The bottom line of running a successful business is to make all your dollars count. Cutting back unnecessary energy use keeps hard-earned money in your pocket. Here are many ideas, including some you can put to work in minutes at no cost to you to good energy saving investments when you are ready to replace equipment or do remodeling.
Whenever possible, don’t use large equipment during the peak hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Turn equipment and lights off after hours.
Set energy-saving features on all your office equipment to put them into sleep mode when not in use.
An energy audit might be the best investment you can make for your business.
Cooling and Ventilation Systems – Improve Efficiency
Set the thermostat in your workspace to 78 degrees during work hours, and raise the setting to 85 degrees when the space is unoccupied. The energy savings can be significant – as much as 2 percent of your air conditioning costs for each one degree that you raise the thermostat.
Use a programmable thermostat and make it easy to adjust the settings as well as regulate the temperature when you are closed to avoid unnecessary cooling costs. Consider a locking cover over the thermostat to avoid having employees change temperature settings.
Close window blinds to shade your rooms from direct sunlight.
Allow your workers to wear comfortable clothing during hot weather. It makes little sense to keep a room cold enough that workers must wear suits and coats.
To save energy, keep your exterior and freight doors closed as much as possible. Consumers frequently complain about retailers who run their air conditioning on high to keep their stores as cold as possible while leaving their doors wide open.
Keep your cooling and ventilation systems tuned. Maintain a regular filter replacement and cleaning schedule. Don’t forget to check ducts and pipe insulation.
Install window film, solar screens or awning in south and west facing windows.
Solar control window films applied to existing glass in windows and doors is an effective method to reduce peak demand during hot months and conserve energy anytime air conditioning might be required. In addition to the energy management benefits, the use of these films can also reduce exposure to ultraviolet radiation and reduce glare.
Install ceiling fans – they make it feel at least four degrees cooler during the summer.
Rewire restroom fans to operate when the lights are turned on.
Install an air conditioning-economizer to bring in outside air when it’s cool.
Insulate water heaters and supply pipes.
If possible, install ceiling and wall insulation. You will save money on your monthly utility bills and your employees will be more comfortable.
Source: www.consumerenergycenter.org; 2012.