9 Business Energy Efficiency Solutions
9 Business Energy Efficiency Solutions
Last modified: November 14, 2022
Energy prices continue to skyrocket and energy efficiency can push itself to the forefront of your mind most days.
Yet the commercial energy market is complex and confusing, and you may not have the time to stay up to date with energy industry news or gain the knowledge and skills you need to negotiate your business energy procurement in the best way.
So today, we’ll discuss nine different ways to improve energy efficiency in your facility. To start us off, we’ll introduce a few tips you can try right away. And then move on to ones where you’ll need help but which are worth considering.
Energy Efficiency Solutions You Can Organize
1) Install Skylights
Installing skylights, where possible, is a great way to get natural sunlight into your facilities. They provide ample light and only require upfront installation costs.
The benefits for your workers’ productivity and health are well documented, but the added benefit comes on the energy efficiency side.
If your employees work traditional nine-to-five hours, you can benefit from skylight efficiencies most of the day. They reduce the number of hours you keep the lights on, except for work areas where safety issues demand intense illumination.
2) Allow Employees to Work From Home
The Covid pandemic showed us that many businesses can satisfactorily allow remote work on at least some days. Therefore, having your employees work from home a few days a week will benefit your energy efficiency by reducing the amount of overall energy your building uses.
It’s one of the more obvious solutions! Even if only certain departments work from home, you effectively reduce power consumption in those areas.
3) Turn off Electronics and Lights When Not in Use
If working from home isn’t an option at your facility, the next best thing to do is to train your staff to turn off anything that can be turned off: heating, AC, computer endpoints, etc.
Many buildings have lights on 24 hours a day and many computer terminals are on standby when staff go home. This wastes money.
For example, according to Energy Information Administration, vampire (i.e., standby) power in the U.S. costs consumers more than $3 billion a year!
However, according to what your business or industry involves, it may only be possible to lower your heating and AC costs overnight (to avoid causing damage). It’s still worth considering. In addition, keep your systems tuned up with a maintenance contract!
4) Check your Windows
If you have windows throughout your facility, chances are the sun is heating your building. Although it sounds like a nice natural heating source, you can’t control the sun’s temperature, so you’ll need to crank up your AC units.
For this reason, inspecting your windows and applying shades inside and outside is a great idea.
This will help keep the sun from overheating the building, but it will also reduce the amount of AC you must use throughout those hot summer months.
Energy Efficiency Solutions Worth Considering With an Energy Advisor
Of course, we’re a little biased at RPM – it’s what we do! – but times are economically stringent, and an energy advisor can walk through your facilities with you and recommend energy efficiency solutions on the spot.
They’ll also help find any inefficiencies in your property and show you how to improve upon them.
So let’s see how it works…
5) Conduct an Audit
Conducting an audit of your facilities is one of the best energy efficiency solutions you can do for your business.
An energy advisor provides power quality audits and walks your entire property to find inefficiencies you might have overlooked. They also look at many aspects of the energy market, including how you can benefit from tax credits provided by the IRA, such as the Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit (48E).
Some of the findings an audit can provide are:
- Advising where LED retrofit lights make sense
- Improving your power factor
- Switching to better energy providers for your needs
- Inspecting your energy bill to spot any overcharging
These items help improve your energy efficiency and lower your bills.
Here’s some detail.
6) LED Retrofit Lights
If your property uses traditional incandescent light bulbs, it might benefit from LED retrofit lights or switching to LED light systems entirely.
Here’s why LEDs are great.
- LED lights are brighter. And they use less energy to produce that brightness – worth considering if your facility needs to keep lights burning!
- LEDs last around 50,000 hours or more, depending on the brand. That means you’ll also save money on light bulb replacement as the years go by.
- LEDs use about 80% less energy than traditional light sources, like incandescent or fluorescent. It might therefore be worth replacing your whole lighting system. We have more information on this here.
7) Improve Your Power Factor
Your power factor is based on the amount of energy you use and how efficiently your machinery uses it. Your audit (see above) will help you understand which energy efficiency options you have.
A good power factor is anything above 0.95 (or 95 percent). Anything below that is considered a bad power factor.
It makes sense, then, to improve your power factor to increase your energy efficiency, reducing the amount of money you spend on your energy bill.
But a good power factor also gets you out of one more thing we’ll mention in the next section.
8) Inspect Your Energy Bill
Combing over your energy bill is essential these days. That’s because, if you look carefully, you’ll notice your power factor rating.
If your power factor is around 0.80 or below, your energy provider penalizes you by charging a hefty fee.
It’s therefore worth inspecting your bill – or, better, having an energy advisor inspect your bill to help you eliminate this penalty.
9) Switch Energy Providers
How do you know when? An energy advisor has deep, up-to-date energy industry knowledge, so they’ll be tracking fluctuations to provide the best guidance for you about a beneficial switch.
It’s much easier to switch when you have options presented to you!
An advisor can also look at your contract beforehand and tell you if it’s a good long-term deal.
So That’s It: 9 Great Energy Efficiency Solutions for Your Business
Since 2002, we’ve been taking a proactive approach to helping businesses like yours make smarter decisions about their energy usage and efficiency.
See why companies across the nation love RPM.
Contact us today to learn more about our process, people, and proactive approach in helping you make smarter energy decisions (and save money too).CONTACT US TODAY