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Saving energy doesn't have to cost a lot?

Long before the recent Earth Summit in Rio, Con Edison realized that we all must play a part in making our planet more environmentally sound.

More than 20 years ago, we became the first utility to promote the efficient use of energy with the "Save-a-Watt" program and we continue to take a leadership role with the Enlightened Energy program. Enlightened Energy encourages customers, both commercial and residential, to use energy wisely and backs up its words of encouragement with cash.

Through Enlightened Energy, Con Edison has helped thousands of companies save money on their utility bill and improve the efficiency of their building systems at little or no cost by providing rebates on the purchase of energy-efficient lighting, air conditioning and electric motors. More than 23,000 applications have been received for rebates totaling approximately $210 million the nearly two years since Enlightened Energy was launched.

Lighting upgrades are by far the most popular among Con Edison customers. Today's new fluorescent systems are significantly more energy efficient than even those on the cutting edge of technology just a decade ago. Upgrading almost any lighting system can help you save energy, and equally important, can help you save money on energy costs. Energy audits by Con Edison, and other utilities that offer them, can help building owners and managers determine what kind of efficiency improvements make economic sense.

That's just what the LeFrak Organization did for their office and residential properties in Manhattan and Queens. The compnay upgraded their lighting, air conditioning and heating systems. The effort has already paid off handsomely for the company. Con Edison paid the LeFrak Organization nearly $2 million in rabates toward the cost of installing efficient gas fired air conditioning at their Manhattan and Queens properties and upgrading to energy efficient fluorescent lighting.

The rebates, however, are only the beginning of financial savings. for the LeFrak Organization and many other companies, the improvements have already returned a dividend in the form of lower utility bills. LeFrak officials conservatively estimate that the company will save nearly one-half million dollars per year in cooling and heating costs and an additional $200,000 annually in lighting costs - a total of years.

Small businesses have also realized big savings by taking advantage of the Enlightened Energy program. Amplaco Group, Inc., a Bronx-based manufacturer of security guard uniforms with 60 employees, was able to upgrade their lighting with no up-front equipment costs at all. Their contractor agreed to accept Con Edison's rebate of $16,000 as full payment for 300 energy efficient lighting fixtures.

The company also qualified for Con Edison's special Area Development discounted electric rates, available in 31 areas of New York City where there is more capacity for electrical transmission than there is demand. Amplaco received rate discounts totaling about $200 per month. These discounts combined with their lighting savings reduced utility bills nearly $5,000 a year for the small business.

Apartment building owners can be eligible for many of the same finance benefits as commercial and industrial properties. Owners or managers of buildings with five or more units can apply for an Apartment Building Conservation ABC survey. A Con Edison consultant conducts a thorough analysis of a number of building systems, including boiler efficiency, hot water distribution system, heating distribution system, lighting efficiency, window efficiency, roofing insulation and air conditioning.

Con Edison then compiles a comprehensive written report, which suggests a number of ways to improve energy efficiency. The report also notes approximate costs for the improvements and the amount of time it would take for the savings in energy costs to pay for the improvements.

For both commercial and residential properties, there are some indirect energy efficiency benefits to these programs as well. Since energy efficient lighting produces less heat than the fixtures replaced, air conditioning systems need not work as hard to remove that heat, reducing energy usage to cool the building. Also, if incandescent bulbs are replaced with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, they do not need to be changed as often, resulting in reduced labor costs.

Con Edison's Enlightened Energy is one of the best ways for owners and managers to reduce operating costs while improving the quality of their buildings.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Hagedorn Publication
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Wemple, Stephen
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 19, 1992
Words:700
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