Expert Insight: Facilities

Energy Saving Techniques: Part 1 – “Low-hanging fruit”

So you want to save money on operational costs of your building – who doesn’t? We’re here to help.

So you want to save money on operational costs of your building – who doesn’t? We’re here to help. See below for some ideas on how to save on your energy bills (in no particular order).

Interior Lighting:

  • Replace incandescent bulbs with Energy-star labelled compact fluorescent or LED lamps.
  • Replace overhead fixtures with T-8s (or T-5s).
  • Replace exit signs with LED exit signs.
  • Install occupancy sensors in rooms that don’t get much use, such as break rooms or restrooms.
  • De-lamp over-lit areas.
  • Replace building mounted and signage lighting with LED bulbs.

HVAC & Temperature Controls:

  • Install a programmable thermostat. Reduce heating and cooling at night when no one is in the building, and set to turn back to normal operating temperature at least 1 hour before the first person walks in the door.
  • Adjust the thermostat for the seasons.
  • Change the filters for the air intake.
  • Have evaporator and condenser coils cleaned. This will increase efficiency.
  • Get under an annual HVAC maintenance contract.
  • Have your HVAC system re-balanced.

Water Saving (hot water = energy costs)

  • Repair leaky faucets, replace with water saving faucets or install automatic shut off faucets.
  • Insulate the first 3 feet of hot water piping coming out of the hot water heater. If it is 7 or more years old, insulate the water heater tank too.
  • Turn down the temperature on the hot water heater to 110-120F.

Miscellaneous Power Savers:

  • Put computers to sleep overnight, and put monitors to sleep after 30 minutes of idle use.
  • Allow office equipment (copiers, printers, fax machines) to be put into sleep mode, or turn off, after a set period of time. Turn off completely at night.
  • Replace office equipment with Energy-star rated equipment.
  • Check your break room refrigerator for potential door gasket replacement. Close the door on a dollar bill and if you can pull it out easily, you’re losing cooling – replace the gasket.
  • Clean the refrigerator coils for better efficiency.
  • Replace old break room appliances with Energy-star rated appliances.
  • Re-caulk your windows.
  • Replace weatherstripping on your exterior doors.
  • Go into your building after-hours and see what’s on that shouldn’t be. Develop a plan to switch these things off when locking up the building or program them to turn off automatically.
  • Complete janitorial activities during open hours to reduce the amount of time lighting is on.
  • Inspect and repair any damaged insulation.

If you would like an individualized plan for more in-depth energy saving techniques for you building, including an “energy audit” or “cost/benefit analysis,” contact Labarre Associates for more information about what services we offer.

For Part 2 of the Energy Saving Techniques series, “Medium-hanging Fruit”, click here..


Energy Star Tips: