BCC CASE STUDY: ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Pittsburgh Site – 300 acres, 15 buildings, 800,000 sf under roof. Buildings were
constructed from 1952 to present.
History of Sustainability
With energy prices rising rapidly and the corporation setting Sustainability as one of its overarching goals, Bayer began a systematic analysis of how it was using energy. In 2005, the Pittsburgh Site spent several million dollars on electricity and natural gas. Since 2005, it has reduced its yearly electricity usage by 5 million kWh (from 30.6 million kWh in 2005 to 25 million kWh in 2010) through a methodical analysis of how the site is using energy.
Approach - “If You Don’t Measure It, You Can’t Control It.”
The first initiative Bayer invested in was installing improved energy-metering devices on all its buildings. The metering system gave the company the ability to begin analyzing its energy usage. Further, this action has allowed Bayer to shift its energy accounting from averaging energy usage over the whole site to directly charging specific departments within the buildings for their usage. This metering project was a $70,000 - $80,000 investment, requiring approximately a year of planning and 6 months of prep work. Bayer was able to justify this expense by making the case that it needed to be able to measure specific energy usage in order to make strategic changes which would result in high returns.
After the second month of metering, Bayer’s energy usage dropped by 5%. This improvement was a result of behavioral change, due to the fact that each department now had to pay for energy out of its own expenses. The improved meters also showed Bayer how energy was being used during off-hours. Bayer observed that energy usage during off-hours was not significantly different than usage during normal work hours. The company found this was driven by two factors. First, cleaning crews were present in the evenings, using lights and electrical outlets. Second, many labs had energy intensive equipment that was being left on over the course of the weekends.
After making these observations, Bayer was able to quickly reduce its weekend energy usage, and eventually switched to day cleaning. When they switched to day cleaning they observed energy savings of about 3%.
These meters have also allowed Bayer to determine which buildings were the major energy users. Analysis showed that just 3 of their 15 buildings use 75% of the campus’s total energy, and only 2 of the 15 buildings use 80% of the natural gas. By knowing where the majority of energy is being used, Bayer is able to focus its efforts on improving the efficiency of those buildings.
Bayer is currently retrofitting two buildings on their Pittsburgh campus for LEED-CI. The first building is 70,000 sq ft and will be completed at the end of 2011; the second is 90,000 sq ft and will be finished at the beginning of 2013. Once these buildings are completed Bayer will be moving employees from leased offices to the main campus. Bayer estimates that the consolidation and energy savings achieved by retrofitting these buildings will save the company around $200,000 a year.
- All computers and multi-function printers are ENERGY STAR certified and are programmed to switch to sleep mode after short periods of inactivity.
- All printer defaults are set to double sided, black and white printing.
- Replaced 24,000 35w T8 bulbs with 25w T8 bulbs (justified by demonstrating that the payback was less than 9 months).
- Change your lights immediately - If you already have T8s you may only need to change your bulbs from 35W to 25W to yield significant savings. If you are still using T12 you will need to change fixtures, which will significantly affect the return on investment.
- Day cleaning – Eliminating night-time cleaning crews allows you to turn the lights off and set the thermostat at more energy efficient temperatures earlier than normal.
- Examine energy usage on the weekends – If your facilities are closed on the weekend, your electricity bills should be significantly lower. Encouraging employees to shut down computers and idle equipment could yield significant savings.
- Work with your energy company to determine the best metering options - New meters may not be financially viable for small businesses, but by working with your energy provider you may be able to determine your hourly usage with a standard meter.
Bayer’s 5 years of reduction:
Annual Electricity Usage
2005: 30.6 Million kWh
2006: 29.9 Million kWh
2007: 29.644 Million kWh
2008: 29.012 Million kWh
2009: 26.181 Million kWh
2010: 25.000 Million kWh
As a result of energy-saving initiatives, Bayer has reduced their energy usage by 5 Million kWh and is saving $500,000 a year as compared to 2005.