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How to Reduce Energy Costs in Commercial Buildings

UK based creative and technical writer with interests in safety and facilities management.

10 ways to reduce your energy consumption and spend

10 ways to reduce your energy consumption and spend

How to Save Energy in Commercial Buildings

There are many ways to save money in commercial buildings, some have an associated cost factor which means there might be an initial investment in order to reduce costs over time. There are other ways to reduce costs without any associated costs through systems such as raising of awareness, and responsible use of appliances.

Cost-Based Methods

5. Employ an Energy Efficiency Consultant

Energy Efficiency Consultants analyse your assets and business output and can make a wide variety of recommendations tailored specifically for your business and objectives. Good Facilities Management companies can make recommendations for specialist contractors including Energy Efficiency Consultants.

4. Update Old Lighting Fixtures for LED's

Update older lighting fixtures (eg Halogens, Tubes) for LED and other energy-efficient lighting. LED's use between 75%-90% less energy than other less energy efficient alternatives. Switching older fire exit signs for LED signs can save the business owner a huge amount of money in annual energy costs as these signs are lit 24 hours a day.

Automatic lighting sensors or PIR's (Passive infrared sensors) can also be installed offering convenience and preventing lights from being left on in unoccupied spaces.

3. Ensure Hard Services are Adequately Maintained

Hard services should be adequately inspected and optimised to ensure the asset's working as designed and that it's delivering the desired output. An effectivePlanned Preventative Maintenance Schedule (PPM Schedule) can be used to oversee the schedule for maintenance on building assets and can help you to manage the labour required to carry out the maintenance work.

2. Install Combined Heat & Power

Combined Heat & Power or 'CHP' is a high efficiency process that enables heat that would normally be wasted as a by product of generation of electricity to be captured and reused, minimising energy wastage.

1. Make the Switch to Cloud Computing

Research has shown that Cloud Computing is by far the most energy-efficient means of storing and processing data as there is no physical data centres required on the end of the service user there is the opportunity for significant cost savings in Energy, IT and IT Maintenance costs.

Raising energy awareness can be an easy, practical and effective way to get employees invested in the company's energy reduction objectives.

Raising energy awareness can be an easy, practical and effective way to get employees invested in the company's energy reduction objectives.

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Practical Methods

5. Raise Energy Awareness

Raise energy awareness internally by posting in the company's newsletter or other relevant company announcements, your employees can help you to reduce your energy costs just by switching off lights and turning off other equipment not in use overnight/over weekends. Raising energy awareness within your company may also encourage reflection on the employee's use of their personal energy consumption at home.

4. Adjust Room Layouts to Make the Most of Natural Light

Adjusting room/office layouts can be a great way to ensure you get the most out of natural lighting during the day, not to mention it's better for the environment and it reduces energy costs.

3. Adjust Ventilation

Lowering air pressure in unoccupied and low density areas will reduce energy costs due to the nature of ventilations constant use. Ensuring extract and AC filters are regularly cleaned/changed will mean there is less pressure on the system and subsequently less power consumption by AC units.

2. Set (SMART) Energy Goals

Setting SMART energy goals can be an easy way to quantify the success of any given project, including saving energy and reducing costs. SMART is an acronym for:

  • S pecific
  • M easurable
  • A ttainable
  • R ealistic
  • T imely

1. Optimise your Current Assets

Optimising existing assets can help to reduce energy consumption and spend. Examples of service optomisation include:

  • Setting an automatic air conditioning and heating schedule to discourage over usage
  • Cleaning or replacing old ventilation filters.
Energy Performance Certificate's (EPC's) can be a useful way of understanding the current standard of efficiency within a given building, the EPC can be re-issued once energy saving measures have been implemented to measure effectiveness.

Energy Performance Certificate's (EPC's) can be a useful way of understanding the current standard of efficiency within a given building, the EPC can be re-issued once energy saving measures have been implemented to measure effectiveness.

Conclusion

There are both financial and ethical reasons for saving energy, it can help to reduce your company's carbon footprint reflecting positively on your company and helping the planet in the process.

It's imperative to collect data so that the effectiveness of any efforts can be adequately measured whether by KPI's, SMART goals or other methods.

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