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10 Actions You Can Take at Your Facilities During COVID

Is your building in Westchester County or certain parts of Brooklyn and Queens? Are you planning future renovations or capital upgrades? Would you like to reduce your energy costs? If so, funding may be available through the New York State Clean Energy Action Plan (CEAP).

 

The Clean Energy Action Plan provides relief for businesses and residents affected by a natural gas constraint. Through the plan, the State will help:

  • Lower energy costs for consumers
  • Promote economic development
  • Provide additional resources for community awareness and support

As part of this plan, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) is offering increased support via the Flexible Technical Assistance (FlexTech) Program.

FlexTech – Support is available to help customers prioritize reduction of energy use, learn about clean energy technologies, and plan and design efficiency and electrification projects.

Financial support in the form of cost share is available for energy studies and implementation assistance. Use the study to identify and evaluate opportunities to reduce energy costs and incorporate clean energy into capital planning. Once the study is complete, leverage cost shared implementation assistance for the following activities:

  • Preparation of bid documents for the purchase and installation of equipment
  • Preparation for requests for proposals (RFPs) and other procurement processes
  • Objective review of Energy Service Company (ESCO) proposals and energy performance contracts
  • Identification of eligible incentives and financing options

In addition to cost shared energy studies and implementation assistance, NYSEDA is also offering free screenings to assess the potential of clean heating and cooling technologies, such as ground source and air source heat pumps, as well as variable refrigerant flow systems.

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While EN-POWER GROUP is working remotely and doing limited site visits, our team is here, fully staffed, and ready to assist you. Here are things you can do with EN-POWER’s remote assistance to ensure mechanical systems are operating optimally and to avoid service emergencies at your facilities:

  • Conduct daily, weekly, and monthly equipment inspections – Staff administered inspections using checklists can help detect potential issues, such as water or gas leaks, early before they become major mechanical emergencies. To help during this time, EN-POWER is providing free equipment checklists for boilers, cooling towers, chillers, and more. Contact us today, and we will send them to you.
  • Troubleshoot controller and equipment issues – As more residents are at home during the day, cooling and domestic hot water setpoints are more important than ever. Our team of engineers can help your building staff troubleshoot malfunctioning controllers and equipment remotely to ensure resident comfort and minimize complaints.
  • Continue contractor maintenance – Although all non-essential construction has been halted, service repairs and maintenance can continue. Be sure to continue chemical treatments of your cooling tower and other essential work. Call us to discuss the best way to schedule this maintenance and ensure you follow all necessary and recommended safety measures.
  • Order building supplies early – Order supplies, like replacement light bulbs and air handler filters, early to avoid being negatively impacted by delayed shipments. Once shipments arrive, leave them in an area of low foot-traffic like a mechanical room for several days before handling.
  • Work with your project managers to reset timelines for upcoming work – For any potential projects, we’re happy to discuss the best way to forward and provide suggestions for how to adjust your timelines.

Focus on indoor air quality

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Preserving and improving indoor air quality (IAQ) are key to reducing airborne disease transmission. Although, the HVAC industry is still investigating a full list of protocols that will help eliminate transmission of infectious aerosols like COVID 19, here are measures you can do to help now:

  • Buildings with rooftop exhaust fans should have building staff inspect fans weekly to ensure flow for each fan. Staff should also ensure the fans are working properly by checking the motors and belts, repairing as necessary. Additionally, any in-line fans improperly installed in common ventilation ducts should be removed.
  • Buildings with air-handlers should optimize the use of fresh-air rather than return air. Economizers should also be used whenever possible to eliminate the use of circulated air. Building staff should:
    • Ensure all dampers are operational so they can properly respond to setpoint changes.
    • Continue to regularly replace air-handler filters on a periodic basis. Install the highest MERV-rated filter allowed by the air-handling system.
    • For air-handlers equipped with ultra-violet (UV) germicidal disinfection equipment like UV light, be sure to implement their use.

What should you do next?

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If you need support troubleshooting issues, want guidance for how to improve equipment performance, or have any other questions, call our Team at 914.263.1199 or email us at info@enpg.com. EN-POWER GROUP has been helping buildings navigate new and challenging landscapes since 2003, and we are here for you now.