May 30, 2018 | Trends

Five Ways for Businesses to Effectively Manage Energy Usage and Costs

Energy management is a part of every business. However, successful energy management is the key to keeping energy costs low and profits high. Even the most profitable businesses can sometimes neglect the simple energy saving solutions that could benefit them the most.

We’d like to share with you 5 energy management best practices for businesses to effectively manage energy usage and costs:

1. Lighting: Upgrading an older lighting system usually means increased savings for your energy budget. However, even the newest lighting systems have room for improvement.
• Make sure you are using energy efficient LED bulbs wherever you can.
• Consider installing lighting controls that can be set to shut off lights according to the time, daylight conditions, or the room occupancy.

2. Heating: There are four basic ways you can save energy and manage energy costs in your business heating system:

• Install automatic thermostats that set the temperature in a space for a scheduled period of unoccupied time.
• Control exhaust fans. Depending on your building code, your exhaust fan may not be required to run continuously. A timer to control when the fan runs may be help in reducing energy usage. Always consult with building officials to make sure you comply with local codes.
• Install energy efficient equipment. If your current system is old, upgrading to a new system will result in automatic savings. Even if your system is fairly new, a trained HVAC contractor can make sure your system is performing at the optimal level.
• Avoid the draft. Seal open cracks around window and doors with weather stripping. This tactic ensures that your heat stays contained within your space.

3. Cooling: Similar to heating controls, there are four proven ways to help with cooling.

• Install a programmable thermostat to regulate your business’s cooling system. This will ensure appropriate temperature modifications and provide early morning comfort. The more you can modulate the temperature, the greater the savings. Consult your air conditioning service company to ensure proper thermostat type and installation.
• Take advantage of “free cooling”. Controls can be installed in most units that can automatically increase the intake of cooler outside air when conditions warrant such an exchange. Large air conditioning units that provide a mixture of outside and return air and must operate many hours are good candidates for free cooling.
• Once again, energy efficient equipment is a must. Air conditioning/cooling equipment is rated with one of two seasonal ratings. Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) rating is used for window air conditioners, with the most efficient units rated with an EER between 10 and 12. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating is used for all other cooling units. Shop for a cooling system with a SEER between 11 and 16.
• Caulking and weather stripping. Sealing all doors and windows will help to keep cool air from escaping.

4. Water Heating: Reduce the energy consumed for heating water and save your business money:

• Reduce the amount of hot water you consume by installing faucet aerators and/or shutoff valves: Faucet aerators can reduce the amount of water flow by up to 50 percent, while typically delivering sufficient hot water for your needs.
• Minimize the amount of energy lost in your hot water system. Lowering the temperature of your hot water can substantially reduce the amount of energy required to heat it.
• Consider a solar hot water heater: A conventional hot water heater is responsible for about 12 percent of your monthly energy bill. You can reduce the energy consumed by choosing a high efficiency, ENERGY STAR-rated solar unit.

5. Consult with a professional energy manager. A professional energy manager can provide insights into your energy usage of which you may not be aware and can offer valuable energy saving solutions.

Albireo’s management team has over 100 years of combined energy management experience in various markets. Through the use of our energy management software, Albireo can quickly analyze your situation and address your energy needs. Contact us at [email protected] or call us today at 800-201-3153. Let Albireo power your business.

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