It can be a difficult task for facility managers of commercial buildings to keep track of energy consumption. So we put together these energy saving tips to help keep utility costs down and increase the bottom line.
A study conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency revealed that the average building wastes 30 percent of the energy it consumes, which is a staggering amount and a significant waste of money. And if your systems are old, this amount could be even higher.
Simple Energy Saving Tips
Perform Energy Audits
An audit is the best place to start when considering ways to save energy. Be sure to involve your electrical contractor and janitorial service provider. Next, study your utility bills for the last year to see where the peaks and valleys are, seasonal variations, and unusual spikes. This will be your benchmark for future savings.
Conduct a nighttime audit to find out what is being left on overnight, and make a list of what could be turned off. Get your janitorial contractor involved in this part of the audit and discuss their system of cleaning. Are they doing Zone Cleaning, where the cleaners are located on every floor of the building? Or are they doing Team Cleaning, where all the cleaners work as a team on the same floor? Team cleaning can save energy because lights can be turned off on the floors that are not currently being cleaned. It’s also worth discussing Day Cleaning with your cleaning contractor, as additional energy savings can be found when the lights are off at night.
Natural Daylight: When there is enough natural daylight in some areas of the building, ask employees to turn off the lights. This can help reduce lighting expense by 10 to 40 percent. And in order to make sure maximum daylight is available in the building, make sure blinds are open, skylights are clean and any other sources of daylight are maximized.
Outdated Lighting: If your building still has fluorescent lighting, speak to your electrical contractor to see how you can change to more efficient lighting. If more efficient lighting is not in the budget right now, try reducing the amount of overhead lighting being used, and increase the use of efficient task lighting for individual workspaces.
Turn Off: Turn off lights when they are not in use, and make sure all your employees are aware of this, including the cleaning technicians.
Sleep Mode: Activate the sleep function on computers and electrical items when they are not being used.
Turn Off: Where possible, turn off electrical items, as even on standby mode they consume energy.
Limit Equipment: Where you are using stand-alone office equipment, try to limit this to one per 10 or more users. This can reduce costs by 30 or 40 percent for consumables, hardware maintenance, hardware replacement and electricity use.
Energy Efficient Products: When replacing items in the office, see where you can change to more energy efficient products. For example, a laptop is more energy efficient than a standard desktop computer. Also, ask your janitorial staff what products they could change to that would be more cost-effective and what green cleaning methods they could employ that would consequently save energy.
Thermostat: This is one of the most effective ways you can reduce your heating and cooling bill as you can program it to go on/off to coincide with working hours and you can change it in relation to seasons. Also, try adjusting the heating and cooling by just a few degrees as it won’t be noticeable and can help to save money (68 in winter and 72 in summer).
Clear Vents: Always check that the vents in your offices are clear. Dust build-up can mean 25 percent more energy is needed to distribute the air properly.
Regular Checks: Schedule annual maintenance for your air conditioning and heating units so they are always running at their most efficient level.
These energy saving tips should get you started on the road to saving on utility expenses. It really doesn’t have to take too much time or money to find effective energy savings for your facility. Your efforts will reduce expenses and help to reduce your carbon footprint too! Speak to Cleaning Services Group Inc. to find out how our janitorial cleaning is both energy and cost effective and can help to increase your bottom line.