Register now for the 2015 Energy Efficiency Expo

Register now for the 2015 Energy Efficiency Expo

Energy efficiency 2015 EXPO

Join us for this year’s Energy Efficiency Expo: Innovation and Action, taking place September 16, 2015 from 7a.m. – 4p.m., at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

Learn about trending industry topics, share best practices with hundreds of industry leaders and earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Register now and when five people from the same company register, the sixth person can attend the Expo at no cost.* Also, use code EXPEXH and take $20 off the $99 registration fee.

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Where’s My Spot?

At Twin Supplies we make your world brighter.

Usually I’m the project manager who takes care of the “big public customer”: Your Village Hall needs better lighting? I’m your man. The public works facility is too dark—not a problem. Police and fire stations need brighter exterior lighting; you’ve come to the right place.

Two hundred retrofits here. One hundred and fifty hibays there. Seventy-five LED wall packs at all compass points….done! Next!

So when our business manager handed me a referral from the local power company for an underground parking facility in a nearby northern suburb, I thought, “Why’d she give this little project to me?”

I met with several of the residents who were overseeing the upgrade in lighting for their thirty space underground facility. The challenge was to upgrade from 67 two lamp T12 1×8 fixtures to something brighter but at a reasonable cost. It wasn’t the glamourous, big expenditure project to which I was accustomed. The deep concrete ridges in the garage ceiling prevented much of the light from spreading beyond the narrow passageway where the existing fixture was mounted. LED canopy? Out of the customer price range. LED wrap fixtures? Also expensive. What was the best solution to this lighting scenario?

An office colleague said, “why not put up an eight foot, T8 two lamp retrofit? And use 28W T8 lamps; that will reduce the existing wattage from 148W to only 49W; and the 6,000 lumens produced by the retrofit upgrade will be plenty bright.” In addition, with the power company incentives covering more than 50% of the cost of this simple solution, the lighting upgrade was well within the residents’ budget. The residents loved the cost of the lighting upgrade, and they loved the new light levels. Another successfully completed project. End of story, right? Hardly.

About a week later the real estate company in charge of the facility called me. They wanted to know if I would be interested in looking at another underground parking garage. The residents of this new garage had heard through the grapevine of the fantastic new lighting in their sister facility’s underground garage, and they wanted to know if we could do the same for them.

Although the lighting solution at the second garage was different (a four lamp, eight foot T8 retrofit), it was no less successful—and affordable—than the first project. The second group of residents was happy and I was ready to go back to big gymnasiums…… Three days later I get a call from the same real estate company. Another suburb, another underground parking garage: can you do it?

Can I do it? I’m the guy who just completed two of the most energy efficient, brightest, residential underground parking garages on the north side of the city. It’s my specialty!

Yesterday, I just quoted new lighting for my ninth underground parking garage for a large condominium complex. At Twin Supplies, the future is looking…..bright!


Tim Snow
Project Manager

Understanding your electric bill

Understanding your electric bill

The first step toward efficiency is to understand how your facility is using energy. An in-depth knowledge of energy costs can lead to better decisions on which areas to address – such as lighting, gas, etc.
Your utility bill contains valuable information regarding rate charges, metering methods, and the types of fuels your building consumes. At first glance, it may be difficult to navigate the various rate charges. The small print and string of numbers may blur together – leaving you no choice but to find the “amount due” line.
However, as the old adage “knowledge is power” goes, here are a few tips on understanding your electric bill :
Service Charge – This monthly charge has nothing to do with your energy consumption, it is a fixed rate that helps cover the administrative and maintenance costs for the utility.
Energy Charge – This charge takes the intensity of the energy used, factors in how many hours it’s being used, and multiplies that by a rate charge. Obviously, the more intense the energy consumption (inefficient bulbs), the higher the cost of operation over time. Warning! This rate may not stay fixed. Some utility companies charge according to “blocks”. For example, if you surpass your 20,000 KWH block, you may be charged at a higher (or lower) rate!
Power or Fuel Cost Adjustments – In some cases, a utility may pass extra costs that were unaccounted for through this charge. These “extra costs” can be fluctuations in energy prices spurred by demand, or lack thereof.
Demand Charge: This charge is dependent on energy used during “peak hours”. Peak hour energy use varies by utility. Some utilities may have their peak period during the summer, while others may have it during the winter. Understanding your utility’s peak hour period can help you make informed decisions on when to use energy, or what energy systems to implement.
Now that you’ve taken the first step to understand how energy is used in your facility, step two is to act! Contact us for a complimentary energy assessment!