Monday, November 9, 2009

Custom Building Integration - Case Study

Energy ETC was hired to integrate the building controls (HVAC) for a five building campus of multi-tenant buildings in the San Francisco Bay area. The property management group needed to be able to manage the facilities from offsite locations around the clock, and wished they could provide their tenants with fee based afterhours air conditioning.
The existing building management system (BMS) had been plagued by repeated failures of the onsite server and was requiring increased levels of service and associated costs.
The customer had very specific requirements for this project:

1) Secure web based graphical interface via the Internet.
2) Tenant afterhours override capability, tracking, and invoicing.
3) Stable and sustainable hardware design.
4) Expandable to support automated demand response and demand limiting.
5) Cost effective solution.

Energy ETC used their experience as Smart Building System Integrators to exceed the customer's expectations on all project requirements. We combined hardware and software products from The S4 Group, ASI Controls, and Energy ETC to make this project a success.
Read the full case study by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Managing Green Buildings

Join Energy ETC at the Northern California Facilities Expo September 30th and October 1st at the Santa Clara Convention Center
Register today for FREE admission to educational sessions and the exhibit hall at

Stop by our booth (#351) in the Green Building Technologies Pavilion to see Smart Buildings in action!

Exhibit Hall & Conference Hours:
September 30, 2009
Exhibit Hall:
9:00am - 2:00pm
8:15am - 2:30pm
October 1, 2009
Exhibit Hall:
9:00am - 2:00pm
8:15am - 2:30pm

Let Energy ETC show you how to upgrade your legacy building management system to an Open Multi-Vendor Solution with a web-based front end and customized alerts sent to your cell phone, with very little upfront cost.

We're looking forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tomorrow's Green Workforce Available Today

Energy ETC's partnerships with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers(IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) enable us to provide our customers with a fully trained Green Workforce to meet today's unique technological and environmental challenges.
NECA and IBEW, through their National Joint Apprenticeship Training programs, provide hands on training in:
Building Automation, Programmable Logic Controllers, Photovoltaics, Wind Turbines, Fuel Cells, Lighting Controls, Energy Efficiency, and Demand Response, along with a full curriculum to provide the best trained, most up to date electrical apprentices and journeymen in the country.
Energy ETC is proud to offer this skilled Green Workforce to our customers as we build Smart Systems for a Smart Future!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Energy Efficiency, The Awareness Factor

Make them aware and they will save

Most humans, by default, know that wasting anything is a bad idea. Whether our parents have ingrained the notion into our subconscious, or we've seen first hand the negative effects that can occur...we just seem to know, wasting is bad. When a meeting breaks up and everyone leaves the conference room with the lights still on it is often just accepted or unnoticed. When the last person out pauses to flip the switch off (or better yet the occupancy sensor does it for you) we do notice, and know it was a good idea. Somehow "we" have become, for lack of a better word, lazy. It has become widely accepted to leave the lights on "someone will be using the room in a little while anyway". We use the example of lights here, but the same applies to air conditioning systems, water, trash/recycling, gasoline, etc.
As the latest "Green Movement" begins to gain traction people are becoming more aware of waste. It is being talked about all around them, it is becoming popular to be energy efficient, to not waste.
Don't get me wrong, I love it. I'm one of those annoying people who is always turning off unnecessary lights (among other things). I've often wondered what it would take to get others to do the same more consistently. Certainly a grassroots movement that has made its way to The White House is getting the message out right now, making people aware of our wasteful, but accepted ways.
That's really the key concept here, awareness. If people can see the benefit of their actions, if they can see that they are making a positive impact, they will do the right thing.
In this digital age, helping people be aware has never been easier. Our buildings are smarter and more connected now than they ever have been. We can deliver key messages and metrics to measure building performance in real time on digital signage in public areas, as desktop gadgets on employee's workstations, send live text messages or Tweets to mobile phones. When this type of data (kWh usage today vs. yesterday, projected usage vs. targets, etc.) is made available to people it can have a tremendous impact. Suddenly colleagues and neighbors are comparing notes with each other, competitions can develop to see who can save the most. All in the spirit of good fun, but certainly helping to eliminate waste and have a positive impact on the environment and the corporate bottom line.
When people can see that by turning off lights the energy usage really does go down, they'll turn them off more is after all ingrained in us.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Managing Electricity Usage With Twitter

Energy efficiency is being driven through twice daily automated "Tweets" from our server rack.
Using a simple device called the "Tweet-A-Watt" we are able to monitor the energy usage of our rack as we fine tune and squeeze every energy dollar out of it. Technicians are inspired to go as low as possible when setting up equipment, knowing that the kWh usage is being broadcast throughout the company.
Employees get amazingly creative as they watch the usage levels and strive to keep them low without sacrificing critical services.
Key personnel are notified via SMS if energy usage is above expected levels, or if the worst happens and usage goes to zero (great for energy efficiency, bad for uptime of hosted building management systems).

Check out Energy ETC's server rack power usage at:

Check out the Tweet-A-Watt at:

Monday, July 20, 2009

LED Lighting Technology Fact Sheets

Comprehensive resource for LED lighting technology fact sheets from US DOE

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Smart Buildings, Really, Really Smart!

Are you ready for the future of Building Automation? Good, because the future is!
Are buildings ready to think for themselves? Can intelligent systems make the
workplace more comfortable and safe? Yes, and Yes!
Imagine your company's CEO pulls into the parking garage; with no extra effort, his security badge (the same one that opens the garage gate) has just notified his office of his arrival. His assistant receives an email (or instant text message) indicating his arrival as well. During the elevator ride to his office, the temperature is being automatically adjusted to his preferred set point. The lights come on, compensate for ambient light, and adjust their output to the appropriate foot-candle level. When he arrives, he is happy to see his office is ready to go, just the way he likes it. Invisible to him is the fact that while he was away his office was saving his company money.

All this, and virtually anything you can imagine, can happen with technology that is available today from Energy ETC.
It's true, intelligent buildings are here and they're here to stay. Using occupancy and building access information to control major building systems like HVAC and lighting can result in substantial utility cost savings AND increase occupancy comfort and worker productivity. Let your building help you decide when and where to deliver costly conditioned air and lighting.
Why settle for rigid time schedules? Allow your system (and its occupants via the web or automated telephony) to override systems based on actual usage and/or need.
You CAN have flexibility AND save money!
All this available today, right now...the future is here!

Energy ETC is committed to providing SMART Open Multi-Vendor Non-Proprietary Systems.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Automated Demand Response - Free Money

Energy Management Systems & Automated Demand Response

Are your facility's energy costs in control? Being asked to reduce spending on energy without reducing occupant comfort?
Perhaps it's time to simplify your Energy Management System and do both.
Imagine handling all of your energy management tasks from a simple browser window (like the one you're using to view our website right now). Energy ETC knows how to make that happen. You'll be able to monitor and control your entire system, via a secure internet connection, from virtually anywhere. Your office, your home, the coffee shop on the corner, wirelessly on a laptop or palmtop, anywhere you can log on to the World Wide Web. Set up time scheduling, alarm management, automatic demand reduction or load shedding, generate usage reports, billing summaries, tenant override summaries; all this using software that's available for free and easy to use (i.e. Internet Explorer).

Energy ETC is committed to providing SMART Open Multi-Vendor Non-Proprietary Systems.
Contact Energy ETC, Inc. for more information on this great program.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Direct LED Replacements for Flourescent Tube Lighting

Two LED tubes on left vs. two T-12 tubes on right

The future of lighting is here today! Direct replacements for existing T-8 or T-12 fluorescent lamps are easy to install, and will start saving you money immediately.
Energy savings of 60% can be realized by replacing 40watt T-12 tubes with 16watt LED tubes. Already upgraded from T-12 lamps to T-8? Savings are still 50%, but why stop there?
Solid-state lighting can be "dimmable" to reduce wattage even further for greater energy savings. By adding a communication module, light fixtures can be integrated into your building management system to take advantage of time schedules, occupancy sensors, and light harvesting to maintain foot-candle levels. All enabling you to reduce your energy consumption and save you money.

Ancillary savings and benefits from a LED lighting upgrade are:
  • Reduced maintenance costs, LED tubes last up to 5x longer than fluorescent tubes (50,000 hours vs 20,000 hours); There are no ballasts required (none to replace); No hazardous materials (mercury or lead as with fluorescent) to dispose of.
  • Reduced HVAC load, no ballast means no added heat to return plenums. All energy is converted to light. Heat gain from fluorescent tubes is approximately 590,000btu/tube/year (69kwh/tube/year) vs LEDs at about 132,000btu/tube/year (15.5kwh/tube/year).
  • Flicker free lighting means reduced eye strain and headaches; Instant start, no warm-up time; Shatter-proof design means tubes will not break if dropped; No bugs ... LEDs do not emit UV light, so bugs are not attracted to them (ideal for outdoor use as well).
Energy ETC is working with Advanced Control Technologies, Inc. to provide this cost saving opportunity to our customers. Visit their website to download specifications and an "Energy Savings Calculator" to determine your potential savings. Contact Energy ETC when you are ready to start saving energy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Green Jobs Workforce, Let's Get Ready

Many questions have been raised, rightfully so, regarding the workforce required to support the current and future Green movement.
Energy ETC is moving "full steam ahead" to make sure we are ready. We have partnered with NECA and the IBEW to take advantage of the excellent training programs offered to their membership. We are ready to put these trained professionals to work, giving them "real life" situations to solidify their classroom learning experiences.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) reported in April 2009 that one of the key barriers to the success of meeting energy efficiency targets in buildings will be "Shortages of skilled workers could limit the capacity to carry out widescale retrofitting, especially integrating the different aspects of energy efficient renovation."
Energy ETC is committed to training, inspiring, and employing a workforce of skilled workers to help California continue to be a leader in the Green Movement.

Download a copy of our presentation from the "Go Green" Green Jobs Open House Event:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Smartest Buildings Sense and Use Zone Level Information

Using building occupancy information coupled with zone level temperature sensing will allow your building to make the most intelligent decisions. The building can decide when and where it needs to provide costly HVAC resources while maintaining tenant comfort.
Zones may be calling for heating or cooling, but is anyone in those zones? Will anyone be occupying those zones in the near future?
A smart building knows the answer to these questions and makes the correct decisions for allocating resources on an as needed basis. The good news is that this is not an expensive proposition. The sensors required to make this type of automated building intelligence are often the lowest cost sensors in the entire system. Wall or duct mounted temperature sensors can be purchased in bulk for less than $1o each. So affordable that they can be added for monitoring purposes only, no need to interface them with a zone HVAC controller. Occupancy sensors, which should already be a part of any lighting system, are also affordable sensors these days. The occupancy data can be utilized in countless scenarios, not only for energy savings vs. comfort decisions, but also for lighting, business systems, security, and safety situations.
Install low cost sensors to give your building the data it needs to make Smart decisions. Your tenants will be happy and comfortable, your CEO will notice the positive impact on your utility bill.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Measurement Before Management

Electrical submetering will show you when and where your building is using the most energy. Strategically placed submeters will create your roadmap to energy efficiency projects enabling a streamlined approach (costs less).
Glenn Hubbard, our Energy Partner and submetering expert, has a great line expressed in the title above. Correct. In order to effectively manage energy efficiency efforts, you should determine where your building's energy is being used inefficiently.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Energy Efficiency the Affordable First Step Towards Zero Net Energy

It may be quite glamorous and popular to install a roof full of solar panels, tap into a geothermal source, or harness the wind to power your home or business. However these types of “sexy systems” should be the last step of your Zero Net Energy project.

By doing some focused work up front to tune, upgrade, or replace inefficient components of your existing building systems you will be able to save a great deal of money by reducing the size (capacity) of your renewable energy system. In addition to the reduction in your project cost, you’ll also enjoy recurring savings on your monthly utility bill by increasing the energy efficiency of your building.

Begin with an energy audit to determine where your building’s strengths and weaknesses are. Your audit report should be very detailed, and include a prioritized list of solutions with budget costs and an expected return on investment (ROI).

Low cost solutions like weather stripping, insulation, door and window replacements or films can be done for a small fraction of the cost of a photovoltaic (PV) system.

Medium cost solutions like HVAC system maintenance and lighting upgrades (LED being the best choice right now) are still first phase projects and make great economic sense.

Higher cost solutions will still be less than you’d pay for a renewable energy system (especially if sized for an inefficient building) and must be done to lower your overall power consumption. DDC controls for HVAC, sub-metering, lighting controls, demand response controls, etc fall into this category.

Making your building as energy efficient as possible will lower your utility bill and earn you immediate monthly savings. Start banking those savings and put them towards your (now smaller and less costly) PV system. It will still be “sexy”, it will still get you to zero net energy, it just won’t cost as much.

Now, that was smart.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Green Jobs Are Coming

Congressman Jerry McNerney addressed the crowd at the Alameda Joint Apprenticeship Training Center (JATC) and echoed the sentiments of the IBEW and NECA "green jobs are coming, and California will lead the way. We must be prepared to meet this challenge and the NECA/IBEW team are perfectly positioned to satisfy these needs through the training curriculum they offer at the JATC."

Pictured (l-r): Don Campbell, Executive Director of Northern California Chapter NECA; Bob Wallace, Founder and President of Energy ETC, Inc.; Congressman Jerry McNerney,House Select Committee Energy and Commerce; Victor Uno, Business Manager/Financial Secretary of IBEW 595.
Bob Wallace emphasized Congressman McNerney's points while describing Energy ETC's commitment to the green movement and his faith in the JATC to provide the skilled labor force his company will utilize to help California lead the charge.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Follow us on Twitter!

JATC "Go Green" Green Jobs Open House Event

Friday May 29, 2009
11:30am to 2:30pm
Alameda County JATC
3033 Alvarado Street
San Leandro, CA

The Green Workforce of the Future is Here Today

You are invited to experience what the IBEW-NECA Electrical Training Center has to offer by attending this Green Jobs Open House.

Keynote address by Congressman Jerry McNerney, House Select Committee Energy and Commerce.

Live presentations by Energy ETC showing integrated building management systems at work around the bay area.

Please RSVP by contacting Earp Events at 510-839-3100 or email