Limiting your expenditures is one of the primary goals of virtually every business. However, cutting energy costs can be easier said than done. For many administrators and business owners, determining where potential issues or opportunities lie can be a lengthy process, which in turn allows more time for energy loss and expenses to accrue.
In this post, we’ll review a few ways that you can reduce energy costs in your facility, many of which you can put into action immediately.
A large facility that runs 24 hours a day can use up a lot of electricity, especially when it comes to lighting. One method for reducing energy costs is to use controlled lighting to limit energy waste. This method specifies strategic lighting of the different areas of your facility when in use.
So if certain areas go unused at night when the day shift leaves, it’s recommended that the lights in this area be turned off either by the custodial staff, security, or some other employee. By only supplying light to the areas of the facility currently occupied, you can drastically reduce your energy usage.
Update and Repair Equipment
Broken or outdated electronics can use up a massive amount of energy. It’s important to make sure that your facility’s equipment is in good working condition and features the most recent advances in power-saving technology. Light switches, for example, can be equipped with motion sensor triggers so they turn on automatically when occupied and turn off when not in use.
Other updates include ensuring that adequate insulation is used to prevent energy loss through walls or windows. New energy-efficient windows, proper insulation, and other forms of retro-commissioning efforts can help your facility to achieve annual energy savings of about 16%, according to a study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Some energy wastes are more difficult to identify and diagnostic tools such as infrared imagers and electrical test equipment can be used to measure energy usage and detect unforeseen problems.
Involve Every Member of Your Staff
If you want to reduce your facility’s energy use, then you need to employ the help of everyone who uses the facility. That means communicating and coordinating with the members of your staff to keep energy waste at a minimum and developing an energy management strategy. This can be as simple as having your custodial staff clean at night, turning off all of the machines and lights in each room as they finish cleaning.
You can also speak with your staff to keep doors closed to limited energy waste or create incentives for those who come up with ways to cut energy costs. One place where you may be able to significantly reduce energy consumption is in your facility’s kitchen, if you have one. Some nonessential ovens and fryers, for example, can be kept off during non-peak hours or refrigerators can be set to the most efficient temperatures:
- 37 to 40 degrees F for refrigerators
- 0 to 5 degrees F for freezers
- -10 to 0 degrees F for freezers storing ice cream
Another way to cut energy costs in your facility is to consider materials that are easy to clean and care for. Surfaces that are easier to clean take less time for your custodial staff to address. HDPE materials, for example, are mold/mildew and graffiti resistant in addition to being rust and dent resistant as well.