Businesses Waste Energy with These Top Three Common AVOIDABLE Mistakes
Today, we have semi-autonomous vehicles, digital assistants, and toilets that automatically flush, but we struggle to use our energy efficiently. Despite the percentage of US energy consumption from nuclear, renewable sources doubling since 1980 (1), 80% of US energy comes from fossil fuels (2).
The world is still a long way out from being carbon negative, but you’d be surprised how much your business can do. Even Apple, Inc. has been moving to become a greener company.
Generally, companies are some of the biggest energy wasters — partly due to naivete, partly due to employees’ negligence and management. The most common ways people waste energy are all avoidable. For example, people can use certain renewable fuels instead of the regular gas they use. Apart from that, here are some things your business can do to save the environment.
1. Office Lighting
Perhaps the most common cause of energy waste in America (at least in a business setting) lies in the office lighting.
If your business employs a conventional incandescent lighting set-up, you could be wasting over 90% of your energy (3). If the area around the lights feels hot after an extended period, then some power is being wasted as heat. You can try the following option to remedy this situation:
Use High-Efficiency Lamps
Incandescent bulbs are very wasteful. Sensors can help save some power (more on this in a bit), but you need to find a more efficient system. LED’s and CFL’s are good alternatives. These bulbs save you the energy that incandescent bulbs waste.
Install Occupancy Sensors
As much as we know we should turn off lights that are not in use, sometimes we forget or just don’t care. Occupancy sensors ensure that lights stay off when there’s no one using the room and turn on when someone enters a room.
Daylight Dimming Sensors
In most buildings, lights are on at full intensity even during the day. This behavior not only wastes energy but also causes unpleasant over-lighting. Dimming sensors will control light intensity automatically, lowering your bills and noticeably improving the lighting environment.
Whether it is faulty or in perfect working condition, equipment constitutes a big part of your energy bills. Unfortunately, most of that energy goes to waste. As such, part of your energy bill goes down the metaphorical drain. So how can you minimize the energy waste here?
Switch off Unused Equipment
It is an open secret that a lot of energy gets wasted when you leave the air conditioner or heating on when you are closed. It is also common to leave kitchen appliances (such as fridges or freezers) running, even when not in use. And that then there are printers and computers that some people don’t bother to switch off after use.
Do Not Turn on All Equipment at the Same Time
Powering on all of your equipment simultaneously can create a large peak load for the day. Besides taxing your power bills, the high load means more energy goes to waste. Avoid turning everything on at the same time. Instead, turn on the different pieces of equipment at different times.
Repair Faulty Equipment
Granted, equipment repair can be expensive. These expenses will pale in comparison to replacement costs or downtime brought about by equipment failure. Since faulty equipment is inefficient and adds to your energy bill, the repairs save you money in the long run.
Many businesses have begun adopting predictive maintenance, which goes a long way in saving both the company and the environment.
3. Cooling and Heating
Hot afternoons would be unbearable without air conditioning, but the costs of heating and cooling can put a dent in your pocket. Here are some things you can do to lower your power bills.
Check the Air Filters
Air filters prevent pollen, dust, and particles from getting to your office space. Change it frequently, and the efficiency of your air conditioner will increase by 5-15% (4).
Lower the Setting When Not in Use
When no one is using the room, change to a lower setting to save power.
Close the Doors
If you have window units, close the doors to unused rooms, so your system doesn’t have to cool unused rooms.
Bonus: Lack of Energy Management Systems
Fit sensors to electrical equipment to monitor system inefficiencies and determine where you can net further savings. Closely monitor the readings and trust the data collected. This data-centric approach can reap huge benefits since you see exactly what is going on with your equipment.
According to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche,
the earth has a skin, and that skin has diseases. One of those diseases is man.
Part of the reason we are ‘diseases’ is not conserving the earth’s resources, such as energy. Take your first green step into the future by avoiding the mistakes outlined above.
Interested in more energy-saving tips? Visit YourEnergyBlog.com.
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