Summer is on the horizon, and for many of us, those above average temperatures have already hit. Unfortunately, higher temperatures and higher energy bills go hand in hand if not properly managed. Coupled with the volatile electricity and natural gas prices as of late, many businesses are looking at significant increases on their energy bills this summer. Despite rising temperatures and costs, businesses can take action to try to curb energy usage and the associated costs with some easy-to-implement energy savings tips.
- Program your thermostat:
Keeping your thermostat as little as 1-degree higher in the summer can be impactful in reducing electricity usage. Programmable thermostats allow your team to effectively manage temperatures, particularly when no one is at your office or facility.
- Make use of the right lighting:
On a larger scale, consider an LED retrofit throughout your facility; on a smaller scale, swap out your old, inefficient bulbs with LEDs. Installing occupancy sensors is another tactic that yields immediate benefits. Additionally, take advantage of natural lighting where possible in lieu of keeping unnecessary lighting on.
- Turn off equipment when not in use:
Turning off machines or office equipment can equate to energy savings. One easy place to start is office computer monitors, which left on during nights and weekends can add extra usage and costs to your bill. Additionally, you can avoid energy waste by unplugging (and not just turning off) appliances.
- Perform HVAC upgrades:
If it is time to upgrade your HVAC equipment, opt for energy efficient equipment designed to reduce consumption. At the very least, schedule regular maintenance, change air filters, and properly seal heating & cooling ducts.
- Reduce peak demand:
Utilize peak alerts from either your energy broker, retail energy supplier, or local utility to reduce energy costs. In general, reduce your usage – when possible – during peak demand times which are typically in the 9-5 range. Try staggering work hours, or running heavy, energy-intensive equipment during the evening or early morning hours.
- Participate in a demand response program:
Going one step further than reduction during peak demand hours is participation in a demand response program. Demand response is a financially rewarding energy solution that reduces your organization’s energy usage during periods of high stress to the electric grid.
- Conduct an energy audit:
Having a professional perform a full assessment of your facility, from lighting to air leaks, is a great place to start if you’re looking to put a comprehensive plan in place, or are simply eying up a baseline of your current energy usage to build a strategy upon.
- Consider a retail energy supplier:
If you’re in a deregulated state for electricity or natural gas, you can benefit from energy choice. Better yet, let our team provide you with a green-apples-to-green apples comparison of prices across our heavily-vetted pool of suppliers.
- Set clear goals (with the help of an expert):
If your organization is short on bandwidth, energy expertise, resources, or the right tools, turning to a trusted source that takes a comprehensive approach to your goals and needs is a viable solution for both the short and long term.
- Educate your employees & secure employee buy-in:
Energy reduction and energy conservation strategies are a team effort. Educate your teams on the benefits (both financial and environmental) and communicate effectively so that everyone is on board and doing their part.
While this is certainly not a definitive list, it is a great place to start. Even tackling just a few of the above this summer could have an impact on your electricity bill.
Article provided by: APPI Energy, MTI’s Energy expert.