Know What They Know

January 7, 2014 at 11:53 PM

How your electricity provider uses efficiency measures to save money

Your electrical power company is in the business of providing electrical power to residential and commercial customers on a 24-hour, 365-day per year basis. How do they do it? How can they ensure reliable and economic power for all? Efficiency methods are critical to the company’s ability to provide you with reliable electricity on demand. So, why not use what they know to your business’ advantage?

Enough for the next person “down the line”

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It is critical to your power company’s bottom line to save as much of the electrical power available within its network so that each customer has an adequate amount for their daily use.

We have all experienced the rolling power shut down on high-demand days. Reducing the amount of current running through the power lines is a very effective method of distributing power, which helps save the utility company millions of dollars in material cost every year.

How can your business benefit from this?

  1. Request three-phase service, if possible, when you are building a new construction or improving your existing electrical infrastructure. Three-phase electricity is efficient and keeps commercial motors running longer without interruption. This is especially important because each phase keeps the motor running.
  2. Use motor controllers at the location closest to your equipment. Once electrical power is brought to your building there can be a tremendous amount of electrical line loss. Motor controllers can help recuperate this loss by improving the electrical distribution within your building. In addition they reduce the wear of daily operation and extend the equipment’s useful life.

Reduce unnecessary electrical waste

How many times have you had to go to your circuit panel to reset a circuit that has gone off after you plugged in one item too many? This is a perfect example of an over current condition. Over current occurs when too much heat has built up in a circuit and the breaker closes in order to protect the insulated wire and your building’s electrical service.

Your electric company has a series of protective measures built into the distribution network to address over current conditions. They can utilize power transformers on their power lines, but what can you do for your business?

When your system is left unchecked for an extended period of time, over current conditions often cause insulation and equipment damage. Treatments such as panel surge suppressors can help to eliminate these issues, especially common in older buildings.

Protect your electrical investment

System protection is the most overlooked aspect of an electrical distribution system.  During the time of new construction, much thought is placed into installing the correct distribution panels, load circuits, etc. that the building will need for normal operation. However, over time through normal wear, this system becomes vulnerable to over current and other electrical issues.

Implementing an electrical system protection plan helps businesses to mitigate the costly issues that result from an older building’s aging electrical infrastructure.

The decision of which protection system to use is often based on the building’s needs, initial cost and continuity of service.

Do not rely on a single power source

Power companies rely on a mix of sources to generate the required power for their customers. From natural gas and petroleum to nuclear, hydroelectric and renewable, these various energy sources ensure the availability of electrical power on a continual basis.

With the growing unpredictability of weather events and the necessity of risk management plans for your business, businesses must consider alternative sources of power. Solar, fuel cell, and cogeneration power are all viable supplements or alternatives to providing reliable power to your business.

The goal of these monthly articles is to provide a better understanding of building electrical distribution systems, as well as discuss alternative energy sources and how to anticipate and plan for building energy challenges.

Solar Energy - FYI

Do Solar PV Modules work in cold weather?

It’s a common belief that solar photovoltaic modules cannot produce electricity during the winter months. In fact, it's the complete opposite. Photovoltaic solar module power production works most efficiently in cold temperatures.

Cold, sunny environments provide optimal operating conditions for solar modules. You see, it's the light from the sun that produces the electricity in photovoltaic modules, not the heat. So, regardless of the season, on cloudy and overcast days, photovoltaic modules do not perform as well as on sunny days... it is all about the light!

The goal of these monthly articles is to provide a better understanding of building electrical distribution systems, as well as discuss alternative energy sources and how to anticipate and plan for building energy challenges.

RSE Energy Group, an Authorized Affiliate of Energy Automation Solutions Inc, has over 35 years of Energy Conservation Experience to help you cut your electricity consumption by 10% or more. Each project comes with a written guarantee of savings.

Ronald Raymond,
RSE Energy Group
"Right Solution for Everyday Use"
Tel: (201) 303-3711

Please send your comments and questions to

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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