July 2012                                                                                            PSE.com/ForYourBusiness
Re-Energize Your Business header
In This Issue
Eastside Big Tom - Green Business in Olympia
Mercer Island Green Power Challenge
Seattle's Energy Benchmarking & Disclosure Ordinance
West Coast Energy Management Congress 2012
Bellevue Art Museum - Comprehensive Building Tune-Up
PSE Honors Lighting Contractors
Upcoming Classes
Quick Links

The financial success of any business depends on controlling costs, and summer is a great time for saving on energy bills. Just spending less on heating will lower your power bill substantially. But consider more ways to keep costs down this summer: turn equipment and lights off after hours; set energy-saving features on your office equipment so that it goes into sleep mode when not in use; and set the thermostat to 78 degrees during work hours and raise it to 85 degrees when the space is not occupied. Long summer days are a good reminder that many businesses can reduce lighting without reducing productivity or sales. Enjoy the summer sunshine and be sure to take full advantage of PSE's commercial lighting rebates and Small Business Lighting program.

Eastside Big Tom Re-Thinks Their Energy  

Eastside Big Tom


When Michael Fritsch took over the family business, Olympia's Eastside Big Tom, he found himself with a local institution, well known for its house recipe GOOP sauce and covetable corner location. Less known was Big Tom's long history of environmentally friendly business practices which, like the sauce and location, Michael saw no reason to change. In fact, they were a foundation from which to build.


Today, Big Tom's water heater is still solar powered, they recycle everything they "possibly can" and Michael's dad continues to run his truck on the old fryer oil. But one thing that is new is that Eastside Big Tom is carbon neutral. To make this happen, Fritsch enrolled Big Tom in PSE's Green Power and Carbon Balance programs - two ways to reduce your business' electric and natural gas emissions through clean, renewable energy and certified carbon offsets, respectively. Fritsch finds the programs to be "simple and inexpensive" ways to support something in which he has always believed and notes that these are options that "most anyone can do."


As in the case of Big Tom, being green can be a point of differentiation and pride, but it can also help meet internal sustainability goals and imposed requirements. No matter the reason, Green Power and Carbon Balance offer you easy ways to measurably reduce your organization's carbon footprint and gain exposure in your community. E-mail us at psegreenpower@pse.com to request a customized proposal for either of these programs or call a PSE Energy Advisor at 1-800-562-1482 to find out how you can make your business a local environmental leader.

Want to be a Mercer Island Energy Hero?


Mercer Island Green Power Challenge 

It's easy to join PSE's Green Power Program for as little as $20 more per month you can join Island Books and Stopsky's Deli to support the development of local clean, renewable energy sources. E-mail us at psegreenpower@PSE.com and we will prepare a custom proposal for your business.

Seattle's Energy Benchmarking & Disclosure Ordinance


Energy Benchmarking 

Is Your Building in Compliance?


If a building that you own or manage is located in the City of Seattle, it may be subject to the energy benchmarking and reporting ordinance. Buildings subject to the ordinance include commercial offices, hotels, retail stores, groceries, warehouses, schools and medical facilities. Owners and managers of buildings larger than 50,000 sq ft were mailed notification letters last year. A list of buildings subject to the ordinance is also available on the website.


Those with commercial buildings greater than 50,000 sq ft should check that their building(s) 2011 annual energy performance was reported to the City by April 1, 2012. PSE customers in Seattle need to report their gas and other energy uses, such as Seattle City Light electric and Seattle Steam.


Commercial buildings 10,000 sq ft or greater and multifamily buildings with five or more units have a "grace period" until at least October 1, 2012 to comply with energy performance reporting.


"Benchmarking" is a method for comparing the total amount of energy a building uses (often called energy performance) against industry best practices or other defined metrics. Seattle is one of five cities nationwide with reporting requirements, and many other cities and states are considering similar requirements. The City of Seattle's goal is that everyone will benefit when the energy use of all our buildings is more visible. Program outcomes include: lowering energy costs to owners and tenants, creating job opportunities, and reducing greenhouse gas impacts. Visit www.seattle.gov/EnergyBenchmarking to learn more.


Building owners and managers are encouraged to use the free resources to get in compliance ahead of enforcement. First, visit the website to review the four steps to comply and download the How to Guide. To reduce the effort of manually entering data each month, PSE, Seattle City Light, and Seattle Steam offer "Automated Benchmarking" a direct upload of a building's summarized utility usage to EPA's Portfolio Manager. Learn more about PSE's Automated Benchmarking, which can provide summarized gas usage for buildings in the City of Seattle.



Free Benchmarking Resources


Workshops: August 22, September 6. Visit the website to register.

Drop-In Help: Wednesdays at the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, 18th floor, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Helpline: 206-727-8484 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday) or


Learn More: www.seattle.gov/EnergyBenchmarking



Submitted by Nicole Ballinger, Outreach Advisor - Energy Benchmarking & Reporting Program

City of Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment

30th Annual West Coast Energy Management Congress Attracts Energy Experts



As the premier energy conference and exposition held in the Pacific Northwest, the 30th Annual West Coast Energy Management Congress attracted energy leaders and experts from all over the Western United States to Seattle in May, 2012. Energy education, professional exchange, networking and demonstrations of technological advances were all part of what the congress offered. Attendees gained the tools needed to stay competitive in the fast changing energy and sustainable development industries.


PSE's own Cal Shirley, Vice President of Customer Solutions, delivered the keynote "Enlightened or Obsolete: Energy Companies of the Future" in which he challenged the audience to think and act in an enlightened, customer-focused manner that will take the energy business into a successful future. Other highlights included keynote speaker Rebecca Zimmer, Director of Global Energy & Resource Management at Starbucks Coffee Company, who presented on Starbucks' energy conservation, waste reduction, green buildings, and climate change initiatives.


Several sponsors of the congress, including McKinstry, Snohomish Public Utility District and PSE put together a new and exciting session entitled "Innovative Partnerships" for attendees to stay up to speed on local government initiatives and partnerships across the western states. PSE's Ben Rupert was part of a session on shared Resource Conservation Management programs, an interagency approach.


Holly Townes, Senior Energy Management Engineer at PSE, presented at a session on commissioning of existing buildings for energy efficiency. In this session, attendees heard case studies on local projects including the Bellevue Art Museum. Read more about the success of commissioning at the Bellevue Art Museum below. 

Bellevue Art Museum Saves Energy with Comprehensive Building Tune-Up


Bellevue Art Museum 

When it comes to energy use, museums can be complicated. Their collections require constant temperatures and humidities, and the varied hours of museum galleries, gift shops, offices, and auditoriums can confound HVAC and lighting schedules. Detective work by PSE's Comprehensive Building Tune-Up Program turned up some energy-use surprises at Bellevue Arts Museum, but nothing that low-cost/no-cost measures couldn't fix. With PSE's incentive, the measures paid for themselves in just seven months.


The 39,700 sq ft Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) isn't a large building, but it was a big challenge to operate in an energy-efficient manner. Not only did its third-floor galleries require constant temperatures and humidities, but the museum's ever-changing schedules for galleries, gift shop, auditorium, and offices complicated HVAC and lighting programming. The non-profit museum decided that it would rather spend its funds on exhibitions than on electricity bills, and it went to PSE for advice on commissioning its 12-year-old building. The terms of PSE's Comprehensive Building Tune-Up Program sealed the deal: the utility pays up to 70 percent of commissioning providers' fees, and if energy savings continue a year past program completion, PSE pays up to 100 percent of fees. "We run tight to the bone," explains BAM Operations Manager Chris DeGracia. "It would have been hard to convince us to do this without PSE's program."


Chris DeGracia
Chris DeGracia, Operations Manager, Bellevue Arts Museum

Detective work by Darren Goody, a seasoned commissioning provider with Facility Dynamics Engineering, zeroed in on big energy drains right away. Among them, the air-side economizer that brought in outside air for ventilation and occasional cooling of the museum's 8,500 sq ft of third-floor galleries was mysteriously programmed to open its outside air damper no more than 10 percent, hinting at possible past efforts to regulate gallery humidity by limiting outside air intake. Reprogramming HVAC system controls restored the economizer to full operation, enabling it to take advantage of free cooling during suitable conditions.


Sleuthing also revealed that the large 10-hp, 220-gpm condenser water pump that supplied the museum's air conditioning units was running 24/7 instead of only when cooling systems were operating or for infrequent freeze protection and chemical treatment of condenser water. Reprogramming controls again solved the problem: the pump now operates only three to six hours a week for non-cooling needs.


Yet another energy-saver: the supply-air duct static pressure setpoint in one of the museum's two air conditioning zones was found to be fixed: the setpoint was readjusted so that it varies with cooling load. Duct static pressure and supply air temperature are now adjusted every 10 minutes.


Carbon monoxide sensors in the museum's two-level parking garage were also checked after Goody spotted excessive ventilation fan operation when the garage was unoccupied, a sure tip-off that a sensor had failed. Investigation confirmed that one of the ventilation system's four sensors had failed; the museum opted to replace all four sensors with newer technology.


Meanwhile, Chris DeGracia was hired as the museum's new operations manager. His arrival was perfectly timed, because PSE's Comprehensive Building Tune-Up Program includes development of a customized manual that details how to operate a specific building to save the most energy possible. "All too often, this valuable documentation is either lacking or nonexistent," says Goody. By taking advantage of the museum's new manual and some control system training-also part of the PSE program-DeGracia entered the museum's energy efficiency effort right out of the gate.


PSE originally projected that the museum would reduce electricity use by about 12 percent in the first year after commissioning. The actual first-year result was even better: a 15 percent reduction. BAM saved 133,000 kWh that first year or $9,000 that BAM could redirect to museum activities. Energy efficiency dynamo Chris DeGracia is searching for other ways to save energy, including HVAC modes that could cut energy use in areas of the museum that are closed while other areas are open (museum offices closed on evenings and weekends, for example) and the possibility of an advance-warning occupancy sensor on the museum's elevator that would activate lights in the spacious third-floor galleries only when visitors enter. "I wouldn't be exploring all this without the PSE project," says DeGracia. "You need a third party like PSE to challenge you to think harder."

Lighting Contractors Recognized for Work with Small Businesses During 2011

Ryan Kim of Plan LED accepts his award from Michael Lane and Doug Dickson from PSE
Ryan Kim of Plan LED accepts his award from Michael Lane and Doug Dickson from PSE


PSE's Small Business Lighting program relies on the efforts of dozens of private lighting contractors to deliver energy-saving upgrades to over 125 small business customers each month. These contractors spread the word about how energy efficiency can help small businesses save money, along with information about how PSE's commercial rebates help with upfront costs of lighting improvements. Last month, PSE's commercial rebates program staff recognized the following contractors who were key contributors to success of the Small Business Lighting program by adhering to all program guidelines and delivering significant energy savings and high quality work:


kWh/Project Award (Highest average of kWh saved per project)

Nilsen Electric

Plan LED

All Fields Lighting


kWh Total (Highest total kWh saved)

Metro Group

UR Energy

Lightning Electric


Quality Projects (100% passing PSE's quality assurance verification)

Energy Management Services

CJ Electric

PNW Lighting


Congratulations and thanks to all of the contractors who are serving PSE customers!


Upcoming Classes
LDL Fall 2012 Education Series

Morning Class: 10 a.m. - Noon

The Basics of LEDs

Solid State Lighting has found its way into every niche of the commercial and industrial lighting trade. But before attempting to design a lighting system using LEDs, a fundamental knowledge of their history, forms and functions, and appropriate applications is needed. This is a beginner's class, intended for those wanting an introduction to LED products, their use, and the terminology specific to the technology.

Instructor: Jeff Robbins, LC, MIES


 Lunch: Noon - 1 p.m. (included with registration)


Afternoon Class: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.

What's New in Lighting for 2012

The fall tradition continues of reviewing this past year's latest lighting innovations in commercial and industrial lighting luminaires, lamps, ballasts, publications, controls, and components for exterior and interior uses. Also included in this class will be a summary of some award-winning products recognized throughout the industry. This class is intended for those already familiar with basic lighting terminology (i.e. CRI, CCT, L/W, LED, OLED, etc.) but can be of interest to those just entering the lighting industry as well.

Instructor: Andrew Pultorak, LC, MIES


Class Location and Dates


Everett, WA: Monday, September 24, Snohomish County PUD (Commissioners Room)

2320 California St, Everett, WA 98201

Bellevue, WA: Wednesday, October 3, Bellevue Residence Inn

605 114th Ave SE, Bellevue WA 98004

Tacoma, WA: Tuesday, October 9, Courtyard by Marriott, (Mt. St. Helen's Room)

1515 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA 98402

Boise, ID: Tuesday, October 23, Idaho AGC Training Center

1649 West Shoreline Drive, Boise, ID 83702

Seattle, WA: Tuesday, October 30, Lighting Design Lab

2915 4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134


Dates and locations subject to change - online registration opens August 16 at www.lightingdesignlab.com


We hope that this issue has provided you with some ideas and resources to improve energy efficiency at your business. Let us know if you have ideas for future articles. Please look for our next issue in October 2012.

Thanks for using energy wisely,
Your energy specialists at Puget Sound Energy