The price of electricity has flatlined in some parts of the country over the last couple of years, due mainly to the boom in natural gas and oil the U.S. is procuring.
But how long will that trend last? Especially with government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency enacting greenhouse gas regulations on power plants and cutting the amount of sulfur that’s allowed in gasoline.
Bottom line is, smart businesses won’t stop looking at energy-efficiency strategies that help conserve electricity and reduce costs.
If you haven’t yet implemented all the energy-saving strategies you’ve heard about, there’s no time like the present!
Here are some big-picture questions worth asking first:
1. Do you need all that light?
Most commercial facilities keep some interior and exterior lights on at night even when they’re unoccupied. The chief reason? Security.
Lighting accounts for 33% to 40% of all energy costs. So burning the midnight oil can be like pouring money down the drain.
Consider installing motion sensors inside and outside your building.
Sensors will shut off interior lights once the building has emptied. No more counting on the last guy out to switch off the overhead lights.
Sensors will also switch on designated exterior lights if someone wanders onto the property.
Another option: If your company wants exterior lights on all night, look at installing LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs for all fixtures/settings.
They’re the most energy-efficient lights on the market.
2. Where are the drains?
Veteran facility and operations managers have expererienced this scenario: Often it’s a piece of equipment used infrequently, maybe once a month, that turns out to be the biggest energy-waster in an office!
You don’t know for sure until you run an audit. An audit will show what times you’re using the most energy, in which areas, and where your greatest inefficiencies are.
If you haven’t run one recently, check with your utility. Many stil provide free audits for small to large businesses.