It’s time to reduce our facility energy consumption—not just for our own pockets, but also for the good of the environment.
Just take a look at some recent stats on energy consumption in the U.S:
- Energy accounts for 60% of a property’s carbon footprint.
- The average commercial building wastes 30% of the energy it consumes.
- U.S. health care facilities alone spend $8.8 billion a year on energy.
- The hotel industry’s carbon impact accounts for 2% of the earth’s total and is expected to rise to 3% due to the growing tourist demand.
Energy Star reports that it’s possible to reduce energy use by 10 percent at little or no cost. In order to save money for our organizations and invest in the future of our planet, it’s time to start utilizing energy management and reducing our energy consumption.
Here are six tips to do just that.
1. Invest in Energy-Efficient Lighting
By replacing your fluorescent and incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs), you can reduce energy use by two thirds, saving $20 or more per lamp per year. What’s more, these lighting options last longer than incandescent lamps.
You can also install occupancy sensors or timers so lights are only used when they’re needed, further increasing savings.
2. Consider Recommissioning
Commissioning, the process when engineers observe a building and perform a tune-up to ensure that it’s operating appropriately and efficiently, usually takes place when a facility first opens. However, recommissioning periodically throughout a building’s life can mean big savings. By continuously monitoring a building’s energy systems, you can see reductions of 10 to 15 percent or more in annual energy bills.
3. Save Water to Save Energy
Yes, water use and energy use are linked. Just think about it: electricity or gas is used to heat water, so the less hot water you use, the less energy is needed to heat the water. In order to start saving water, track your water use, then use the EPA’s WaterSense program to learn the best management practices for different types of commercial buildings.
4. Purchase Energy-Efficient Equipment
Replace old office and food service equipment with energy-efficient products. According to Energy Star, “certified refrigerators and freezers can save over 45 percent of the energy used by conventional models.”
5. Tune Up Your HVAC System
Even new HVAC systems will decline in performance without regular maintenance. Continue to tune up your system with an annual maintenance contract, ensuring that your contractor provides “pre-season” tune-ups before each cooling and heating season.
6. Check On Air Distribution Systems
The EPA found that almost 60 percent of building fan systems were oversized by at least 10 percent, with an average oversizing of 60 percent. By carefully matching fan capacity to the requirements of the load, you can see significant energy savings.
If you’ve never done anything to reduce facility energy consumption, chances are you’ll find a lot of room to improve. By starting with no- to low-cost improvements, you can start saving energy at your facility and money on your bills. Eventually, you can use those savings to pay for more extensive energy-efficient upgrades.
What are some other great ways to reduce energy consumption?