> AL CARLSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, SUN HYDRAULICS
[The fuel charge increase] makes us less competitive on a worldwide basis because many of our competitors perhaps aren’t seeing these fuel surcharges passed on to the degree that they’re being passed on here. We’re doing everything we can to eliminate waste and non-value added [materials] in everything we do—for example, we’re monitoring the use of air conditioning, and we’ve subscribed to the Green Initiative here in town—through that, we’ve [implemented] things like automatic light switches. We’re looking at everything and trying to streamline it. As a country, we need to be exploring alternative forms of energy; I think nuclear is an area that needs a lot of focus, and I don’t think FPL is generating that much electricity in that area.> JOHN MARTIN, VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE, NEW COLLEGE OF
It’s hard to offset energy cost when FPL is telling us that our projected annual increase is 24 percent—particularly when we’ve already been doing everything we can to reduce the amount of consumption and the number of kilowatts [we use]. We’re monitoring thermostats very closely, making sure they’re set at 78 degrees and making sure that we’re not significantly cooling buildings on nights and weekends when there aren’t people in them. The college also has, in certain buildings, an energy management system that lets us monitor [power use] remotely, and we are slowly extending our chill water system so that we can have central chiller plant access, which is a much more efficient way to cool our buildings—but again, that’s a long-term thing and it takes a lot of infrastructure development. We understand that [this increase] is the passing on of the high cost of gas and oil, but a 24 percent increase over the course of a year is tremendous. The Florida Board of Governors has put a special request in to the Legislature for some additional funding to help all of the [state] universities; the projected increase for the 11 members of the state university system is over $30 million, and ours is approximately $300,000. Like all universities, over the years we’ve always been focused on energy conservation, but there’s not a lot of extra room for improvement after a certain point.> MICHAEL KLAUBER, RESTAURATEUR, MICHAEL’S ON EAST
The first thing we’re doing is making sure that all of our equipment is cleaned and up-to-date as far as maintenance goes so that it runs efficiently; if things are dusty, they don’t work as well. We’re also monitoring areas that aren’t being used; making sure that lighting and electricity usage is down in areas where they’re not needed. In the kitchen, we’re heating the stoves as close as possible to actual use time—instead of turning everything on in the morning, we’re being a lot more careful about when we turn things on. And in terms of water usage, we just got recognized by the Southwest Florida Water Management District for being a participant in their water-outreach program, meaning we check on a regular basis for leaky faucets, repair them and conserve water by serving it only on request. Obviously, in this kind of market it’s not smart to raise prices to offset fuel costs, so we’re always trying to figure out ways to conserve and keep our prices consistent, and so far, we’ve not raised any.> ARDA JACKSON, FACILITIES MANAGER,
We’ve reduced our lighting consumption by going from HID lighting to fluorescent light; fluorescent uses less energy and it’s brighter, so you don’t need as much. Through that, we’ve reduced our electricity consumption by 15 percent each month, which is something of a relief for us; and in fact, we just won an energy efficiency award for that. And of course, we make sure everything is running at exactly what it’s supposed to be—if a piece of equipment is supposed to be running at 150 percent, we make sure it is.