Businesses have a lot of expenses and energy tends to be one of the largest costs a facility has to budget for. That’s why saving energy in the workplace can add huge value, especially if you can get most of your employees involved. You may be surprised to see how much you can save on your energy bill by following just some of our top tips for saving energy in the workplace, which are listed below:
1. Install energy efficient LED light bulbs.
Lighting takes up a lot of energy. Outdated lighting technology like fluorescent bulbs are not only inefficient, they generate a lot of heat, adding to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) costs. LED lighting doesn’t use a lot of energy and last longer than traditional lighting options, saving you on maintenance costs as well. On top of the financial benefits, a LED lighting system will also bring additional benefits to your facility like increased safety, quality control, and employee morale.
Find out how Meridian Brick saved $124,354 a year
2. Turn off equipment when not in use.
Standby mode isn’t good enough. Computers set in standby mode use up to 50% of the energy they drain when they are fully operating. Remind employees to turn off their computers when they leave for the day. Turn off other devices that aren’t in use, such as printers, copiers, coffee machines, and microwaves. If it is too much of an inconvenience to turn them off daily, at least turn them off during the weekend.
3. Use natural light instead of artificial light.
Natural light is free. Get the most natural light in your building as possible by relying on skylights and windows. Even on dark days, some natural light will filter in and you can use less artificial light.
4. Add lighting controls to your facility.
Adding lighting controls to your energy efficiency arsenal saves you even more money. Lighting controls give you the power to adjust your lighting based on energy consumption or to mimic daylight patterns in a concept known as color tuning. Find out about color tuning here.
With lighting controls you can take advantage of daylight harvesting, dimming, and occupancy sensing. Daylight harvesting controls automatically adjust the brightness of your LED lights based on the amount of natural light coming into the space they’re installed in. Occupancy sensors detect when a room or area is vacant and will turn off your lights if they’ve been left on and will automatically turn on lights when people enter the room.
5. Control your HVAC costs with a smart thermostat or a programmable thermostat.
Turning your HVAC system up or down a few degrees, depending on what season it is, can make a huge difference in energy costs. With a smart thermostat or programmable thermostat, you can save even more money, by setting a schedule that considers peak energy use rates or by occupancy levels in your building. A smart thermostat has the added bonus of allowing you to adjust temperature levels remotely.
6. Purchase ENERGY STAR office equipment.
When buying new equipment, opt for devices that bear the ENERGY STAR logo. ENERGY STAR products are energy efficient appliances that use less energy than traditional office equipment and will automatically shut-down when inactive for extended periods of time. You could see energy savings of up to 50%!
7. Use laptops instead of desktops.
Desktop computers use a lot of energy, 80 percent more than laptops! Laptops also don’t need to use as much energy as desktops when in use. If your employees have work that requires a desktop, opt for a smaller monitor.
8. Regularly tune-up your HVAC system.
Regular maintenance of your HVAC system will ensure all parts are working correctly and efficiently. Change and clean air filters. Clean heat exchanger surfaces, coils, condensers, and evaporators. Ensure there are no leaks in pipes, coils, and fittings.
9. Rely on fresh air instead of your HVAC system when applicable.
When temperatures are mild outside, open your doors and windows! Use fresh air to regulate the temperature in your building and turn off your heating and cooling system. Fresh air also improves the ventilation in your building, which helps ward off unhealthy air.
10. Install high volume low speed fans (HVLS) into your building.
HVLS fans keep the air circulating in your facility and lower your HVAC costs. In the summer they make the “feel like” temperature six to eight degrees cooler than the actual temperature in the building. This allows you to keep the thermostat at a higher temperature setting.
In the winter, the fans run in reverse, helping to even out the temperature of your building by mixing the warm air at the ceiling with the cooler air at the floor. A commercial HVLS fan can also reduce heat loss through the roof.
11. Consider installing solar panels.
Solar panels are a great way to incorporate renewable energy to your building. With a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, you use less power from the grid, which saves you money on your electricity bill. There are dozens of array options to choose from. You could opt for a rooftop layout or consider a covered parking array, which provides the additional benefit of shaded parking for your employees and customers.
If you have a solar array at your facility, you could save even more and see additional benefits with a solar-plus-storage system. Energy storage technology gives you the power to store your collected solar energy for when you want to use it, i.e., during on-peak energy use hours. Not only that, you’ll reduce your reliance on the utility provider, add the security of emergency backup power, and reduce your carbon footprint.
12. Get employees involved!
Encourage employees to join in on the energy saving fun! The more eco-conscious workers you have, the more energy you will save. Educate employees on how to reduce energy usage in the workplace and why conserving energy is important to your business and to the community at large.
Consider getting your employees together to perform an energy audit at your facility. A great place to start that is free is the ENERGY STAR Treasure Hunt!
Bonus Tip: Consider incorporating a power monitoring system into your facility. A power monitoring system provides you with real-time granular energy intelligence. You’ll be able to manage consumption, detect energy waste, and prevent downtime to your operations, among so many other benefits.
We hope these energy saving tips help you cut down on energy costs and usage. Like you, U.S. Energy Recovery strives to be a green company. We support companies like yours that strive to be more sustainable and provide energy saving solutions that help you reach your goals. Reach out to us (800) 834-8737 so we can work with you to create a customized energy efficiency plan for your facility or feel free to contact us online.