22 Oct Energy Efficiency Upgrade Tips for Small & Medium Commercial Buildings
Commercial Energy Saving Tips for Small and Medium Businesses
Is your company doing enough to make better energy choices and save on business electricity costs? A few simple changes could improve your bottom line substantially. The EPA states in its data from the ENERGY STAR® program that an average commercial building can reduce its energy bills by 30% through no-cost actions, smart investing, and innovative operations and maintenance.
What will you do with those savings? Whether you reinvest into research and development or keep product prices down for your customers, every business can benefit from energy savings. Here are some ideas to put to work to lower your energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint.
Benefits of saving energy – and how to get started
Energy savings has more than just an intrinsic value, such as helping the planet. It can reduce costs, help your brand image, and lead to leaner overall operations and improved building value. Some of the most energy-efficient tips, such as the use of clean energy for business, also make the most financial sense.
Perform a detailed energy audit on each building to identify energy-saving measures that can be implemented. You’ll want to include detailed calculations for each measure identifying three things:
- Annual energy savings
- Cost to implement
- Cost recovery payback period
The new baseline energy use can be compared to the initial baseline to gauge results. You also need to know and account for any operational changes that happened in the facility, or on that particular circuit during this period. Consultants can help get you started
Man measuring HVAC output
It’s possible for commercial entities to significantly move the needle on energy use, but it may be difficult to get the initial budget for the energy baseline measurement and energy audit. This is often conducted by a consultant trained in these measurements, since most businesses do not have an in-house team that can handle this process. The Cotocon Group has extensive experience in consulting organizations for Energy savings.
Energy-saving tips for small businesses
There are dozens of ways to save electricity, some with an immediate effect. Here are some of the more common ways companies are changing up their energy usage.
- HVAC adjustments for comfort and economizing
- Perform recommissioning and maintenance checks for HVAC and air handlers.
- Install variable frequency drives (VFD) on fan/pump motors.
- Reset supply air on air handlers.
- Reset supply air temperature variable air volume with reheat (VAV-RH) systems.
- Reset duct static pressure in VAV-RH systems.
- Increase the heating and cooling automatic deadband set points.
- Shake up your schedules
Improve scheduling for lighting, air handlers, and chilled water systems to avoid high-usage times.
- Upgrade lighting to include more modern bulbs
LED lighting is more efficient than other forms such as traditional incandescent, halogen, HID, and T12 fluorescent bulbs. These can cut down on your energy bills each month.
LED bulbs use 90% less energy but can still offer an appealing look and brightness. They also last 15 times longer than a traditional bulb, so they need to be replaced less often, offering you savings on materials and labor costs.
- Upgrade your structure
Building codes may dictate the minimum requirements for roofing or windows, but for those buildings that aren’t highly regulated, there is an opportunity to improve. These improvements are best handled in stages, so you don’t spend too much at one time. The EPA has more information on retro-commissioning and dealing with outdated infrastructure.
- Don’t forget the outdoors
The outside of your building, landscape, and parking lot are all opportunities to save money while helping the environment.
Are you considering ways to implement renewable energy tactics into your business operation? Or are you concerned about your commercial electricity bill? Get started by hiring an expert who can audit your current energy plan for any inefficiencies to see how you can best move forward.