3 Ways to Reduce Energy Use & Waste at Your Facility Today
In today’s world of tighter budgets and reduced staff, you need to find ways to be as efficient as possible. And with utility and energy use as one of the top line items in your budget, it may be time to look at what you’re spending and where.
ENERGY STAR® estimates that the average building wastes 30% of the energy it consumes - odds are that your facilities have waste happening right now.
After all, Hatch Data recently published some statistics on electricity and energy use since the COVID-19 pandemic hit and facilities have been underused. The average commercial building has only reduced electricity by 22%.
These statistics show that while many buildings are unoccupied, they are still using energy and may be costing your organization when they don’t have to be.
Maybe it’s time to ask: Where are we wasting energy?
Here are three ways you can start saving energy in your facilities today.
1. Shut down facilities and adjust building set points
This is an easy fix that may have gone unnoticed. If you and others aren’t using your facilities or specific areas, adjust your building set points and equipment schedules to cut down on waste and save.
Maybe you can adjust heating and cooling schedules in areas where you would usually be hosting after-hours events. Or perhaps your staff is only working in specific parts of your facilities and you don’t need to use utilities in others.
Take a fresh look at your utility usage and see if there are places where you can comfortably cut back.
2. Use data to make an impact punch list
Better data helps you make better decisions – and that’s especially true when it comes to smart energy management.
Look at your energy usage data (whether that’s in inventory management Excel sheets or an energy manager system) and create an impact punch list – a list of energy-saving projects that you can tackle with low to no cost.
Here are some low- to no-cost energy-saving project ideas and their simple payback period:
Source: Evan Mills. Building Commissioning: A Golden Opportunity for Reducing Energy Costs and Greenhouse-gas Emissions. Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2009)
Once you start a project, make sure you have all the data you need to measure and verify the impact it’s having on energy and savings and so you can share your success.
3. Establish standard operating procedures
Now is also a good time to look at your operations holistically and establish some standard operating procedures for your building shutdowns. This can help you significantly reduce utility use.
Whether it is for spring or summer breaks, natural disasters or pandemics, get a plan for how that affects your utility use – and how it can positively affect your energy savings.
This will also help your facilities team to know what to do to run facilities as lean as possible.
Your next step in energy management