How Can Businesses Be More Energy Efficient?

small business owner in store

In an earlier insight, we examined the reasons why energy efficiency is essential for businesses. In this article, we will build on that knowledge and explore how businesses can be more energy efficient.

The Building

An Energy Audit

Having a professional energy audit done is an excellent way for businesses to be more energy efficient. Above all, an audit will show you where you are inefficient and suggest improvements.

Greensaver’s Home Energy Solutions team can complete a tailor-made energy audit for your business. 

Businesses Can Be More Energy Efficient by Maximizing Natural Light

If you own your building or are constructing a new office, consider the amount of natural light that will enter the building. Ensuring adequate natural light enters – known as daylighting – can help businesses save as much as one-third of total energy costs by reducing lighting use.

Additionally, adequate natural light has numerous health benefits, including better sleep and less seasonal depression, leading to more productive employees

Switch to LEDs

Switching to LED lightbulbs helps  businesses be more energy efficient

LED bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Using them throughout your building can help businesses be more energy-efficient and save them money.

However, as mentioned in a past insight, LEDs can be expensive to purchase compared to their less efficient counterparts. Therefore, buy them gradually if your bottom-line is a concern

Install Motion Sensors

Install motion sensors that switch lights on and off automatically. Such sensors prevent lights from being left on, saving money and helping your business be more energy efficient.

Insulation, Weatherstripping, & Caulking

Buildings that are not well insulated allow air to enter and escape, forcing your heating and cooling system to work harder and wasting energy. Ensure that your building has suitable insulation and plug gaps around windows and doors with weatherstripping and caulking.

Shade Landscaping Can Help Businesses Be More Energy Efficient

Plant trees to be energy efficient

If you have the power to alter the landscaping around your office, you can design the area to help your building save energy. Through planting trees in strategic locations, you can create shade on the structure and reduce air conditioning costs. This practice is known as shade landscaping and is very efficient. The cooling effect of a single, healthy tree over its lifespan is equal to 10 room-sized air conditioners operating for 20 hours a day

Manage Airflow in the Server Room

It is essential to keep your office servers cool for them to function correctly. While you can simply keep the server room cool using air conditioning, a better option is to design the room so that air flows naturally.

Building Equipment to Help Businesses be More Energy Efficient

Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

If you can afford it, an excellent way to make your business more energy efficient is to invest in a smart thermostat. These thermostats learn from your cooling patterns to adjust the temperature automatically. You can also access them from your cellphone if you accidentally leave the air conditioner on full blast when you leave your home. They are so effective at reducing energy waste that they can reduce cooling costs by up to 15%.

Get an HVAC Tuneup or Upgrade Your System

Sometimes, your Heating, Ventilation, and Air conditioning (HVAC) System will run inefficiently due to loose connections, clogged filters or dirty coils. Have your system checked by a licensed technician annually to ensure optimum performance.

Control Direct Sunlight with Blinds

Blinds help businesses be more energy efficient

Summer sun streaming through windows will heat rooms and cause your building’s air conditioner to work harder to maintain a cold temperature. Therefore, closing blinds or curtains reduce the burden by keeping sunlight out.

Businesses Can Be More Energy Efficient By Using Fans in Summer

Fans help circulate cold air from an air conditioner, thereby cooling a building quicker. For this to work, the fan must be spinning in a counter-clockwise direction in summer. This direction pushes cold air down, creating a breeze.

Install Automatic Taps

Help your business be more energy efficient by installing taps that automatically turn off when not in use. This will reduce water usage and save energy.

Office Equipment

Purchase Energy Star Office Equipment Can Help Businesses be More Energy Efficient

ENERGY STAR certified office equipment – including computers and printers – use less energy without reducing performance. This reduced energy consumption can save companies money. For example, replacing laser printers with ENERGY STAR models can save $267 per unit per year

Shut Down Computers at Night

Make sure that all staff shut down their computers before leaving for the night to conserve energy.

Use Laptops Rather than Desktops

Laptops consume 80% less energy than desktop computers, meaning that switching over is an excellent way for businesses to be more energy efficient. 

Use Smart Powerstrips

When plugged in, electronics are drawing energy, even when not in use. Smart power strips detect when an appliance is on standby and shuts off the power to it. Use them to help your business be more energy efficient.

How Staff Can Help Your Business Be More Energy Efficient

Staff can help a business be more energy efficient

Include Staff in Decisions to Help Businesses be More Energy Efficient

Energy efficiency is not just the responsibility of senior management; all staff can play a part. Encourage employees to be more efficient by informing them how they can save and asking them to share their innovative ideas on reducing.

Allow a Casual Dress Code

Depending on your company, consider allowing your employees to wear more comfortable clothing during the summer months. This will enable you to raise the thermostat temperature.

Reduce Paper Usage

Encourage staff to only print when necessary and print double-sided and black and white as much as possible.

Conclusion: There are Many Ways for Businesses to be More Energy Efficient

In conclusion, we have demonstrated that there are various ways for businesses to be more energy efficient. In all likelihood, companies will not have the time or finances to implement all the measures detailed. However, even making a small number of changes to make your business more energy-efficient can have a positive financial effect and help the planet.

To learn more about the work we do to help businesses across Ontario, visit our website’s commercial section. Also, remember to follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.