Energy Saving Tips for Small Businesses
Conduct an energy audit
A no-cost, no-obligation energy assessment of your facility shows you how much energy and money you could save by upgrading to energy-efficient equipment.
Turn the lights off
Remind employees to turn off lights (and other equipment) when not in use. High utility costs often include paying for energy that is completely wasted.
Change your light bulbs
Replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), wherever appropriate. CFLs cost about 75 percent less to operate and last about 10 times longer.
Upgrade to fluorescent lamp tubes
Consider upgrading to T8 (1″ diameter) fluorescent lamp tubes with solid-state electronic ballasts that are more efficient than older T12 (1.5″ diameter) tubes with magnetic ballasts.
Install occupancy sensors
Install switch plate occupancy sensors in proper locations to automatically turn off lighting when no one is present and back on when people return. Even good equipment can be installed wrong, so don’t install the sensor behind a coat rack, door, bookcase, etc. It must be able to “see” an approaching person’s motion to turn on the light before or as they enter an unlit area.
Use natural light
Adjust lighting to your actual needs; use free “daylight” during the day.
Use energy efficient exit signs
Install ENERGY STAR qualified exit signs. These exit signs can dramatically reduce maintenance by eliminating lamp replacement and can save up to $10 dollars per sign annually in electricity costs while preventing up to 500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.
Tune-up your HVAC system
Even a new ENERGY STAR qualified HVAC system, like a new car, will decline in performance without regular maintenance. Ensure your HVAC contractor will provide “pre-season” tune-ups before each cooling and heating season. You save energy and money, and your system may last years longer with minimal costs for yearly maintenance fees.
Change and clean your HVAC filters
Regularly change (or clean if reusable) HVAC filters every month during peak cooling or heating seasons.
New filters usually only cost a few dollars. Dirty filters cost more to use, overwork the equipment and result in lower indoor air quality.
Control direct sunlight with blinds
Control direct sun through windows, depending on the season and local climate. During cooling season, block direct heat gain from the sun shining through glass on the East and especially West sides of the facility. Depending on your facility, options such as solar screens, solar films, awnings, and vegetation can help keep facilities cooler.
Fans can help your business maintain a comfortable temperature, humidity, and air movement. Moving air can make a somewhat higher temperature and humidity feel comfortable. Fans can help delay or reduce the need for air conditioning, and a temperature setting of only three to five degrees higher can feel as comfortable with fans.
Plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking
Caulking and weather stripping let you manage your ventilation, which is the deliberately controlled exchange of stuffy inside air for fresher outdoor air.