Take a look around your office, and you’ll probably see numerous devices consuming energy, not to mention the lighting and commercial HVAC systems you depend on every day. Did you know that office buildings contribute about 28 percent of the total energy demand for all commercial buildings? A commercial office building’s energy use accounts for about 30 percent of its total operating costs, too. By making changes to become a more energy efficient workplace, you can shave dollars off your energy bills. To get started, look to the following three areas.
Commercial HVAC Systems
Controlling the climate of a commercial office building is a major consideration that affects everyone inside, from employees to clients. Commercial HVAC systems also consume the greatest amount of energy in an office environment. Making energy efficient adjustments to the commercial HVAC system will help you save the most on your energy bills.
- Control your office building’s commercial HVAC use. Retrofit upgrades to the existing system which can help reduce energy use include zoning, programmable thermostats, and building automation controls. Using these products can reduce a building’s commercial HVAC energy waste while optimizing the comfort of those working inside.
- Reduce the office building’s cooling load. Other systems as well as building characteristics can be adding unnecessary heat to your indoor environment, making the commercial HVAC system work harder and expend more energy. Improving insulation and other building envelope improvements is just one way to reduce the load burdening the office building’s commercial HVAC load.
Using older, inefficient light bulbs is one way many office buildings waste energy. Another is the amount of unnecessary lighting used each day. Making adjustments to the building’s lighting systems can save 20 to 40 percent on lighting costs.
- Upgrade lighting fixtures. For example, switching to T8 or T5 fluorescent lights and replacing inefficient T12 fixtures can provide better lighting coverage, reducing the amount of lights needed to cover an area. These fixtures are easier to maintain and have a longer lifespan.
- Install sensors. Prevent the human error of leaving unneeded lights on by installing occupancy sensors which will automatically shut off lights in a certain area when no one is around.
- Maximize daylight. If your building has large windows which allow plenty of sunlight in, evaluate to discover if it’s possible to turn off lighting systems during the day and utilize natural light.
The use of office equipment contributes 7 percent of the total energy used by commercial buildings. Many devices may not be used regularly, yet still may be consuming electricity.
- Manage energy use. Most office equipment includes power management features. Read the owner’s manual and learn how to adjust power settings to save more energy.
- Get employees on board. Encourage your employees to shut off office equipment at the end of the day. Computers and printers often are left on unnecessarily overnight and over the weekend.