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Shining a light on energy savings
Improving efficiency in homes and businesses is often a quick way to save energy and money. Yet many people are just beginning to take full advantage of the latest energy-saving technology. A programme to reduce power use at some Shell-owned service stations shows the benefits can be significant.
Homes and commercial buildings are responsible for more energy use than all forms of transportation combined. So, energy efficiency upgrades can quickly deliver significant savings.
Just as some homeowners have taken steps to lower their utility bills, Shell has experimented with equipping company-owned service stations with new technologies to reduce energy consumption.
“Consumers switch to low-power light bulbs and more efficient heating, air conditioners and appliances to cut their energy consumption,” said Randee Latonio, global manager for the project. “We pretty much did the same, but on a larger scale.”
The programme first evaluated multiple technologies and systems for cost and benefits. Ten were identified as most promising and retrofitted to 1,900 company service stations in 12 countries. Lighting, air conditioning and refrigeration account for more than 80% of service station energy consumption, so the selected technologies concentrate in those areas.
Key changes include:
· Converting most lighting to low-energy light-emitting diodes, often controlled by daylight and motion sensors.
· Removing unnecessary lighting.
· Installing more efficient heaters and air conditioners with more accurate thermostats.
· Adding doors to refrigerated cabinets and drink coolers.
To make stations even more efficient, Shell engineers also tested automated controls that manage all service station energy use.
To date, the overall project is delivering nearly 20% average energy savings – enough from each station to power about four homes per month.