Jim Crossman Testimony
KYOTO PROTOCOL: IS THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION SELLING OUT AMERICANS?
Thursday, April 23,
House of Representatives
Subcommittee on National Economic Growth
Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight
Testimony of James C.
Mr. CROSSMAN. Thank and I appreciate the
committee making a change and allowing me to speak a little earlier so I can
get into my inefficient plane and fly home to Denver.
I would Just
like to say, that the comments made by the gentleman from Virginia, are
true, in respect to education, I think it is critical. That’s what my
energy services company. We go into facilities and look at ways to reduce
gas and electric consumption in facilities. In addition to consulting, we
are a contracting firm and we install energy efficient improvements and we
get paid back out of the savings stream that’s generated. That’s why we call
ourselves Financial Energy Management. We’re a small company. We do about
$2.25 million in sales per year, and we’ve had some pretty dramatic growth
recently – about 280 percent growth in our business. We employ mechanical
engineers, electrical engineers, and journeyman electricians to install
energy efficient lighting, motors, drives, glazers, and they install solar
film on glass to reduce solar gains to reduce air conditioning loads. We
have a diverse group of employees.
was formed in 1984, and in the past 14 years, we’ve retrofitted hundreds of
existing facilities, from schools, hospitals, industrial facilities and
offices. And in the past four years, we’ve retrofitted 6 million square feet
of offices, which are saving those businesses $1.1 million a year in utility
costs. And the installed equipment costs were about $3.5 million. So that’s a
30 percent return on investment in these technologies. And what we like to
stress, obviously, to our clients is that energy efficiency is a very good
investment. It improves the comfort of the facility. It also increases
productivity. And a building owner that investments in energy conservation
can expect to get returns on investments of between 20 and 60 percent. Since
1984, our company has identified $35 million in energy improvements, with an
average return on investment of 35 percent.
however, we’ve begun to emphasize the environmental benefits of energy
efficiency. The electricity that’s saved in building is directly related to
coal that is not burned at power plants. For example, the 77 buildings that
we just completed are saving 970,000 therms of energy, which is 28 million
kilowatt hours of electricity. In these projects, therefore, by saving coal,
which in Colorado is the primary source of electricity, is eliminating about
17,000 tons of coal, which would produce 28,000 tons of carbon-dioxide and
144 tons of sulfur dioxide at the power plant. And not all of us have a big
building where we can make these kings of great investments and have
significant impacts, but all of us, primarily most of us have homes and we
can make similar kinds of investments in energy efficiency with similar
kinds of returns.
there is a residential energy rating program, which has shown that the
typical home in Colorado, burning natural gas, spending $2,000 to upgrade to
more efficient equipment, would save $200 a year in natural gas and if it
was electronically heated would save $400. And I think, importantly, would
save about two tons of emissions in natural gas per household if it was gas
heated and 7 tons of CO2 if it was electronically heated.
Last year our
company completed an energy efficient retrofit of one of the largest
buildings in Denver, a commercial office building that was 1.3 million
square feet, and we did an energy efficient lighting retrofit. We
incorporated T-8 lamps, which are slightly smaller diameter lamps. They are
more efficient, but more importantly, they’re better light. It’s better
quality light, so the productivity of the tenants in these spaces, improved.
These lamps also have 50 percent less mercury in them, than the standard
fluorescent bulb. So when in four and five years, these lamps burn out,
there will be less mercury in the landfills. When you get 30 percent gains
in efficiency in lighting, it also equates into lower heat given off by the
light fixtures, and that means lower air conditioning costs. In fact, in
this building, the first time since the building was built, they didn’t have
to turn on a second chiller during the summer to maintain cooling
temperatures in the building. I think that’s significant, as building owners
are converting to ozone friendly refrigerants. They are going to HCFC
refrigerants. You lose a little bit of cooling capacity in your existing
chiller, and this can more than be made up with an energy efficient light
summary, I’d like to say, that energy efficiency is very good business. It’s
a good investment. It increases productivity, improves comfort, we create
good jobs. And in a sense, we do impact the air and land pollution and we
have a negative cost way to achieve reductions in CO2. Negative costs
because of investments that businesses are making in energy saving stream
and this environmental benefit of reduced CO2 emissions and other emissions
of the power plant continue year in and year out. That’s all I have to say.
Now Mr. Crossman, I applaud you on representing your industry and
your business. I know how difficult it is to start up a business. I think
it’s good to hear that you’re having great success. Of all of the sites to
which you’ve gone, or your company has gone and provided the services that
you provide, has there been a large reduction of jobs at that location after
you left, having completed your work?
Mr. CROSSMAN. No. No
impact on job at the site, at all.
Mr. TIERNEY. So energy
efficiency and those types of concepts haven’t resulted in a loss of jobs,
at least, where you’ve worked?
Mr. CROSSMAN. No, in fact,
schools across the country are looking at energy efficiency as a ways to
expand their budget and pay for books and teachers. Because they can pay for
it out of the energy saving reductions.
Mr. TIERNEY. And how many
jobs did you create in your company?
Mr. CROSSMAN. Fifteen.
Mr. TIERNEY. And I would
assume that you are in favor of some research and development for future
energy efficiency and renewable energy and carbon reduction technologies?
Mr. CROSSMAN. Yes.
Mr. TIERNEY. Do you think
that’s a good policy, the direction to go in?
Mr. CROSSMAN. You bet,
Mr. SUNUNU. [Just because
oil prices are at an all-time low] that does not mean that Mr. Crossman
isn’t providing a very valuable service to his customers. Energy efficiency
can pay back in a very short amount of time. I used to be employed gainfully
in a business that provided products to people just like you and I guess,
out of curiosity, I would ask whether or not you do install HVAC controls
and, if you do, whose line you carry?
Mr. CROSSMAN. Yes, CSI.
MR. SUNUNU. I know them
Mr. CROSSMAN. And we’re a
Mr. SUNUNU. And now in the
interest of disclosure, that was not the firm I worked for.
Mr. CROSSMAN. We’re a
subcontractor to Johnson Controls and Honeywell, so we’re not partial to an
Mr. Sununu. You’ve got
great penetration in the market, no question.
Mr. SUNUNU. Mr. Crossman,
one last question for you, did you start you’re business prior to the
announcement of the Kyoto Protocol?
Mr. CROSSMAN. Yes. Yes.
Mr. SUNUNU. In other
words, energy efficiency and energy efficient design was a strong sector of
the economy well before the administration decided to initiate this
commitment for dramatic reductions?
Mr. CROSSMAN. Yes, I mean,
education is clearly key and when people see gasoline prices then they start
thinking about conservation in their buildings and their homes. When it’s at
an all-time low, they don’t think about it.
Mr. SUNUNU. Thank you
again. Thank you panelists.