Cutting Energy Costs


Clients and Friends,

Found money.

For a while I thought we might get an early spring. But this morning’s fresh snowfall brought me back to reality. Which started me thinking………

Most larger buildings do not have to shovel their parking ramps as they are electrically heated. However this convenience comes at a very high cost. The average 20′ by 60′ ramp can cost about $120.00 per day to operate.

We are all looking for new ways to cut our energy costs but we often overlook “silent” energy consumers.

It is not unusual to find a ramp that is controlled by a switch or timer in the superintendant’s suite. This means that the superintendant has to anticipate the start of the snowfall, since is it best to have the ramp start up as soon as the snow starts to fall. Then he/she has to remember to turn the ramp off. Unlike a light, there is no visible reminder that the ramp is on and it may continue to run long after the snow has stopped falling. I have even seen ramps on in the summer! This is really not an efficient or reliable method of control.

The most cost effective method is to automate the operation with a very simple snow sensor which monitors the air temperature and moisture. Once it senses that snow is falling it turns the ramp on and allows it to run until the snow stops. Then an internal timer kicks in and keeps the cables running for a short period to make sure the ramp remains dry.

The install is fairly simple and it’s still not too late in the season to consider this upgrade. If you are unsure how your ramp is controlled don’t hesitate to contact me. I will visit – at no charge – and assess the existing system. You might even consider having this done annually in conjunction with a verification of the pipe tracing cables, a service that we presently offer for many of our commercial clients.