Energy efficiency tips
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- Office equipment
Turn off electronics during non-business hours.
Turn off computers, monitors, printers and copiers during non-business hours to conserve energy and reduce internal heat gain. Do not leave equipment in sleep mode overnight because it will continue to draw a small amount of power.
Check your power management systems.
Ensure that the built-in power management system for your office equipment is active to save energy during periods of inactivity.
Employ power-saving features.
Ensure your screen saver is compatible with the computer's power management features, and that the setup allows the system to go into power saver mode.
Use laptops and notebooks.
Laptop computers use 90% less energy than a desktop system.
Look for ENERGY STAR® equipment.
When purchasing new office equipment, look for ENERGY STAR®. The ENERGY STAR® office equipment program promotes energy-efficient computers, monitors, printers, fax machines, scanners, copiers and multi-function devices that automatically power down during extended inactivity. Specify ENERGY STAR® equipment when purchasing or negotiating a contract for new vending machines, which incorporate energy efficient compressors with refrigeration and lighting controls.
Install plug load controllers.
Install plug load controllers in cubicles to control multiple loads like monitors, task lights and fans. These devices use a motion sensor that is incorporated with a plug load surge suppressor. Inactive equipment can be shut down when the cubicle is unoccupied.
- Heating & cooling
Install an ENERGY STAR® programmable thermostat to automate your HVAC system
An "old-fashioned" thermostat turns the HVAC on and off based on temperature, not whether the building is occupied, or whether you benefit from the cooling/heating. A programmable thermostat can optimize HVAC operation "24/7" based on your needs. For example, instead of heating or cooling all night, so you can enter a comfortable building in the morning, this "smart thermostat" can turn on the HVAC one hour before you arrive, based on your daily/hourly needs. The cost can be $25 to $150, and it could cut your HVAC costs about 30%. Add a locking cover to prevent tampering with thermostat settings.
Manage your thermostat. In winter, set office thermostat offices between 65 and 68 during the day/business hours, and 60 to 65 degrees during unoccupied times. In summer, set thermostats between 78 and 80 degrees during the day/business hours, and above 80 degrees during unoccupied hours.
Adjust thermostats higher when cooling and lower when heating an occupied building or unoccupied areas within a building, e.g., during weekends and non-working hours. In larger facilities with energy management systems (EMS), verify that temperature set points and operating schedules are correct for the controlled equipment. For EMS systems that no longer operate as initially designed, consider a retro-commissioning project to restore the system's functionality.
Consider installing locking devices on thermostats to maintain desired temperature settings.
Establish a preventative maintenance program for HVAC equipment and systems.
Maintenance activities can save up to 30% of fan energy and up to 10% of space conditioning energy use. Ensure that you regularly:
- Change or clean all air filters, preferably every month.
- Clean all heat exchanger surfaces, water and refrigerant coils, condensers and evaporators.
- Repair leaks in piping, air ducts, coils, fittings and at the unit(s).
Replace defective equipment insulation, ducting and piping.
Install a high efficiency packaged heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. These can use up to 40% less energy than systems that just meet minimum standards. Look for a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) or, on larger units, EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). You can purchase units with SEER above 12 or EER above 11. Specify high-efficiency air conditioning equipment when your system needs to be replaced, and save 25% to 35% on your investment annually.
When old motors fail, replace them with premium efficiency motors.
When old motors fail, replace them with premium efficiency motors that operate at a lower annual cost. Ensure you specify the proper sized motor for the application. Install variable speed drives (VSDs) on large motor loads, where appropriate, to further reduce energy usage.
Use outside air and water side-economizers.
Use outside air and water side-economizers for "free cooling" when outside air temperatures and conditions permit - during the spring and fall.
In facilities with older chillers, consider replacing them with new, energy-efficient units that operate at or below .60 kilowatts per ton.
Install HVAC timers.
Reduce air conditioning and heating hours by installing a timer to turn off the system when the building is unoccupied.
Install an energy efficient attic fan or evaporative cooler.
Attic fans or evaporative coolers help reduce or replace air conditioner use.
Add controls to exhaust fans.
Exhaust fans remove air that has already been conditioned. Install timers and switches to shut them off when they are not needed or when the building is unoccupied.
Turn off lights when not needed.
For example, turning off fluorescent lights saves energy, extends overall lamp life and reduces replacement costs. Myth: Turning lights on and off uses more electricity than leaving the lights on.
Reduce or replace inefficient, outdated or excessive lighting within your building.
Evaluate new technologies that may need fewer fixtures and/or fewer lamps within existing fixtures when replacing old lighting equipment. Ensure that light levels will remain at adequate levels before changing out technologies and/or reducing number of lamps.
Replace incandescent lamps with LEDs.
Ensure you install compatible dimming technology if LEDs are used along with a dimming system. When fluorescent T-12 lamps burn out, consider retrofitting fixtures with T-8 lamps and changing from magnetic ballast to electronic.
Replace incandescent "EXIT" signs with LED signs.
LEDs use about one-tenth the wattage and last 50 times longer than incandescent-lamp signs.
Install lighting occupancy sensors.
Install lighting occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights on or off, depending on occupancy. These sensors work well in areas such as conference rooms, break rooms or individual offices that are not occupied continuously.
Take advantage of natural daylight.
Turn off or dim electric lighting when adequate sunlight is available to illuminate interior space.
Manage outdoor lighting.
Ensure outdoor lighting is off during daytime.
Clean lighting fixtures.
Clean fixtures and replacing any yellowed or hazy lenses and diffusers twice a year to ensure you are getting the best possible light.
- Food & refrigeration
Install an insulated dishwasher.
Replace a 10- to 20-year-old conventional dishwasher with an insulated model and save up to $500 annually. Insulated tanks reduce stand-by or idle energy consumption. A booster heater spends several hours per day consuming energy in a "ready-to-use" mode. Insulated tanks can better maintain an outgoing sanitizing water temperature at all times, thus, reducing stand-by energy consumption.
Look for insulated cooking equipment.
Purchase insulated cooking equipment whenever possible (e.g., fryers, ovens, coffee machines). Insulation retains more heat in the equipment.
Use infrared fryers.
Replace conventional gas fryers with infrared gas fryers or high-efficiency atmospheric gas fryers and save up to $400/fryer annually.
Use new kitchen sprayers.
Replace old, high-volume kitchen sprayers with high-velocity, low-flow models, and save up to $1,000 a year in hot water costs.
Check temperature settings of refrigerators.
The most common recommended settings are between -14 degrees and -8 degrees Fahrenheit for freezers and between 35 degrees and 38 degrees Fahrenheit for refrigerators.
Do not leave the walk-in refrigerator door open when loading it.
Install a plastic strip curtain over the entrance and save up to $20 per refrigerator each year.
Perform scheduled maintenance on refrigeration units.
Keep evaporator coils clean and free of ice buildup.
Buy ENERGY STAR® equipment.
Compared to standard models, ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and freezers can lead to energy savings of as much as 46% with a 1.3 year payback. Purchasers can expect to save $140 annually per refrigerator and $100 per freezer.
Install energy-efficient case lighting.
T8 fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts reduce lighting energy use and reduce the cooling load on the compressor. Energy savings potential is 10% for beverage merchandisers.
Install evaporative condensers.
Install evaporative condensers, instead of air-cooled condensers, to expel heat. Evaporative condensers use a wetted filter that increases the ability to reject heat. Energy savings range from 3 to 9% for grocery store refrigeration systems.
Install heat recovery systems.
Install heat recovery systems to use heat removed from display cases to heat water. A 7.5 horsepower (hp) compressor can supply close to 100% of the hot water requirements in a medium-sized grocery store all year long.
Install lighting sensors in walk-in refrigerators.
Install low temperature occupancy sensors or timed switches in walk-in coolers and freezers to control lighting. Not only does this save lighting energy, it reduces the load on the compressor. Save up to $250/year.
Install pull-down blinds.
Install pull-down blinds on open dairy and produce cases. During non-operating hours, these blinds keep refrigerated air from escaping
- Employee involvement
Encourage energy efficiency
Educate and encourage employees to be energy-conscious and to offer ideas about how energy can be saved. Employee buy-in and involvement can make or break your company's efforts to conserve energy.
Create an energy efficiency committee.
Designate a responsible party to be responsible for and to promote good energy practices for the organization and/or facility. This individual should work with management to facilitate energy savings ideas and strategies - optimizing energy use and costs minimizes overhead and operation costs.