According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on average, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted. And the worst part is that a lot of that waste is preventable with a few simple facility changes and upgrades. Making the following enhancements can help company owners and property managers to decrease the amount of energy wasted in their facility in order to positively impact the environment and cut down on energy bills.
The best way to determine where you can save on energy usage is to have an audit completed to uncover where you are using the most energy. Whether you complete it yourself or hire a professional consultant, an audit is sure to uncover some hidden areas of savings that you most likely would not have caught otherwise.
Put computers and other equipment to sleep
When not in use, such as during long meetings, overnight or over the weekends, urge employees to put their computers and other equipment to sleep.
Leaky ductwork can account for a substantial loss of energy and money. Duct inspection and sealing will not only improve the comfort and air quality in your facility but will result in less waste and lower energy bills.
If your facility is equipped with vending machines, refrigerators, microwaves or other appliances, look for Energy Star rated equipment that is as efficient as possible.
By insulating your building to the optimum level, you will cut back on the amount of cool air and heat that is lost through leaks and cracks in the walls, ceiling or floors, reducing the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the space.
Upgrade your HVAC system
Is your commercial HVAC equipment old and inefficient? It may be time for an upgrade. Newer systems are generally more efficient and use less energy in order to heat and cool your building. You’ll notice the difference in not only the comfort levels in your facility but your utility bills as well.
Install programmable thermostats
A programmable thermostat allows you to set your HVAC system to heat or cool the building when you need it, such as only when employees or customers are in the facility. If you work in an office or store with regular hours, this can lead to huge energy and cost savings.
Pay attention to lighting
Many buildings have outdated and unnecessary lighting. However, there are plenty of low-cost and energy efficient upgrades you can make to reduce the energy used to light your facility. First off, remove unnecessary lights wherever you can. Consider replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents and replacing the incandescent lights in signs with LEDs. Finally, urge employees or the cleaning crew to turn off lights when they are not in use such as overnight or over the weekends. You may even want to consider an automatic timer or a motion sensor for added savings.
Consider instituting an energy awareness program, telling employees about your commitment to reduce energy use. Hang signs as reminders to staff, use company-wide emails to convey goals and give updates and incentivize employees for helping to reduce energy waste.
How have you cut energy usage in your commercial building? Share with us in the comments section below.