As a business owner or building manager you understand how energy costs reduce your bottom line, especially with the astronomically high energy prices we are seeing today. The EPA estimates that commercial buildings waste about 30% of the energy they use on average. This gives you an opportunity to improve your energy efficiency and lower your electricity and natural gas bills.
9 Ways to reduce energy use
1. Lighting upgrades
17% of all electricity consumed by commercial buildings is from lighting, this makes upgrading to LED lighting one of the best things that will immediately lower electricity bills. LED lighting uses up to 90% less energy than traditional lighting and can last up to 15 times longer.
If you want more information about LED lighting, these articles can help:
Another great way to save is by taking advantage of smart lighting by utilizing timers or motion sensors. This way lighting doesn’t accidentally get left on all day and night.
2. HVAC maintenance
Per the US Small Business Administration HVAC accounts for around 40% of electricity used in commercial buildings.
Ensuring that your HVAC systems are properly maintained will not only make it run as efficiently as possible, but will also help prevent costly repairs. Things like clogged filters, dirty coils and ducts, debris, etc. make your HVAC system work harder and longer to achieve set temperatures.
3. Ensure your building is properly insulated
Making sure that your building is properly insulated and sealed can save your business up to 10% on your energy bill per the EPA. Don’t just look at obvious places like windows and walls. Your roof, HVAC ducts, electrical outlets, pipes, etc. are also important.
4. Use power management settings on computers and other hardware
Per EnergyStar each office desktop computer wastes up to $50 a year. Utilizing power management settings on your computers and other hardware is an easy way to reduce electricity use.
5. Upgrade or retrofit your HVAC system
Depending on how old your HVAC unit is, how large it is and how well maintained it is, will determine if it’s a good candidate for a retrofit or if it needs to be replaced entirely. A good example of this is if your unit is 10 or so years old , you could likely save 20% on cooling costs by upgrading it.
We recommend getting a professional out to inspect your HVAC system specifically or getting an energy audit.
6. If your business is located in a deregulated state, take advantage of it
Energy deregulation allows businesses to choose who supplies energy to them. This allows you to get a fixed-rate which can be significantly less than what you pay your utility company.
Want to see if you can lock in a good energy rate? Get a free quote
7. Get an energy audit
Energy audits are assessments of your business’s energy usage to determine how efficient or inefficient it is. The audit will identify problems like substandard weatherization, leaks, HVAC issues, etc.
8. Utilize EnergyStar resources
EnergyStar.gov has a wealth of information from checklists to energy ratings on appliances and hardware. Specifically EnergyStar created “Treasure Hunts” which are detailed industry specific checklists designed to help you reduce overall energy use.
9. Manage water use
Reducing how much water a building uses can save a fair amount of money, especially in larger buildings. Installing water-efficient faucets, regularly checking for leaks and getting WaterSense toilets can save quite a bit in the long run.