Energy Efficiency Day: Why It Matters.
As of this posting, 502 local governments, universities, organizations, corporations, and utilities are participating in this year’s annual Energy Efficiency Day, October 2, 2019. #EEDay2019.
The Energy Efficiency Day message is simple: “Save Money. Cut Carbon. Breathe Easier.” You can check out their site, for energy-saving tips, and add your organization to the list of energy efficiency supporters.
What’s in it for you?
Since the average commercial building wastes 30% of the energy it consumes, chances are you’re wasting money if you haven’t taken steps to increase your building’s efficiency. In addition to the utility cost savings, boosting your building’s efficiency will:
- Reduce maintenance and operations costs
- Increase occupant comfort, productivity, and well-being
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Boost brand image/improve customer and investor appeal
- Improve employee retention and recruitment efforts
What Can You Do?
There are a number of proven energy management tactics that can produce dramatic results and tangible benefits. Here’s what we recommend:
Understand Your Current Energy Consumption
Tracking a building’s current energy usage is the first step to identifying where to make cuts. The majority of organizations lack the data needed to implement effective energy management practices. A professional energy audit can provide a thorough accounting of a company’s current energy consumption. If done correctly, the audit will also identify and prioritize specific opportunities for efficiency improvement and cost reductions.
Avoid Peak Energy Charges
Peak demand charges can represent up to 30% of an industrial organization’s monthly utility Load management is a critical part of any efficient operation. Higher rates during peak demand hours can account for up to 30% of a manufacturing plant’s monthly utility bill. The energy audit will have identified the machinery/equipment that consumes the most energy, and metering data can identify the equipment that’s pulling energy during peak demand. If possible, reschedule operation of energy-intensive equipment outside of peak hours.
Eliminate Start-Up Spikes
When voltage jumps because multiple mechanical systems are turned on all at once, it’s called up a start-up spike. The solution? Gradually ramping up mechanical equipment in stages to avoid excessive charges—with no compromise on production output.
Optimize Compressed Air Systems
Compressed air, ubiquitous in industrial processes, is something of an energy hog. Air compressor motors require a lot of energy—up to 20% of total electrical use in certain industries. These systems, often rife with leakage, are prime targets for energy efficiency measures.
Lighting is frequently the second-largest energy cost for commercial buildings – accounting for up to 20% of the electricity consumption. LEDs are extremely energy efficient relative to other lighting technologies. New LEDs use a minimum of 75% less energy and can last 50,000 to 100,000 hours or more. (The typical lifespan for an incandescent bulb is approximately 1,200 hours.) Optimized lighting has also been proven to have a positive effect on employee productivity and well-being. An indirect benefit of efficient lighting is that less waste heat is released, reducing the load on any air conditioner present.
Seal and Weather Strip
Air leakage (the uncontrolled migration of air through the building envelope) is a major source of wasted energy and indoor air quality problems in commercial buildings. It can increase energy consumption as much as 22% to 46% in large commercial buildings. Window sealants and weather-stripping are two of the easiest ways to prevent air leakage.
Show Your Support
Reducing your organization’s energy consumption will reduce your operating and maintenance cost, improve your indoor environment, boost employee wellbeing and morale and support the battle against climate change. Show your support by joining the hundreds of other organizations that have pledged to reduce energy waste on Energy Efficiency Day. #EEDay2019