Energy Conservation and Waste Reduction
Over 100 (and counting) Energy Reduction and Sustainability Initiatives in 12 years!
At VeriForm Inc., we care deeply about the environment, energy conservation, and 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, specifically our energy 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 202 tonnes per year (as of December 2017). That is equivalent to more than 10,000 trees absorbing carbon dioxide annually.
Since 2006, we have more than tripled our sales per kWh which means we have reduced our energy costs by over 70%! We used to sell $6.12 of product for every kilowatt-hour of electricity. Today, in 2019, we sell over $19.55 per kilowatt hour.
In fact, 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.
The astounding other benefits include a 43% reduction in maintenance costs. We have also calculated that every tonne of GHG (Greenhouse Gases) we have eliminated has saved us approximately $900/tonne annually. This is astounding considering that the Ontario cap and trade market in 2017 valued a tonne at just $18.
We hate to politicize our message, but we did all of these projects willingly. In our professional opinion, 99% of businesses will not do what we have done unless the government enacts legislation like carbon taxes and cap and trade programs. In fact, the harm done by not mandating energy reduction and smart asset management on our nation will cost millions of jobs in Canada and set us back decades in terms of progress, plus economic and public health.
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|
Since 2006, 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 over their life.
Golden Rule 4:
Install Programmable Thermostats and Lock Them
A programmable thermostat can pay for itself within weeks. But make sure to 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. We think most business owners think that saving money on electricity is small saving, 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 are definitely not finished making VeriForm a cleaner and more efficient company.
The following charts show the initial 37 projects VeriForm implemented between the years 2006 and 2009 in order to reduce the company’s costs and carbon footprint. (We plan on updating the chart to show the full 100+ initiatives later this year, before the end of 2019):
|All 37 Projects||Top 5 Projects|
|Total Initial Cost of All Projects||$46,774.70||$21,685.00|
|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 a programmable thermostat in plant||$1,200||$13,911||$221,706.56||84,067||84.07||0.2|
|T5 lighting in the 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 the office every night||$150||$231||$3,675.28||888||0.89||7.8|
|Install economizer on air conditioning in the 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 the main office||$0||$133||$2,123.15||156||0.16||Immediate|
|Reduce temperature on the water heater to 120Â°||$0||$129||$2,056.51||151||0.15||Immediate|
|Turn off all lighting in the 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 the property this year and six more next year||$2,800||$0||$0||218||0.22||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 wastebaskets||$0||$68||$1,083.75||76||0.08||Immediate|
|Distribute CFL’s to staff||$0||$0||$0||4,442||4.44||n/a|