Monday, September 16, 2013

if ENERGY took the spotlight...

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Electric Energy Law
Did you know that at Farnsworth Group we have an entire team dedicated to energy?  We have Energy Engineers, Certified Energy Managers, Certified Energy Auditors and even a spare International Groundsource Heat Pump Association member or two.  [In fact we’re looking to hire a new team member. Our commissioning agents perform energy audits, and retro-commissioning is often about ensuring that energy usage is in-line with expectations.
Not to get all statistical, but there are some interesting statistics about energy:
  • 40% of total U.S. energy consumption in 2012 was consumed in residential and commercial buildings, or about 40 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu).1
  • In 2010, the United States’ primary energy consumption was nearly 98 quadrillion Btu, nearly 19% of world total primary energy consumption.2 
  • The amount of energy Americans use doubles every 20 years.3
Maybe these statistics indicate that energy usage requires some careful consideration.

Recently we combined with a team from Atkins to complete Sustainable Infrastructure Assessments on nine installations for the U.S. Air Force.  Our team is tasked with conducting assessments of the current buildings and energy usage and produce lists of project-ready recommendations for smarter energy consumption.  The project is taking the expertise of a large internal team to conduct the site visits, calculations, evaluations and report writing necessary to ensure that the Air Force can make some informed decisions about changes.
We have also recently worked with Los Alamos County to conduct energy audits of 16 buildings within the county’s portfolio.  Our team identified more than $99,148 in annual savings through identified Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs).

Farnsworth Group has also served on several General Services Administration projects to help identify energy savings.  Sometimes we even team with local energy providers to help “energy hogs” identify smarter ways to use energy.  This can mean infrastructure upgrades (systems or HVAC units), but often it’s the application of smart technology and heating and cooling a facility only when it’s needed.
What Can You Do
There isn’t anything easier than turning off the light when you’re not using it; but the projects above point to simple lessons in your personal energy usage.  One of the things you can do is set back your thermostat when you’re not at home.  Additionally, your energy provider may have some tips on conserving energy at home and at work.  Consider searching your provider’s website right now.  Rebate programs are abundant – maybe you want to put some money back in your pocket and make a difference – one Btu at a time.

Here are a few more random facts about energy!
Cited Sources
1          U.S Energy Information Administration, What is Energy:  Energy Basics,, September 2013.
2          U.S Energy Information Administration, What is Energy:  Energy Basics,, September 2013.
3          Royston, Angela. 2009. Sustainable Energy. Mankato, MN: Arcturus Publishing Limited via