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How Businesses Can Conserve Energy

Did you know that a simple change like switching to LED lighting could save the private sector 403 million tons in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions? This is including the billions of dollars it could potentially save as well. Businesses should know that conserving energy isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for their bottom line. If you’ve ever wondered how to conserve energy in your business, keep reading to find out some techniques you can use.

Lighting: make the switch to LED

Lighting is the number one area where a small change can save plenty. Per bulb, savings of around $1 per month can be achieved. This is a simple switch. Replace a higher emitting 60-watt with an 18-watt energy efficient bulb. The life of a LED bulb can also far exceed the normal incandescent bulb. It is worth to note that some bulbs last up to 20 years. One area you may not have known you were using incandescent lighting is in your offices’ “Exit” signs. You can replace these with LEDs as well. A good way to start is by conducting an audit of the current lighting fixtures that your company uses. An audit can also be helpful in the area of heating and cooling.

Heating and cooling

Your entire HVAC (heating, ventilation, air, and cooling) system should have a preventative maintenance program. Dirty filters, leaks, and defective equipment can all shorten the lifespan of your system as well as cost you money and energy. For large air conditioning units, a high energy efficiency ratio of 10.5 at least is recommended. Motors also need to be replaced regularly. These should also be premium efficiency, as these operate at a lower cost annually. You can save even more by installing variable speed drives on larger motors.

Something to consider is that your old unit may be much less energy efficient than newer models. If it’s possible to invest in new cooling units, then the initial cost may be set off by them saving more energy in the long term.

Be smart with office equipment

Office equipment is another area where businesses can save plenty of energy. In order to institute these tips, it may be best to educate employees on energy efficiency. Outside of business hours, electrical equipment including copiers, printers, and monitors should be switched off. Leaving them running increases internal heat gain and uses up energy.

Individual employees should turn on their screensavers or allow their systems to go into power save mode after a period of inactivity. Having them switch to using a laptop can save up to 90 percent in electricity versus a desktop computer. If you’re in the market for other electrical equipment, look for the Energy Star sign. This includes office supplies like scanners, fax machines, and multi-function devices. Other tips that can work is using sunlight to light the workspace. Or if it’s too bright, use screens or sunshades to reduce light. Occupancy sensors that detect when a room is empty can also work.