Energy-saving tips for your business
Becoming an energy efficient business may seem like a daunting, and potentially expensive task. This is not the case. By taking a number of simple and often free measures, you can quickly and easily start reducing your energy consumption. This is good for the environment, and your bottom line. By taking control of your energy usage, you are taking control of your energy costs.
You can improve your business' bottom line by taking the following steps to be more energy-efficient.
- Turn off lights when not needed. For example, turning off fluorescent lights saves energy, extends overall lamp life and reduces replacement costs.
- Reduce or replace inefficient, outdated or excessive lighting within your building.
- When replacing old lighting equipment, evaluate new technologies that may need fewer fixtures and/or fewer lamps within existing fixtures.
- Where practical, replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
- Replace incandescent "EXIT" signs with LED signs. LEDs use about one-tenth the wattage and last 50 times longer than incandescent-lamp signs.
- Install lighting occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights on or off, depending on occupancy. These sensors work well in areas such as conference rooms, break rooms or individual offices that are not occupied continuously.
- Ensure outdoor lighting is off during daytime.
Heating and cooling
- Establish a preventative maintenance program for your heating, venting and air conditioning equipment and systems. Ensure that you regularly:
- Change or clean all air filters.
- Clean all heat exchanger surfaces, water and refrigerant coils, condensers and evaporators.
- Repair leaks in piping, air ducts, coils, fittings and at the unit(s).
- Replace defective equipment insulation, ducting and piping.
- When old motors fail, replace them with premium efficiency motors that operate at a lower annual cost.
- Install variable speed drives (VSDs) on large motor loads, where appropriate, to further reduce energy usage.
- In facilities with older chillers, consider replacing them with new, energy-efficient units that operate at or below .60 kilowatts per ton.
- Consider installing locking devices on thermostats to maintain desired temperature settings.
- Install programmable thermostats that automatically adjust temperature settings based on the time of day and day of the week. If you have multiple HVAC units, set thermostats to return to the occupied temperature a half an hour apart.
- In larger facilities with energy management systems (EMS), verify that temperature set points and operating schedules are correct for the controlled equipment.
- To conserve energy, turn off computers, monitors, printers and copiers during non-business hours.
- To save energy during periods of inactivity, ensure that the built-in power management system for your office equipment is active.
- Ensure your screen saver is compatible with the computer's power management features, and that the setup allows the system to go into power saver mode.
- When purchasing new office equipment, look for equipment that promotes energy-efficient, e.g. computers, monitors, printers, fax machines, scanners, copiers and multi-function devices that automatically power down during extended inactivity.
- Install plug load controllers in cubicles to control multiple loads like monitors, task lights and fans. These devises use a motion sensor that is incorporated with a plug load surge suppressor. Inactive equipment can be shut down when the cubicle is unoccupied.
- Educate and encourage employees to be energy-conscious and to offer ideas about how energy can be saved. Employee buy-in and involvement can make or break your business’ efforts to conserve energy.
- Designate a "responsible party" to be responsible for and to promote good energy practices. This individual should work with management to facilitate energy savings ideas and strategies - optimizing energy use and costs minimizes overhead and operation costs.