1. Measure Current Energy Use
Saving energy and water is a way to enhance your bottom line and help the environment. Measuring the amount of energy a building uses will help point out areas that are wasting energy, and start a path to correcting the areas that are contributing to the waste. One resource, ENERGY STAR, is a free tool provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This tool helps measure emissions and also energy and water usage in your building. Industrial sensors and monitoring systems can also be beneficial to know exactly how much energy your building is using. Once you have a good measurement, it can be applied to monthly tracking and also monitor the areas that still need work.
2. Saving Water
Heating/cooling and pumping water throughout your building is directly correlated to your energy usage. Reducing your buildings water use can lower your energy bill in a significant away. Some saving water solutions Include: installing more efficient faucets, showerheads, toilets, and urinals. In common areas that get high traffic, install automatic faucets that turn off automatically when left on. Making sure old water heaters and pipes are insulated correctly to insure the system is still running effectively can also help. Remember, saving water can lower the energy bill and also help the environment along the way.
Lighting uses around 25 to 45 percent of the energy in a commercial building. Lighting is needed in a commercial building, it’s not something that can be avoided but there are some things that can help reduce the percentage. Installing new lighting is easy and inexpensive. Some resources include: replacing incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs or even more efficient would be LED. LED lights usually take less than a year to pay for themselves so upgrading is cost effective. This can cut energy use in half when it comes to lighting. Informing the people who occupy the building about energy conservation is also important. Doing simple things like making sure the lights are turned off when exiting a room/building can make a difference. Additionally, installing light sensors and timers in high traffic areas can pay big dividends. The sensors can detect when there isn’t any activity within the room and shut the lights off automatically. A company called Current creates a lighting estimator that can help to estimate the amount of lighting being used. (https://www.currentbyge.com/ideas/simple-lighting-energy-estimator)
4. Shading Systems
Although having open blinds/shades are nice, they can cause unnecessary heat from glare of the sun. This has a direct effect with the heating/cooling and ventilation of your building. Managing the natural light in your building with motorized shades, which can be programed to move up and down with the sun to keep temperature levels at a standard level can help save on utility costs.
5. Energy Awareness Program
Creating a program within your building that makes energy conservation a priority can help bring awareness to those who occupy the building. If someone in charge enforces the awareness, the likelihood of the program to work is much greater. Creating posters, newsletters, and even sending reminders through email will help with the process. Making people aware of the efforts to save energy and ways they can help reach the goal will create a great start within the building.
“Facility managers who link energy management with maintenance management and building controls can unlock 15% or more of operational cost savings.”
—Verdantix, Smart Innovators: Facility Optimization Management, June 2017
While looking at the upfront cost of upgrading your building to make it more energy efficient can seem high, the money is soon recouped through the reduced utility bills and maintenance expenses. Making your building more energy efficient also makes the building more valuable. New energy efficient technology can be incorporated into any size building and can create a huge money-saving upgrade.
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