Helping Maryland Businesses Improve Energy Efficiency
Energy typically represents about 30 percent of a commercial building’s costs and is a property’s largest operating expense. With those numbers, business owners can’t afford not to take a hard look at reducing energy use to improve their bottom line. Baltimore Gas and Electric is ready to help Maryland businesses cut energy costs with financial incentives and technical assistance from BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program®.
“The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program offers expert advice and turnkey solutions to maximize a business’s energy efficiency and save on costs, whether it’s a small shop or a large commercial, industrial or institutional facility,” says Bill Wolf, BGE’s manager of industrial and commercial energy efficiency programs. “We’ve helped thousands of Maryland businesses from retailers and healthcare providers to industrial facilities and nonprofit organizations save energy and money.”
The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program provided Atlantic Valve & Supply, a family-run small business in Baltimore, with $4,300 in incentives to replace old incandescent and fluorescent lights with energy-efficient fixtures and compact fluorescent lighting in its offices and warehouse. The upgrades cut the business’s annual lighting-related energy costs by 72 percent, saving 28,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. The project paid for itself in just four months.
In another example, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, a 32-story high-rise hotel, installed LED lighting in the common areas and upgraded the hotel’s air handling units. The improvements qualified for more than $91,000 in incentives and will save more than 1.7 million kWh of electricity annually – a cost savings of just over $100,000 each year.
And it’s not just indoor lighting: General Growth Properties used more than $577,000 in financial incentives from the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program to outfit parking garages at Towson Town Center with LED lighting. The project also included upgrades to the rooftop HVAC units that keep the mall’s common areas comfortable. The upgrades are saving three million kWh of electricity each year, which amounts to $445,000 in cost savings.
More locations can also mean more opportunities to save. Mars Super Markets, a Maryland-based grocery chain that operates 17 stores, used incentives from the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program to shave more than $225,000 off the cost of energy efficiency improvements at its headquarters, distribution center and grocery stores. The project included installing LED lighting, upgrading refrigeration and replacing variable frequency drives on motors. As a result, Mars cut energy use by 3.9 million kWh and the upgrades paid for themselves in only 2.5 years.
At Mercy Medical Center, the right environment means safety as well as comfort. The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program provided incentives of $368,000 to help install energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, building management controls and lighting in its new teaching hospital in Baltimore. The upgrades are saving more than 2.5 million kWh annually, and they received payback on their investment in 1.7 years.
“For businesses planning to retrofit or replace old equipment, start a new construction project or launch a major renovation, the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program can help build energy efficiency into any purchase or project,” explains Wolf. Incentives are available for a variety of measures including lighting and controls, heating and cooling system upgrades, variable frequency drives, commercial kitchen and refrigeration equipment, and custom projects.
Under the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program, BGE offers a suite of solutions that can help many different types of businesses and organizations maximize energy efficiency and reduce cost.
Small Business Energy Solutions
BGE helps small business owners and small nonprofit organizations manage energy costs and maintain a competitive edge. These organizations can get up to 80 percent savings through financial incentives on energy-efficient upgrades. Turnkey installation services make the replacement of existing, inefficient lighting, electric hot water measures and refrigeration controls simple and affordable.
Energy Solutions for Business
BGE offers technical assistance and incentives to businesses to help pay for prescriptive measures (such as standard upgrades to lighting or appliances) or custom measures that are unique to a particular business and go beyond the savings offered by typical prescriptive measures. Financial incentives cover up to 50 percent of the total cost for retrofit projects and up to 75 percent of the incremental cost for new construction projects.
These are financial incentives for identifying and implementing relatively low-cost operational and maintenance improvements. Building Tune-up is the process of monitoring, troubleshooting and adjusting electrical, mechanical and control systems in existing buildings to optimize energy performance. These services help ensure that building equipment and systems are integrated so that they perform together effectively and efficiently to meet current operating requirements and expectations. This yields a number of benefits for businesses including extension of
equipment service life, reduced maintenance cost and improved occupant comfort.
Combined Heat and Power
This program contains up to $2.5 million in financial incentives for qualifying combined heat and power (CHP) projects to help customers offset the costs for installation. CHP is a clean and efficient approach to generating power and heat from a single fuel source. Typically, these systems are located close to a building, campus or industrial process and provide at least a portion of the facility’s electrical load. The benefits of a CHP system include improved efficiency, increased power reliability and security and lower energy costs. It is well suited for a variety of energy-intensive, industrial and commercial facilities like manufacturing plants, hospitals or college campuses.
The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program supports the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008, a statewide initiative to reduce per capita energy consumption and demand 15 percent by 2015. “Businesses like General Growth Properties and Atlantic Valve that invest in energy efficiency are helping to reduce the demand for energy, which ultimately helps improve the environment,” says BGE’s Wolf. “We’re very proud to work with many diverse businesses, both large and small, to identify potential energy-saving projects and encourage them to take advantage of our program incentives.”
For more information on the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program, visit BGESmartEnergy.com/business or call 877-685-7377. I95