How to Save on Commercial Electricity
Ways To Reduce Business Energy Costs
The fact is, depending on the size of your organization and facilities, you can lower your electric bill by thousands of dollars every month just by following a few easy steps to increase the energy efficiency of your offices. Here’s a rundown of the specific tips and simple changes you can make that can add up to short-term and long-term energy savings.
Get an energy audit
Nothing gets the heart racing like the word “audit.” While this might not sound like a good thing at first, when it comes to your business energy costs and usage, it really is. Most utility companies offer free business energy audits to their commercial customers. They can help you figure out where your money is going every month, how to increase energy efficiency and how to lower electric bills.
When not in use, turn off lights and equipment
Turning office machines and lighting off at night can reduce business energy costsThis step might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how much energy all those computers, monitors, printers and other devices consume while setting there unused but still left on. By making sure they’re in “sleep mode” or turned off completely overnight, you won’t be paying for electricity you’re not even using. Make it someone’s nightly routine to take a quick tour of the office and flip the OFF switch on idle equipment. The same goes for breakroom devices such as microwaves, coffeemakers, radios and TVs. One tip is to plug all these energy vampires into a single powerstrip, so you can turn them off at the same time on your way out the door.
Take advantage of natural sunlight as often as you can
Let the sunshine in! Open the blinds around your workspaces to make the best use of daylight—and take advantage of skylights or other natural light sources to reduce your lighting needs during daytime hours. It’s also worthwhile to see whether there are areas of your office that are overly lit and remove any lighting that might not be necessary.
Install long-lasting compact fluorescent light (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs
This is one step where saving a little bit in a lot of places can really add up. Replacing a single 60-watt bulb with an 18-watt energy-efficient bulb that’s on for 10 hours a day can easily save a business $1 or more each month. Multiply that out to an entire year—and by the hundreds (if not thousands) of bulbs in your business—and you’re talking about some serious savings. Energy-efficient bulbs aren’t just a smart answer about how to lower electric bills in the short term. Their extended service life will help you save in the long term, too. Energy Star LED light bulbs not only use at least 75% less energy, they can last 50 times longer than the average incandescent—up to 20 years.
Use motion detectors and automatic dimmers that adjust to your needs
Automatic dimmers, the overhead solution to how to lower your electric billBelieve it or not, lighting accounts for almost 20% of the electricity used in U.S. commercial buildings. So, being even just a little bit smarter about when, where and how you use the lighting in your building(s) can add up to big savings. Consider installing motion detectors in hallways, meeting spaces and other places where “always-on” isn’t always needed—along with automatic dimming controllers that measure and adjust to the light levels you actually need.
Reduce closing door delay
Automatic doors are a great way for manufacturing businesses, which require a cold room or refrigerated storage, to save on energy as they use sensors or a time delay to close the door.Energy savings can be made by reducing the close delay timeframe on automatic doors, and limiting the frequency of cool room access as far as its practical.
Air conditioning and heating
According to Siemens, heating and cooling uses around 20 to 40 per cent of a building’s energy.Newer heating and cooling systems will be far more efficient than old ones, so it may be worth getting systems more than 10 years old replaced. Both blow heaters and portable radiators use significant amounts of electricity and will chew through the power bills so discourage their use. Lastly ensure your air conditioning and heating are set to the optimum points during the seasons.
Shade windows and walls
Often, the primary source of heat entering a building is via unprotected windows. The sun’s radiant energy can generate the same local heat as a single bar radiator but Save energy by using fixed or adjustable shading, planting trees and vegetation or installing sun filters on the windows and walls of the workplace— especially industrial sheds— to protect it from radiant energy. This will reduce the impact of those extreme Australian summer temperatures, improve comfort and save energy.
Depending on the appliances used in the workplace, you can optimise their settings to increase energy savings. For example, you can increase the drinks fridge temperature in the kitchen by one or two degrees to save energy without impacting employees or business.
Make it collaborative, not top down
Any energy savings initiative should be collaborative and involve all employees. If you want your employees to change their behaviour they need to do it when you’re not in the room. So, communicate the real business costs. Let them know how it affects the bottom line, and regularly raise energy at toolbox meetings or monthly company meetups, to keep it top of mind. People will want to do their part if you let them.
Here are our top 5 free and easy ways to save energy in your home:
- Turn off the fan when you leave a room.
Why? Fans don’t cool the air – they only cool people by blowing warm, still air across their skin. The motor on the fan actually adds heat to the room – another reason to turn it off when you leave.
How: Just like turning off the lights and electronics when you leave a room, turn off the fan. It sets a good example for the younger generation that waste is never a good thing.
- Close your drapes or drop your window shades during the day.
Why? Keeping sunlight out during the heat of the day keeps the house cooler. In the winter, doing the opposite lets the warm sunlight in.
How: Consider moving your furniture around with the seasons to take advantage of or avoid the sun. Eating breakfast near a sunny window can start your chilly winter day off right.
- Wash your clothes in cold water.
Why? Ninety percent of the energy used to wash your clothes is for heating the water.
How: Cold water is just as effective for getting clothes clean with today’s high-efficiency washers and cold water-formulated detergents.
- Wrap or cover foods and drinks in the refrigerator.
Why? When foods release moisture they make the compressor work harder to keep the unit cold.
How: Take a few seconds to put on some plastic wrap to trap that moisture. Better yet, put that food in a reusable container with a lid to avoid having to throw away the plastic wrap.
- Always use the cold water faucet, unless you really want hot water.
Why? Turning on the hot water faucet (or placing the faucet lever to hot or warm) requires energy to heat the water, even if it doesn’t reach the faucet before you turn it off.
How: Use cold water, especially for cooking. Hot water from the tap absorbs more lead and other contaminants from pipes.