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The Power of True Gratitude

Thank you for your business Researchers are finding that individuals who exhibit and express the most gratitude are happier, healthier, and more energetic. Grateful people report fewer symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, even acne, and spend more time exercising. And the more a person is inclined towards gratitude, the less lonely, stressed, anxious and depressed they will be.

It would appear that counting our blessings on a regular basis can improve our moods and overall level of happiness and health, but expressing that appreciation to others will do so even more. And the good news is that noticing, appreciating and expressing our feelings for life’s little blessings can produce just as much benefit as noticing the monumental moment.

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During this Thanksgiving Season, Cooper Oates Air Conditioning wants to express our sincere gratitude for our clients, suppliers and industry contemporaries. Thank You!

We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and joyful holiday season!

Using Building Benchmarking As A Tool

Here are 4 ways to use the building benchmarking process more that just a compliance requirement, but a real tool to improve the return on the building investment:

1. How are your buildings doing?
Understand building performance at a building or portfolio level. See performance in simple metrics and benchmark a building against itself, a portfolio, its peers and ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®.

2. Are buildings getting better or worse?

Prioritize where to focus attention by watching building energy use and expense move with weather normalization and changes in your building. Spend time finding solutions for those buildings with the greatest needs.

3. Where are the best opportunities for savings?

Implement solutions that will change building performance. Identify low cost operation and maintenance changes, and plan for improvements with a good return on investment.

4. Have past energy improvements paid off? Measure and prove the results. Every investment-large or small-should yield results. Tracking changes and improvements will allow you to build best practices and save more.

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For more information on Benchmarking or if you building needs a Benchmark, contact Bill Schmalzel, LEED AP, COAC’s Director of Energy Services.

 

 

HVAC Retirement – To plan or not to plan

The end is coming! The question is, is it better to plan for HVAC replacement or endure the disruption when it occurs.

Old HVAC Ready for Retirement Replacing or upgrading an HVAC unit is never an easy decision, unless that decision has already been made for you due to the unit failing. Many building owners and managers are reactive when it comes to their HVAC systems. Something changes (no air, no cool, no warm etc…) then action is taken to correct the failure or replace the unrepairable unit. Even with diligent and meticulous maintenance HVAC has a finite lifespan and it will fail eventually. The real decision with managing the HVAC assets is will you manage them or will they manage you.

We suggest that you take control and manage these remarkable and quite vital assets. Whether the units are old and running on borrowed time due to the increasing shortage of R-22 refrigerant, you are looking to increase the buildings value and marketability or just want to save energy, taking control will pay off in many ways. Have a plan in place that allows you to be pro-active about your replacement strategy and that fits you budget. Thinking strategically about your HVAC assets is proving to be more economical over the long run than reacting to emergencies.

COAC can provide you with information and expert advice that will guide you through your decision process. Detailed unit evaluations, pre & post energy use modeling, maintenance and replacement planning and financing are just some of the ways we can assist you in taking control. To plan or not to plan, it’s up to you.

Read more about replacing or repairing here.

Benchmarking – more than just a compliance chore

Mandatory benchmarks are impacting sales and leases, know your number and take steps now to set your building apart.

Energy Projects Decision California’s required building benchmarking ordinance (AB1103) can be seen as cumbersome and intrusive to a real estate transaction but when a benchmark is viewed as a valuable tool, it can be the used to enhance marketing appeal, illuminate energy savings, and increase a building’s value. The U.S. EPA found an average energy savings of 2.4 percent per year in buildings that consistently benchmark their energy use.*

Benchmarking uses Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager Software to compare your building’s energy usage to similar buildings and generates a benchmark score. This score is a good but basic indication of how your building is doing compared to others. This information can be very empowering to property/facility managers as a snapshot of the energy use effectiveness and then open discussions for savings opportunities. When benchmarks are adopted as a regularly used tool, very effective information can be created. Information like; knowing the “score” before and after any energy project to determine effectiveness, showcasing ongoing energy efficiency to a prospective buyer or tenant, or demonstrating increased building value by reducing operating costs. For instance, a 100,000-square-foot building that reduces its energy costs by 10 percent, say from $2.00 per square foot to $1.80 per square foot, increases its net operating income by $20,000 and building value at an 8 percent cap rate by $250,000.

To make benchmarking easier, COAC can step you through the process. We have benchmarked dozens of buildings in this region and can easily navigate the convoluted process for you. Whether your need is immediate, for a closing transaction, or a longer term program of benchmarking to identity savings opportunities or validate energy saving projects, COAC Energy Services can take care of it for you. Our website has an easy way to get the benchmark process started or you can email Bill Schmalzel directly to get started.

R-22 Refrigerant Supply Reduced 57% in 2015

Significant increase in costs, likely delays in availability, and challenges in conversion – Change is coming

R-22 Refrigerant Supply infographic
The EPA’s updated phase-out schedule for R-22 refrigerant was recently described as an “Aggressive Linear Reduction”, reducing the amount available next year by 57%. In 2014, there was 51 million pounds of R-22 available on the market. In less than 2 months (2015) there will be only 22 million pounds available with steep reductions each year thereafter. The eventual plan is to have production and importation of R-22 eliminated by 2020.


How does this affect you?

The bulk of the commercial buildings in Sacramento still have HVAC units that use the R-22 refrigerant. If you have equipment that is 8-10 years old or older then it is most likely using R-22. As the supply radically declines, the first effect felt will be the cost of repairs will climb significantly. The next probable challenge will just be having enough R-22 when needed. As supplies dwindle, hoarding and limitations on the size of orders will affect repair times, especially in the critical summer months.


Conversion vs. Replacement?

There are R-22 alternatives on the market but they introduce other significant challenges to future repairs, unit effectiveness (how much cooling it can generate) and life expectancy. If conditioned air is critical to running the business and R-22 is not available then an alternative refrigerant will be needed, or the entire system will need to be changed to use 410A (more ecofriendly refrigerant) which can have installation lead times of 1 week to 2 months, causing further difficulties. The decision to convert or replace is a complex matrix of factors that include expected unit life, ownership and tenant requirements, and the remaining-life cost of ownership to name just a few. Replacing your unit is not a matter of if, but is just a matter of when and the EPA’s new policy may force you to accelerate your plans.

Planning for Change

There is no pat answer to the vexing question of when to repair versus replace, but COAC can help guide you and run the numbers on various scenarios so that you can make an educated, well-deliberated decision that fits your business needs. We want to help you avoid those desperate situations, when a replacement is not available for a few weeks or months, and you have to make short-term decisions that can cause more damage to your system, your building, your tenant comfort and your reputation.

EPA Article – Read More