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Renewable Energy Saves Fortune 100 Companies $1.1B Annually

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the powered-by-hamsters dept.

Power 116

Lucas123 writes: A new report authored by several environmental groups say data shows more than half of Fortune 100 companies collectively saved more than $1.1B annually by reducing carbon emissions and rolling out renewable energy projects. According to the report, 43% of Fortune 500 companies, or 215 in all, have also set targets in one of three categories: greenhouse gas reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy. When narrowed to just the Fortune 100, 60% of the companies have set the same clean energy goals. Some of the companies leading the industry in annual clean energy savings include UPS ($200M), Cisco ($151M), PepsiCo ($121M) and United Continental ($104M).

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Saved? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47364607)

How much of that "savings" is tax breaks/subsidies?

Re:Saved? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365489)

Ya. Neither the Summary or the linked article says a thing about how they saved. They just assert that they did. The actual report requires you to to sign up for spam...so Fuck'm

But I'll venture some guesses. Much of that savings will be "implied" by suggesting that if we had a carbon tax, it would cost them more. Other savings will be tax subsidies and tax breaks. Even more will be due to cost avoidance, shutting some unit down because it would cost to much to run due to taxes and artificially high energy costs.

In the end, it's just a bunch of Kool Aid drinkers cheer leading shit they don't really understand.

Here is what "Savings" is. When I open my fucking electric bill and the cost per kilowatt is down. When the price of gas goes down. When I can go to Home Depot and buy solar panels, set them up in my back yard and they pay for themselves in less than a year.

All this magical ferry dust bullshit pushed by the Tree Worshipers [youtube.com] is NOT savings.
 

Re:Saved? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365651)

It also made my penis grow by 3 whole inches! What's not to like about unreliables?...er, sorry. "renewables" [/sarcasm]

Re:Saved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47366879)

Because there are no subsidies on fossis based enegry production either, right?

Re:Saved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47367173)

Lower carbon footprint usually translates mostly to using less energy, which is probably where all the savings came from. The renewability of the energy source probably didn't help, but ‘Using less energy saves money’ somehow doesn't make for an exciting article title.

Re:Saved? (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#47367275)

I don't see any problem with that if the taxes and subsidies are there to offset the damage done by pollution. You produce less pollution, you pay less towards dealing with it. Maybe we even off an incentive to get you to invest, with the expectation that it will cause prices to fall more quickly.

Re:Saved? (2)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 3 months ago | (#47367357)

Solar is already price competitive in some places and is set to get cheaper. In Italy Ikea are set to save on costs with solar without any subsidy. As solar prices drop, this will become possible in many more places, warehouse roofs are ideal for solar.

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/... [cleantechnica.com]

All that's needed is investment into large scale storage. There are a lot of ways this can be done, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Saved? (1)

Afty0r (263037) | about 2 months ago | (#47368541)

$2.2billion, annually.

Re:Saved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47368741)

...and more to the point is that saving INCLUDING buildout costs, and how about a breakdown of where and exactly what kind of "renewable" energy that they're using would make it MUCH more worthwhile of an article other than some vapid rah rah we're tree hugging hippies now article...

Careful (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47364613)

If you tell that to republicans there may be spontaneous mouth foaming.

Re:Careful (1, Insightful)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 3 months ago | (#47364655)

No,

we ask the obvious question: How much did it cost to save that money?

If they invested 50B to get that 1.1B, it is not that wise of a deal.

Re:Careful (2)

bhlowe (1803290) | about 3 months ago | (#47364759)

Its VERY easy to get a real, positive return on a solar investment within a few years. That's because electricity rates are high, and solar panels are now cheap. Only government organizations can manage to screw up such an easy return on investment... (For instance, schools, government buildings such as the White House, etc. where the only concern is appearing green.) For dollars spent vs. dollars saved, solar is a fantastic investment, even without government subsidies.

Re:Careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47364805)

I just did the numbers. $9k for 18 x 250 watt panels installed, $5k for batteries installed. $14k / $180 month avg. electric bill = 6.4 years break even, not including subsidy benefits. These are very rough Google shopping numbers plus some guess work. Fix it and make your point if you can.

Re:Careful (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#47365115)

6.4 years? Try to finance that with a 0% loan...counting interest the payback is much longer. You cannot ignore the cost of the loan, even if you have the money in the bank you are loaning it to yourself.

Re:Careful (2)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | about 3 months ago | (#47365287)

This is a silly objection. That isn't how payback times are used.

Payback time is a quick indication of return on investment. You then compare that return on investment with the other options available to you, such as leaving the money in the bank.

If you included interest rates in payback time, you'd need to be constantly adjusting it as rates changed, and it would differ for different entities depending on their access to finance. Instead you keep it simple, and each entity has its own idea (based on circumstances and current interest rates) of what the effective payback time is of leaving the money in the bank (or not borrowing it, or investing it in other opportunities.) (For example, a start-up is likely to require a very short payback time - they're strapped for cash and are trying to get their Big New Idea to market where they hope it will make a fortune. Up-front money is then very expensive compared to down-the-road money. For them, it may make sense to lease a supercomputer even if buying it would have a two year payback time.)

What is missing from this analysis is depreciation of assets. After 6.4 years, money in the bank will have depreciated much less than the solar cells. Payback time is a rough guide - it tells you whether it is worth your while doing a more detailed analysis including finance cost, depreciation, tax implications etc.

Re:Careful (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#47367443)

Why would you care if your panels depreciated? It's not like you are going to want to sell them.

Re:Careful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47368647)

You should also be including opportunity costs, what you would get if you invested the same money in something else.

Re:Careful (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 3 months ago | (#47365499)

So...you mean it has to be subsidized.

Re:Careful (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 3 months ago | (#47367447)

So...you mean it has to be subsidized.

Yes, just like sugar, corn, soybeans and football stadiums.

Your point being. . .?

Re:Careful (2)

afidel (530433) | about 3 months ago | (#47365789)

Cost of capital for well rated companies is around 4.25%, at most it will add a few months to the roi if you're looking at 6-7 years otherwise.

Re:Careful (1)

khallow (566160) | about 3 months ago | (#47365883)

You cannot ignore the cost of the loan, even if you have the money in the bank you are loaning it to yourself.

I don't get your point. A pre-tax return of roughly 15% annually is pretty good even if you do have to borrow the money.

Re:Careful (2)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 3 months ago | (#47364819)

I would like to see your numbers.

Despite half of my system being tax credits, it is still taking 7 years to earn back the investment.

If I still lived in Milpitas, with PG&E gouging me, it would take 4 or 5 years.

Of course, I did not need an air conditioner there, so I used a lot less power.

Re:Careful (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 3 months ago | (#47365081)

5 years on capital return is BASIC budget planning that any business that owns its building does.

Re:Careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47368585)

Its VERY easy to get a real, positive return on a solar investment within a few years.

Depends where you live. We are looking at putting a 30 kw array on the roof of a commercial building - installed it's going to be around $100k. Without subsidies, at the commercial rate of $0.16/kwhr, given our average insolation of 4.5 hours per day (Mid Atlantic), we'd be looking at a payback time of 15 years. With subsidies and financial wrangling we can probably get it to about a 7 year payback. In some areas it might be "very easy" (more sun + higher rates), but around here it's still marginal. There are lots of people who claim it's a no brainer, but when you actually crunch the numbers, and don't rely on finding a swinging deal on surplus panels or whatever, it's not so easy to make it work.

Re:Careful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47364777)

I used to work for a Pepsico division, they will not invest in something unless it has a good rate of return or the savings exceed the cost to implement it over a fairly short period of time

Re:Careful (1, Informative)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 3 months ago | (#47364807)

I work for one of the companies named, I know it was a publicity stunt and for the tax savings.

Re:Careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365551)

Hell, the cost of printing up posters and stickers saying " We're going Green!" probably erases any savings.

Re:Careful (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 3 months ago | (#47366329)

Not to mention any environmental benefit.

Re:Careful (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47364893)

Aggressive skepticism has been the response to every single environmental conservation claim in my memory since the government recommended people turn off the lights when they left work (remember those light bulb stickers people stuck to the light switches to remind you?), and it turned out that companies' power bills did, in fact, go down (le shock!).

Every single time, we get a round of "nuh uh! There's no way them environmental hippies could save money! Imma gonna go burn tires to prove them wrong!"

By the time the "fad" has reached actual corporations with stockholders and accountants, you can be pretty sure that the beancounters have crunched the numbers and come up with a good reason for it.

If you're going to claim that its due to a tax credit somewhere, I'd point out that at this point, most everyone is assuming the next administration will be Republican and will probably cancel all the environmental regulations and credits again.

Re:Careful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365865)

I remember the "Nu-uh! those fluro lights burn more power turning on than they do left running for four hours!!1!"...oh, how we did laugh....

Re:Careful (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 3 months ago | (#47364795)

How much did it cost Saint Reagan to remove the solar panels from the White House?

Re:Careful (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47365041)

depends on time now, doesn't it?

Re:Careful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365273)

No,

we ask the obvious question: How much did it cost to save that money?

If they invested 50B to get that 1.1B, it is not that wise of a deal.

How about getting ahold of some real numbers instead of throwing out a ridiculous number like $50 billion?

Re:Careful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365101)

Less than a weak attempt at trolling. Give it up you moron, you embarrass good Democrats everywhere.

But how come it COSTS Germany so much? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47364665)

Germany sells its excess DAYTIME power at a huge loss but then needs to buy it at NIGHT for HIGH prices. Hm? Germans' electric bill has gone up by 400 percent the last few years. Why? Hm? Believe the numbers, not the spie!

Citation? (3, Interesting)

stomv (80392) | about 3 months ago | (#47364741)

Germany doesn't sell daytime power "at a loss". Power at night on the European grid doesn't sell for high prices. Show some citations, ye of eyebrow raising claims.

Re:Citation? (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 months ago | (#47364839)

Re:Citation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365017)

No statement that Germany sells electricity at a loss during the day and buys it back at night can be found in this article.

Re:Citation? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47365051)

And in all 4 days you didn't have a chance to read it? Cause it doesn't apply here.

Re:Citation? (2)

budgenator (254554) | about 3 months ago | (#47368105)

Germany doesn't sell daytime power "at a loss". Power at night on the European grid doesn't sell for high prices. Show some citations, ye of eyebrow raising claims.

Well let's see;

Over the weekend, prices on the power exchange in Germany/Austria (Phelix) fell to roughly -2 cents per kilowatt-hour for peak prices and were also slightly negative at around -0.3 cents for baseload power. The effect of solar and wind in France was even more dramatic, though the roles of baseload and peak power were reversed, with the former costing -4 cents and the latter -2 cents. Negative power prices on the weekend [renewables...tional.net]

Selling at a negative price is pretty much the ultimate definition of "at a loss". This is reinforced by

Lower prices “leave a trail of blood in our balance sheet,” Bernhard Guenther, chief financial officer at RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer, Germany’s New Coal Plants Push Power Glut to 4-Year High [bloomberg.com]

While the baseload coal plants are losing money;

Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the nation's midday electricity needs.
Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity," Allnoch told Reuters. "Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt (GW) mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over." Germany sets new solar power record, institute says [reuters.com]

That's a lot of power to have to replace when the sun goes down or the weather turns to shit.

So... how much did they spend to get this savings? (0)

BrianSoCal (1519721) | about 3 months ago | (#47364681)

So if I spend 80k on a new car to save 1k a year in energy costs, is this a win too? Is this a similar thing? I don't see the numbers on capital expenditure to achieve these savings. Usually when I see something like that ommitted, its to intentionaly hide something and to push some agenda or propaganda.

Re:So... how much did they spend to get this savin (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47364737)

These companies would not stay in business for long if it wasn't saving them more than it was costing them. Put the tinfoil hat away.

Re:So... how much did they spend to get this savin (3, Informative)

sycodon (149926) | about 3 months ago | (#47365521)

These companies would be more than willing to throw money away if they can plaster "We're Green" on all their prospectus papers and advertisements.

Re:So... how much did they spend to get this savin (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 months ago | (#47364867)

Jebus do you people not understand the word "save"? In your example you have spent $80K. Aside from that some very effective measures don't even need capital expenditure, for example, the giant multi-national I work for has saved millions by implementing simple things such as getting people to turn their desktop off before going home, teleconferencing in preference to flying, etc. When you have 180K employees these two simple measures alone will add up to millions in savings.

Re:So... how much did they spend to get this savin (3, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 3 months ago | (#47365427)

So if I spend 80k on a new car to save 1k a year in energy costs, is this a win too?

That depends on the difference in price between a non-energy saving car you might have bought and the energy saving car you might have bought. Same think with renewable energy. If you need some new source of energy to replace an old source that's worn out what's the cost difference between your various options vs. what you save in production costs after it's installed.

Details Please? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47364683)

So, companies saved $1.1 Billion. However, this article fails to state exactly how. In fact, if you look carefully, the article couldn't have been better designed to throw down some numbers while completely avoiding actual data.

Example:
IMPLEMENT CLEAN ENERGY SAVE $1BILLION.

IMPLEMENT (COST $5 billion) CLEAN ENERGY SAVE (Don't pay for) $1 BILLION in energy costs!

Or even worse:

IMPLEMENT (COST $5 billion) CLEAN ENERGY GET $1BILLION TAX BREAK!

I think the article writer could have done a much better job clearly outlining how what was saved where versus cost. And if that level of detail still fit the narrative of clean energy = savings despite the substantial additional cost of actual said clean energy per KW/hr, good. I want to see that.

And if the facts don't fit the narrative....and a careful dance was choreographed around said facts so that the narrative would be satisfied....well, thats called lying amongst honest folks who care about actual results.

Re:Details Please? (1)

kolbe (320366) | about 3 months ago | (#47366243)

Modded you up as everything you say is true. Here's some further facts illustrating that without tax breaks/subsidies, Solar is at most a "wash" at best for consumers:

SOLAR FACTS:
- Most Efficient Solar Panel - 44.7% efficient Fraunhofer Q-Cell (1), AVERAGE efficiency between American's top 5 retailers: 17% (Kyocera KD+SunPower+SunPower+SolarWorld+Canadian Solar), which is crap compared to corporate use panels that average 21%.
- Photovoltaic (PV) Degradation Rate - Every Solar panel loses between 0.5% and 4% of its efficiency per year (depending on a-Si, CdTe and CIGS films) further resulting in a constant decline in ones ROI (2)
- Solar pricing is a monopoly: Green Building Programs that offer incentives (http://www.dsireusa.org/) are in decline year-over-year due to reduced cost of panels. (3)

REFERENCES:
1) http://cleantechnica.com/2014/... [cleantechnica.com]
2) http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12o... [nrel.gov]
2) http://energyinformative.org/l... [energyinformative.org]
3) http://www.energymanagertoday.... [energymanagertoday.com]

Re:Details Please? (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 months ago | (#47367659)

However for some others price gouging by their local electricity monopoly provides a financial payback for solar over time in as little as two years in some places. That's trumps all you've written above in those places even though it's an artificial distortion of the market. That's also why those Chinese panel makers are making a fortune selling to those people, a fortune that could have gone to the US companies that developed the technology if they hadn't been discouraged for ideological reasons.

Meanwhile... (2, Interesting)

bhlowe (1803290) | about 3 months ago | (#47364713)

Meanwhile, people without the ability to harvest energy from the sun and reap the tax benefits are getting socked with energy bills doubling every 5-7 years. (My average $500+/mo energy bills are why I'm getting solar installed this month!)

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 months ago | (#47364911)

My average $500+/mo energy bills are why I'm getting solar installed this month!

$500/month?

Getting involved in your local politics is a better solution... because you are getting fucked by your local public utility commission (which might also be the nearest city council.)

Residential rates are as low as $0.09/kWh in this country. If you are paying more than twice that then you should have gotten involved a lot sooner.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 3 months ago | (#47365535)

I cooled my 24 hundred sq ft, two story house in Texas for about $120 last month. That's with the damned kids setting the thermostat upstairs to 76.

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 3 months ago | (#47366179)

Energy Prices in Brisbane Australia range around the $0.27/kwh........

A $1200 bill a quarter is high but common for a lot of larger families (5+ people)

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 months ago | (#47367691)

Energy Prices in Brisbane Australia range around the $0.27/kwh

Yet the wholesale price at the generators is close to the lowest in the world. A fake competition "market" made up of local monopolies in the middle is fucking everyone over in that situation and driving people to solar to get away from the price gouging.

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 3 months ago | (#47364947)

Meanwhile, people without the ability to harvest energy from the sun and reap the tax benefits are getting socked with energy bills doubling every 5-7 years. (My average $500+/mo energy bills are why I'm getting solar installed this month!)

And people who live on flood plains pay extra for flood insurance. If you don't like the consequences of where you live, move.

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47365053)

Assuming you can move. Moving requires money, it means breaking with contact, it means needing a new job.
If it was easy, everyone would live in Hawaii.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 2 months ago | (#47369087)

And people who live on flood plains pay extra for flood insurance. If you don't like the consequences of where you live, move.

Or, you know, find a way to mitigate them. Which is what the previous poster is doing, instead of taking your helpful advice.

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365035)

My average $500+/mo energy bills

You must mine a lot of bitcoins.

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

kolbe (320366) | about 3 months ago | (#47366299)

California here!

2,750sq ft. occupied by 5, $120 per month.

Do you run every appliance continuously or run a casino out of your home?

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | about 2 months ago | (#47368975)

I have a home based computer business, a few servers, A/C and a pool, and 3 kids that keep the washing machine running... But a digital and comfortable lifestyle with electricity shouldn't be something only the wealthy can afford. Which is why solar makes sense.. and is out of reach for many.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#47367307)

In the UK we have a scheme where you are loaned the money to buy the panels and then pay it back through your energy bill. The idea is that you save more than you pay back each month, so your bills go down. Not as good as the proper interest-free government loan that we should have, but still worth doing.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 2 months ago | (#47368803)

I have a hard time thinking of England as a good place for solar pannel installations, my mental image is a damp, cloudy, chilly place dominated by rain driven by the Gulf Stream influences; more like our Pacific Northwest temperate rain forrests in Oregon and Washington. I hate to think of people on fixed incomes dying of hypothermia because they couldn't afford to both heat their homes and pay for their solar pannels to fight global warming that hasn't happened for 18 years.

"...authored by several environmental groups..." (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47364813)

A "[...] report authored by several environmental groups [...] " on how the environmental groups want you to interpret the data in order to believe that they are relevant and worthy of more money. Too bad said environmental groups likely cost the same 100 companies 10 times that amount in regulations which was then passed on to the consumer who lives in the same world as China and India who collectively don't give a damn about environmental regulation.

Actual savings? (2)

cirby (2599) | about 3 months ago | (#47364913)

Not from "reducing carbon emissions and rolling out renewable energy projects."

They saved money by increasing energy efficiency.

And you can bet that a huge chunk of that is just replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs. These are HUGE companies with many, many employees. A savings of $1.1 billion is relatively tiny overall...

Re:Actual savings? (4, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 3 months ago | (#47364993)

Most huge commercial operations are using fluorescent lighting in their facilities. Switching to LED en masse would entail a loss.

Re:Actual savings? (4, Interesting)

cirby (2599) | about 3 months ago | (#47365443)

A lot of companies are switching from old-school fluorescents (which aren't quite as efficient) to LEDs as the fixtures wear out. And yes, they do wear out, along with things like ballasts. There are a LOT of the old T12 fluorescents out there still, not to mention the newer (but still somewhat outdated) T8.

They also make LED tubes now - a line of LEDs in a package the same size as the old fluorescent tubes. They cost a lot, but over the long run, they're cheaper to run. Once you include lowering air conditioning costs and less manpower spent replacing tubes, they're often worth the money. All you need to do is bypass the ballast (which also saves money in the long run - those things wear out too).

A lot of factory floors used mercury vapor lights, and those are going away as they get old, replaced with clusters of LEDs.

Re:Actual savings? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 2 months ago | (#47368861)

The only downside to switching over to LED-filled fake fluorescent tubes is the cost of producing fake tubes that have to handle different input voltages. With the old ballast system the input voltage was handled by the ballast the the tube got the correct strike/run voltage/current regardless. Lots of SOHO fluorescent ballasts are designed to run off 120V and many that are installed in businesses are designed to run off 208V (high leg delta), 240V (phase to phase), 277V (phase to neutral in a 480V wye), etc.

If the LED tube power supply is intelligently designed, they should be able to accept 120V-277V much like modern wall warts do - the challenge will be making them efficient at the same time.

https://www.crmagnetics.com/Po... [crmagnetics.com]

Re:Actual savings? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365743)

The latest LED replacement bulbs for office fluorescent light bulbs use 60% less energy than florescent light bulbs and last much longer. These new office led light bulbs should become more popular in the next few years.

Re:Actual savings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47366711)

LEDs are more efficient. The extra cost would probably be payed off for in the lack of maintenance. Also, decent LEDs are won't cause headaches. Am guessing it's probably not worth while unless as an upgrade but if for new construction it.

Re:Actual savings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47368755)

Your data is outdated.

http://www.cree.com/Lighting/Products/Indoor/Troffers/CR-Series

Re:Actual savings? (2)

spitzak (4019) | about 3 months ago | (#47365425)

You are certainly correct that the savings are due to increasing energy efficiency.

However it is not from putting in LED lights. They were already using fluorescent lights so this is not helping anywhere near as much. Also LEDs are not that cheap yet. It is from free things: getting all the monitors to go into power-save mode at night, turning down the heat or AC, etc.

Re:Actual savings? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47367999)

Yeah, I have no idea where people got this idea that fluorescents were inefficient. They are pretty damned close to LEDs, especially since most of those are fluorescents anyway. With the electric ballasts, the "only" thing you have to worry about is failure (they don't really even get hotter than an LED power supply) which is enough reason in itself to replace them with LEDs as they fail.

Re:Actual savings? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47365717)

And you can bet that a huge chunk of that is just replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs.

Do any office buildings still use incandescent bulbs?

Re:Actual savings? (1)

cbeaudry (706335) | about 3 months ago | (#47365959)

Are you seriously asking that question?

Re:Actual savings? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47368039)

Aside from the occasional desk lamp, I can't remember the last time I saw an incandescent lamp in a business big enough to where if you fart on one side you can't smell it on the other.

Re:Actual savings? (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 2 months ago | (#47369135)

Some people are seriously sensitive to Fluorescent bulb flicker and others are sensitive to the low CRI of the fluorescent bulbs typically purchased by offices or landlords; which make having CFL's, halogens or incandescent bulbs an ADA [ada.gov] in some workplaces. Electronic ballasts [wikipedia.org] elliminate flicker and save energy, I've noticed that the rooms that I've replaced burned out magnetic ballasts with electronics seem to get used more and the rooms with CRI bulbs 85 or higher get used more as well. Additionally the electronic ballasts seem to be able to light the bulbs longer.

What an astounding insight these companies have (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47364931)

Reducing the amount of energy (which costs money) you pay for saves you money (which you were previously paying for that energy).

Give these chief executives a huge bonus!

perfect sense (3, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 3 months ago | (#47365001)

Intel builds a new chip-making plant once every decade approximately because they cost double digit billions of dollars. They don't pay off for years and years but smart corporations play the long game. A lot of green technologies pay for themselves in 2-10 years and after that they turn into magical free money machines. So logically corporations that are smart implement them.

drops in the bucket (3, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 3 months ago | (#47365071)

Some of the companies leading the industry in annual clean energy savings include UPS ($200M), Cisco ($151M), PepsiCo ($121M) and United Continental ($104M).

Annual Revenues:

UPS: 55.4 billion
Cisco: 48.6 billion
PepsiCo: 66.4 billion
United Continental: 38.3 billion

United Continental only posted 571 million in profits last year, so yes, those savings definitely helped.
The others? Cisco: 9.9 billion; PepsiCo: $6.7 billion, UPS: $4.3 billion-- the savings reported are akin to rounding errors. It's not all that persuasive.

drops in the bucket (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365497)

wtf is wrong with you people?

its turns out that making modest cuts in energy consumption isn't that painful, saves some money,
and may have longer term benefits

maybe I can understand the 'saving the purple spotted toad is costing jobs damn liberals' attitude, but
you guys have to piss on this? turning off the lights at night?

god fucking forbid we didn't waste as much energy as possible. imagonna leave my truck running all night
just to show i'm a true patriot

assholes

Re:drops in the bucket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47366609)

Thank you.

Re:drops in the bucket (0)

jez9999 (618189) | about 3 months ago | (#47367019)

its turns out that making modest cuts in energy consumption isn't that painful, saves some money, and may have longer term benefits

There are 2 main problems.

First, if we're going to continue to increase in technology and especially if we're going to go for electric cars, we're going to need to use a LOT MORE electricity than we do now. Filling people's heads with the idea that we can use less energy as part of the solution is feeding them bullshit.

Second, and this is from my perspective, any energy generated by solar or wind is energy not generated by nuclear. As I see nuclear as the only viable option for generating the amount of baseload we're going to need for the likes of electric cars, that fills people's heads with the idea that we don't need nuclear, which is also problematic.

Re:drops in the bucket (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47367871)

Who needs baseload when everyone has huge amounts of kWH of battery sitting in their driveway? You need either baseload power, or energy storage, and electric cars ARE energy storage.

Re:drops in the bucket (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47367897)

Filling people's heads with the idea that we can use less energy

Actually, it's the idea that we can waste less energy. So you started out with a straw man. But wait, there's less!

the idea that we can use less energy as part of the solution is feeding them bullshit.

In fact, EVs are so much more efficient than ICEs that we can use less energy. Further, more of the energy can efficiently come from clean, renewable sources. Since EVs run on electricity, they can better run on solar power than can cars with ICEs. It's true that you could use the electricity to make liquid fuels, but that would be grossly inefficient; even more inefficient than burning fossil fuels (let us ignore the CO2 for the scope of this conversation, which shouldn't be hard since that's SOP for most societies) and producing electricity to power EVs. It's also true that you can make panels in a dirty, dirty way, but that's a mere distraction in the face of coal's output (even ignoring the CO2) and it's also less true than ever. Today's panels are generally designed with recycling in mind, and they have a lower energy cost of production than ever.

As I see nuclear as the only viable option for generating the amount of baseload we're going to need for the likes of electric cars, that fills people's heads with the idea that we don't need nuclear, which is also problematic.

It's problematic only for your view. But battery technology continues to progress, and at the point when EVs have more range than they need (coming soon to a highway near you) they can reasonably be used to smooth out the dips. As well, there are numerous power storage projects in the works right now, and there's no signs that they will slow down. It's far from proven that we require nuclear power, and it's far from proven that we can manage the waste in a responsible manner. Get back to me when we don't have years and tons of nuclear waste just lying around in conditions not in fact all that different from Fukushima.

Re:drops in the bucket (1)

SebNukem (188921) | about 2 months ago | (#47368945)

imagonna leave my truck running all night just to show i'm a true patriot
This hits close to home. My conservative neighbor did just that after I installed the PV system on my roof :(

Re:drops in the bucket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365577)

How is this relevant in any way? Unless you're implying there are somehow hidden costs to saving on energy spending proportional to revenues or profit, 1% increase is still a 1% increase. For UPS, it's a 5% increase according to your own numbers. The contrast is renewable energies versus non-renewables, not renewable energies versus some magical means of increasing profits by 10-20%.

Re:drops in the bucket (3, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | about 3 months ago | (#47365849)

How is a 1.5% bump in profit for Cisco or 2% for UPS a rounding error? Most CFOs would kill to find an extra 1.5%, or put another way it's one fewer round of layoffs to meet Wallstreet's latest estimate.

Re:drops in the bucket (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47366253)

Significant to the company as a whole, not so much. To each company's Corporate Real Estate departmental budget goals, you bet your ass. Unfortunately, those savings probably don't include hidden costs (historical example being each employee waits 30 minutes to finish booting WinXP + Norton + Symantect + any other number of unnecessary crapware before they can even open Outlook to see where they were supposed to be 35 minutes ago.

Re:drops in the bucket (4, Interesting)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 3 months ago | (#47366737)

Specious argument. When you break a $100 bill at the grocery store, and the change is less than $20, do you tell the cashier to keep it because in terms of your net salary per year it's "rounding error"?

Money is a limited resource, and no matter how much a company makes, I can almost guarantee you there was some one who didn't get the budget they wanted due to scarcity of resources.

Additionally, energy efficient lighting savings keep adding up. It's not like cisco will just save $151 mio. They'll save it year over year, which may turn out to be an additional few billion to their bottom line.

The Hague (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365151)

Do we send the insufferable Man-Childs-Corporations who went solar to save the polar climit change bears to "THE HAGUE"... 8 o ]

Climate risk reporting (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 3 months ago | (#47365597)

It is nice to see an upside. A lot of companies are not disclosing the down side risk from climate change to investors though. https://mninews.marketnews.com... [marketnews.com]

The Number Do Not Balance, I.E. Add Up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365653)

There must be a UFCCC (like the old CCCP) meeting in a few days!

Ah Ha: https://unfccc.int/meetings/unfccc_calendar/items/2655.php

Just more propaganda from the 4th Reich. Sig Hail.

And yet they raised prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47365757)

To bat shit crazy levels. Insted of the people saying well they want that item worse than i do. No they say can we play with the rabbits after we pay 20 fucking bucks for a small package of hamburger derr ok here you are.

Re:And yet they raised prices (1)

kolbe (320366) | about 3 months ago | (#47366331)

Solar pricing is a monopoly.

Green Building Programs that offer incentives (http://www.dsireusa.org/) are in decline year-over-year due to reduced cost of panels, yet no increase in efficiency is offered on those panels in the same timeframe (2009-2014) AND price/W has nearly stagnated over the past 4 years:

2009 median installed price of PV systems installed was $6.10/W for residential and small commercial systems smaller than 10 kW
2011-13 median installed price of PV systems installed was $5.30/W for residential and small commercial systems smaller than 10 kW

http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/f... [lbl.gov]
http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/f... [lbl.gov]

Avg CEO earned more than 11 million (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47366051)

11 million times 100 = 1.1 billion.

So the headline should be, "Renewable Energy Savings By Fortune 100 Doesn't Even Cover CEO's Salary"

Re:Avg CEO earned more than 11 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47367783)

in other news the tarp I bought can't even cover 4 adult African Elephants.

it "can't even cover" something massive

Bunk statements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47366093)

Reducing carbon emissions does not save anyone money. Reducing the amount, or changing the type, of energy consumed does.

payoff question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47366703)

If rooftop solar pays for itself over a certain number of years, then apparently solar is cheaper in the long run than the electricity generation mix (coal, natgas, nuclear, hydro, ...). But large-scale solar generation is apparently more expensive than the average, or utilities would be providing more solar for the cost benefits. So I assume that rooftop solar only pays for itself over a number of years because of subsidies.

Which begs the question: if government wants to subsidize solar, why prioritize piecemeal rooftop solar over large and efficient projects?

Carbon! Carbon! Carbon! Carbon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47367215)

Just repeating the word 'carbon' over and over doesn't make it a 'greenhouse gas', since the Earth's temperature is controlled by the SUN, and nothing else.

Why is Slashdot constantly pushing catastrophic man-made global warming bullshit on us? (Normally under the oh so convenient misnomer 'climate change'.)

www.climatedepot.com

Old Story Soon Forgotten (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47367253)

After the Arab oil embargo, the US funded a program for business education on energy conservation in industrial plants. It was a six month course with a lot of solid material. Applying this to the processes in the chemical plant where I was working saved a ton of money -- well beyond the costs of implementation. And in general the manufacturing processes ran better. But changes like this are not a one time fix but an attitude, much like cyber security. The abandonment of small cars and rush into SUVs was symptomatic of a collective 'we dont need to care anymore...' attitude. So from where I sit this just looks like a rediscovery of the lessons of the past (so many mistakes...). Industry is different from residential -- in the later good design is probably more important than ongoing management. In the former, from my experience, production requires active management to maintain that balance between costs and output. Given the costs of most RE gear, my bet is that the real savings are in energy management and not covering the roof with solar panels or the parking lot with wind turbines. Same old story -- maybe it will persist better this time.

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