Fleetowner 3433 Efficient Fleets

Overlooked cost savings opportunity—energy-efficient facilities

April 1, 2013

A new webinar is available online that is designed to help fleets learn more about an often-overlooked cost savings opportunity that could very significantly impact the bottom line—making energy improvements at corporate offices, maintenance facilities, warehouses and terminals.

Called, “Creating energy-efficient fleet facilities,” the free, one-hour webinar outlines a number of actionable ideas for fleets ready to reduce overhead in three key categories:

  • Operations: Wasting less energy
  • Facilities: Using less energy in the first place
  • Procurement: Paying less for energy purchased

The program was presented by Penton Media’s Transportation Group and featured special guest speaker Dustin Gellman, CEO of Green Point Partners, LLC with guest moderator, Jonathan Schein, practice leader for Penton’s Commercial Real Estate Media Group.

Lighting retrofits were among the suggestions Gellman offered for reducing energy waste. They are the “low hanging fruit” for energy efficiency, typically delivering payback in just one to three years, he noted.

“Millions of facilities have decades-old lighting systems that burn for thousands of hours per year,” Gellman said. Better technology, time-sensitive incentives, and legislative mandates are driving lighting retrofit projects that can save companies 25% to 50% on electrical bills.

Gellman took a deep dive into the economics of lighting, discussing exactly where and how lighting costs impact fleets’ P&L, including looking at kilowatt hours and the evolution of commercial lighting; the pros and cons of various fixtures, lamps and ballasts; and working with electrical contractors.  For fleets, there are significant opportunities to save on lighting in warehouses, parking lots, maintenance facilities and central offices, he explained.

When it comes to reducing energy use, heating and ventilation systems are two more areas where fleets can find real cost savings, according to Gellman. He discussed several energy-saving alternatives, including radiant tube heating, demand-controlled ventilation, waste-to-fuel systems and even solar power, offering step-by-step guidelines for how to begin evaluating alternatives.

For fleets operating in deregulated energy markets, Gellman also had tips for how to pay as much as 30% less for power as compared to a fleet’s current baseline. “Deregulated markets allow businesses to shop among competitive suppliers to purchase power,” he said. “Prices are at historical lows due to supply gluts and a sluggish economy. Furthermore, switching electricity and gas providers takes only minutes and does not interrupt service.”   

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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