10 Tips to Save on Energy Costs
Reduce energy costs without sacrificing comfort or building functionality
- 01 Help make sure building occupants are more informed through energy-saving tips. Create Web dashboards and on-site kiosks that educate and engage building occupants to promote energy conservation and reward wise energy decisions and behaviors. For example, a common misconception is that screen savers reduce energy consumption by monitors; they do not. It’s more efficient to switch a monitor to sleep mode or manually turn it off.
- 02 Conduct regular energy audits to determine what condition your equipment is in and how it is performing. These audits will show where and how energy is being wasted and help you prioritize energy improvement measures. Don’t know where to start? Begin with “Guidelines for Energy Management” available with other energy-saving tips at www.energystar.gov.
- 03 Use more energy-efficient equipment. Install new energy-efficient equipment and replace or eliminate outdated, inefficient equipment. Look for Energy Star® labels on equipment and appliances. Don’t forget your IT department. Energy Star-rated servers use as little as one-third of the power at idle that other servers do, resulting in energy cost savings.
- 04 Match HVAC and lighting output to occupancy. Install programmable building controls that enable systems to provide light, heat and cooling to building spaces only when they are occupied. For systems that are already time-programmed, re-tune the schedules to reflect actual occupancy periods. Savings of another 10 percent are possible. Maximize lighting efficiency. Energy-efficient lighting uses less energy and generates less heat, reducing your costs and easing the strain on your HVAC systems. Leverage the square law of dimming. In areas where an apparent dimming of ten percent is acceptable, you can see energy savings of nearly 20 percent.
- 05 Use “Smart” scheduling practices that go beyond matching occupancy times with equipment operation. Intelligent systems factor demand charges into the equation to complete the other half of the energy cost picture.
- 06 Use daylight to help light your interior spaces. Daylight can supplement artificial light. Smart lighting systems use occupancy, time of day and light sensors to control dimmable fixtures and coordinate with automated shade systems. Continue to reduce lighting loads with advanced fluorescent and LED technology. Compact fluorescents use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- 07 Learn where the energy you pay for is going. Put energy management software to work identifying trends in usage. Expand metering wherever possible to include separate plug load and lighting circuits. Additional metering may:
- Help to pinpoint increases in energy use
- Draw accurate consumption trends on a weekly or seasonal basis
- Help to accurately forecast energy use when planning changes in the facility
- Provide benchmarks for comparison with other facilities
- Provide archival proof of improvement for justification of additional energy management projects
- 08 Link and correlate multiple building management system points to identify efficiency outliers that require immediate attention. For example, BTUs/sq.ft. is a good indicator of energy efficiency, but normalizing that data to outside air temperature or degree days of heating and cooling is much more meaningful.
- 09 Model your buildings. Take advantage of energy modeling software to help understand the interdependence of multiple energy conservation measures in your facility. Basic modeling is easy and inexpensive when taking advantage of the wizards and dynamic defaults available in eQUEST, a free design tool available from the Department of Energy: http://www.doe2.com/equest/.
- 10 Schedule cleaning during regular work hours to maximize your energy cost savings. Experiment with different “day cleaning” schedules. Arrange cleaning schedules to overlap with work hours instead of having cleaning done after hours and keeping the lights, heating, and air conditioning on at night.