Saving Energy, the Environment and the Bottom Line

Manila Bulletin, April 20, 2010 | Go to article overview

Saving Energy, the Environment and the Bottom Line


In many businesses the world over, higher oil prices have hurt the books and led to worries about a new energy crisis. It is no different in the Philippines, where energy prices are skyrocketing due to the current power supply struggling to meet the unprecedented increase in energy demand.Environmental concerns in the last year have also led more and more companies to re-examine the way they operate and to become more proactive in terms of sustainable development. Smartcool Systems, Inc., a clean-tech Canadian company that specializes in energy and cost reduction, presents two product solutions that address the growing pressure to minimize energy costs and greenhouse emissions: the Energy Saving Module (ESM) and the ECO3—both designed to reduce the energy consumption and demand of compressors in refrigeration and air conditioning systems.“When you look at a facility, whether a mall, a call center or a convenience store, the cost of electricity can be anywhere between seven to eight percent of the operating cost—and 50 to 70 percent of the electrical bill is cooling,” says David Verlee, Smartcool’s CEO for the Asian region. “So if you can have an impact on cooling, you actually have a huge impact on electricity reduction. Here in this country, in the next two years we’re going to see brownouts again because we don’t have the capacity. We don’t have enough power plants, and with the demand increasing and there’s no more supply, what’s gonna happen? The only way you can help the problem is really by reducing the amount of kilowatt needed.”According to Verlee, the current trend in the United States has been power companies giving true green incentives to its biggest customers in order to get them to save energy. “A power company in Florida, for example, is paying its big customers money to save energy,” Verlee relates. “You would think that’s the opposite of what they should be doing, but the way they think is that by you (the client) saving energy, you’re allowing them to not have to build another power plant. Which means it’s better for the client and the power company. So the government giving true green incentives not only helps with global warming, it also helps with the economy. That’s where other countries are heading, too. In Singapore, for example, the government is giving our clients grant money to install our technology.”Award WinnerIn the country, there is a massive market of opportunity for both Smartcool’s retrofit technologies as the green movement steadily gains momentum. With the ECO3 catering to air-cooling systems with single and double compressors, and the ESM to larger chillers, they fulfill the energy-saving needs of cold storage facilities, supermarkets, convenience stores, hotels, malls, hospitals, casinos, office buildings and restaurants. Ayala Land’s Greenbelt, in particular, recently received the 2009 Don Emilio Abello Energy Efficiency Award given by the Department of Energy. Smartcool’s ESM was installed in Greenbelt’s eight chillers and this saved the company 31% of the energy required for its cooling systems.Upon seeing how effective Smartcool’s technologies were, more companies have since followed suit. However, when Verlee put up the company’s Asia Head Office in the Philippines two years ago, it wasn’t so easy. “The first year, we didn’t really make any money because it was not so much about selling, it was all about establishing the brand,” shares Verlee. …

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