6 Tips to Make Your Business More Green

The typical office environment can waste a substantial amount of energy, and it can generate considerable amounts of waste unnecessarily. The reality is that you and your team could make a few smart changes that could have a dramatic and beneficial impact on the environment. If you are looking for smart ways to improve your office, these are a few green ideas that you can consider implementing soon.

Invest in Solar Energy

Between your computers, printers, copiers and other equipment, you may spend a small fortune each month on electricity costs. Lighting, HVAC usage, and other factors can further increase energy consumption. Rather than draw energy from non-renewable resources that generate considerable amounts of pollution, you could be drawing green energy from the sun. Many businesses have already installed solar panels to their building to offset at least a partial amount of their energy consumption, and this is a great solution for you to look into as well.

Upgrade Your Lights

Regardless of whether your facility uses green energy or not, it makes sense to upgrade your lighting to LED lights. These are more energy efficient, and they last longer. Because they do not need to be replaced as frequently, you can eliminate unnecessary waste in the landfills as well as waste associated with manufacturing light bulbs. This is a simple step that can have a considerable impact on the health of the environment.

Complete an Energy Audit

It can be difficult to determine which areas in your office consume the most energy. However, these energy-guzzling areas should be focal points for your conservation efforts. Through an office energy audit, you can identify which features are wasting energy unnecessarily, and you can take appropriate steps. For example, if you determine that your old HVAC or refrigerator in the break room are consuming a substantial amount of energy, replacing these items with newer and more energy-efficient models makes sense.

Allow Telecommuting

Your company’s policy on telecommuting may also affect how green your business is. Regardless of whether you have a team of educated individuals with online business degrees or you have a team of data entry specialists, their commute into the office and back home again uses non-renewable energy and causes pollution. When you allow telecommuting at least a few days each week, you can dramatically reduce this type of waste and pollution.

Donate Unnecessary Furnishings and Equipment

All businesses will need to get rid of equipment, computers, furnishings and more at some point. When the time comes to do spring cleaning around the office, consider donating or even selling items that are still in good condition. Doing so will stretch their useful life and may prevent objects from finding their way into a landfill.

Encourage Recycling

Another critical step to take if you are concerned about your company’s impact on the environment is to encourage recycling. For example, you can set up recycling trash cans around the office, and these receptacles can collect paper, aluminum cans and other recyclables that may be picked up by your city’s waste management department or taken to a local recycling center. Remember that many other items may be recycled as well, such as ink cartridges for the printers and toner cartridges for the copiers.

 

Most businesses can take at least a few steps to improve their impact on the environment in different ways. Analyze your current operation with these tips in mind. If you identify areas that could be improved, focus your attention on implementing beneficial change in your office. By doing so, you can make lasting changes that have a significant impact on the environment in the years to come.

Why Local Growing Works on an Environmental and Economic Level

Local agriculture is a key part of both sustainable growth plans and economic development. In most cases, the environment and the economy benefit from local, sustainable growing for the same reasons. Those benefits are causing this kind of agriculture to become more popular and used more, so it is important to have a basic understanding of the basics.

Conserving Fuel

The world wastes a huge amount of fuel to transport food and other agricultural products from farms to distant towns and cities. That is a necessity to support people in places that do not have any local agriculture, but it can be eliminated by moving the farms closer to population centers. Companies like doTERRA have utilized this method with their oils by sourcing directly from the growing regions and harvesters.

Doing so reduces fuel use, which offers two primary benefits. At an economic level, it reduces the cost of providing food, which allows for lower prices that enable families to save money for other purposes. It also helps the environment, both by cutting down on carbon emissions and reducing the need to drill for more oil to produce more fuel.

Secondary Income

Local agriculture does not need to be a full-time activity. While farmers certainly can support themselves by focusing on local products, individuals and families can also contribute by growing their own gardens in their yards or in local allotments. It isn’t very difficult to do, as proven by the success of the historical Victory Garden program. Personal gardens can produce a significant amount of food and help families and individuals save money.

Those gardens give families an additional source of income, either by selling the crops themselves, or cutting down on their grocery bill. Fresh fruits and vegetables are often the most expensive part of a family’s diet, so this can lead to improved nutrition and easier budgeting.

Localized Supply Chains

Businesses also benefit from local growing. Getting local access to those products can vastly simplify their supply chain, which reduces administrative costs and cuts down on the cost of transportation. The lowered costs bring more opportunities for new businesses, which can lead to economic growth in the community.

Growing Better Communities

Ultimately, growing food and other products locally is a tool that allows people to strengthen their communities. The economic benefits make the average consumer happy, while the environmental benefits make the area more pleasant for everybody. There aren’t very many other practices that merge environmental and economic advantages, so it is likely that local agriculture will keep expanding for a long time to come.

Is Renewable Energy a Realistic Option for Hospitals?

A growing number of healthcare centers are shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy as energy costs continue to rise and the government tightens the regulations on carbon emissions. Renewable energy refers to energy produced from natural resources including wind, sunlight, geothermal and biomass. Hospitals use around two and one-half times the power consumed by the average commercial building. They are, therefore, in a position to save more on energy costs by adopting renewable energy.

Pros of renewable energy in hospitals

Renewable energy can offer a lot of advantages to hospitals. Apart from the fact that it is a continual source of energy, here are some of the other benefits of switching hospitals to renewable energy.

1. Reduced energy costs

Although the initial investment costs are high, the cost of operation for renewable energy is much lower than that of fossil fuels once everything is in place. That reduces the energy costs for the hospitals thus allowing them to redirect the money to other projects such as offering tuition reimbursements to employees pursuing online nursing programs.

2. Improved public health

Non-renewable sources of energy such as coal and natural gas are associated with a variety of health problems including heart attack, neurological damage, and cancer. Replacing such sources with renewable energy will improve overall public health and reduce health costs significantly.

3. Environmental conservation

Renewable energy has a much lower carbon footprint than fossil fuels. Additionally, it reduces depletion of natural resources since it is produced from replenishable sources.

4. Stable energy sources

An increase or decrease in the fossil fuels supply directly impacts inflations. The cost of renewable energy only depends on the amount of capital spent on infrastructure and not the cost of natural resources. The energy prices are, therefore, stable.

Cons of renewable energy in hospitals

Hospitals can benefit immensely by adopting renewable energy. However, just like fossil fuels, it has its shortcomings. Here are some of the disadvantages of switching hospitals to renewable energy.

1. High initial investment

Setting up the infrastructure for renewable energy can be a costly investment. The costs are exceptionally high for hospitals since they use a lot of energy. For instance, a lot of solar panels would have to be installed to produce enough power to meet all the energy requirements in a hospital. Some institutions may find financing a renewable energy project difficult to do in-house.

2. Unable to produce enough energy

Renewable resources usually produce less energy in a short span compared to fossil fuels. The technology used in renewable energy production is relatively new, and factors such as weather may hinder large-scale energy production. That could significantly disadvantage hospitals, which have very high energy requirements. An average hospital in the U.S. uses 27.5 kWh of electricity and 109.8 cubic feet of natural gas per ft² every year.

3. Not available everywhere

The raw materials required for renewable energy production such as wind and solar may not be available in all locations. It means that we would need to create an elaborate infrastructure to transport that energy to hospitals in said areas.

4. Vulnerable

Almost all renewable energy sources are susceptible to weather conditions and other climatic factors. For example, abundant rain may hamper solar production while moderate winds may reduce wind energy production. Such circumstances could force hospitals to increase their energy consumption.


Renewable energy is becoming more popular with each passing year. It can enable hospitals to reduce energy costs significantly. Those that rely on renewable sources can stand out from the rest by demonstrating their commitment to environmental conservation and community health. However, this form of energy demands natural resources availability, favorable market conditions and government policy support to be considered an economically viable option for hospitals.

 

Resources

https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/alliances/hea_renewables_fs.pdf

https://bea.touchstoneenergy.com/sites/beabea/files/PDF/Sector/Hospitals.pdf

https://www.wgu.edu/online_health_professions_degrees/online_healthcare_degree

https://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/architecture/top-5-things-save-energy-hospitals/

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/increase-renewable-energy/fact-renewable-energy-is-reliable#.Wh2690qnFPY

4 Alternative Ways to Heat Your Home During Winter

Every prospective homeowner dreams of a house that will offer the convenience and comfort that will allow them to enjoy the homeownership journey. This is why you will want to ensure that all the systems in the home are upgraded so that they work correctly. The heating and cooling system plays a vital role in keeping the home functional, making it one of the areas on which you should focus. However, since it costs a lot to keep the unit running, you may want to consider alternative cost-effective ways to heat your home during the cold months. Here are some of the options available to you.

Geothermal/Ground Source Heating

Geothermal heating will not only ensure even distribution of heat in your home but will also lower your utility bill. Although the initial costs of installing the system can be quite high, the systems have a long lifespan and will require very little maintenance. This makes geothermal a great option if you want to keep your home warm in winter.

Solar Heating

Solar energy is affordable and renewable; qualities that have seen it gain acceptance and popularity among homeowners. Rather than using oil, gas or electricity to keep your home warm, the system will absorb the sun’s rays and use the energy to help you achieve the desired temperature.

Radiant Underfloor Floor Heating

By installing the system beneath your floor, you will enjoy the quiet operation and radiant heating of your rooms. The good news is that this alternative will not interfere with traffic flow or furniture arrangements in your home. You can consider installing radiant floor heating either when constructing or renovating your residence.

Biomass Boilers

If you have a constant supply of wood and are keen on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, you should consider using biomass boilers. The eco-friendly option can be used both for hot water and central heating. This means that it will ensure your comfort throughout the cold winter months.

 

Even as you think of alternative ways to heat your home, you should also ensure that the methods you use are environment-friendly. This will help to reduce your energy consumption, a factor that will save you money regarding utility bills.

 

Resources
http://www.climatemaster.com/residential/how-geothermal-works/
http://www.provincialheating.ca/
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/radiant-floor-heating
https://www.solarpowerauthority.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-install-solar-on-an-average-us-house/
http://news.energysage.com/how-much-does-the-average-solar-panel-installation-cost-in-the-u-s/
https://www.thegreenage.co.uk/tech/biomass-boiler/
https://energy.gov/energysaver/planning-home-renewable-energy-systems

The Ever Reliable Ground Source Heat Pump

Ground Source Heat Pump Installation at Burry Port, Llanelli, Carmarthen

Burry Port is located on the beautiful Loughor estuary overlooking the Gower Peninsular.

The Problem and its Solution:
We were approached to find a way to reduce the customers outgoings and make their home more environmentally friendly. Upon our visit we established they were using electric storage heaters to heat their entire 10 bedroom house. Straight away we could advise them on more efficient alternatives and after some consideration they decided to have installed a Kensa Evo 13kw ground source heat pump.

The Benefits:
This renewable heating system provides 100% of their heating demand when ever they need it. The main benefits are:
– 400%+ efficient system, substantially saving their running costs
– £25,200 income from the Renewable Heat Incentive
– Fully automated and quiet to run
– Very little maintenance with a very long expected lifespan of 25+ years

Coal Power Stations and Their Decline

More Signs the Renewable Market is the Way Forward!

Progress for the renewable sector is evident as coal provided just 2% of the UK’s energy demand for the first half of 2017. This figure, published by Imperial College London, is even more startling when it’s compared to the same period 5 years ago when coal was generating more than 40% of the demand.

With pollution laws and carbon taxes making coal less profitable, the drive towards making the planet and its environment more sustainable should hopefully continue.

Another Record Breaker – Renewables Provide Over Half of Our Electricity

Renewables On The Rise

Another record has been broken! Yesterday, Wednesday 7th June, saw the UK provide more than half of our electricity from renewable sources. A combination of plenty of solar and wind energy, along with some hard working hydro and biogas/biomass plants produced more electricity than coal and gas stations together.

This indicates a step in the right direction, let’s see and hope that the new government furthers this by investing in a growing renewable market and not look backwards towards shale gas, coal and natural gas to feed our energy market.

Free Energy Anyone?

Solar Thermal Installation at Mayles, Swansea, Wales

Mayles is a populated suburb of Swansea with access to Clyne Gardens and a common located on Gower. It is a relatively hilly and wooded area within easy access to Swansea City Centre.

The Problem and its Solution:
Clients got in touch with Limitless Energy as they wanted to make their home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Their home is a 4 bedroom detached house with 2 bathroom suites. Being a large family and having a recent condensing gas boiler fitted we realised that the maximum potential would be to reduce their hot water costs and contribute to their heating when possible.

We therefore installed a Daikin two panel solar thermal system and attached it to a 300l Gledhill thermal store. This system was installed on their south facing roof with no shading what so ever and so provides the maximum energy capture available.

The Benefits:
This solar thermal installation saves our customers upto 80% of their hot water demand and because it’s attached to a thermal store it can also provide some heating when excess energy is being produced. The system is eligible for the government RHI scheme and pays the family over £330 annually with the complete savings and earnings over the 7 year period totalling over £2,500

Home Devices and Their Energy Consumption

Energy Intensive Devices

Technology now means that the majority of us have become dependant on devices to get us through our daily lives, but how much energy are these devices using? This will of course depend upon the age and efficiency of each device, however we’ve got some averages to help make you think about what devices you need to update or change your behaviour.

So, this will not come as a surprise, but fridges, freezers, electric cookers and tumble dryers come with the highest running costs. The most being freezers using around 300kWh/annum and B rated tumble dryers consuming around 280kWh/annum. If you’re looking to reduce your energy consumption and you’ve got some of these devices with are old, then it’s definitely time to look at updating them to improve their efficiency. Televisions depend on whether you have a LCD or Plasma, LCD consumes around 190kWh/annum and plasma considerably more, and your wireless router uses around 60kWh/annum.

What else can we do to help reduce our consumption except for buying new devices? Simple, turn them off standby when your not using them. This has been said so many times before, but it really works. Turn off your electric toothbrush charger, printer, router, phone charges, desktop computers, TV’s etc… Obviously you can’t turn off your fridge or freezer, but turning off your wireless router helps not only with your home consumption, but also the global consumption due to increased server communication globally.

Having Problems with your Biomass? – We can Help!

Biomass Boiler Repair at Rhossili, Gower, Wales

Rhossili is located at the end of the beautifully picturesque Gower Peninsular, which was designated the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK. The village and surrounding area are steeped in history. The prominent wreck of the Helvetia, which ran aground on Rhossili Bay in November 1887 bears witness to the challenging weather conditions and the tales of our ancestors, who lured boats ashore to plunder their hold. Being located at the most western tip of Gower it’s not a surprise that the properties are off the gas grid and some even off mains electricity.

The Problem and its Solution:
Limitless Energy were asked to help with a problematic biomass boiler at the commercial look out station situated at the very end of Rhossili itself. The property has no hot water, gas or electricity, but requires heat for the occupants during the day who keep watch at the station. Currently installed is a small EcoTec 500 pellet biomass boiler which has been in for over 7 years but always given trouble.

The long standing problems we found with the current system was user error and poor electrical supply. The property relies on generating and storing a small amount of electricity via a turbine suppling power to the radios, lights, and the auger and ignition of the pellet biomass boiler stove. We diagnosed that the supply was sufficient due to the exposed location and size of turbine but the storage was not adequate for the demand. When the demand increased the supply could not provide enough power to ignite and run the auger effectively. We therefore recommended they increase their storage, which they subsequently did, and the problem solved. The user error was simply lack of understanding and so we provided full detailed instructions on how to operate the system efficiently and correctly.

The Benefits:
Our customers now benefit from a reliable, cheap renewable heating and power generation system. They have full understanding on how it works and can worry no longer as they’ve taken out and annual service contract and know that we are always on the end of the phone.