy consumption? Below, we’ll detail how to talk to clients about how smart home devices affect energy consumption, depending on the device.
One of the most obvious energy users in your home is smart lighting. During stormy summers and dreary winters, lighting provides the brightness that powers your life, productivity, and time with family. Before, one used to have to turn lights on or off only, and even then it was dependent on a person remembering. How many times have people rushed out the door to an important meeting or appointment to remember they left the hall light on, or left their outdoor lights on from the night before? Smart lighting can help you by being set on a schedule or motion detection that that turns off when you’re not there, saving you time, hassle, and money. Additionally, they can also help overall energy usage even when the lights are on, given that smart lighting is often more energy efficient overall and you get the same amount of lighting for less energy usage. This smart home device will affect your energy consumption in a noticeable way.
Previously, thermostats were generally all the same and did not offer much flexibility in the way of changing temperatures unless at will. Over time, digital thermostats provided some more precision for homeowners or renters, but were largely the same. Luckily, smart thermostats can help you reduce costs in a natural way where the thermostat learns your rhythms, and heats and cools at appropriate times. Additionally, some systems could be programmed to cool less at night or heat less during the day, when temperatures are less extreme, as another way to generate cost and energy savings. This smart home device will positively affect your energy consumption by reducing a large user of energy in your home.
Smart home devices are here to stay, and they positively affect energy consumption in clients’ homes both in the short and long term. Using the information above, you’ll be able to ensure your customers have the information they need on another way to reduce their overall energy consumption and save money.