As a follow-up to my earlier article, How to Save Energy ($$) at Home, here are some ways to cut your utility costs at work.
First, let’s look at some quick facts about energy efficiency:
- Utility costs take up roughly 37 percent of a company’s operating budget.
- Reducing energy use 30% lowers operating costs by $25,000 per year for every 50,000 SF of typical office space.
- If you spend $3000 per month on utilities and make 8% profit, saving even 25% on energy and facility improvements will save you $9000 per year. Creating this same $9000 as sales revenues would cost you an additional $112,500 in new business.
- If you are a nonprofit or tax supported organization and you spend $2500 per month on utilities, you would save $7200. If taxes or company average giving to your organization were to be 10% of sales, they would have to increase revenues by $72,000 to make up for your lost opportunity.
- Energy efficiency improvements provide savings for their entire product life, perhaps up to15 years, well past the point where the savings have paid for the initial improvement.
- US school districts spend $6 Billion each year on energy, secondary only to salaries. Top performing schools use 3 times less energy than the least efficient schools.
Energy Saving Actions:
- Ensuring all air conditioning and heating equipment is performing according to specification will save you from 2 to 11% on your summer electric bills.
- Calibrating thermostats to ensure their settings equal the actual space temperature can save up to 3%.
- Heat office buildings to 68° when occupied, 50 to 60° degrees when unoccupied. Interior spaces tend to gain significant amounts of heat from lighting, equipment, and people.
- If you have electric reheat units, turn them off during cooling season except in areas where equipment requires humidity control.
- Preheat buildings so that they reach 65° by the time occupants arrive and complete warm-up during the first hour of operations. In the evening, cut off heating an hour before the building is closed and let the temperature drift down to the nighttime setback temperature.
- If you have a central plant with multiple air compressors, operating one at full load is more efficient than operating two or more at a reduced load. Set them up in a lead-lag configuration and rotate the lead compressor on a weekly basis.
- Wasted lighting consumes about 24% of total lighting usage. Reduce janitorial services lighting use by having these services performed during work hours. Ask the service to do team cleaning, where each floor is done at one time rather that cleaners spread throughout the building. It can save up to 8%:
- How it works: 4 hours wasted per building per day X 7.2% of total building energy wasted X average cost of $2 per SF for cleaning X $0.09 per KwH will save 160,000 KwH per year or $14,400 per 100,000 SF of space. It will cost you nothing to implement this, and the quality of the work done and tenant satisfaction generally will improve.
- Turning off equipment, harvesting daylight, implementing an energy awareness program, using work station task lighting, and installing computer power management software can save between 3 and 15%.
- I can’t say enough about the cost benefits of an active preventive maintenance program. Although the up-front costs in implementing such a program can be expensive, the increased service life and reduced frequency of catastrophic equipment failure more than make up for it. Want proof? Contact me, and I will send a copy of “Thinking Like a CFO: Analysis Shows Prevention Pays to you as a PDF file.
- 11. Everyone is plagued by a lack of time. Consider the cost of delay; given a business with an annual energy cost of $25,000 and an upgrade program that could save them 30%, this could be as much as $7500 per year. Assuming that the improvements would pay for themselves in 3 years, delaying the upgrade is equivalent to forfeiting a low risk investment opportunity at 27%.The savings will continue for the life of the equipment, usually an additional 7 to 13 years or as much as $97,500.00.
An expert in facilities management and energy efficiency, Richard has experience in commercial, institutional, and governmental facilities, and carries an active SECRET clearance. His LinkedIn profile is at www.linkedin.com/in/richardbuzard, and he can be contacted at (248)935-9097 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Richard Buzard, representing GreeningDetroit.com