You can have a dramatic impact on energy savings and the carbon footprint of the facilities you manage.
When it comes to energy savings for facilities, there are a plethora of reasons to cut energy consumption.
Environmental sustainability and budget trimming measures are a priority at most organizations these days. Implementing energy saving measures at your facility will increase sustainability – while slashing utility expenses.
Drastically reduce your organization’s carbon footprint by cutting your campus’s energy consumption.
Conserving energy at your facility doesn’t require purchasing expensive equipment or cranking down the HVAC system to the point where your occupants are miserable. Instead, you can make a few simple changes and transform energy use at your organization.
Most of these changes are so simple, your occupants will likely never notice! (And, for anyone who’s ever had their dad set the thermostat at 80 in the summer to save a few bucks, you know how exciting this can be!)
Let’s dive in to a few keys to saving energy and reducing the carbon footprint of your organization.
Minimize energy use in empty spaces
If your organization is like most, the occupancy of most buildings is dramatically reduced once the 9 to 5 hustle is over for the day (and, for most schools, summer is a pretty sparse time as well). By making a few changes to your buildings when everyone has packed up and gone home for the day, you’ll make a dramatic difference in your organization’s energy consumption and bring significant energy savings to your facilities.
If a building is unoccupied in the evenings, set your HVAC thermostat for a few degrees warmer in the summer or cooler in the winter. By bumping the thermostat up or down even two degrees at night, you can reduce a significant energy drain at your buildings. One of the best ways to control temperatures in your facilities is by using a programmable thermostat, which automatically adjusts the temperature in each building. While a programmable thermostat requires an initial investment, the savings quickly add up as you avoid heating and cooling unoccupied spaces.
Another fantastic way to reduce energy use at night is to eliminate lighting unused spaces when buildings are unoccupied. Of course, some lighting (especially exterior) is necessary for safety purposes.
Keeping safety as a priority, there are several steps you can take to reduce night lighting expenses while keeping your building and employees safe. Of course, you should always keep appropriate lighting for exits, appropriate outdoor lighting for safety.
If you have little or no staff on the premise at night, light only the areas of the parking lot closest to the building. If no cars are parked along the far ends of the lot (and thus no people walking to those areas) there’s really no reason to keep the asphalt lit.
Installing motion detector lights in indoor spaces is also an excellent way to conserve energy. Motion sensor lights are especially useful for low to moderate traffic areas where a burning light may go unnoticed for some time, or a continuous lighting is unnecessary. Motion sensor lighting is especially effective for areas like stairwells, supply closets, bathrooms, and meeting rooms.
Engage employees and seek suggestions
Ask staff to remain alert for areas of inefficiency
Another key to successfully cutting energy use at your organization is engaging your staff in the process.
From all levels of the organization, getting buy-in for your energy saving measures is critical.
Security officers, cleaning crews, and anyone who is around after regular business hours can be a huge asset when working to cut unnecessary energy consumption. Encourage overnight employees to be on the lookout for areas of energy waste, such as lights left burning when staff is gone for the day, or equipment running when not needed overnight.
Encourage fresh ideas for energy savings
Welcome fresh energy saving ideas from your team! Employees around campus are in the trenches and often have fabulous ideas. Find ways to encourage and incentivise employee suggestions.
If you do begin a suggestion program, regularly read the suggestions and let employees know their suggestions are appreciated. (Don’t be like Michael Scott when it comes to suggestions!)
Turn off vending machine lights
Vending machine lights are an unnecessary energy drain.
By removing the lights in your building’s vending machines, you’ll maintain all the functionality of the machines, but abandon the needless energy use.
To plug this energy drain, simply remove the bulb from the machine. (Just be sure to add a note to let others know the machine is still working – you’re just taking energy saving measures by removing the light.)
Added bonus: if your offices are empty over weekends or holidays, unplug the vending machines so there’s no energy draw when they’re not in use.
Did you find these suggestions helpful? If so, check out our latest ebook: Energy Savings for Your Facility and let the savings begin!