Saving on energy costs in commercial buildings doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think it would be. There are lots of potential options for simple methods of preventing energy from being lost unnecessarily and to better conserve energy in your business. Try some of these low-cost tips to help your business reduce its energy costs, and reduce its carbon footprint at the same time.
Check That Your Equipment Is Functioning as It Should
You need to regularly inspect all your equipment and controls to make that they are functioning as they are designed to. Whether it’s your water cooled chillers, or your office printer, it needs to be checked properly so any potential problems can be caught and corrected before they turn into bigger issues. If your equipment isn’t working properly, it’s likely to using more power than it needs to and wasting energy. Double-check your energy management system (EMS) programming as well to make sure that all operations are correctly optimised.
Consider Your Cleaning Options
There are a few options to handle the way you have your commercial building cleaned in a way that helps you to save power and energy.
You could use team cleaning. With team cleaning, cleaners go through the building floor by floor as a team, so the lighting can be turned on or off around them as they make their way through the building.
Fit occupancy sensors. Install motions sensors (PIR) that will turn the lights on as your cleanser are cleaning, and will then automatically turn them off when the floor is vacant. This is a good choice for the building anyway, as you will only need to light areas where employees are actually working, without wasting power lighting empty workspaces.
You can also coordinate your cleaning operations. Have your cleaners coordinate with your security crew to walk through the building at the end of the day and turn off any equipment as they go that has been accidentally left on by your employees. Make sure they know what needs to be off, and how to safely turn it off, and if anything needs to be left running.
You could opt for day cleaning. Instead of paying to light and heat the building during the evening, hire a janitor to keep on top of the cleaning during the main workday when the lights would already be on anyway.
Encourage Employees or Tenants to Turn off Equipment
During off hours, make sure that everything that doesn’t need to be left on is powered down. This includes things like photocopiers, kitchen equipment, and any task lighting. You can ask your cleaning or security personnel to turn off any equipment that they notice has been left on, such as coffee pots, kitchen items, and office lights. Leaving something like a photocopier on standby overnight or over the weekend instead of switching it off completely can cost your company a reasonable amount of money and waste a lot of energy.
Use High-Efficiency LED (Light-Emitting Diode) Exit Signs
Exit signs obviously need to be lit at all times, but this doesn’t mean that they need to be inefficient. If your current emergency exit signage is inefficient, replace them all with high efficiency LED exit signs. LED exit signs will still operate twenty-fours a day, but will use a lot less energy. They also tend to have lower costs of maintenance than less efficient options, thanks to their extended life, so you can save money that wat too.
Bring in an Energy Awareness Program
Make sure that everyone in the company or that uses your commercial building knows all about your commitment to saving energy. You could outline your goals and plans in your company newsletter or as part of any company or building announcements to keep employees or tenants up to date with your goals for energy-saving goals and what they can do to help you reach them and what benefits they can expect from doing so.
Install Monitor Power Management Software
If a computer is left on standby overnight or over the weekend, it can waste a fair bit of money every year, as well as contributing to your company’s carbon footprint. The more computers you have that are being left on, the more you’re spending on wasted power and energy. Avoid wastes like this by installing power management software for computers. This software can monitor how power is used and make changes to reduce waste.
Upgrade Your Lighting
Install the most efficient light bulbs that you can afford. Swap out any older 38mm fluorescent bulbs left in the building for more slimline 26mm tubes. These use 10% less energy and can cost less, saving you both money and energy. While you’re making changes to your lighting, change out old-fashioned bulbs for low energy compact fluorescent bulbs instead. Lighting a typical office isn’t cheap, so you can make some big savings by making more efficient, lower energy choices in your lighting.
Make Use of Daylight
To save even more on lighting, make use of any natural light that comes into the building. Locate workstations that need high levels of illumination next to windows. This means that you can manage with less task lighting during the day on brighter days, using less energy and spending less on lights.
Evaluate After-Hours Usage
If you let your commercial building space to tenants, talk to them to find out if they are actually using their space during the operating hours laid out in the lease. If they’re not, you can adjust your operating hours to reflect the actual use your tenants are making of their space. This saves you the cost of running the building when nobody is in it.
Reduce your exhaust and outdoor-air ventilation rates within codes. Look at your fans and adjust any ventilation that is in any unoccupied and low-density areas to reduce the ventilation or a practical, yet comfortable level.
By making these changes, you can save energy and money.