Update from Energy Resources Director, Dan Bedbury

Much has changed in the last couple years as our community weathered the many phases of the COVID pandemic. What business looks like and even what a workplace looks like for many of us has continued to evolve as we strive to keep our employees, customers and community healthy and safe. What hasn’t changed at Clark Public Utilities is our commitment to providing you and your operations with safe, reliable and affordable electric and water service, and industry-leading customer service.

Looking forward to ongoing economic recovery and growth, staff across our utility are working diligently on planned system improvements, meeting legislative mandates related to power supply and carbon reduction, the expected increase in adoption of electric vehicles in our community and more. As we forge ahead, your Key Accounts Manager is prepared and eager to help identify and facilitate energy efficiency opportunities, site expansion or upgrades, and fleet electrification efforts. All are initiatives that may yield significant economic and greenhouse gas savings and qualify for incentives or rebates to offset the initial investment.

As we emerge from the pandemic and health and safety guidelines evolve, we continue to reevaluate a measured return to office work environment for employees who have worked remotely for the last two years.

While our downtown and Orchards location lobbies remain closed to the public, our Customer Service team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 360-992-3000 or by contacting your Key Accounts Manager directly. We look forward to the continuing journey and our Energy Resources team is eager to see you all in person soon and assist in the efficient and affordable operation of your processes and facilities.

Commercial HVAC Incentives Expiring in September

Have you considered replacing HVAC equipment in your building? If so, now is the time to act! Effective July 1, 2020, Clark Public Utilities adopted promotional incentives for several HVAC measures. However, those promotional incentives will be expiring on September 30th, 2022 and returning to previous values. The current and future incentives are as follows:

CurrentlyAfter September 30, 2022
Advanced Roof-top Unit$225/ton$200/ton
Advanced Roof-top Unit (lite)$125/ton$100/ton
DHP Upgrade$400/ton$300/ton
DHP Retrofit$1,250/ton$1,000/ton
ASHP Upgrade$200/ton$150/ton
ASHP Retrofit$1,125/ton$1,000/ton

In addition, several other HVAC measures that did not have promotional incentives will continue after September 30th as well. Those measures are as follows:

Connected Thermostat (initial install) $200/unit
Variable Refrigerant Flow System$1,000/unit
Variable Frequency Drive on AHU$300/hp
Packaged Terminal Heat Pump $600/unit

If you have any questions about Commercial HVAC incentives, please feel free to contact Bill Hibbs by email at [email protected] or by phone at 360-992-3340.

Use Networked Lighting Controls to increase energy savings and light quality in your building!

As a building or business owner, you can improve lighting, reduce energy usage and lower costs with networked lighting controls. Today’s controls are easier to install and operate better than ever before, and they offer many high-performance features:

  • Quick to install, simple to use
    With Networked Lighting Controls, there’s no rewiring so installation is quick. Plus, it’s easy to set up specific lighting functions in one area or the whole building with just a few strokes on a computer, phone or tablet.
  • Enhanced features and energy savings
    Networked Lighting Controls provide the right light when and where it is needed, both indoors and out. By helping to extend the life of your lighting system and using less energy, these controls save money, improve your ROI and shorten your payback. Plus, additional incentives for controls may be available, helping you reduce your upfront costs.
  • Get more for your money
    Ask your contractor or contact us about adding controls to your lighting project. You’ll get the best light quality and most aggressive energy savings on the market.

Clark Public Utilities is currently offering incentives from $40 – $60 in addition to traditional incentives to incorporate Networked Lighting Controls in your lighting project. If you have questions about Networked Lighting Controls or cash incentives for lighting and controls, please contact Bill Hibbs by email at [email protected] or by phone at 360-992-3340.

Washington State Clean Buildings Performance Standard

On May 7, 2019, the Clean Buildings bill (HB 1257, 2019) was signed into law. The objective is to lower costs and reduce pollution from fossil fuel consumption in the state’s existing buildings, especially large commercial buildings. The law requires the Washington State Department of Commerce to develop and implement an energy performance standard for these buildings and provide incentives to encourage efficiency improvements.

The Clean Buildings Performance Standard is mandatory for all covered commercial buildings located in the state of Washington. A covered commercial building is a building where the sum of nonresidential, hotel, motel and dormitory floor areas exceeds 50,000 gross square feet, excluding the parking garage area.

Federal buildings and buildings belonging exclusively to recognized Tribes are not required to comply with the standard. Buildings approved for exemption certificates are only valid for the current compliance review cycle. The building owner of a covered commercial building must report compliance with the standard to the Department of Commerce in accordance with the initial compliance schedule as follows and every five years thereafter.

Compliance dates are by building size

  • June 1, 2026 – 220,001+ square feet
  • June 1, 2027 – 90,001- 220,000 square feet
  • June 1, 2028 – 50,000- 90,000 square feet

Building owners will receive a letter with instructions on how to log into the Clean Buildings Portal to verify the accuracy of the building’s characteristics and to submit required compliance documentation. It is important to note that if a building owner of a covered commercial building does not receive a notification, this does not release them from the legal obligation to comply.

The Washington State Department of Commerce has additional information regarding the law and the path to compliance. The Clean Building page can be found here.

Clark Public Utilities is assisting customers in their path to compliance by offering several tools:

  • Access to a Clean Buildings Standard Technical Assistance helpline. If you want more information regarding the helpline, please contact your Key Account Manager. The number should be available within the next week or two.
  • Tool and resources designed to assist customer with technical compliance with the standard and learning modules designed to assist customers with building optimization
  • Data Exchange with Energy Star Portfolio Manager (more information found in this newsletter)

Please contact your Key Accounts Manager for additional information and assistance.

Leverage a New Kind of Portfolio Manager

Energy Star® Portfolio Manager is a free, interactive, web-based energy management tool. More than 40 percent of U.S. building space is benchmarked through Portfolio Manager. Using the tool, property owners and facilities managers across the country are setting baselines and identifying buildings to target for savings. In addition, benchmarking for the Clean Building Law compliance (more information found in this newsletter) will be completed using Energy Star® Portfolio Manager.

Portfolio Manager will help you track more than 100 different metrics and set goals to save energy, water and money. Using the tool, you can easily:

  • Monitor energy and water use
  • Track greenhouse gas emissions
  • Assess energy management goals over time
  • Identify strategic opportunities to cut waste and boost your bottom line
  • Evaluate eligibility to earn Energy Star recognition

After creating a Portfolio Manager account, establishing a connection and sharing your property/meter data, Clark Public Utilities will help you save time and resources by automatically uploading the last 12 months of the building’s energy and water (if applicable) consumption along with cost data into your account via a data exchange with Portfolio Manager. After the initial upload, Clark Public Utilities will upload consumption data on a monthly basis.

For assistance with enrolling in Data Exchange or for more information, visit our website. You may also contact your Key Accounts Manager or email [email protected].

Fresh and Wastewater SEM off to a great start

Clark Public Utilities is currently running two Strategic Energy Management (SEM) cohorts with local wastewater and freshwater entities in Clark County.

SEM is a two-year continuous improvement program that helps facilities better understand and improve the energy intensity of their systems and facility through low- to no-cost savings opportunities.

We partner with Energy Smart Industrial (ESI) to offer qualifying facilities the opportunity to participate in remote SEM cohorts. The remote-setting cohort is made up of facilities throughout the northwest. SEM participants benefit from the peer-based sharing during workshops, and the remote cohort ability has allowed even more interaction between sites that were previously separated by geographic location.

Our freshwater cohort is in its first year and two local participating municipalities are working through generating their energy models, reviewing their hydraulic models and addressing opportunities for energy savings found during energy scans at their sites. It’s not uncommon for us to start to see savings and incentives, even in the first year of the engagement.

Our wastewater cohort is in its third year. At the close of year two, with 3 local participating municipalities and over 5 facility locations, there was a total savings of 426,721 kWh and a total incentive paid out of $45,295.35. Two of these municipalities elected to participate in a third year of engagement and are working through even more opportunities and generating ideas for additional savings.

What is actually involved?

  • Workshops with peers, plus on-site and remote technical support
  • Savings incentives and financial support for a performance tracking system
  • Continued full control of all systems and processes
  • Best-in-class data security

How is energy saved?

Through low- to no-cost operations and maintenance improvements, typical savings for sites are 3-10% of overall energy spend. The level of facility effort combined with savings potential determines the level of savings achieved. Working together, we can help facilities maximize energy savings over the long term.

What about safety, reliability, and product quality?

SEM works with each facility’s team to provide the necessary education and tool to reduce their energy footprint without adversely impacting safety, product quality, or reliability. In fact, plants typically operate more efficiently after participating in the program due to lower maintenance costs, better use of resources, and having a deeper understanding of their facility’s systems.

Are there other added benefits?

Yes, an additional benefit of this process is identifying capital projects that are also eligible for incentives through our custom industrial energy efficiency program. Many sites have capital improvements projects that they budget and plan for every year that also save energy. We are able to work with the sites directly on these projects and identify many that are eligible for incentives.

How can we find out more? Contact your Key Accounts Manager for more information.

Secondary Windows Rejuvenate Aging Office Building

Built in 1975, Hurley Development’s 915 Broadway office building in downtown Vancouver, Wash., features floor-to-ceiling windows in every perimeter office—6,000 sq. ft. of windows in total. While all of these single-pane windows let in a vast amount of natural light, they also brought in far too much heat in summer, and too much cold air in winter. This thermal leakage not only led to tenant comfort complaints, it also inflated energy costs by forcing the aging HVAC equipment to strain to maintain indoor temperatures.

With tenant comfort a top priority, Hurley Development committed to finding a solution to solve the thermal leakage caused by so many thin, single-pane windows. When a full window replacement was quoted at $2–3 million dollars (almost as much as the building is worth), Hurley Development pivoted to a much more affordable and feasible option to solve their comfort and energy-cost issues: Secondary windows.

Read more at https://betterbricks.com/uploads/resources/915Broadway_SecondaryWindows_CaseStudy.pdf

BOC Scholarships Available

Clark Public Utilities is a proud sponsor of the 2022 Building Operation Certification program technical webinar series. As a sponsor of the technical webinar series, Clark Public Utilities can offer customers complimentary registrations to the webinars and access to webinar recordings for sessions that have already been offered. The 2022 sessions are as follows:

  • Old Habits Die Hard: Reinventing Your IEQ Strategy – February 23, 2022
    This webinar will cover how the role and responsibilities of those in building operations is
    evolving due to the COVID pandemic, new technologies, and policies.
  • Benchmarking Simplified: Using Tools & Techniques to Meet Energy Performance Standards – March 23, 2022
    This webinar will cover benefits of integrating sub metering technologies, benchmarking tools,
    and other practices to comply with energy performance and benchmarking policies.
  • It’s Electric: The Impact of Electrification on Building Operations – April 20, 2022
    This webinar will cover the transition of building energy “resources” away from fossil fuels and
    how building operators can prepare for the future and the opportunities it holds.
  • Heat Pumps: Are They the Right Fit for Your Building? – May 18, 2022
    This webinar will cover aspects building owners and operators should consider before installing
    heat pumps, including return on Investment, how heat pumps affect connected building systems
    and preparing occupants and technicians for the transition.
  • What’s Next for Building Controls? The Evolution of Wireless Technology – September 21, 2022
    Hear from a building controls engineer about how wireless technology has evolved as a reliable
    and cost-effective solution for system retrofits and new equipment installations.
  • Occupancy & Ventilation: Finding the Balance Between Safety & Efficiency – October 19, 2022
    This webinar will examine the differences and benefits of utilizing occupancy sensors in place of
    CO2 sensors for optimizing ventilation control for energy efficiency.

In addition to the webinars, Clark Public Utilities is also offering two $1000.00 scholarships to individuals interested in completing a Building Operators Certification level I, level II or Fundamentals of Energy Efficient Building Operations course.

Please contact your Key Account Manager if you are interested in attending a webinar or applying for a scholarship.