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  1. Categories: Uncategorized

    Allow us to illuminate how energy-efficient lighting can make a difference.

    If you purchase and use energy efficient light bulbs, over the course of a year your savings will certainly add up – even though lighting constitutes only 6% of your total monthly energy costs. But remember, the best energy-saving tactic is to simply switch lights off when not in use.

    Here’s a guide to your lighting choices:

    Incandescent bulbs: are the standard, familiar bulbs people have used for years; considered energy inefficient because they produce more heat than light. And though you may find incandescent bulbs with efficient sounding names like ‘long life’ or ‘extended life,‘ they use the same amount of energy as an equivalent wattage regular bulb (longer life, notwithstanding). Some incandescents have been made more efficient by reducing the wattage (though there is a slightly reduced light output). Look for these energy saving replacement bulbs, which are commonly available: a 34-W for a 40-W; a 52-W for a 60-W; and a 90-W for a 100-W.

    Compact fluorescents: You’re probably familiar with the standard, long tube fluorescent ceiling lighting used in homes, stores and offices. The same technology has been improved for energy efficiency and light quality, and packaged in a compact shape for use in lamps and other lighting fixtures. There are a variety of wattages, shapes, and styles of compact fluorescents for different uses. Although they are 75% more efficient and last 10 times longer than incandescents, because of their initial cost, they should only replace bulbs used for a minimum of 3 hours per day. And as always, watch for the ENERGY STAR® symbol to ensure you’re purchasing the most energy-efficient lighting on the market.

    Halogens: When compared to incandescent, halogens last 2-4 times longer and produce a whiter light that uses about 40% less energy. However, they cost a slightly higher purchase price. They are a good replacement for outdoor flood and spot lights. For example, a 45-W PAR (parabolic aluminum reflector) halogen spot light replaces a 75-W PAR incandescent spot light. There is another type of halogen bulb, often called a low voltage or quartz, which requires a specifically designed halogen fixture. This bulb provides a bright, white, focused light suitable for highlighting art work or use as a desk lamp.

  2. Categories: Uncategorized

    Renovating? Some things to consider when looking into new windows.

    To identify energy-efficient windows, skylights and sliding glass doors, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. The label indicates which climate zone(s) the product qualifies for. Four climate zones have been designated across Canada, the more zones a product qualifies for, the more energy efficient it is. ENERGY STAR information is also in the product literature for each model. ENERGY STAR qualified windows will reduce your energy costs up to 12%.

    ENERGY STAR® qualified windows, skylights and sliding glass doors will have many of the following features:

    •  Double or triple glazing with sealed insulating glass unit.
    •  Low-emissivity (low-e) glass.
    •  Inert gas, such as argon or krypton, in the sealed unit.
    •  Low conductivity or ‘warm edge’ spacer bars.
    •  Insulated frames and sashes.
    •  Superior air-tightness.

    To minimize heat loss, windows must be insulated and air sealed at the frame-to-wall joint when installed. You need to confirm this procedure with the contractor prior to and during the installation.

  3. Categories: Business

    Staten Island Ferry Converting to Natural Gas

    As the famous song goes, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And natural gas is definitely making it big in the Big Apple.

    New York City’s Department of Transportation is converting one of its Staten Island ferries to liquefied natural gas (LNG) from diesel, significantly reducing the boat’s fuel bill and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 25%.

    The well-used Staten Island Ferry service shuttles 60,000 people to lower Manhattan every weekday. The boats make more than 100 trips a day during the workweek, and about 35,000 trips annually. Converting the Staten Island Ferry to LNG is a win-win-win: reducing dependence on imported oil, resulting in lower operating costs, and helping the environment.

    With diesel costing the city about $1 per litre, it pays more than $150,000 a week to fill one ferry’s fuel tank. LNG is much more affordable, ranging between $0.06 and $0.11 for the equivalent of a litre. Retooling the vessel to operate under LNG power will save New York taxpayers nearly $3 million a year. (In other words, the $3 million retrofit will pay for itself within its first year.) Just imagine what they could save if they converted all eight of their ferries to natural gas?

    So, what are your thoughts about switching diesel-burning engines to clean and affordable natural gas? How is this conversion being realized in your community? Let us know in the comments below.