Most people rarely worry about their electricity bills. To many, this is just the cost of doing business; this is however not entirely the case. Taking some time to consider how much you have been paying in electricity bills, and how much energy goes to waste and particularly in rarely used offices, spaces and appliances, should make you reconsider everything.
Depending on the size of the business or organization, taking just the right measures to make it more energy efficient can save you thousands of dollars per month in energy bills. Even the simplest changes can make a huge difference in increasing your office’s energy efficiency. Outlined below are a few ways and tips on how to make your business more energy efficient.
1. Get an Energy Audit
An energy audit would be a welcome idea for your business and especially if you want to know the business’ energy efficiency according to Joscos energys NJ conference. You don’t necessarily have to pay for these audits as most utility companies offer the service free of charge to commercial customers. It is through the inspection that you can know why your bills are as they are, and where adjustments need to be made to reduce energy consumption.
2. Turn Off Equipment and Lights When Not in Use
Although it may seem obvious, most equipment in the office are left turned on even when they are not in use. This includes monitors, computers, printers, and lights that continue consuming electricity many hours after everyone has left the office. Putting these appliances on sleep mode, or simply turning them off completely saves the company lots of energy that would have otherwise gone to waste. Having someone ensure everything is turned off after everyone leaves the office would be a wise idea too. This applies to all idling appliances, equipment, and breakroom devices (coffeemakers, microwaves, TVs, and Radios). Some of these equipment/appliances continue using electricity even when in sleep mode.
3. Make Use of Natural Sunlight
Taking advantage of the natural light can save you from using electricity. All you need to do is sensitize the employees into drawing the curtains and blinds to let the light in. You could also install automated blinds that open when the sun is up, and close later in the day to let the light in. Skylights in the office setup would lower your lighting bills significantly during the say. You might also want to remove excess lighting and especially in areas that don’t require lighting at all.
4. Switch to LED Bulbs or Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)
Incandescent light bulbs use more energy than LED and fluorescent lights combined. For instance, replacing the 60-watt bulb with an 18-watt fluorescent bulb would save you up to 10 hours’ worth of energy per day. This is equivalent to $1 savings in a month. Multiplying this with the number of bulbs in the business, then by 12, should help you see how much money you can save per year. These bulbs not only save lots of energy in the long run but also have a much longer service life. It is also worth noting that, LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy when compared to incandescent bulbs, and last 50 times longer.
5. Make Use of Automatic Dimmers and Motion Detectors
Installing automatic dimmers and motion detectors can help keep your electricity bill as low as possible. The motion detectors will only turn on the lights if someone is in the room or space, a factor that saves energy even farther. Research shows that lighting alone contributes to almost 20% of energy usage in commercial buildings. Investing in smart ways to lower energy consumption from light fixtures, which includes installing motion sensors in meeting spaces, hallways, and other rarely used spaces might help make the business more energy efficient.
6. Use Programmable or Smart Thermostats
A programmable thermostat makes it possible to set as well as adjust the temperature in the workplace automatically. You can have the thermostat turn on the heat or AC 30 minutes before everyone shows up at work, and 30 minutes before they leave. You can also have the thermostat lower temperatures to 78 degrees during summer and hot weather, and 68 degrees in colder weather. Doing this eliminates the need for the heaters and AC to remain on even when not needed. It also saves you lots of energy in the process. Experts recommend setting the thermostat one-degree cooler during winter and one degree warmer in summer- doing this reduces energy consumption by 10%.
7. Ensure the Office Is Properly Insulated
Adequate insulation is required to help keep the heat in (or out) during winter/summer. Weather stripping all access doors and windows eliminates draught that makes maintaining set room temperatures hard for the AC/heater. You should also consider making use of screens and film to cut down on heat gain/loss. This again increases energy efficiency in the office by enabling the HVAC systems work without straining. Reflective window-films would also be recommended for scorching weather conditions
8. Consider Switching to Energy Efficient Equipment
Most equipment manufactured more than ten years ago uses up more energy than newer versions. Replacing most of the old equipment with newer Energy Star rated ones would save the business lots of energy in the long run. A-star rated equipment such as computers, printers, monitors, scanners, fax machines, and copiers use up to 50% less energy as compared to non-rated ones. You might also want to replace the old air conditioner and heater with a more efficient and Energy Star rated one to lower energy consumption even farther. Always go for Energy Star labeled equipment each time you have to replace office equipment.
9. Consider Renewable Energy for the Business
Alternative renewable energy sources (solar and wind) can also be used to power most processes in your business. Solar energy, for example, generates clean power that can help drive most appliances and devices in the office comfortably. Renewable energy sources do not produce the harmful greenhouse gases thus reduce your carbon dioxide footprint even farther. Investing in a solar system to supplement your need for electricity would, therefore, be a wise decision. Some solar systems generate lots of energy, some of which can be injected back into the grid earning you points that can be redeemed later on. This means lower electricity bills over the long term.
10. Ensure All (HVAC) Systems Are Serviced Regularly
Have a certified technician service the HVAC system regularly to ensure its efficiency is maintained through the year. The filters ought to be changed, and the air vents cleaned out to ensure they aren’t clogged. The air vents shouldn’t be blocked by chairs, tables or furniture to ensure the room is kept comfortable at all times. A well serviced and maintained HVAC system would use less energy as compared to a neglected one.