An Energy Savings Strategy For Businesses
How can businesses save money on energy?
As an energy management business we have come across a lot of situation wasted energy. We often find that the same malpractice happen across companies. Sometimes a few very simple tweaks can lead to tremendous savings.
The first advice is to check for obvious waste. Are the lights on when no one is in a room? Are there machines which you can avoid using? For instance if you have two fridges, maybe look if you could use one instead of both.
In order to identify the zones where you can cut the fat, or you need to regularly pay attention to all your appliances or you can setup a low cost automated monitoring system. Energy Star points out that on average large businesses save up on average 2.4 percent per year. That’s equal to:
For a 500,000-square-foot office building:
Cumulative cost savings of $120,000.
Increase in asset value of over $1 million
For a medium-box retailer with 500 stores:
Cumulative cost savings of $2.5 million.
Increase in sales of 0.89%.
For a full-service hotel chain with 100 properties:
Cumulative cost savings of $4.1 million.
Increase in revenue per available room of $1.41.
For an 800,000-square-foot school district:
Cumulative cost savings of $140,000.
Salary of 1.2 full-time teachers each year.
For smaller businesses we have observed that savings can be much higher. One of our customers even saved up 25% on his energy bill by simply turning off a machine which he didn’t know was running.
The second main tip is to really pay close attention to the energy consumption of the appliances you’ re purchasing. Maybe buying that cheap second hand compressor you found online is not such a great idea because in a couple months you’ll realize that it already cost you more than that new efficient model.
We are not saying that you should only buy the most efficient appliances. It is important to try to make the best estimate of how much an appliance will cost during the time you will be using it. You can calculate it yourself if you can or ask someone in the know. It can also be a good idea to ask the seller if there is a guarantee on energy consumption, then monitor the performance of the appliance.
This brings us to the next tip: make sure you’ re equipment is well maintained. This can mean different things according to the nature of your business. Some of the recurring things are changing your air filters, checking the settings o your HVAC system, seal heating or cooling ducts, check for damages or leaks on different equipments.
After you’ve done all this for almost no cost, you can start looking at more significant investments for more significant savings.
The first baby step is to invest into an energy management and monitoring system. These allow you to identify points of failure and will guide you for your next energy investments. Not only will you learn more about your energy consumption but you can introduce automation into your processes. For instance instead of having someone paid to make sure banks of lights are on or off you can make the machine check it for you. At MMP, we also include mechanisms to reduce the electricity consumption of some machines when you turn them on.
After that, you’re site is constantly being audited at limited cost so you can think about investing in heavier equipment such as solar panels, voltage optimization or power factor correction units. These all have very specific roles in you energy system and can help you save tremendous amounts of energy if you find the models which are right for you.