8 Easy Things Businesses Can Do to Save Energy
In honor of National Energy Action Month in October, the Greater Cincinnati Green Business Council (GCGBC) has announced eight energy-saving strategies for the workplace:
- Install, set up and properly use a programmable thermostat. If set up and used properly, programmable thermostats allow organizations to conserve energy during unoccupied times. Programming set points—generally 68-70 degrees for heating and 74-76 degrees for cooling, allow for a reduction in energy use when business is closed and a comfortable workplace by the time the business re-opens.
- Implement lighting changes. Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and LEDs. Ask employees to think about whether turning on the light is even necessary. Install sensors to automatically turn lights off when no one is present and sensors that adjust interior lighting when natural light is bright. Utility providers may offer rebates and technical assistance to evaluate existing lighting and upgrade options.
- Turn off and unplug “vampire” loads at the end of the day. Ask employees to turn off computers, printers and copiers at the end of the day.
- Form an employee energy/green team. Employee buy-in and communication is essential for successfully implementing energy efficiency initatives within the facility.
- Check interiors and exteriors for damage. Conduct regular walkthroughs and audits of the building to identify insulation issues with the roof, walls, ceilings, doors and windows/skylights. Cracks, gaps and worn seals let air infiltrate the building, driving excessive energy costs.
- Identify and replace underperforming equipment. An energy audit can help pinpoint underperforming equipment that should be replaced. Switch to ENERGY STAR models if possible.
- Benchmark the energy performance of your building and pursue ENERGY STAR Certification. There are free tools available, including the GCGBC Energy Benchmarking Toolkit, to help businesses determine the energy efficiency of their building and find incentives for making improvements. A building with a good energy performance rating might qualify for ENERGY STAR Certification.
- Join or start a local green business council. Green business councils allow companies to identify sustainability strategies, share success stories and identify opportunities for maximizing resources.
Photo via Shutterstock.
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