Energy Conservation & Waste Reduction

At VeriForm Inc. we care deeply about the environment and energy conservation & waste reduction. In fact between 2006 and 2008 we invested $46,186 in over 42 individual energy saving projects and the result has been astounding: Our annual operating costs have been reduced by $89,152. Factoring in energy price increases, we expect to save over $1.42 million dollars over the next 10 years. In addition, we have reduced our company’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 233 tonnes per year. That is equivalent to more than 10,000 trees absorbing carbon dioxide annually.

Since 2006 we have more than doubled our sales per kwh which means we have reduced our energy costs by over 58%! If every business in Ontario tackled their energy costs as we have, Ontario would not need to build any new power stations and we could create thousands of new jobs in the energy saving products sector. Lastly, our return on investment for the average energy savings project was just 6.3 months and not the 2 years we had expected. Some projects paid for themselves in just 1.5 weeks.

Here is a list of both unique or very profitable energy and waste reduction projects:

Project Initial Cost Annual Savings Annual CO2 Reduction (kg)
Replace Paper Towels with Super Hand Dryers $2,020 $2,853 2,300
Turn Off Printers/Monitors/Computers at Night $250 $2,978 3,487
Software to Print Multiple Pages per Sheet $320 $1,200 1,293
Replace HID plant lighting with T5 lights $8,000 $20,916 26,275
Install Tamper Resistant Programmable Plant Thermostat $1,200 $13,911 84,067
Wire Heating Disconnects on 5 Bay Doors $1,200 $7,893 47,699
Equipment Capacitors to Raise Power Factor $11,285 $24,118 28,243

In the 2.5 years VeriForm has implemented energy and waste reduction programs we distilled our experience into “Golden Rules” for judging project effectiveness and for successful implementation:

Golden Rule 1:

Pick the Lowest Hanging Fruits First
Pick the fastest, cheapest and most rewarding programs to implement first. Look for pay backs in 1 year or less.

Golden Rule 2:

Wrestle Your Power Factor to Over 90
Check your electrical bill. If the Power Factor (PF) is less than 90, then your electrical costs are 20% higher than a 90 plus PF shop. Utility companies do not break out the extra cost of a poor PF on your bill but the main solution is to install capacitors at individual machines.

Golden Rule 3:

Replace HID lighting with T5 Lighting
T5 lights use 50% less electricity than HID lights, last 3-4 times longer and emit better light longer over their life.

Golden Rule 4:

Install Programmable Thermostats and Lock Them
A programmable thermostat can pay for itself within weeks. But lock the thermostats so that staff do not tamper with them.

Golden Rule 5:

Expand Your Projects to Include Waste
Projects like printing multiple pages per sheet and eliminating paper towels are not typical energy saving projects. But they save trees from being cut down and lower the costs associated with waste disposal.

Golden Rule 6:

Buy Equipment Based on Energy Usage
Choose efficient computers and production equipment. A more efficient motor will pay for itself within months.
Our projects at VeriForm have resulted in amazing savings. We never expected such quick paybacks and return on investments. I think most business owners feel saving money on electricity is a small savings but we have proven that you can increase your profitability tremendously. Despite our achievements, we expect to implement even more projects in the future. We definitely are not finished making VeriForm a cleaner and more efficient company.

The following charts show the top 37 projects VeriForm implemented in the last few years in order to reduce the company’s costs and carbon footprint:

All 37 Projects Top 5 Projects
Total Initial Cost of All Projects $46,774.70 $21,685.00
Annual Savings $91,263.26 $71,818.02
Annual CO2 Emissions Reduced 232,613 kg 193,823 kg
Return on Investment 195% 331%
Average Payback Period 6.2 months 3.7 months
Average Payback Period 6.2 months 3.7 months
Environmental Initiatives Cost to Implement Annual Savings 10 Year Savings Annual CO2 Emissions Reduction (kg) Annual CO2 Emissions Reduction (tonnes) Payback Period (months)
Install 10 capacitors $11,285 $24,118 $384,380.63 28,243 28.24 5.6
Install programmable thermostat in plant $1,200 $13,911 $221,706.56 84,067 84.07 0.2
T5 lighting in expansion $2,000 $12,109 $192,991.56 15,212 15.21 2.0
T5 lighting in Bay 1 $6,000 $8,807 $140,357.50 11,063 11.06 8.2
Disconnects on bay doors turn off heat when open $1,200 $7,893 $125,794.69 47,699 47.70 1.8
Consolidate 2 garbage bins into 1 $0 $4,980 $79,368.75 507 0.51 Immediate
Cut steel 15% above standard industry speeds $0 $3,155 $50,282.81 3,403 3.40 Immediate
Computers, monitors and printers off at night $250 $2,978 $47,461.88 3,487 3.49 1.0
Replace paper towels with Xlerator hand dryers $2,020 $2,853 $45,475.00 2,300 2.30 8.5
T5 electronic ballast lighting in office and lunchroom $3,000 $1,550 $24,703.13 1,971 1.97 23.2
VeriForm owner buys Hybrid vehicle $0 $1,200 $19,125.00 2,727 2.73 Immediate
Use software that allows multipage printing per page (www.fineprint.com) $320 $1,018 $16,224.38 1,293 1.29 3.8
Replace CRT monitors with LCD monitors $7,200 $888 $14,152.50 1,039 1.04 97.3
Remove 59 of 88 bulbs from office lights $0 $999 $15,915.33 955 0.95 Immediate
Install extra insulation in the bay 2 ceiling $5,100 $968 $15,433.24 5,852 5.85 63.2
Buy gases in bulk $10 $780 $12,431.25 455 0.45 0.2
Buy used ISOLE motion activated power bars $288 $393 $6,257.38 459 0.46 8.8
Stop purchasing plastic cutlery and dishes $0 $368 $5,865.00 51 0.05 Immediate
Insulate office walls under windows $632 $276 $4,402.99 324 0.32 27.4
Turn off heating in office every night $150 $231 $3,675.28 888 0.89 7.8
Install economizer on air conditioning in office $500 $200 $3,187.50 770 0.77 30.0
Install motion activated lights outside $318 $194 $3,087.41 243 0.24 19.7
Motion activated lights in hallways, bathrooms and locker room $450 $145 $2,310.94 182 0.18 37.2
CFL bulbs in bathrooms, hallway and outside $24 $135 $2,143.91 518 0.52 2.1
Maintenance on air conditioner twice a year $300 $128 $2,041.82 494 0.49 28.1
Remove 9 more bulbs in main office $0 $133 $2,123.15 156 0.16 Immediate
Reduce temperature on water heater to 120° $0 $129 $2,056.51 151 0.15 Immediate
Turn off all lighting in office every night $100 $117 $1,862.14 450 0.45 10.3
Wrapped shop water heater and pipes $50 $60 $956.25 394 0.39 10.0
Replaced all Exit Lights with LED or CFL bulbs $588 $154 $2,454.38 180 0.18 45.8
Adding 10 new trees on property this year and six more next year $2,800 $0 $0 218 0.22 n/a
Recycle bottles/cans/plastic $240 $0 $0 3,553 3.55 n/a
Paper recycling $115 $0 $0 553 0.55 n/a
Permanent bags for office supplies to eliminate plastic bags with store purchases $35 $0 $0 49 0.05 n/a
Use YouSendIt software to send large files (www.yousendit.com) $0 $150 $2,390.63 100 0.10 Immediate
Prohibited use of plastic bags in office waste baskets $0 $68 $1,083.75 76 0.08 Immediate
Distribute CFL’s to staff $0 $0 $0 4,442 4.44 n/a