Just like you would do in your home, there are many ways to make your business more energy efficient.
The Use of Lighting
*Turn off lights when not needed. Did you know that turning off fluorescent lights saves energy, extends overall lamp life, and reduces replacement cost?
*Reduce or replace inefficient, outdated, or excessive lighting in and around your building.
*Where practical, replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs.) Make sure you install compatible dimming technology if CFLs are used along with a dimming system.
*When fluorescent T-12 lamps burn out, change to retrofitting fixtures with T-8 lamps. Also, consider changing from magnetic ballast to electronic.
*Replace incandescent “EXIT” signs with LED signs. LEDs use about one-tenth the wattage and last fifty times longer than incandescent-lamp signs.
*Install lighting occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights on or off. These sensors work well in areas such as conference rooms, break rooms, or individual offices that are not occupied on a regular basis.
*Take advantage of natural daylight: turn off or dim electric lighting when there is enough sunlight available to illuminate interior space.
*Ensure outdoor lighting is off during daytime.
Heating and Cooling
*Establish a preventative maintenance program for your heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and systems.
*Change or clean all air filters at least once a month.
*Clean all heat exchanger surfaces, water and refrigerant coils, condensers, and evaporators.
*Repair leaks in piping, air ducts, coils, fittings, and unit(s).
*Replace defective equipment insulation, ducting, and piping.
*If you need to replace air conditioning units of five tons or greater, purchase units with a high energy efficiency ratio (EER) of 10.5 or more to reduce operating costs for the life of the unit. Also, make sure that your contractor performs a “Manual N” calculation to select a properly sized system based on your building load and occupancy needs.
*When old motors fail, replace them with premium efficiency motors that operate at a lower annual cost. Ensure you specify the proper sized motor for the application.
*Install variable speed drives (VSDs) on large motor loads to reduce energy usage.
*Use outside air and water side-economizers for “free cooling” when outside air temperatures and conditions permit.
*In the winter, set the office thermostats between 65 and 68 degrees during the day business hours, and between 60 to 65 degrees during the unoccupied hours.
*In the summer, set thermostats between 78 and 80 degrees during the day business hours and above 80 degrees during the unoccupied hours.
*Adjust thermostats higher when cooling and lower when heating an occupied building or unoccupied areas within a building.
*During the summer months, adjusting the thermostat settings up one degree can save you 2-3% on cooling costs.
*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.
*To conserve energy and reduce internal heat gain, 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.
*Make sure 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.
*Using a laptop computer instead of a desk-top system can save 80-90% in electrical cost.
*If you need to purchase new office equipment, look for ENERGY STAR 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.
Educate and encourage employees to be energy-conscious and to offer ideas on ways the business can save on energy. This will increase your company’s efforts to conserve energy. You can also designate a “responsible party” to be responsible for and to promote good energy practices for the organization and/or facility. Remember that the overall goal for your business is to optimize energy use and reduce operation costs.