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For Your Business

ENERGY SAVINGS FOR YOUR BUSINESS


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Lighting

  • Install light emitting diode (LED) exit signs in place of incandescent signs. They last up to 15 times longer and use less energy.

  • Adjust outdoor lighting timer controls at clock changes for daylight savings time. Consider installing photocells which sense daylight and turn off automatically when it is no longer dark.

  • Turn off lights, computers, and other office equipment when they are not in use. Develop a procedure for staff to ensure that they get turned off at night and on weekends.

  • Install timers on outdoor safety and security lighting. This will automatically turn lights on and off at predetermined hours of the day.

  • Turn off lights when they are not needed. Lights should be off whenever an area is unoccupied, such as when people go to lunch or a meeting.

  • Take advantage of natural light. Turn off some or all of the lights near windows during daylight hours.

  • Install more efficient sources of light. Compact fluorescent lamps and halogen lamps are more efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

  • Try task or spot lighting. By focusing extra light just where you need it, you may reduce the need for overhead lighting while decreasing glare and eyestrain.

  • Keep lights clean as dust and buildup can reduce their life expectancy and light output.

  • Consider removing some of your fluorescent lamps as a no cost alternative. Offices originally designed for pen-and paper work offer many opportunities because people working at computers often prefer less light and glare.

  • Upgrade your lighting. Many standard fluorescent tubes are 4 ft. long 40 watt T-12s. It can pay to upgrade to the higher efficiency, 32 watt T-8 fixtures. (The number after the T represents eighths of an inch: a T-12 has a ½ inch diameter; a T-8 has a 1inch diameter).

  • T-8 lamps improve energy efficiency by about 10 percent. Their electronic ballasts (devices that provide the proper voltage and current to fluorescent lamps) use 30 percent less energy than old magnetic ballasts used by T-12s.

  • Before throwing away any old lamps or ballasts, check state and local regulations for proper disposal methods because lamps could contain mercury and pre-1979 ballasts may contain PCBs.

  • Consider installing occupancy sensors. Occupancy sensors detect people and movement in a room and automatically turn lights on and off. The more hours the lights are off, the greater the energy savings. Private offices, conference rooms, restrooms, and storage areas are good candidates for occupancy sensors.

Office Equipment

  • Copiers are the most energy-intensive piece of office equipment. They use a lot of energy just sitting idle for long periods of time.

  • Turn equipment off whenever possible. Make sure machines are turned off whenever your facility is unoccupied or when machines will not be used for a considerable amount of time.

  • Enable energy saving software. If your machines are equipped with energy saving software, be sure to turn it on.

  • Clean, tune and adjust equipment. Maintaining your equipment will extend its life and keep it running more efficiently.

  • When purchasing new office equipment, always look for the ENERGY STAR label.

  • Network several users to one printer to reduce energy costs and capital expenses by buying fewer printers.

  • Run copies in batches to decrease the time your copier spends in and out of the high powered mode.

  • Turn off equipment when not in use for a while.

  • Buy the smallest size copier to suit your needs.

  • Buy an ENERGY STAR certified copier. It will turn off automatically when inactive, cutting your annual copy related energy costs by more than 60 percent.

Heating & Cooling

  • Install programmable thermostats to control heating and cooling. Programmable thermostats allow the business owner to set a schedule to automatically set back the thermostat during the night or times of day when the business is unoccupied.

  • During the winter months, set the thermostat at the lowest comfortable setting and the highest comfortable setting during the summer months. RMPU recommends 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter and 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.

  • Keep windows and doors closed to prevent heat loss during winter or loss of cool air in summer. Consider opening doors and windows to provide ventilation instead of air conditioning in the summer.

  • When turning on equipment at the start of the day, turn on individual pieces of equipment in 15 minute intervals instead of turning them on all at once. This will require less energy at once and will instead stagger the energy over a period of time.

  • Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems account for 39 percent of the electric energy used in commercial buildings, which means your business can realize significant savings by improving the efficiency of your systems.

  • Turn HVAC systems down or off when not in use. If your facility is unoccupied at certain times (nights and weekends), lower the heat or raise the air conditioning to save energy costs.

  • A fan in the "on" mode runs non-stop, 24 hours a day; in "auto" the fan cycles only when supplying heat or air conditioning.

  • Use more efficient temperature settings. During the winter months, try gradually lowering the thermostat by a total of 3- to 5 degrees; slowly raise the temperature by the same amount during the summer months.

  • Replace air filters regularly. Clean air filters keep a system performing at its most energy efficient while keeping the air clean. Clean or change filters quarterly, once a month in peak heating and cooling months.

  • Seal any cracks or gaps with weather stripping or caulk. Look for cracks around windows, doors, utility switches/outlets and any other gaps between inside and outside.

Refrigeration

  • Keep the doors shut. Repeated temperature changes damage your food quality and cost you money.

  • Check the temperature settings. If your settings are lower than necessary, you are probably wasting money.

  • Properly load your refrigerator. A refrigerator that is too full disrupts the air flow needed to cool items properly. An empty refrigerator wastes energy, as well. If you have partially filled units, consolidate and turn off any unneeded refrigeration.

  • Properly distribute refrigerator units. Don't put the drink machine next to cooking equipment or in direct sunlight. Extra heat makes the refrigerator work harder to maintain temperature settings.

  • Ventilate refrigerators properly. A 1 inch gap on the sides and a 4 inch gap at the back are recommended to give the refrigerator's condenser and fan access to a steady flow of air.

  • Clean the cooling coils. Dirt build up can impair heat transfer and lowers refrigeration efficiency and capacity.

  • Check the door seals. Tight seals keep warm air out. TIP: if you can easily slide a dollar bill from the seal, have it adjusted.

Hot Water

  • Reduce the amount of water used. Install low-flow showerheads in showers and aerators in bathroom and kitchen sinks.

  • Reduce the temperature of the hot water. Thermostats on water heaters are often set much higher than necessary. RMPU recommends setting the temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum energy efficiency.

  • Consider installing a water heater timer. You can set the timer to turn off the water heater when it is not needed (nights and weekends).

  • To reduce heat loss in your hot water system, make sure the hot water tank and the pipes connected to it are well insulated.

  • Schedule or perform regular maintenance to maximize your savings.